10th Anniversary 2012-2022
More than just a camera lens database

Leica IIIa (Model G)

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Specification

Production details
Announced:1935
Order No.:AGNOO / LUOOB - body without lens
ADKOO / LIOON - body with SUMMAR 50/2
ADOOR / LEOOR - body with ELMAR 50/3.5
LUOOX - body with XENON 50/1.5
System: Leica SM (1930)
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in
Viewfinder:Built-in
Finder magnification:1.5x
Actual rangefinder base:39mm
Effective rangefinder base:58.5mm
Bright-line frames:-
Parallax compensation:-
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica screw mount [28.8mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Shutter
Type:Focal-plane
Model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure
Exposure metering:None
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics
Weight:<No information>
Dimensions:<No information>
Accessories
Body cap:14055
LOPEN / 35355
ORTVO / ORTVOCHROM / 66870

**) Some basic information is missing in the specification as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer description #1

Model IIIa Leica Camera (known as the Model G) has the same shutter speed arrangement as on the Model IIIb. The eyepieces of the rangefinder and viewfinder, however, are not close together but separated (1 1/2 inch apart). The rangefinder focusing lever is on the eyepiece of the rangefinder instead of below the rewind knob. Top and bottom plates finished in satin chrome.

Manufacturer description #2

As model III, but with additional shutter speed 1/1000 sec. Serial No. from 156201.

Manufacturer description #3

The model G LEICA boasts of an extremely wide range of shutter speeds from 1 full second to 1/1000th of a second - speeds to more than accommodate every possible photographic condition which is likely to arise. The standard speeds (1/20 to 1/1,000) are controlled by a shutter indicator dial located on the top of the LEICA camera, while the slow range speeds (1 to 1/20) are controlled by a secondary dial situated on the front of the camera adjacent to the lens and close to the top. The slow range of speeds (from 1 to 1/20th) permit a continuous range of speeds; for example, 1/6th of a second exposure can be secured by setting the dial between the 1/4 and 1/8 marks. Thus any desired speed can accurately be obtained in the slow range of speeds.

The shutter, made of a special rubberized cloth material, withstands all climates, wears indefinitely, does not produce "flare" at the higher speeds, and is practically silent in operation. It is indeed a triumph of camera manufacture.

Points to remember about the Leica:

  • The size of the LEICA overall is: 1 1/8 x 2 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. Small enough to be carried inconspicuously in the pocket or hand-bag.
  • Weight, complete: 18 oz.
  • Shutter speeds: controlled by only two dials, conveniently situated. Regular speed dial on top of camera indicates speeds from 1/20 to 1/500th (1/1000th on model G) second. Slow speed dial on front of camera indicates speeds from 1 to 1/20th second.
  • All-metal construction assures freedom from warping and breaking - a special alloy sees to it that the LEICA is as rugged as it is practical, yet as precision-made as the finest watch.
  • Automatic focusing range finder: The Autofocal feature of the automatic focusing range finder, which is built into the LEICA, means sharp, crispy-clear pictures every time. Each LEICA lens couples automatically with this device and assures freedom from fuzzy results.
  • The interchangeability of lenses: makes the LEICA instantly suitable for every kind of photography, is a highly-important feature. All lenses are standardized and screw into the LEICA lens mount interchangeably and positively. The screw-thread type of fitting was chosen after long consideration of bayonet and other types. Long-wear, positive action, and complete satisfaction are assured by the screw-thread mount, hence chosen for the LEICA.
  • Simplicity: the key-note of the LEICA. The design of the camera permits loading with the greatest of ease plus absolute assurety. You can't load the LEICA in any but the right way.
  • The film material: used in the LEICA is the standard 35mm cinema film stock, obtainable all over the world. The LEICA does not make movies, but individual negatives 1 x 1 1/2 in. Up to thirty six exposures can be made with one loading. Film material for the LEICA is put up in daylight loading and unloading cartridges, making it very easy for the LEICA owner to load and unload his camera.
  • Handling the LEICA: a positive pleasure. The simplicity with which the controls work, plus their smooth, positive action are real treats, especially to those who have used other cameras and can therefore make comparisons. The shape of the camera proper permits the LEICA to nestle comfortably and steadily in the hands. Like lightning, pictures can be made almost as quickly as the mind conceives them, without removing the LEICA from its operating position in front of the eyes.
  • Accessories: play an important part, and it can easily be understood that the more than four-hundred accessories for the LEICA make it possible for it to be used in every photographic field.

From the editor

The same as the Leica III (Model F), but with top shutter speed of 1/1000th second. Before the Leica IIIa, Leitz cameras had the shortest shutter speed of 1/500th second.

The Leica IIIa was produced from 1935 to 1948 with a total of 91,087 cameras in chrome finish. 800 units were also made in black finish in 1935 for export.

Your comment

Copy this code

and paste it here *

Copyright © 2012-2022 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

Unable to follow the link

You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

Cannot perform comparison

Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

LOPEN / 35355

Lens opening cover of metal for LEICA screw-mount cameras.

ORTVO / ORTVOCHROM / 66870

Protection cap, for camera body with screw thread, chromium plated.

14055

Protection cap, for camera body with screw thread, black finish.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.