Holy knobs, Batman! This thing looks more like steampunk art than a camera. Produced from 1957 to 1960 as an update of the Leica IIIf (added a larger viewfinder). This one was produced in August of 1957, part of a 5,000 batch.
First look this was an intimidating little camera. I say little because it feels small in the hand, heavy but small. In fact it is not any smaller than the M3 but it feels smaller in the hand. After getting over all the knobs and realizing that it was just a camera, and a sturdy enough one the I wasn't going to break it: I started playing with it and realized that it was not as complicated as it looked. It is a fully manual camera that puts all the controls up where you can see them.
Loading this thing was not easy. It loads through the bottom by removing a baseplate, then stuffing the film back in, and trying to keep it attached to the removable take-up spool. The IIIg lacks the hinged door of the M-mount bodies. The IIIG was the last of the screw mount bodies and was in production at the sometime as the Leica M3. Shooting it was surprisingly strait forward and just carrying it around should boost my credibility.
Composing a shot requires two window. One window is highly magnified and use to focus. The second window is to compose the shot. It permanently shows lines for the 50mm and 90mm lens. Yes, I spent a lot of time looking through the wrong window and spinning the lens.
The IIIg is not a camera I thought I needed. It came to me as part of a collection and seem to have been well cared for. The lens is a bit stiff and I failed to getting it fully locked open a few times. Now that I have used it, I can appreciate that it is a great camera. This is not a camera I could grab and shoot quickly. It is a camera I could use to slow down and relax (which I would need after loading/stuffing the film).
Lens: Ernst Leitz Elmar 5cm f2.8
Film: Ilford HP5 Plus 400