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MP vs M6


Active Member
I've now had the MP for just over a week & have put it thro' a few more rolls. Here's an update for users -

- I haven't been particularly babying the MP, but the black finish hasn't got a single scratch on it so far (mind you it's only been over a week). When using it, I hold it in my hand or it hangs on my chest, no case. I put an old Billingham camera strap on it, which has leather pads in front of the metal rings. So far, no paint has rubbed off the corners, probably thanks to the leather.

- The best compliment about the MP that I can think of, is that it handles & feels like a brand new M3 with a built-in meter & black paint. Except for the M6 TTL's, all of my previous M's have been used instead of new. After the M6 experience, I didn't think I'd be buying a new M body that I like. That's changed with the MP.

- the meter doesn't add much clutter to the viewfinder (yes, I finally put a battery in the MP!). It's great to use with the 50mm, and gives me more accurate readings with the 135mm compared to my incident meter. On the other hand, when using the 24mm, I find the incident meter gives a better, overall reading.

- for my choice of lenses, having the 0.72x on the MP & the 0.91x on the M3 is perfect. Using the 135mm on the MP isn't has bad as I thought - the finder & patch is so bright, it makes up for the smaller magnification. If the 35mm focal length was one of my primary lenses, I think I would've preferred the MP in a 0.58x. But since I don't use the 35mm lens, it's not an issue.

- While I still don't mind not having a meter on the M3, I'm now finding the dim rangefinder patch on it increasingly annoying. I've been spoiled by the MP!

Colin - I still have no luck training the g/f or pets!
A number of people seem to have found the MP to be better than the M6TTL, in terms the quality of fit & finish and the smoothness of function. I'm not saying they're wrong and I haven't yet seen an MP; however, based on the superb quality of my two M6TTL cameras, I find it hard to imagine any other camera being significantly better in any respect. So, please, will those who have noticed major differences between the respective qualities of M6TTL and MP explain what they found?
> So, please, will those who have noticed major differences > between the respective qualities of M6TTL and MP explain what they > found?

The viewfinder is the main improvement.

Regarding quality of fit, finish & smoothness of function, I'd say that the MP has a small edge over the M6TTL, now that I've had some time with the MP.

When I was using M6TTL's, I bought all three magnifications (0.72x, 0.85x & the 0.58x). Two out of the three new bodies had to be returned due to quality control problems (one continually drained the meter battery, another had its counter seize up after I put only a couple rolls of film through it). The MP, on the other hand, was like my third M6TTL - perfect out the box, no QC issues. Now, comparing only four cameras & determining overall QC for an entire company is futile, but I thought it might be of interest to some.

The biggest functional difference (as well as the operational smoothness mentioned above) is the improved rangefinder. Like an M3, it rarely flares or blanks out. Excellent contrast, very bright.

Functional minuses compared to the M6TTL: Altho' I'm used to the slow rewind spindle(my other camera is an old M3), it's slower than the M4-M7 rewind crank.

The M3 style advance lever is also less comfortable than the M4-M7 type. This may prove to be a moot point, as I'll be getting the Leicavit soon, but for now, I prefer the M4-M7 lever.

While I truly enjoy this forum & it's fun to talk about the differences between the various M models (and those differences do exist, esp. when you use different M models side by side), I hope everyone realizes my comments are about very, very small differences. As a user, I'd be happy to use almost any M body, as long as it's completely functional. The only time I'm ever annoyed with a Leica M is when it fails before its time (such as the M6TTL's I owned).

I admit I like the feel of my MP & M3 over the M6TTL or an old M4-P that I've used. But really, any functional M camera works almost as well as any other. So if the question is, are there any MAJOR differences in qualities of the M6TTL and the MP, I'd have to say no, they're not major. If you own an M6TTL and are happy with it as a user, there's no point in going to the MP.
I have had my MP,Leicavit,F2/35mm BP. for 2 weeks now ..Wow what a smooth tool, I am waiting for a 2nd body in Chrome as my main user as the black paint scares me with the wear factor , seems silly to make it Paint and not Black Chrome , but I suppose they had their reasons , I also just registered my Lotus Elise with the personal Plate LEICA, so Leica Rules with me , I agree with the name MP ..P for Professional, well I,m off to shoot now and just wanna say the Quality just keeps gettinf better .. OH for a Digital M-Camera ..
Decisions, decisions, after reading your story, I was reminded of a gentleman I knew, who
bought two Pontiacs, then two Cadillac’s, then he bought AMC‘s, but they were all white. …Then my wife promptly stated he has a reason to buy two cameras.

Enjoy, Enjoy.

Would a digital M be somewhat of a contradiction?
The other day I had the opportunity to make a simple comparative test for rangefinder flare with the M6 TTL, M7 (early version) MP (new) and M3. Simply, a strong tungsten spotlight was set up and the cameras moved about until they could be made to flare.

First, an overview: Depending on your shooting habits RF flare ranges from not being an issue through to an outright nuisance. Flare generally occurs when strong light hits the windows of the camera at an oblique angle. The VF frames and RF patch brighten and the contrast of the RF patch decreases. In severe cases flare can “block out†the RF patch preventing focussing with the rangefinder. The propensity to flare is exacerbated if your eye is not centred on the eyepiece properly.

The M3 has a reputation for not flaring. In practice you can make an M3 flare but is not easy. The cameras most prone to flare are the M4P, M6, M6 TTL, and early production models of the M7. The M2, M4, M5 and M4.2 also tend to flare but nowhere to the same extent.

Results: The M7, (early) despite all the additional coatings of the windows and prisms, behaved in a similar fashion to the M6 TTL, ie. the finder frames and RF patch lit up like neon signs and it was very easy to make the flare cause the RF patch to “block outâ€. There was no discernable difference between the behaviour of the M7 and the M6 TTL.

In contrast, the MP and the M3 behaved similarly with the finder frame lines becoming brighter and yellowing (due to the tungsten light source) but the RF patch being unaffected and remaining “silvery†in colour. Despite trying very hard, I could not get the MP RF patch to show any signs of flare. The M3 RF patch could only be made to colour oh so very slightly.

Not a particularly scientific test I know, but an interesting little experiment all the same, that I thought may be of interest to some on Forum.

Regards Craig
Craig -

Thanks for the informative report!

What was the first several digits of the serial number of the M7?


Don't know exact S/N off hand but it was definitely below 2850 XXX. I had an M7 with S/N above this "magic number" but it was fitted with pre MP type RF arrangement. Can get exact #s for both cameras if you need.

regards craig