Hollywood Gets the M3 All Wrong ( errrr…Possibly Right?)


The above is a still from the new Hollywood “Blockbuster” Kong: Skull Island, the premise of which, apparently, is that King Kong is found running around what appears to be Viet Nam in the 60s/70s wreaking havoc and the people above, among others, are tasked with capturing /wounding /incapacitating /killing him.  The young woman is, apparently, a PJ. She’s shown using a Leica M3 with what looks like a 50mm Elmar (note the indented bevel on the front of the lens) and the close focus attachment for a DR Summicron, which makes absolutely no sense under any imagined scenario. Even were that a DR Summicron, I’d question what a 60’s era PJ in Viet Nam would be doing using macro focusing while on combat assignment in SE Asia.

[Editor’s Note: Within 30 minutes of posting this, I’ve been inundated with smarter, more knowledgeable readers noting that it’s clearly a Summaron 35 3.5 with goggles for the M3. Of course.  One more example of why one shouldn’t drink whiskey and then write things on the internet. In this particular instance, the culprit was a 200ml bottle of Old Malt Cask Unfiltered Single Malt Scotch, bottled at the “preferred Golden Strength of 50% alc. vol” by Blair Athol Distillery, that my wife had just brought me back from Scotland.]

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9 thoughts on “Hollywood Gets the M3 All Wrong ( errrr…Possibly Right?)

  1. Mikael

    Are you sure ?
    To me it looks more like a 35 mm 3.5 Summaron with the goggles for M3.
    If so it certainly makes more sense for a PJ.

  2. Konrad

    I’m pretty sure that is Leitz Summaron f=3.5cm 1:3.5 with wide angle attachment (removable) made exclusively for Leica M3. It focuses from 0.65m. The next Summaron 35mm f/2.8 has fixed “goggles”.
    Best Regards

  3. Rob Campbell

    Would anyone have ben using one covered in lizard skin? Unless, of course, it was meant to offer a form of natural, environmental protection.

    That aside, I imagine we’d really have seen more Nikon F and Pentax by then… without lizard skins.


  4. kodachromeguy

    Not bad, not bad at all (I meant the M3 camera….). If this is intended to be semi-authentic for the Vietnam era, she might have been using a Nikon F.

  5. Toby Madrigal

    The Summaron with spectacles was also available in F2 and F2.8. The F2.8 was the first Leica lens I bought and its a stellar performer. However, I’m getting older now and the M3 finder was always slightly dim. With the spectacles it’s dimmer still. So, while keeping the M3 outfit for my step-grandson to use, I’ve started using a F3.5 Summaron with no spectacles and a SBLOO 35mm bright-line finder with a pair of Leica MDa bodies. These were M4 bodies without viewfinder or rangefinder. They were in much better condition than M2/3/4 bodies on sale at the time I bought them and were half the price. In use, when I get to the end of the roll, I exchange finder and lens with the body cap of my spare body and carry on. Quicker than roll change.

  6. David Murray

    It all depends in which year the film is supposed to be set. The Leica M3 with its 3 frames in the viewfinder (50/90/135) made no provision for a wide lens on its introduction in 1954. It was the coming of the M2 in – 1958? – that gives us 35/50/90 frames. Leith responded to requests for a 35 by introducing the spectacles 35mm lenses in 1956, so, if the film was set, say, 1956 onwards, the PJ would have obtained this lens.

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