Leica MP now?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by steve_barrett, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. This is a weird question, but I'd appreciate some input. I'm on the verge of
    ordering a Leica MP a la carte. I'm feeling a little hesitation because of
    threads I've read here from time to time regarding the state of Leica quality
    control. I'm not sure it's any worse now than before but it's got me wondering
    if it's a good time to buy a new Leica?
  2. Go for it!
  3. My MP will be buried with me -- it's my most favorite camera -- I'd buy one all over again...
  4. Bob live long and preserve life on as much film as you can use up.
  5. If you don't order one now, the dollar is going to drop further against the euro, and you'll be kicking yourself in six months' time for having to pay an extra $300-$500 after the next price increase.
  6. No question it's a beautiful precision instrument. Not sure what you are looking for on the a
    la carte menu because the stock model is just gorgeous. Not certan what you are referring to
    regarding quality control issues as it's hard to imagine a better made instrument these days.
  7. The last two cameras (MP & M8) I purchased new from Leica had issues - the MP had a sticky shutter button and the M8 RF was out of alignment. Now, after a trip to Leica New Jersey for some fine-tuning, they are both unbeatable.

    I have heard similar stories with a-la-carte cameras.
  8. When i bought my mp new, i didn't have you oportunity to buy la carte .
    However , I never going to sell my mp. It is the best camera i did buy .
    You will love it .
  9. My black MP-3 is a surreal instrument in terms of user enjoyment. I feel like after perhaps
    1,000 rolls, it will truly be as broke in as my 56' M3.

    Get an MP.

    Some day, Leica will stop making new film cameras and you will have to buy second hand.
  10. I bought mine used (two years old) in March this year and the MP simply rocks ! Had it serviced by Leica recently (sticky shutter button / loose rewind knob) but since it is an pure mechanical camera some adjustments are sometimes necessary. (My then time new Nikon 70 - 200 VR went three times to Nikon for re-calibration ...)
  11. Steve, the frequency of complaints on line can give a very false view of the quality control situation, since the tiny minority of purchasers with complaints are much more likely to post than the vast majority of satisfied users.

    It's only when you ask the "weird" question you posted -- essentially, "Are there satisifed buyers out there? -- that you finally get the true picture.

    The MP is a great camera. People who use it love it. In the unlikely event of a problem, Leica will repair or replace it.

    A better time to buy would have been yesterday, but since you didn't, you should buy now -- with confidence.
  12. If Leica were to ever come out with an M camera with the wide viewfinder of the Voigtlander
    R4M, I'd sell all of my cameras to buy it. Well, all except my Minolta CLE, my very first
    rangefinder and a sentimental - though no longer a shooting - favorite. I don't own an MP,
    but handling one is to know the best M camera since the M2/M3 debuted.
  13. My only complaints about the MP are that I wish it had a selftimer and the larger shutter speed dial. Most importantly they are so beautiful that I would feel bad about actually using it!
  14. I have two MPs, and they're incredible. They somehow feel more solid and operate more
    smoothly than my m6ttls.

    I love the smaller shutter speed dial, and I prefer the old style knob rewind. It seems
    slightly slower, but it has some tension to it so if you stop rewinding halfway it doesn't
    spin around. I find that with my m6ttls, if my hand slips off of the crank while rewinding, it
    spins around and I lose progress.

    The only fatal damage I ever had with a leica was on a three-week foreign trip, my first
    with leica gear. I took two ttl's. When I got there, I realized that the crank on one had been
    bent to the point that the camera was unuseable. It must have been damaged in my bag
    along the way.

    It was a quick repair and covered with no questions asked under the passport warranty
    once I returned home, but I was nervous since I only had one camera left to shoot with for
    the remainder of my trip. Anyway, the mp-style rewind seems more durable.

    I did order one MP a la carte. I wanted it with no engraving and black leather. When I got it
    the vertical RF alignment was off. I was kind of upset about it, but that kind of thing can
    be caused by rough shipping. I took it up to leica in NJ, and they literally fixed it while I
    waited. Checked the calibration of my well-used lenses out too while I waited, but they
    were fine. Can't beat that service, although I know not everyone is in driving distance to

    My second one is also a la carte, but I bought it used. Other than the initial RF alignment
    issue, both have worked flawlessly and are a pleasure to use. They've held up fine, and I
    don't baby my gear, I use it.

    My advice--as long as you're looking for a camera to use for life and not just for a few
    years--would be to get one now while you can. Get it customized the way you want. I
    figure my MPs might be the last film cameras I ever buy and I plan to use them forever.
  15. If the lack of a self-timer on the metered Leica M cameras bothers you, you might be interesting in getting a mechanical self-timer that screws into the shutter release socket. These are available new and used for next to nothing. There are even some fancy ones that can measure exposures from 2 seconds to 30 seconds or more, with the camera set to Bulb.
  16. I love my MP. No issues, all joy.
  17. I have 3 new MP's ( less than 2 years old and bought new). Two are a la carte and one is a hammertone that i won in a drawing. 40 years using M's professionally tells me the new M's are not of the same quality build as the 70's and earlier cameras. Lenses are included in this statement. One of my new MP's has a problem from the factory with the ISO dial and then the shutter stopped capping properly. The other two are fine so far but 4 of my recent lenses had problems and still waiting to send my asph summilux 50 off to NJ for evaluation. DAG stated it wasn't manufactured properly and had a problem with the focusing mount from day one. Previous cameras and lenses up to the 70's never gave one problem. To be completely honest I've had more problems out of my Leicas than all the Nikon and canon gear that I've owned over that same pereriod. The only 35 system that I've had more trouble with was my Rollei 3003 bodies and backs.

    Chances are that you'll get one that's OK but the percentages of duds is much greater with the newer cameras and lenses.

    I'll say that I do love the MP but don't feel it's any more special than my ZI and do favor the RF/VF of the Zeiss and particularly love the Zeiss glass over current Leica asph offerings.
  18. I would personally avoid an MP a la carte if it's significantly more expensive than a standard issue MP. The reason being is that you'll take a bit of a beating if you decide to sell it later as it will be difficult to recoup the additional amount spent for that custom design. The used MP market is rather thin for sellers and al carte limits it even more. OTOH, if a la carte is the only way you'd want the camera and you never intend selling it, go for what you want.
  19. Samuel,

    I have the screw in self-timer. It works, but it is horribly clunky. I have to burrow in my bag to get it out (it always seems to be at the bottom...). It has a very powerful spring that makes you likely to bend it in the shutter release when you set it. Then when you screw it in, the plunger (which releases the shutter) always has to pushed back into the body to fit it into the thread. As it is such a clunker it's not nice to have it permanently attached, so I never use it unless it is absolutely essential. I like using a "real" selftimer in lieu of a cable release so this is part of the reason I hate an add-on.
  20. Yes, screw-in self-timers are certainly clunky!

    Does the current Zeiss Ikon have a self-timer? The Zeiss website doesn't seem to mention it but that may not be conclusive.
  21. I favor the M3 with vintage Leitz lenses.
  22. I own a Leica M2, a Leica M5 and a new Leica MP: the quality it's same, keep quiet.
  23. OK. The Coot speaks: Spending a bundle and getting a coveted toy is a very satisfying experience. But of all the M series Leicas ever made, the M2 is un-surpassed. It is the only M with an uncluttered viewfinder..no extra frame lines, lights, arrows, sky rockets, lasers, or other distractions. In the 1960s, the hey-day of rangefinder cameras, the M2 was the pro's camera, while the M3 was the doctor's camera. The Life magazine guys, and other top photojournalists pretty much always used the M2 for their work. And it was superb work. If you have never used one, spend only around $1,200.00 for a mint M2, use it with a nice chrome Summicron, and see for yourself. With 5 year's solid use, the MP may be as smooth as an M2, but we don't know that yet. And you can option the simple 35-50-90 viewfinder of the M2 on an MP, but why re-invent the wheel? It's already out there, and WITH a self timer. Besides, the 28mm and 135mm are outside the perfect focal length range of any rangefinder camera. Like macro or super-telephoto, that's the turf of the SLR, as it should be. Do what your gut tells you, and ignore all the advice except this! The Coot.

Share This Page