A visual profile on LEICA M3-70048x / 70078x Early series of M3 double stroke by leicashop® - MIR Image Library


A little background on E.Leitz Canada.

Citing more than 50% of their customer base were located in America continents; Leitz had decided to open a factory in 1952. It was Leitz first venture outside their traditional manufacturing boundary in Deutschland, Partly, after experiencing the war, the Leitz owner felt it was also safer to relocate part of their business away to a neutral location, with the incentive and support of the Canadian government, the factory was put up at Midland, Ontario, Canada. During its early establishment, works were just confined to grinning, glass polishing (first lens under Midland production was the Summarit 5cm 1:1.5, using parts, mount imported from Wetzlar). The first optic truly designed and assembled in Leitz Midland was the Visoflex Hecktor 2.5/125mm. Soon, some brilliant lenses such as Summicron 90mm f/2, Summicron 35mm f/2.0, Summilux 35mm f/1.4, ELCAN series optics, Elmarit teles and Telyts 200mm, 280mm etc. were Leitz Midland produce. Some of their optics covered for M, R and Leicaflex systems. The camera manufacturing involvement first began with the assembling of Leica RF IIIf, but the first truly made in Canadian Leica camera was the late Leica M4-2 (and may be M4-P as well) which was during the end of product cycle for the M4 series models. Some other models such as Leica 72 was also part of Leitz Canada project. Leitz investment in Midland lasted until 1990+ as Leica had decided to shift the M6 manufacturing back to Solms. Eventually, the plant at Midland, Ontario was sold to an American Company in 1990.

top plate of a typical early Leica M3 ELC, 1955

Camera and lenses made in Midland often were not specifically marked with the source/origin. It is quite rare that products that carried with "Leitz Midland, Canada". Such series may called for extra premium at times. But generally, even a LEICA M3 may be were assembled in Canada wings but still engraved with Wetzlar. Some seasoned collectors had provided some useful info for identification purposes primarily because, model to model, A Leica which was Made in Germany often fetches a higher premium than those made in Canada in the used equipment market. Some have termed the classification for those Midland assembled models as "ELC" which probably stands for produced by Ernst Leitz Canada. So, in the case of a Wetzlar M3 and an assembled M3 ELC, for an example, users may used some minor differences such as 1. Midland Leica M has a larger engraving for the camera model i.e. "M3" than the serial number that followed. Some of the M3 may also had marked with Made in Canada. Premium may vary from different combinations, condition and rarity element. Personally, a camera is a camera, would the origin of produce affects premium over the product can be very subjective. As a comparison, this is something like a Nikkor lens produced in Thailand or China wouldn't make it as a comfortable optic on your camera and often become a scapegoat if personal imageries fail. hehe .. Below are TWO typical Leica M3 ELC where you can judge it yourself visually to see those minute differences:-

Leica M3 chrome ELC, 1955

Here is a very early Leica M3 with typical Canada engraving as described above. The Camera has a matching Summicron 2/5cm, along with IROOA lens hood as well as dark brown camera case. If solely based from online S/N references such as Stephen Gandy's compiled list this camera with S/N 74629x was not listed as M3 ELC which was believed to be only restricted to 50 units being produced.

1/1/1955 M3 (Exact Date Unrecorded) 730001 746450 16449
1/1/1955 M3 ELC (Exact Date Unrecorded) 746451~746500 50

I guess the S/N from cameraquest were extracted from Dennis Laney's LEICA Collectors Guide, which has the same references, and it also mentioned ELC started appearing in 1956. Leicashop™ auctioned of this M3 ELC may need a little refining on the S/N guide. Anyway, in the world of old Leica collecting, there bound to be surprises here and there.

With general perception of German made Leica M3 has extra premium over Canadian models, this identified M3 ELC has a modest auction start price at EUR 900 and a hammer price of EUR 1.080-00
*. Considered to be reasonable with a Summicron and accessories attached with the package.

* NOTE;- Indicative price(s) herein is/are based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.

An early Leica M3 ELC camera model, 1955 with matching collapsible 5cm 1: 2 Summicron standard lens w/ IROOA lens hood

1955's Leica M3 ELC body w/Summicron 5cm 1:2 and IROOA lens hood film back view

1955's Leica M3 ELC body w/Summicron 5cm 1:2 base plate

Leitz Summicron 5cm 1:2 usyed on a 1955's Leica M3 ELC body

Dark brown leather camera case for LEICA M3 ELC, 1955

Another illustration Leica M3 ELC chrome outfit

Basic double stroke M3 body with typically Canada engravings, CF Summicron 2/5cm (with spectacles), Summaron 3.5/3.5cm M3 , Elmar 4/90mm, Hektor 4.5/13.5cm, all lenses with caps, 5 filters, in matching M3 ELC outfit case. Approx. Year: 1956 Body S/N. 84073x. This M3 ELC has only an auction start price of EUR 800* but hammer price was not provided.

* NOTE;- Indicative price here in this site were based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.

Leica M3 ELC camera model outfit with CF Summicron 1:2 f=5cm, Summaron 3.5cm 1:3.5, ELMAR, Hecktor 13.5cm , 1956
Basic double stroke M3 body with typically Leitz Canada ELC engravings, Summaron 3.5/3.5cm M3
Top plate of a 1956 LEICA M3 ELC with Summaron 1:3.5 f=3.5cm
Rear section view of a LEICA M3 ELC, 1956 camera model
Closer view of a SUMMARON 1:3.5 f=3.5cm lens  mounted on a LEICA M3 ELC, 1956

Leica M3 chrome Single Stroke 'Midland' Canada, 1959 S/N 9748XX

No price indication on this "variation". One of the problem faced is, Midland M3 has no official designation
and you have to make use of experience as well as Serial Numbering to identify them (refer to top section)

Front view of a Leica M3 chrome Single Stroke Leitz 'Midland' Canada rangefinder camera model, 1959

Another example of Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955

Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955
Top Plate, Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955
Base Plate, Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955
Rear Section View, Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955
Sectional enlarged view, top plate, Leica M3 Midland DS, Chrome, 1955

More images of Leica M3 ELC (probably assembled in Leitz plant at Midland, Ontario) version are provided by another online trader,

| BACK | to early LEICA M3 double stroke early models

| Leica M3 Index Page | M3 Nomenclature |

Visual Library on Leica M3 Prototype, 1952; Leica M3 Test model, 1953/4 | A photo showcase on early series of Leica M3 DS bodies:- Leica M3-700131 / M3-700170 / M3-700000/M3-70031x/M3-70051x | M3 double stroke chrome 1954~1957 bodies:- Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4; Leica M3 Single Stroke 1957~60/1961~66 | Leica M3 Black Paint:-1955/1958/1962~1964/66 / Case study on Prices | Leica M3 ELC, 1955/56

Other Leica M3 Variants:- Leica M3 chrome Leica-Technik 57 1954; Leica M3 GOLD Edition, 1956 | Leica M3 DS United Nation Edition, 1957 | Leica M3 Olive Bundeseigentum outfit 1957/ Olive Green Bundeseigentum outfit, 1959 (2 Parts) w/info on high quality M3 Olive Conversion | Leica M3 Betriebskamera/ Betriebsk 1960 | Leica M3 Royal Dutch Marine Periscope Model, 1966 | Leica M3 Dummies / Riesen-Mode (Giant scale Model); Leica M3 Cutaway Display Unit , 1954

Recommended External Link: Leica FAQ | Leica M3 Instruction Manual 1) Location 1 (1.35mb PDF) by Joe Chan; Location 2 (1.2mb PDF) by M.Butkus < Mike@bukus.org>; Leica FAQ | Serial Number Ref. (Cameraquest): LSM lenses 1923/1965 | Leica M 1954/1999/Leica M/R-mount RF/SLRs Serial Number ; Leica M-lens coding PDF (84k) download (Leica, AG); Leica Camera/Leitz Lenses S/N check (requires registration) at Owners Support@LEICA camera, AG

LEICA MP-Specific models/variants - Visual Profiles on selective Leica bodies:- Leica MP Prototype, 1955 | MP Betriebsk w/Electric Motor, 1956 | Leica MP-88/MP-150 Black paint, 1957 | Leica MP-167; Leica MP-171/MP-313/old/new Leicavit visual, 1957 | Leica MP 367 & 368 Dual, 1957 | Leica MP-375, MP-368 & MP-386 | Leica MP 'Edition Hermès', 2003 | Leica MP Betriebsk 0.72x | Evential production model MP 0.72x Black paint, 2002 | Leica MP classic Kit Set 1 / Set 2 | Leica MP chrome 0.58X(2 parts) | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.58x | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.72x Standard | Leica MP 0.85x Finder Mag. model | Leica MP Anthracite* Limited Edition Set | Leica MP LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Grey Hammertone Finish (3 parts) | Brief Introduction on Leica à la carte:- Leica MP Red Leather 0.85 / Nappa racing Green Leather 0.58X | Others:- Visual case study on counterfeit LEICA MP ; Leica MP Prototype w/Prototype Leicavit-M; Leica MP-3 LHSA; Leica MP TITAN, 2007

| Leica MP Nomenclature | Leica MP Instruction manual (1MB PDF) | Technical Specification (96k PDF) |

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Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. * NOTE;- Indicative price here in this site were based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.