21 May 2011


I bought this Leica 3A in 1967. It cost me £11 and came complete with a Leica neckstrap , the 50mm viewfinder and the collapsible F2.8 Elmar lens . I wanted a Leica as soon as I became interested in photography .By the mid 60's Japanese cameras were making very rapid inroads into the camera market worldwide particularly the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic which was an SLR with through the lens metering .The result was that Leica owners were converting to the Japanese cameras and suddenly Leicas became affordable for me .I believe this Leica was traded on a Spotmatic .I used the Leica for 11 years before I too was seduced by a Japanese SLR -- in my case an Olympus OM2 .

The Leica did sterling service for me taking many photos --predominantly of our  children--- although it also did its share of motor sport photography see which was taken with the Leica and its 50mm lens.
It is a pocket sized camera but it is a solid piece of kit best carried in a bag not in the pocket .
I still have the 3A .It is a beautiful piece of mechanical engineering. It has not seen a film for well over 30 years yet it all seems to work smoothly still. Maybe one day ......

This photo was taken on a spiritual successor to the 3A -- a Leica X1-- which has capabilities the makers of the 3A could never have ever imagined and is a lot lighter although the 3A is a much better built camera .Sadly I cannot see the X1 lasting 5 years yet alone 75 as the 3A has done so far.

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