Restoring an 85-Year-Old Leica Camera

Dec 3, 2020  By Richard Rejino

Maximilian Heinrich of Analog Insights recently inherited an 85-year-old Leica camera and handed it off to his friend Jules for repair and restoration. This 15-minute video is about the camera’s journey from nearly being passed on to a camera store to being brought back to form.

When visiting his aunt for a weekend, Max was told that he could look through a bag of cameras that his uncle wanted to get rid of. One of the cameras was a Leica IIIa (upgraded with Leica IIIf features) complete with a lens, case, manual, and accessories.

The camera was a bit dirty and worn on the outside, and had issues on the inside — the shutter curtain was often visible in the frame, film was misaligned as it moved through the camera, shutter speeds were inconsistent, and the rangefinder was completely off.

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Richard Rejino
Richard is the Executive Director of LHSA - The International Leica Society and a part-time professional photographer. He is also a classically trained pianist, writer and published author. His book, "What Music Means to Me" is available from Hal Leonard Corporation.

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