Prepare to pour your heart (and cash) out for one of the most sought after Leica collectibles ever. If you missed any of the rare Leica treasures we spotted previously, now is your chance to snag another. A rare Black Paint Leica M3 in very good condition has recently surfaced on ebay, which can be yours for the buy-it-now price of $68,500.
The “100% original black paint” Leica M3, that Netherlands-based seller wish-4-leica has up for grabs, comes with a 35mm f1.4 Summilux Steel Rim Goggle lens with cap, the original box, camera case, Leica tag, instruction manual in German, and M3 leaflets. The body is in great condition, and only has some minor signs of use on the top plate and a small scuff mark on the bottom plate. It has also never been repaired nor repainted, and the L seal remains intact. So, looks like you’ll get a complete collectible package in the best condition of all the black paint Leicas listed out there.
Hailed by the most ardent Leica fans as one of the world’s greatest 35mm cameras, the M3 continues to enjoy legendary status to this day for many reasons. Introduced in 1954, it has the distinction of being Leica’s first M camera. Its 0.91x viewfinder, the first to be combined with a rangefinder, is exceptionally bright and arguably unparalleled by any Leica since. According to Ken Rockwell, the name M3 is actually a reference to the three frame lines automatically selected for three lenses: 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm.
It was also the first to have film rewind levers, compared to the knobs on earlier Leica models. The shutter release is also silky-smooth and quiet. The M3 also introduced the bayonet Leica M-mount which remained the standard mount up to the current Leica M7 and the digital Leica M.
Now, add all this to the the fact that only around 1,320 out of over 225,000 units were painted black and you have an exceptionally rare model sought after by Leica fans and vintage camera collectors. However, according to Camera Quest, black M3 units weren’t as popular as they are now, and only after the black paint bodies were discontinued did they become rare, collectible items.
Curious about the rare black paint Leica M3 up for grabs? Check out the ebay listing to see and find out more about the complete package.