Question on (modern) MP

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by farkle-mpls, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. I'm thinking seriously about buying an MP (like, yeah, I need a THIRD M-series film body ...!) but I have a few questions outstanding which I haven't gotten satisfactorily answered. I'm hoping you can help.
    Many people have likened the MP to simply a Classic M6 with some M3 features (rewind knob, film advance lever) available as options. True?
    Others have mentioned it is internally built differently (fewer modular assemblies, more hand-crafted fiddly bits). True?
    It apparently has a different case/shell than the M6 (solid brass top versus ...?)
    I know I can order it through Leica's ala carte program to be configured as I want it and I've walked through their "build an MP" wizard online to verify that. Very cool. If I can turn $3000 (used MP) into $5000 (new ala carte MP) I might do that ...
    Also, I've heard that the MP finder has been upgraded ... or was it that I can get an M7 with an upgraded MP finder? This is important to know as I want the best finder I can get if I buy used.
    And lastly, does anyone know the beginning serial # range of the MPs? Any idea where the serial #s are at now? Do they mix the serial #s with MPs, M7s, and M9s, doing a batch of a few thousand of each body at a time?
    Sorry for the "shot gun" nature of my questioning and thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
  2. I've owned an M6 classic, MP and M3. All great cameras, the MP does have a nicer feel and a better finder than the M6, but is not as nice as an M3. The M3 is just smoother, more solid, and for a 50mm lens, the finder is excellent. I don't know the internal differences between an MP and M6, but the MP does feel better.
    The MP has always had the same finder, in three magnifications, it was the M7 which had an upgrade. It is an improvement on the M6 finder, where the rangefinder patch does flare every now and then. I didn't find it as big a deal as some make out, but my MP rangefinder has never flared.
  3. Adding on Geoff's comments (which I agree with), I would say the MP is functionally very very similar to the M6 classic, only with the upgraded finder. The only other differences I can think of is that it has a brass top plate and brass internals (at least some I believe), different body coverings, knob rewind and older style all metal shutter wind. It also has a round center LED between the two arrow LEDs, where the M6 has just the two arrow LED's.
    I love the MP, but overall, if you already have two M series bodies, and don't have the M7, that is probably the one to get. The AE, electronically timed shutter, speeds in the viewfinder, quieter operation (at least for mine), DX coding, TTL flash....there are a lot of things going for the M7, and very few against. The biggest disadvantage is that it needs batteries (though even then it will give you 1/125th and 1/60th). The biggest advantage is AE and a more accurate, lower maintenance shutter (electrically timed shutters keep their timing better and more accurately than mechanical ones).
    By the way, I got my MP pretty early...September 2003 if I remember correctly. It still has the M6 ISO dial. It is number 28894xx. It cost 700 dollars less brand new than what used ones cost now! Crazy...
  4. The MP VF has a condenser that reduces flare that is not in a standard M6 VF. M6 VFs can be upgraded to the new MP VF. M7s now come standard with the MP VF.
    As well as the brass internals, and classic styling, the MP has a meter that is one stop more sensitive than the standard M6 meter. This can be very useful when shooting in low light.
    I have had a few MPs, M2s, M3s and a M7. The MP and the M3/2 just rock. Build quality, styling, ergonomics are very similar....all smooth. The M7 is quiet, but has different styling and ergonomics from the M2/3/P. The MP style rewind crank is slower, but more sturdy and less prone to bending than the M4/6-7 rw crank. As well the shutter speed dial turns differently on the M7 than on the classic MP/3/2. Also the M7 has a plastic tipped film advance lever, whereas the MP/2/3 has an all metal advance lever. My M7's advance suffered damage to its plastic tip...which was annoying.
  5. MP, M6, they each will take the same picture with the same lens.
    You have entered the world of GAS and left the world of photography.
    An MP used will cost at least double what an M6 Classic will cost used. An ala carte MP will cost about $5400USD.
    I have an M6, purchased after having an M3 SS for 15 years. I also have two M7's. The M3 never gets used, the M6 infrequently and the M7's almost all of the time. I really notice no difference in build quality or other wise between the M6 and M7's. The M7's were sent back for optical reader upgrade this year and the finder upgrade because they were already in Solm's and one was still under warrenty, so no cost on that one for the finder. Can't notice any difference. As to knob versas crank, the knob is slow and I have never had a problem with the crank. I actually prefer the M7 style wind lever to the M3 style but I also use Motor M's and once in a while a Leicavit. But I had the M6 for many years before the M7's and Motor M with no wind problems.
    Frankly, I don't need another M and don't have GAS. I would like a plain front M7, black paint, but the ala carte price is rediculous and the price, $3770USD that one just sold for on eBay is crazy when you can get a Mint M7 for about $2200USD.
    I would think about whether you really need another M or if its just GAS. If it's just GAS and you can afford the money than go for it.-Dick
  6. I sold my MP last month. I needed the money and felt guilty about having the camera in the first place. Other than the TTL meter (nice for a Leica M but crude compared to what you can get in a mid-level SLR), the MP offered nothing I could use that I didn't already have on my old M3 SS. I have three M lenses, two 50s and a 35 Summicron with eyes. For these, with its fantastic viewfinder, smooth operation, and 1950s build-quality, the M3 is supreme.
    The M7 is a different animal. My RF cameras are manual. I've always figured that the SLR design makes more sense for TTL metering, electronic shutter, aperture priority, and other automatic features. I use a Canon F-1n when I need them.
    The debate about steel versus brass top plates and gearing, plastic- versus metal-tipped rewind levers, dials that turn different ways, etc., is not the stuff of adult conversation. Viewfinder clarity and framelines, the need for and effectiveness of TTL metering,
  7. mpo


    According to Mr. Putts, MP serial numbers begin at 2889101. And yes, they are mixed with M7, CM, Digilux2, CM-Zoom, C-Lux1, V-Lux1, Digilux3 and other models serial numbers. On year 2006, numbers were around 3195XXX (M8)
  8. The MP is almost as good as an M3 and the M7 because of the shutter and AE is probably easier to use for most. Very hard to beat a god condition M3 - something special about the viewfinder...
  9. The differences between a Leica M6 (classic) and an MP:
    1. The MP has a brass top; the M6 top is zinc alloy;
    2. The MP has the “Leica” script engraving; the M6 has no engraving (early M6 camera tops from Wetzlar are engraved “ERNST LEITZ WETZLAR GMBH”);
    3. The MP has the classic M3/2 RW mechanism with vintage style knobs; the M6 has the M4 style with the slanted crank with M4/5/7 style knobs;
    4. The MP has the RF condenser lens put back in (taken out during the M4-2 run); the M6 does not have this (but can be upgraded).
    5. The MP has coated RF windows (starting with the M7).
    6. Different body coverings (neither are extraordinary).
    7. The black MP cameras are painted (and the paint is ‘designed’ to rub off); the black M6 is anodized black chrome.
    8. MP has more modern meter circuitry and the meter may be a stop more sensitive in low lighting conditions - operationally identical to the M6TTL meter.
    9. The MP generally has a smoother film advance mechanism compared to an M6. This is a result of Leica changing one gear to brass and fine tuning the remaining steel gears. Film advance in late M6/M6TTL cameras is also very smooth.
    10. The MP is fitted with a separate eyepiece held on with three set screws with a plastic cover installed. Every M camera prior has the eyepiece molded into the body with a threaded diopter. The new eyepiece is not sealed and will allow dust into the finder over time; Leica now seals the eyepiece at the factory, but it is still an inferior design compared to any that preceded it.
    Sound variations might be heard between two or more cameras. This is due to differences in top plate metals and/or subtle differences in tolerances. Two M6s, for example, side-by-side might sound noticeably different. It happens (often) - get over it.
    I have owned and used both. In spite of the differences, functionally they are the same camera with the same build tolerances; both have the exact same shutter mechanism and the same RF (with the condenser lens added in the MP – less than a $200 upgrade through DAG – more if done through Leica).
    My recommendation: By a nice M6 classic; send it in for a CLA and have the RF finder upgrade installed at the same time. At the point you get it back you’ll have a great camera to use and ~$3,000 left in your pocket when compared to a new MP.

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