One reason I'll never buy a really old Leica

....even though I really want to.

It`s a wild and wooly world in craigslist.

Today, I saw the most intriguing listing. A Leica for auction in Abbotsford. A perfect piece of screw mount lens engineering in cow country.

Then I looked at the picture and looked at it some more (see above). Is it real?

It says Leica. You want it to be Leica. Because we all want the greatest film cameras in the world to be within reach of ordinary joes on a budget but is it real? Is it?

I looked on line. I flickr'd to see if the Camera Porn pool had Leicas documented just like the one on sale. Nope.

I jotted down the serial number and visited Stephen Gandy. He distributes Cosina lenses and is a camera expert. He also posted an exhaustive and verified list of Leica serial numbers. The number on the camera was never assigned to a Leica as far as Leica knows.

Then I visited the Leitz Collection. There I found the above Zorki 2C in the collection. Notice the top plate. Around the shutter timing knob, the top plate is on the same level as the Zorki tag or badge.

None of the the Screw Mount Leicas with uncoupled rangefinders or viewfinders looked like this. All the top plates step down. The shutter speed knob steps down from the badge and flash bracket. The Leicas' top plate step down again to the film advance knob. The camera in question doesn't do tis.

It may very well be a Zorki C (like a 2C but with no timer) or a Zorki 2 (with no PC sync on the left) faked into looking like an early Leica.

The question is, what is the protocol? Do you call up the seller and the auctioneer and let them know something may be wrong with their Leica? What happens if they are knowingly selling a possible Soviet, though vintagey nice, knock-off as the real thing?

Sigh. I want an old school Leica. For reasons why, next time.