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About the new flarefree finder


Hi everyone,
I've heard that the newer batches of M7 have adopted the MP flare-free finder. I wonder it started with what serial number? And I heard one can tell the new finder with a blue window on the rangefinder. Is it correct?
Thanks very much.




You cannot tell whether the MP finder is fitted in the M7 from the serial number.

No as well to the blue window theory.

Apparently, Leica now label M7 boxes with a “New Improved Finder†sticker.

You can test the M7 with a bright light source. The MP finder will not flare the older M6 type will flare easily.

Regards Craig


Active Member
Around 2885xxx. My original M7 with serial #285xxxx flared, my new one which is 2887xxx doesn't. From the outside, they looked identical, the only way to test is with a light source.



Thank you Craig and Karen.
I have an M2 and M3 and now decided to get an extra body with quicker action to help me on street shots.
I read quite a few messages about choosing between MP and M7. They are all valueable.
Both M7 and MP have advantages and drawbacks. M7 has a bad fame about its DX reader and viewfinder (of those before 2885xxx as Karen suggested). But M7 has the AE which enables quicker action and at times you can leave it out if you just want to use the meter without AE.
MP should be a great camera overall and has a higher resale value. It is definitely quicker than my M2 and M3 but still a bit slower than M7.
Many would say the little more time you spend in thinking on the exposure will help get the better pictures. I totally understand that. I have no choice since I use M2/M3. But on many occasions on the street, I want to react quickly.
Some told me to rethink about the electronic shutter. As I would be shooting in Hong Kong 95% of the time and the temperature is not demanding on the shutter. And on travels I can still bring my other Ms as well. So I guess this should not be too big a problem.
I am now going out to the shop to get my M7. This message seems that I'm trying to justify myself. Hope the M7 is exactly what I want with no mistake.


Good luck with the M7, Eric.

Quite different to the M2 and M3 but I think you shall enjoy using it.

All the best, Craig


Eric - I have an M7 for just a few weeks. The bad fame on the DX reader is not justified. Just a bit of patience on your hands when unloading film. The M7 is a fast camera to use on streets. Do let us know how you get on.



Hi everyone!
I think I might have been blessed. I bought an M7 with absolutely ideal condition. And the process was quite coincident.
On Sunday, I was accompanied by a friend to a shop to which he is familiar with. I was originally looking for a 0.82 but the shop ran out of stock so we left. I then went to another shop myself. The shop was supposed to open at 3:00pm on Sundays but the boss finished hiking early and back to the shop with a bit fatigue and nothing else to do.
I took the 0.82 in hand and discovered the frameline of 35mm was a bit too tight to the edges, although I'm not a glasses wearer. I then decided to buy the 0.72. And the boss took out a couple for me to choose, the one I chose was with a cute number "28888xx". Add to my surprise was that the price of this shop was USD150 less than the first shop.
If I were to buy the 0.72 in the first place I would have bought the camera from the expensive shop. And now, I got the M7 with an ideal magnification, cute number, and a nice price.
I'm a happy customer.


Active Member
Congratulations Eric on this new acquisation. I use the Konica Hexar RF - a precursor to the M7 - will not switch until it dies on me as it takes most of my M lenses

Brgds / Joseph Low


New Member

congratulations !
may I ask you how much did you pay for your M7 ? Just to know how big the price's difference is compared to France. And also, do you confirm there was a “New Improved Finder†sticker on the box. In fact, I am thinking about purchasing one, possibly a second hand one and I am wondering if I have to double-check the serial number plus the sticker (if this one actually exists).



Active Member
If the serial number is 285xxxx, then you have about a 50-80% chance of the new finder. If it's 288xxxx then it's pretty much 100%. Just my own experience... There is no definite cut-off in the 285 series.


New Member
Season's Greetings to all out there!

I just picked up a new M7. This unit was shipped directly 12/22/04 to my local dealer from Leica in NJ. It serial number is 2854XXX. There is a large Black Orange Taped Band around the box with the statement "new with improved viewfinder" with up to 5 year warranty. I've read that those camera's with serial numbers below 288XXXX have issues with battery life and finder flare. I'm am somewhat disappointed because the dealer had in inventory another camera with serial number 2851xxx and having read all the negitive reports asked specifically for a "factory" fresh unit. The dealer was happy to comply and ordered it in my presence from his factory rep.

My question is this, because the serial number falls below the 288xxxx threshold is this old stock? Will it have the same battery life problems all you have been experiencing ? I have the option of returning it and the dealer promisses to ask NJ for a "higher serial number" unit but the holidays are here and that is the reason I bought the camera. Should I use the M7 and hop for the best relie on the "passport warranty" or keep it on ice till next week and wait for an other unit?

I'd appreciate all your comments.



Well-Known Member
I have no experience with the problems you mention as I do not have a M7 - but I would - hard as it may be looking at the box over the hollydays - get it exchanged to a newer model if this is a serious problem - just imagine that you have to have it fixed over the warrenty and the cameras is in and out of the workshop for weeks - you spend a lot of $ - you have the right to get the right stuff


Anthony, I don't know where this thing about battery life comes from, probably a few people who've not turned the camera off, put it in the bag with the shutter cocked. Then in closing the bag put pressure on the shutter release which constantly drained the battery. But I've never experienced it since late 2002 when I purchased 3 M7's for my work. And for a use perspective on the first book project, "Women in Medicine" we shot close to 500 rolls of Tri-X in approximately 4 months. Never with a battery failure! Actually two of them still have the same batteries in them from the beginning!

I thought you may find it interesting that my serial numbers are... 277xxx.... 278xxx.. 265xxx. So as far as I'm concerned from pure every day use under work conditions, this battery stuff is a crock. And when it occurs, it's more than likely due to handler failure than camera-battery! Heck if I was you, I'd get film in it and get cracking! And if there's a problem of any sort Leica NJ. will look after it, besides it's warranty covered anyway so who cares. Just get using it! :)

Have a great Christmas with many successful holiday pictures with your new Leica M7! ;-)



Well-Known Member
Anthony, If it says it has the "New with Improved Finder" then I think the issue of the flare problem is gone.


New Member

Thanks for the quick response! It makes sense. I'll take the camera out of the box and use it. I'm comfortable with the flare problem issue being resolved.

Thought you might be interested that the display models for "ala cart" are in the 300xxxx and 2999xxx range. That for M7 and MP and that also contributed to my frustration. Glad to hear that 265xxx are working properly.

To all a happy and healthy Holliday Season.

Tony De


"...I don't know where this thing about battery life comes from, probably a few people who've not turned the camera off, put it in the bag with the shutter cocked. Then in closing the bag put pressure on the shutter release which constantly drained the battery."

Ted, It's no urban myth, and I for one am not that stupid...!

I had one of the first M7 .85s in the UK. It chewed through three sets of batteries in a week. It went back to Leica who confirmed a battery drain problem, and replaced it. After the second drain, I put in new batteries, turned the camera off and left it on a shelf for a day. Result - one dead camera. I have had no problems with #2, however.