DPR Forum

Welcome to the Friendly Aisles!
DPRF is a photography forum with people from all over the world freely sharing their knowledge and love of photography. Everybody is welcome, from beginners to the experienced professional. Whether it is Medium Format, fullframe, APS-C, MFT or smaller formats. Digital or film. DPRF is a forum for everybody and for every format.
Enjoy this modern, easy to use software. Look also at our Reviews & Gallery!

M3 black paint


Well-Known Member
Dear all,

I am keen to have my chrome M3 painted black by Shintaro. He charges about 700US for the job. Quite a lot I know but it does result in a Black M3...

Does anyone have any experience of this guys service and quality? How will be affect the resale value? As in will I get my paint money back if I sold it once painted black? Is there any demand of such 'fake' black paint cameras?

Many thanks - if I do go ahead I shall use it as a second body to my M6TTL. How well does the paint last? I am not rough with my gear but actually like to use it, I don't want paint coming off in my hands although I think brassed black paint cameras look sweet!

All the best,

Vishal, IMHO, anything you do to a Leica that detracts from it's original finish, diminishes its value. I could cover an old screwmount series in sharkskin and gold plate...it does not make it a "Luxus" and neither would I pay or get Luxus prices for it. If I was buying a black painted Leica that was originally chrome, I would offer less than if it were originally black. Black Leicas (chrome or paint), do not stay "mint" as long as silver chrome Leicas.
With the proliferation of black in recent times, I believe that chrome Leicas fetch more money on the used market Check out prices to verify this statement. Also, note that early Leicas, converted to "later" Leicas are worth less than in their original guise
I took a look to Shintaro site and I think its services are very good for ugly cameras: he really can do miracles so I think it's an option just for repairing ugly cameras with an affective value.
I'm pretty sure you will never get 700US$ more on resale value, not now and not ever.
For that sum you can buy a beautiful chrome M3 as I did with my #1100xxx chrome M3.
Just my thoughts.
US$700? It used to be $500! This guy must be sw&ed in work. I have seen photos of one beautifully done M2 and IMHO it's a great option for a user camera that the owner intends to keep (and use). If my M2 was uglier (it is not) I wouldn't hesitate in sending it for a Hammertone Grey job.
Hello Vishal,
A original black paint Leica M3 is extremely expensive ($7000) because it is very rare. Officially there are about 1300 of them made (from 1959 to 1965), but I think this figure is still too high. Because a black M3 is not only a collectors delight, but also a dream-camera for users, Shintaro does a great job in painting black some of the 225.000 chrome M3's, and I assure you these professionally repainted black camera's are worth more then the chrome ones.
Personally I own a black M3 that was done by Leitz themselves on special order in the 1970's to match a 1.2/50mm Noctilux (so officially not an original black M3, but boy, what a camera!) and it is by far the finest camera I have. How the black on the Shintaro-camera's will last I don't know, but by seeing pictures of them I would say the paint falls off quite easely. Shintaro states that he takes off the crome before painting, but underneath the chrome (wich is easely removed with acid) there is a layer of nickel, which is very hard to remove, I doubt if he removes that layer at all.
If there is someone who actually has a Shintaro-black camera, please share with us your experience!


dear all,

many thanks for the comments, i intend to take a trip to Japan over the summer, I'll have my M3 done while i'm there.

Many thanks,


there is a layer of nickel, which is very hard to remove, I doubt if he removes that layer at all.

From what is seen here http://homepage2.nifty.com/Shintaro/aboutpainting.html it would seem the pieces are cleaned to the bare brass.

For what I've heard, the black paint is kinda soft, so it rubs out easily to create a "pro" look. However, the Hammertone is very hard.

Presumably you're right, but I've done some research on chemicals that remove nickel and found nothing. To me Shintaro's pictures look like there's still nickel on the pieces, for brass is much yellower, however he states that he removes the nickel. What is his secret to remove that stuff?
Is there anyone following this forum who actually ownes a Shintaro-black Leica?

I think he must remove the nickel as he paints onto brass - nickel is a silver coloured metal. When the paint rubs off - it will show brass under it - not nickel - therefore it must be removed as the camera is make of brass.