Leica IIIf Black Dial - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Leica IIIf


Black Dial

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.


West Germany

Image of Leica IIIf Black Dial

f2, 5 cm Summitar, iris diaphragm to f16. Screw mount. Serial no. 849318 (1951).

Focal-plane, speeds 1 - 1/1000, B, T. (1/30, 1/40, 1/60, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500, 1/1000). Speeds are varied by delaying the second blind. Flash synchronisation with variable delay scaled 0 - 20.

Vulcanite covered metal body.

36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm film held in cassette.

Helical to 1 metre.

Coupled rangefinder, swing prism type, double image. Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder.
Auto-stop on film advance coupled to shutter. Film advance tensions shutter. Exposure counter. Film speed reminder scaled: 6 - 125 ASA, 10 - 23 DIN.

Serial Number:
557744 (1951) .


  • Lens cap, black plastic. Ever-ready case.
  • "Leica with built-in flash synchronisation" - leaflet 8263 1951.
  • "Leica System" - booklet 8390 1952.
  • Copying stand BUWOO. In red box.
  • "Auxiliary Reproduction Device" - brochure describing the BOOWU copying stand. 8162 d. 1952.
  • Optical Near-Focusing Device. For 5 cm Summitar lens. Scale of magnification: 1:6.5 - 1:17.5. Automatic parallax correction and view-finder adjustment. For distances between 3.5' - 17 ⅜".

The f series introduced built-in flash synchronisation. The firing delay was variable to cater for different types of bulb, the setting was on a dial below the shutter speed dial. The contact setting required depended on the type of flash bulb and shutter speed used, the appropriate setting could be found in a table. A further table would show the 'guide number' for the bulb and shutter speed, this was divided by the subject distance (in feet) to give the lens aperture which had to be adjusted according to the film speed. On the later IIIf Red Dial, the shutter moved across the film plane more quickly so the contact numbers for Red Dial cameras differ from Black Dials.

Copying stand BOOWU
This consisted of 4 legs which screwed into one of three collars which fitted between the camera and the lens. For reproduction ratios of 1:4, 1:6 and 1:9 (corresponding to originals of A6, A5 and A4). Introduced in 1952.

Optical Near-Focusing Device
This was a variable extension tube with parallax compensation to the view-finder and rangefinder. It allowed the standard 5 cm lens of the Leica to focus down to 17 ⅜", the magnification range was 1:6.5 - 1:17.5.

In use the lens is secured to the unit by its bayonet, the focusing mount of the lens is not used. An optical wedge is aligned over one of the rangefinder windows and a mask aligns in front of the view-finder window. The latter automatically adjusts for parallax and reduction in field size but in use was not very precise due to the small finder window.

Pre-war Leitz made different versions of the device:

  • Nooky (1935) for the 5 cm Elmar lens. In 1939 a reproduction scale was added.
  • Nooky-Hesum for the 5 cm Hektor and Summar. In 1939 a reproduction scale was added and the engraving included the 5 cm Summitar.
Early models were available in a black and nickel finish later only chrome were made.

Code Names:
LOOKX - Camera. BOOWU - copying stand. NOOKY-HESUM - Optical Near-Focusing Device.

References & Notes:
Hasbroeck, Leica.


No. 00 Cartridge Premo





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