Old School

0-series replica and a cappuccino

0-series replica and a cappuccino

I‘m in Berlin this weekend. Recent sales of guitars on Ebay have been going quite well, so I thought I‘d have a look at this camera they had at the Berlin Leica Store:

Leicas latest digital camera. Not.

Leicas latest digital camera. Not.

It‘s a 0-series replica from 2000, when Leica once again proved they are mad and reissued the second 35 mm camera Barnack made. A very faithful copy of the 1920 model, the only concessions to modern times being a coating of the Anastigmat f/3.5 50 mm lenses and it being a few millimeters taller in order to be able to load modern 35 mm film cartridges.

The one they had at Leica Meister in Berlin, just off the Ku‘damm, was in a better state than the one I had ogled at their Hamburg store.

We soon were in agreement. Here‘s the salesperson worrying about the bill and I, about putting a film in it.

We soon were in agreement. Here‘s the salesperson worrying about the bill and I, about putting a film in it.

I shouldn‘t have worried, it‘s the same as with any screw-mount Leica. There are some other oddities, though.

  • No exposure meter. Okay, I have my small Sekonic incident meter.
  • No rangefinder. I’ve been measuring distance with my steps a lot yesterday.
  • Retractable lens with leather cap. Top deck with, from left to right: rewind knob, cold shoe, viewfinder with pin and crosshairs, shutter curtain gap adjusting dial, lever for „B“, normal shutter speeds and rewind, advance knob with exposure counter.

    Retractable lens with leather cap. Top deck with, from left to right: rewind knob, cold shoe, viewfinder with pin and crosshairs, shutter curtain gap adjusting dial, lever for „B“, normal shutter speeds and rewind, advance knob with exposure counter.

  • Film management is not so different from any film-loading Leica. You have to confirm the rewind knob rotating when you wind on to check for misloads.
  • When you cock the shutter, the curtains don‘t overlap. So, it‘s imperative to cap the lens before you wind on, otherwise the film will be fogged. Thus the nice little leather cap.
  • Shutter speeds are set indirectly by adjusting the gap between the first and second shutter curtains. This can only be done after half a film transport (lens capped!), indexing a red dot (!) on the dial to a line, depressing the dial and clicking it to a setting in millimeters. There is a little table to remember to convert that to shutter speeds. Wind the film on and hey presto, you‘re set! Easy-peasy. I do like cameras that offer a resistance.
  • The viewfinder consists of, from the back, a negative lens with crosshairs etched on the front and about a centimeter in front of that a pin that you bring in alignment with the crosshairs. You hold the camera 25 – 30 cm from your eyes (the smartphone position, funny enough!), the neckstrap of the everready case helps with that. The finder is astonishingly incompatible with old eyes.
  • And, it deserves a second mention, don‘t forget to cap the lens after you shoot!
  • Despite all that, I took many photos with the 0-series replica yesterday. They are yet do be developed, I expect them eagerly. As a substitute, here are some I took with my other Leicas on and around the Ku‘damm yesterday:

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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    Leica is to be commended for bringing out this historic camera again. I can only remember one other maker, Nikon, who did such a thing.

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    3 Responses to “Old School”

    1. New Old Pictures | Mostly Black & White Says:

      […] first film from out of the 0-series replica Leica has been developed and I’m pleasantly surprised by the results. So, here are some shots I […]

    2. BWWSW | Mostly Black & White Says:

      […] This is what I’m photographing this week with. […]

    3. FOFER | Mostly Black & White Says:

      […] 0-series replica is a simple camera. It doesn’t even have a rangefinder. Mine now […]

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