Experience with the MP

C

constantin

Hello together,

this is my first message to the english forum. First of all I want to greet every enthusiast in this very interesting leica-forum.

Now some informations of me:
to take photo´s with my Leica´s R7 (black chrome) and MP (black laquer) is a special hobby for me. I like to go out and take pictures from the nature.

But now I´ve got a question to the owners of an MP-Modell:
which experience do you have with this model?
My personal experience is, that this is "the" M-Modell, I´ve ever dreamt of. I´ve got the MP for only 2 Months but at any time I use the camera and take pictures it is again very fascinating.

In relation to my R7 the built quality is another step upwards. It´s a very solid camera.

But these are my personal impressions,
which experience do you have?

I thank you for any answers to come:

Greetings from germany
Constantin
 

jim0266

Well-Known Member
Constantin, I've had the MP .58 version for almost a year now. It's the best M I've ever owned when I factor in the .58 finder and light meter. I find the RF in the MP better than the one in my M4. But if I didn't want the .58 finder so much I would be very happy with an M6 that has had upgrade to avoid RF flaring. But the build quality of the MP's is a step up from the M6's. Enjoy your camera. That's what it's all about.

Cheers,
Jim

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garth

Active Member
welkommen Constantin!!

yes, while I don't have an MP at present, it is my dream camera! I presently shoot a black m6 which makes me very happy. I have this notion of buying a pair of black MPs, with serial numbers next to each other. Does anyone know, though, if the black laquer version is also available with the .58 viewfinder? I thought it wasn't, but both B&H as well as Calumet advertise it. Calumet even lists a number...

ciao,
garth
 
C

constantin

Hello Garth,

here in Germany only the .72 version in black laquer is available. But I´ve heard of the possibility, that you can also have the other versions .58 and .85 in black laquer finish.
Perhaps you´ve got to e-mail Leica for further information.

Good luck,
Constantin
 

f16

Member
I've seen the MP in black laquer and also black paint (for a lot more money) but only in 0.72.
 
R

ritebrew

I will be buying an MP, most likely this week. I believe I would be happy with either black or chrome. However, in the real world of photography, won't the black paint lose its luster over time? I DO think the black paint MP is gorgeous, but so was that blonde I once dated...
 

ted_grant

Member
John Brewton asked in concern:
>> However, in the real world of photography, won't the black paint lose its luster over time? I DO think the black paint MP is gorgeous, but so was that blonde I once dated...<<<<<<

But John are you buying the camera as a trinket to hang around your neck and look pretty? Or do you intend on using it? If so, a smudge or bump here or there enhances the camera as it belongs to a using photographer. ;-)

Bumping or paint wearing off would be the least concern and I'd would want to know "will the camera work for my lifetime?"
ted
 

garth

Active Member
black paint thing's kinda weird. i had a photo teacher who once upon in the day had a black m2. the paint was 'brassing', so one day he got bored and scraped it all off. he said it became a scourge for his lurking street photography because folks thought he had a gold camera!

really, though, you know what's cooler than a brassed painted camera showing all that hard-earned wear is a newer black anodized camera that's lost it's much harder to wear off surface!

I think you should just go for it. those black paint cameras look beautiful.

just my dream filled opinion,
garth
 
R

ritebrew

Thanks, Garth. Ted, as for your comments as to whether I want a trinket or not. I'm too poor to spend that kind of money on trinkets! My M4 still looks great after thirty years. I would like my next M to acquire the same type patina.
 

garth

Active Member
well, the black paint may be a 'trinket' aspect, but it's still a great camera. i don't know, i'm pretty poor, but i'm fine driving a rusty car so i can have a fine m6 which will last a lot longer, and even costs less...

what's the phrase about 'quality is remembered long after price?'. i think if you're serious about photography and can swing it you should go for it. and it's one of the best built Ms yet...

good luck,
g.
 

colin

Well-Known Member
I think the "black" is chrome too. It was on my SL2. However, It is not as durable as the "silver" chrome and soon takes on a patina. I have always preferred silver chrome bodies myself. I think the old black enamelled cameras were much prettier than the current black finishes. My old Contax1 has a beautiful gloss finish even today.(circa 1933)
Colin
 
U

urgenta

I own the MP since 3 month. It's the black laquer version. A very fine tool. I shot in this time about 30 rolls slide, B&W and B&W-slide. It's a pleasure to work with the MP. I did mostly street photography and available light. The only lens I could afford was the Summilux-m 50 1.4. Sure, it's a very expensive tool, but I think it's worth every cent.

Hans Villars, Switzerland
 
E

erikvanstraten

Jon,
Can you explain the difference between black laquer and black paint? I've never heard of such a difference.

best regards,

Erik van Straten.
 

jtrevino

Active Member
Constantin,

I've been using a black MP for about seven months now. Summing up the differences with my early black M6 (Classic, Ernst Leitz, Wetzlar) and early chrome M2 (stay down button), the MP viewfinder is as flare-resistant as the M2 and miles ahead the M6. The smoothness of the advance is almost comparable to the M2, although not quite so. Much better than the M6. The black (enamel, lacquer?) finish of the MP scratches as easily as all other black paint over brass bodies I've had, something that doesn't bother me at all and I expect the corners to brass out in about two years of fairly heavy use. Ditto. My M6 (bought used) is beginning to dull and the corners starting to show white. My recently acquired M2 was lovingly cared for by the previous owner and only has some dulling of the chrome on the top deck and a few scuffs on the bottom. I don't expect to wear it to the brass in the rest of my lifetime (I'm 57). In the film loading dept, the M6 wins hands down (the MP requires you to pull up the rewind knob to tension the film and be able to ascert the advance. My M2 is of the removable spool type. You also have to reset the counter manually, although if you use factory loads the counter is usually at zero when you reload and advance the required two blanks.

Erik,

As a car dealer who has an in-house body & paint shop, I can tell you that metal paints are usually enamel or lacquer. Enamel has a higher natural gloss than lacquer, which requires polishing after it has dried. It (enamel) is also much harder and longer lasting. On the other hand, lacquer dries much faster than enamel and rarely requires oven drying. Enamel is presently the factory paint for most cars although there's a new migration to water based paints (necesarily lacquers) for environmental concerns.

If Leica used lacquer on the MP it must have been decided that way so the paint rubs off fairly easy, allowing the camera to acquire a "heavy pro use" look, pleasing the HCB/Winnogrand wannabees among us. Fondlers might balk at this but then those cameras will rarely see the outside of the show cabinet.

Cheers,

--Jorge.

Mexico.

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S

sdmjr

Erik, Technically, I'm probably wrong, but lacquer as applied to camera finishes is a one Euro word for paint,;-) Happy Snaps, Sal
 
E

erikvanstraten

Hello Jorge,
Thank you for your clear explanation. I still am curious what camera's Jon Claremont saw, maybe a black MP and a Millenium M6. Indeed, the latter is much more glossy (and more expensive).

Jorge, being a kind of paint specialist, do you know what sort of paint/laquer/enamel was used on those marvelous (and now extremely expensive) black M2's, M3's (and screw-mount models such as the 111a-syn) from the fifties and sixties which show a kind of blistering of the paint surface that is easely rubbed of, and that is also present on the negative carrier of my Valoy II enlarger? Isn't it amazing that Leitz used this low quality finish for their camera's while they could do a superb paint job as well, for instance the focusing helical of that same Valoy II enlarger? I think the popularity today for brassy black paint M-Leica's originates from the high prices collectors pay for those rare black M's. No wonder Leica tries to make money out of this by marketing a camera with a very soft black paint finish.

By the way, I am also a HCB-wannabee (defenitly sure) and own a black MP and a black M3 as well.

Best regards,

Erik.
 
S

sdmjr

Erik, Remember when these cameras were made, some almost a half century ago. Leica probably used the best paint available at the time. I hope there have been advances in paint technology in a half century. Happy Snaps, Sal
 
S

sdmjr

Erik, You are begining to worry me.. The three prong loading system is fast and accurate once you learn how to use it. First, as basic as it seems, try following the instructions. Most people who have problems, try to complicate things. More Happy Snaps, Sal
 
E

erikvanstraten

Sal,
What I've been trying to point out (without wanting to worry anybody) is that at Leitz at that time they could make a great black paint finish (just take a look at the black painted shades as the FIKUS), but they did not use it on their black camera's. I just wonder why. They used for their camera's clearly not the best paint available.

About loading my new MP: I've had two misloadings (the pictures were all trough the perforations). Another problem with that thing is: the sides of the frames are not exactly straight and since I print always the whole negative (with a black border) it is very annoying. I've had a new camera from Leica and it is slightly better but not perfect either. Anyone else suffering from this?

regards,

Erik.
 
H

hektor

Sal,

There are a number of pre-war black enamel bodies on the shelf beside me which have had varying degrees of use and abuse, and in spite of which the black finish is like new. The deterioration has been in the lead filled script.

Malcolm Taylor and Ottmar Michaely are able to reproduce the black enamel finish, but I suspect it is too expensive for commercial production-line manufacture by Leica.

Justin
 
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