M7 discontinued

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Karim Ghantous, May 25, 2018.

  1. It surprises me that anyone buys an M7 for $4800! Their sales of film camera in general must be pretty low volume. The M7 was arguably the last Leica film body built purely as a working tool. The MP and M-A, while remaining excellent cameras, have also been made with an eye to the boutique/heritage market, removing useful features like the rewind crank and meter and adding retro details. This market probably values 'mechanical perfection' over convenience. Since there is no longer even an a la carte M7, perhaps they have also run out of some crucial component and do not want to go to the expense of manufacturing it or can no longer obtain it from a supplier?
  2. I would imagine Richard's take on the situation is correct. No doubt the sales volumes were, very low. There are probably enough new units in the pipeline to cover at least a couple of years' worth of sales. I doubt anyone wanting a new one will have a tough time finding one for a while yet.

    Hopefully they're maintaining some amount of stock in replacement parts, assuming at least a few units will find themselves back at Leica over the next 2-3 years for warranty work, so some semblance of parts stock would need to be kept on-hand.
  3. Hopefully! But I imagine it won't be repairable for anything like as wrong as the mechanical bodies. Even the M6 TTL circuit board was reportedly no longer available in 2017 (15 years after the TTL was discontinued), leaving you with a meterless camera. I hope they don't kill off the MP, which apparently uses a meter compatible with the M6 Classic. Incidentally, I guess the demise of the M7 also means the end of TTL flash on film M.
  4. Well, not exactly. The MP meter has more in common with an M6 TTL than an M6 classic. Starting with the M6 TTL (including the MP and through all of the digital M cameras) special firmware is required that is plugged-in and downloaded into the circuit board and used for setting up the meter. Leica USA is the only place in the US this firmware can be obtained.

    FWIW, M6 (classic) replacement meters and circuits can still (at least as of this moment) be obtained through Leica.
    Gus Lazzari likes this.
  5. It was claimed in an earlier thread that Sherry Krauter has been replacing early M6 meter circuit boards with MP boards - I can't confirm this from personal experience:

    M6 built in light meter -dead??!

    But if the M6 boards are still available (good news), then there seems no particular reason to use the MP board - perhaps the poster is confusing later M6 Classic meters (as used in the 'Solms' variant) with MP meters? On the other hand, is there any particular reason why an MP meter could not be retrofitted into an M6 with a bit of work? - there ought to be the same amount of space inside (it's not like shoehorning the larger M6 TTL meter with its flash circuitry into a Classic). Are you absolutely sure the MP meter is anything more elaborate than the M6 meter? - it only has to light up one extra LED, and it doesn't do TTL flash. But perhaps it's more convenient to calibrate the meter using an external computer rather than fiddling with a potentiometer or something.
  6. All I can tell you is that I suspected the M6 and MP meter circuitry were incompatible and someone who would know (Don Goldberg) simply confirmed it along with the reasons why. The MP meter circuitry is not the same as that of an M6 and the MP needs special firmware (specific to that circuit board) available only through Leica. This, along with the fact M6 meter circuit boards are still available, tells me they are NOT interchangeable.
  7. I really hope this rumor is just a rumor. At the time of writing this both M7 and M7 a la Carte are available on Leica Camera web site.
  8. The story comes from the guy who operates the Leica franchise in Miami, one of only 8 Leica-branded stores in the US, so I imagine he has a direct line to Wetzlar. 5 days later, nobody at Leica has contradicted him.
  9. Tamarkin recently removed the M7 as a "new, current production" item. All evidence considered it seems pretty obvious the M7 is, indeed, done as a current model. Thankfully, most of them will still be ticking years from now. Looking at 40-45 year-old cameras like the Nikon FM2 and FE2 that are still working like new today, I don't think anyone who currently has an M7 needs to be all that worried about their camera not lasting as long as they will want to be using it.
  10. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Sorta close:). The Nikon FM2 came out in 1982 (36 years old), and the FE2 came out in 1983 (35 years old).

    The FM came out in 1977 (41 years old), and the FE came out in 1978, so that's 40 years old.

    I have several of each model, and they all have accurate meters and shutter speeds.
  11. I wouldn't either if I were in the market. I would rather buy the MP or M-A. I would want the Leica mechanical which is what Leica is famous for.
  12. Too sad! M7 was the first Leica I bought, back in 2002 (before that, I used my father´s M3). It is one of my favorites. As someone said, it is like driving a sport convertble car with a automatic transmission!
  13. The old classic 35mm film cameras that were still in the market were almost certainly unsold old production (or, less likely) new small scale production using parts still in stock.
    These film cameras are merely no longer in production, but that has probably really been true for quite some time.

    I am one of those still buying film cameras, but not new, never-used, ones.
  14. A couple of months ago one silver M7 0.72 came up for sale at my local camera shop. It was slightly used in nearly mint condition, price was better than anything eBay. I was short of money and decided to pass. Now I regret my decision but then again as I am aging I am really looking fro one with 0.58 RF magnification.
  15. I purchased a silver demo M7 0·58 quite awhile ago, the version with the improved viewfinder and optical DX reader. I had some problems about 2 years ago and Sherry Kräuter installed a new circuit board, so hopefully I'll be in good shape for the foreseeable future. A really neat camera to use, along with my M2, M4-2, M5—a loveable 'beast', and M6 TTL. The M7 is my 'lazy' camera, just set the aperature, hyperfocal distance and snap away. I hope Leica has a supply of spare circuit boards, and I would encourage our dedicated expert repair technicians—can you hear me, Sherry‽—to buy some of those circuit boards now (if available), so you can be our 'heroes' and 'heroines' 5–10 years hence.
  16. Hope you're right!
  17. Perfect description!
  18. The M7 is the last of the electronically control RF cameras. The CLE, Konica RF, Ziess Ikon and the various Voigtlanders are made no more. Thus the M7 has become an antique too. Ironic that the most advanced RF film cameras are antiques.

    My M7 needed to be rebuilt. When it comes back will for intents be a new M7 (at a hefty price). I will see a lot of use and it might outlive me.

    Digital has everything over film except one thing. You can change lenses frequently and not worry about dust on the sensor because there is no sensor.
  19. True. Digital Leicas at least, don't have sensor vibration on shut down. Canon EOS does, and it's a boon. I haven't had had a dust issue in over 10 years, while the M9 sensor often looked a bit like a CD on loan from the public library (exaggeration).
    marc_bergman|1 likes this.

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