Finder replacement for older M bodies

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by raymond_tai, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. Anyone ever had their older M's finder replaced? I like using my 28mm on the M4 but don't
    want to use an external finder so am thinking about replacing the M4 finder with a current .
    58x. finder. Of course it would be easier to just buy a .58x MP but I was hoping the
    procedure would not be as expensive and I do like the M4.
  2. Raymond,-- If you don't wear glasses, buying an M6 might be the way to
    go. I have no difficulty in using the 28mm frame.

    DAG has the correct RF assembly, but you should contact him to find the cost.
  3. All you really need is to change to the M4P set of frame lines. I had that done to one of my M2 bodies years ago during a routine CLA.
  4. I wouldn't change the M4's classic finder. Besides, if you want to use the 28, it's pretty easy to just use the finder edge as an approximation of the 28 frame. If they put in the 28 frame, it'll be right up against the edge anyway and you'll barely see it.
  5. Hey Raymond -

    I have both an M4 and M6/M7 cameras with the 28mm framelines.

    First off you should know that along with the M3 and M2, the M4 is considered to have the
    best and most accurately framing finder of any M camera ever made for the 35/50/90/135
    combo. It would be a real shame to replace the original frameline mask, with that of a M6/
    MP/M7. Just the thought gives me nightmares and you would substantially reduce the
    value of the camera. People buy M4's because of the finder. ;-)

    Second you really don't need to replace the frame mask to use the 28mm. On the .72 M6/
    M7/MP the 28mm framelines are so far at the edges of the finder that you can barely see
    them anyway. They might as well not be there.

    Before the advent of the M4-P photographers would simply use the entire viewfinder for
    the 28mm focal lenght, which gives very accurate results. Probably more accurate than
    the brightline finder.

    Garry Winogrand, shot all of his street photography with a 28mm on an M4. You can see
    his camera here:

    I've done it myself and it works like a charm. When I use a 28 on an M camera I just ignore
    the 28 framelines, even if they are there. You just frame through that big, beautiful

    But if it really bothers you, I would sell the M4 and get a more recent M6/MP etc. Besides,
    the cost of the conversion would probably exceed the difference between selling the M4
    and getting a newer used camera.

  6. Don't sell the M4.
  7. I should say that at the time I had the M4-P frames put in it was when the M4-P was first marketed. Supposedly they downsized the frames later in production. Yes, the frame is right up against the finder edges and really serves little function.
  8. Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. I wear glasses and can barely see the 35mm
    framelines on a .72x finder. I asked DAG and he said that Leica will only replace a finder
    when you send the original in and will not switch magnifications. I guess I either get used
    to an external finder else sell off a .72x body for an MP .58x. Thanks again.

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