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User comments btil June 2003

I can only offer the following suggestion.
You may recall that Leitz discontinued the M4 when introducing the ungainly M5. A while later, the M42 was introduced, due to outcries from many Leica users. Some accessories were not compatible(a legendary facility with Leitz)with the M5 and many believe that complaints resulted in the reintro. of the previous M sized bodies.
Well, fast forward to 2002 and we find that Leica has discontinued it's only manual rangefinder in favour of a battery dependent model. I would suggest that there has been an "outcry" from many professionals and maybe others.
You may recall, that the R6 came into being sometime after Leitz dropped the SL2 and only offered electronic SLR's. I believe there is a real desire for Leica's all manual camera bodies. Colin
Thank You for that excellent explanation. I'm just new to Leica (don't get to use my M6 until my birthday in April) and am still learning "the legend". I did notice that the MP is not "battery dependent" and is completely manual.

Thank you for your expertise and patience!

Colorado Jeff
Ok, here's my take...

Let's start with a car analogy. Nikon and Canon are Toyota and Honda. Leica is Mercedes or maybe Porsche. Leica will never make or sell as many cameras as Nikon or Canon, but they don't have to in order to stay in business. Like Macintosh in the computer world they can sell to a very small segment and still make money.

The M6 has been around for almost 20 years now. Leica finally came out with an aperture priority camera in the M7. Some people love it and some people don't. But Leica, and many of the people who use them, are steeped in tradition.

Most of these people (myself included) have owned and used the earlier M2's 3's and 4's. Many people consider these cameras the greatest M's made by Leica. When you fire and advance one of these cameras they feel buttery compared to M6's, M4-2's or M4-P's. Lots of this has to do with the brass gearing used in the older M's over the steel gearing in the later M's.

But, as much as many people loved these older cameras, they switched to M6's for the built-in metering.

Now Leica has to be thinking to themselves, "how do we sell more cameras?" My guess is that many people who are going to buy M6's have already done so. They've tapped into the market of M users who have wanted an aperture priority camera. They finally came out with different magnification versions to bring out the eyeglass wearers and those who love the M3-style higher mag for longer lens users.

Now's the time to tap into that tradition of the all mechanical M. What if they made a camera that's as great as the M2, 3 and 4, but updated for today? They finally fixed the rangefinder flare problem. They made the shutter even more robust. They updated the light meter in the camera. They used some retro styling with the wind lever and the rewind knob among others. The top plate is now brass instead of zinc. They are also offering this camera in black paint (but only with the .72 mag). The black paint Leicas are the most sought after Leicas for the collectors.

Now Leica has two distinct M's in their stable. The M7 for those that want AE and the MP for those who pine for the good old days of the M2, 3 and 4.

Right now this seems to be really smart marketing based on how much buzz this new camera has generated in the Leica community.

Time will tell how different in feeling this camera is compared to the M6. If Leica really pulled off an MP that feels as great as the M2's, 3's and 4's, while addressing the shortcomings of the M6, then it will probably entice a lot of Leica users to buy it, in turn making Leica money to stay in business.

I'm curious to get one of these in my hands. I exchanged a few emails with someone in Germany who has had the chance to play with an MP. Here's what he wrote:

The look and feel of this camera is simply incredible. Maybe that is the reason why even Erwin Putt ?whom I consider to be a technician rather than a photographer- went over the edge with his marketeering and very emotional comments.
Well, I am a photographer and therefore I will allow myself to be a little more on the emotional side when talking about an everyday tools. In terms of look and feel I would rate this camera by far better than the M6/7. It is much like an old black paint M3. The Leica representative told me it is definitely not an M3. They engineered a lot new and one can feel it. And the pictures of the MP do not come close to the actual look. The polished screws on the r-lever and the bayonet release button just look terrific. It is a real joy to have this camera. They had to talk to me like to a child to hand it back to them. I put down an order for it instantly.
The camera body is sold for 3.000 EUR and the Leicavit for 800 EUR. I simply cannot remember the price of this crank thing, but who dares. This is what I consider a good price and I mean it.

Jim, since you then know, how a M2 or M3 feels compared to a M6/7 you know what I am talking about. But I really don?t know what they actually did. If they returned to all brass? Maybe. I did not asked them and even if I would , I would not remember the answer because I was ?shooting? around with the MP and didn?t listen to their marketing gizmos. I am just realizing, that one is shooting with an MP (machine pistol)! Oops! All I remember is, that they told me it is mechanically superior to any former model and that they used a block of metal for the body (instead of several metal forms screwed together).
Well, I am quite sure you will like the camera and you should prepare to have funds available to own one! Because I doubt you can resist ;-)
Old news = no news?

Leica is presenting the new Leica MP. 100% mechanical. It seems like a M6. I have not had the chnace to look at it more in depth, but it does not seem like something really new.

Any first hands on experiences are welcome...

just curious...ive known about the mp for a bit now but i am wondering if anyone knows how much it will cost when presented in the us. I have heard rumors that it will go for over 2,500 dollars??? Is this camera going to be made in limited numbers? Any info would be helpful
Hi Jason: I have heard that the list price is somewhere around $2595. Extra will be the fold out rewind knob ( supposedly very neat according to a friend who attended PMA ) at about $150 plus a few bucks, and the Leicavit advance ( which can fit any other M cameras I think ) at about $800-900. I might be off a few dollars one way or the other, so please check with a dealer for more definitive information. Perhaps someone else here can give you exact pricing figures, and information about the number of cameras planning to be made by Leica.

Let us know when you buy one!

Prices will drop over the time obviously but first price indications are for the MP at $2,595. The Leicavit is $895, the
rewind cranck is $179, and the camera case is $279.

Erwin Puts is mentioning on his (marketing) review, that the common flare problem of all Leica M would have been totally eliminated with the MP - Finally. He compared the MP directly with the M7.

Since the M7 is stil pretty new and has still this flare problem, it is surprising me that Leica is not offering this better viewfinder construction also for the M7.

I used leica's in college, the ones the school owned and i loved them. I bought a Contax RX with 50 and 28 and i have a RZ Pro II that i hardly use these days. Over the past few weeks i have really been considering getting rid of it all and getting into a leica setup. When i look back at all my work, and go through my portfolios and the shots i really love not many are taken with the RZ, sure they are shots that i couldnt have taken without that camera but that isnt the work i want to do. Most of my best mf images were taken with a $150 Seagull I bought freshman year that gives amazing good results when stopped down. For what i want to do i would be fine with a 35mm and a used Rollei TLR. Currently i work for a newspaper and that has made me hate af even more, even though i still love to use my ps T4 for quick snaps but for real work you have to have manual focus. So if i do ditch it all I doubt i will be able to buy the MP, too much $$$. What i would buy is probably a Ex condition M6 classic with 35 and maybe a 50 cron for now. Dont know, i guess i will keep dreaming