The Leica M3 is one of the more popular Leica M cameras around even today. Indeed, they still work and many photographers reach for them because of the lack of electronics, beautiful ergonomics, excellent build quality, and relative simplicity to them. Leicas were used by photojournalists for years, and indeed they’re very revered cameras. But images of a stripped down Leica M3 have been circulating around the web for a little while showing us the internal workings.
If you’ve ever built a working camera before (and I tried to with the Lomography Konstruktor) you’ll know that the wind level and the shutter cocking mechanism are designed to work with one another. Additionally, the shutter dial is actually an extremely complicated piece of machinery that interacts directly with the shutter mechanism. In order for it to work properly, the dial needs to be screwed in very tightly and securely.
The Leica M3 took on the bayonet M mount that we know and use today vs the older Leica screw mount. This made changing lenses easier and sometimes simpler. With an adapter, the screw mount lenses can mount to this camera.
Check out more images after the jump.