On December 13th I published an extract from a Mail Order catalog that contained what was destined to become the hottest Christmas gift item in the world of Leica enthusiasts and camera collectors.I speak,of course, of the Leica M3 tin of Humbugs which seems to have fallen in price since my last post and which has,quite erroneously, been called a P***** in several parts of the press. Little did I know that I would receive one of these in my Christmas stocking (forget the red tricycle!) and this has permitted a fuller analysis of the reproduction of our favourite camera in some detail.
Judged as a copy the lens is rather attractive and has a most conventional mount that, had it appeared in 1955, would have been accepted as a streamlined improvement. However the designer of this copy was given free range with his choice of markings where the iris is marked f5.6 down to f45! Likewise in the choice of shutter speeds(ON THE LENS!) these are 500 down to B when they change to green and go to 125 seconds in the manner of later Synchro-Compur shutters. Similarly, the lens has 'moving' red depth of field tabs in the style seen, for example, on Hasselblad shutters of a certain age. The synchro post is reproduced alongside the letters VXM but the fp and electronic sockets are shown on the back of the top plate- in the right place .Hidden away on the lens are the words Made in West Germany and a Compur code for the speed scale and light values. I can only assume that a Leica lens was not available and detail has been taken from a leaf shutter lens of the period.
All in all an incredible amount of detail is shown on what is, after all, a sweet tin selling at about £7.99-with edible sweets inside- and a real effort has been made to introduce a high degree of realism. The names on the top plate have been altered which I assume is to keep on the right side of Leitz but the mystery remains as to why advertise it as a P*****?A few more pictures follow.