M3 with USSR Jupiter-3 lens. The M3 was produced from 1954 to 1967. The Jupiter-3 lens was produced in the USSR ending in 1988.
The M3 was the break away hit that launch the famed Leica M-mount line that live on today. This one is painted black but does not look like an original black paint job, nor does the SS# match an original black one. What can I say this thing is wonderful to use. Mine is a well used shooter that I bought off someone who had used it heavily but had not touched it in years. I figured I'd need to send it off for a CLA, but it seem to be working fine. I wish it were an original black paint version but still like the ware on this paint job. It is odd that on the ware point it is showing brass, I would have expected chrome.
I think this lens is a PT1660 produced by Valdai from 1975 to 1988. It is a Leica screw mount lens, so required an adapter to M-mount. The Jupiter-3 is a copy of the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm 1.5 lens produced in the USSR after WWII. As part of the war reparations, Russia made off with a variety of technology and production rights for German products. Allegedly, they even went home with some original Zeiss glass.
USSR lens seem to be a subculture of photograph and may be finding a new popularity for use on digital gear. But don't mistake this for a Leica lens, it is not. That does not mean it is not a good lens, just not the quality of a Leica lens. But for a fraction of the price you can buy a box of Soviet era lens and see what happens. Based on what I have read there does seem to be a significant amount of quality variation from lens to lens. One site called it "Russian Roulette" on getting a great one or a problem. Mine seems fine.
The M3 does not need my praise. Even this bargain version that I found worked like a champ and lives up to the legend. The Jupiter-3 was fun to use. Most of my roll was in full sun so the 1.5 aperture was mostly neglected. When I did open it up it gave some fun bokeh. The images were more than acceptable for my use. I liked it. Thanks for the lens comrades!
Lens: Jupiter-3 50mm 1.5
Film: Illford HP4 Plus 400