I had a M3 which I bought used and originally used it as a back-up to a Hasselblad. Used it for everything except Macro. I eventually got tired of dragging the Hasselblad around so I sold it and traded the M3 on a new M6. That was three years ago and I still wish I had kept the M3. Currently looking for another M3 as a 2nd body.
I have used an M3 for the past 25 years. My first was given to me by my father, who in turn inherited it from an uncle. It was a very early (circa 1954-55) model, double-stroke, with the older speeds. Had a Summarit 1.5 50mm lens. After much use, I traded it (with some extra cash) for a single-stroke 1958 model, which I have used ever since. Lenses in my arsenal are a dual-range Summicron 50mm, 3.5 Summaron 35mm RF, Hektor 135mm, and Voigtlander 15mm Heliar (just purchased a few weeks ago). I updated the camera with a rewind crank and quick-loading film spool. Also just added a Voigtlander VC meter to replace my old MR meter which was not reliable anymore.
I love the size, quality and feel of the camera, and of course the lenses are the best around (although the expensive newer versions are sharper). I have used SLR through the years, and digital as well, and each has its purpose. But I still come back to the Leica. Many will gripe that it is manual-everything and hard to use compared to today's autofocus, auto-exposure cameras. But I still prefer doing it all myself.
My M3 DS used to be my main body before getting the M6 TTL .58 since I wear glasses. Cannot think of a better camera(M3) to use. Simple, no meter, 3 frames, solid(even more than the newer M's). I either keep my 50/f2 Summicron or my 35/f2 on the M3. I use the 35mm finder for the 35/f2.
I am missing a small (approx. 1/2" X 1/8")piece of black vulcanite from just under the lens opening on my M3. Everything else is almost perfct and I would like to find a source for the material so that I could patch it. Any suggestions?
Leica no longer uses vulcanite but you can get replacement M6 type leatherette from www.cameraleather.com. They also have a variety of other graining patterns as well a real leather and exotic leather pre-cut to fit your camera.
Hello: I purchased my M-3 in 1966 with the collapsible 2.8/50. I have added the 2.8/90 and the 4/135. I traded the 4/135 and now have a 2.8/135. The Visoflex III served as my SLR for a long time. In time, I have had a Nikon F4 with 28, 55, 85 and 180 primes. A Hasselblad 501C also. Now I have a Canon Elan 7e with the 1.8/85 and the 4/70-200L.
My M-3 has had one overhaul by Leica back in the 1980's. No camera has been as satisfactory to use. The 90 is my favorite angle of view.
At one time I used Adox KB-14 developed in FR X-22. What a combination! Terrific to 12" x 18" prints. Is the EFKE 25 something like the old Adox? Anyone know?
The new M-7 is the first model that has really attracted my attention. That is because it will keep track of fluctuations in the ambient light. With age, I really would want a Leica SLR to have AF. I do like that in my Canon.