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.
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 ;-)
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.
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
Why do people trash the M5. I doubt many M users have even picked one up, let alone run film through one. It's a very usable metered maunal camera. It just does not look much like a traditional Leica. Perhaps this is the problem many people have with the R8 and R9. From what I've read, very usable cameras. but they don't look like an SL2 or R4.
>I do not like the M5 because the viewfinder is not totaly on the left side as with the other M's. With the other M's the camera is pushed at the side of my nose. With the M5 the camera is pushed against the tip of my nose and that is what I don not like.
Wow! Well, this is all very exciting, the new MP. I use an M6 at present and enjoy it very much, I carry it everywhere. That's good to hear the superiority of the new viewfinder in addressing the flare problem, that's the first thing I would want improved in my M6.
I like the philosophy behind the MP,which seems to pare things down a zen minimum, but what you get is of great dependable superiority.
I am disappointed to see only a .72 version for the black model-maybe that will change? Also, I thought the pull-up rewind knob would be a handicap compared to the tilted knob but with the accessory available that becomes a non-issue and I suppose people who are into it can be satisfied. This makes me wonder if the tilted knob has been prone to impact, as Leica seems to allude to in their literature. I know when I sent my M6 in for a major service they repaced the tilted knob (though I did not know it was broke(?)).
On the black paint, that seems to be an aesthetic issue to satisfy some of the market and while that is not such an issue with me I wouldn't care. If it helps a person to take better pictures by having a pretty camera, then good!
Lastly! I have always been jealous of the curves of those early advance levers!
So, I hope they come out with a .58 version in black and I will be saving my dollars. I have to say that my only other hesitancy in not investing in this piece of beauty is that a lot of my reportage/documentary goes primarily on the internet and film, though I love it, is another time/logistics hurdle that I jump.
P.S. I don't mind that
it has the old speed knob
that matches my M6. Ciao!
> > On the black paint, that seems to be an aesthetic issue to > satisfy some of the market and while that is not such an issue with me I wouldn't care. If it helps a person to take better pictures by having a pretty camera, then good! =================================================================
Those of us who purchased black cameras before they became a fashion statement did so because they were less conspicuous. I could carry a black camera into a market palce in Viet Nam and no one seemed to notice. But the flash of a chrome camera seemed to make everyone immediately camera shy.
Many phototgraphers have used TLRs for less conspicuous shooting in locals where people are sensitive of cameras.
Yes the reversion to a M3 M2 style film rewind nob is interesting. One advantage to the slow older style nob is that it is impossible to rewind the film too fast. Static electrisity can be a problem, in some weather conditions, if you are in a hurry to change film. As I once found out to my displeasure.
Was there a space problem with the new "improved VF" (we will see) that didn't allow continuation of the M6 type? I understand the MP VF technology can not be retro fitted into older models. Is this true?
Going back to the M3 type film advance lever is a little odd. The M4 lever was an improvement it think.
Also Handmade cameras are not necessarily built to the same quality as mass produced items. Make sure you don't buy a unit assembled on friday afternoon.
On my comment about black paint being an aesthetic issue, I should have been clearer that I meant to compare the black laquer finish to the newer anodized. Compared to the longer lasting anodized finish, the black paint seems to earn merit on a mostly aesthetic level, based on the sentimentality of brassed corners. (not that anything is wrong with that!).
My m6 is black, and so will the next camera. My pretty little chrome screwmount Canon always got positive affection from various people, I should note. Obviously, though, how I interact is by far more the critical factor in how my the picture turns out.
On retrofitting viewfinders to older Ms, it's too bad if it wouldn't work- that would be a nice service that I would consider.
On the lever, I have to say I actually don't mind the M4,6,7 one myself. Opinion from someone who likes the old ones more?
Yeah, don't get one made on Friday afternoon. I wonder to what extent Leica's claim of handbuilt goes and what it means. Sometimes doing things with hands could be more economical than building a complex machine. Or custom-tolerance parts may be fitted, like in gas-engines. Who knows? Still a very pretty camera and if I can save the clams, I will get one. : )
Hand rewinding can be faster than by motor. When Leitz introducted the Leicaflex, being the first camera with a crank rewind, they cautioned against rapid use likely to cause static streaks on the film. It has only occured to my films in very dry climates.