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Friday, 08 May 2015


You need to remember, that the M7 at a certain point upgraded the VF to the MP style, and this modification alone is worth about 500USD. Apparently it happened around a 3.100.000 serial number. A plain 0.72x M7 in good conditions is changing hands around 1.500 USD nowadays, but if you add the 0.58 VF AND the upgraded VF style (if this copy has one), this price could look like a bargain. ( I won't be buying, because I have the exact same camera already, and I can confirm it is great).

I don't have $4800 to spend but I suddenly think I need this camera. Will you write my eBay item descriptions for me?

Best info is that the MP finder was installed on M7's from: # 2885000. Between 285xxxx & 288xxxx there could be some that had it, but probably an upgrade.

To the manor born, not to the manner born. I'm guessing that's an error the computer made, not you.

Oh, how can you overlook the most unloved Leica of them all, the M5?
Big, bulky, with its inability to use some lens. With the semaphore meter cell flipping in and out?
But it is a Leica, built like a Leica, rather like the Leica's big not so bright second string guard used to sitting on the bench type of Leica.
Probably the one to appreciate most for the collectors.

dear Mike,
this has been one of my camera dreams long time ago.

"and have a camera to grow old with and expose 200,000 photos with and then leave to your child, this is now and forever shall be "the best user."

I thought like this 20 or 30 years ago - today I have a problem of getting the film developed - what will your children do with this camera in 20 years from now?


This is the very best sales pitch I have ever heard or seen or read.
Did you over do that a bit? Nope, not a bit. Just perfect. But I am thankful to you for not claiming that camera to be the best camera. Only just the best Leica.Thank you for that.

Did Virgil Flowers use it to illustrate some of his fishing articles?
Did Lucas Davenport beat a suspect with it?
Either will make it worth more.

Feh. The perfect film Leica is a MP with the 0.85x magnification, suitable for 50mm lenses. 0.58 or even 0.72 are not accurate enough for a 90mm lens. Even better would be a M3 with the 1.0 magnification.

I don't understand why Leica hasn't made alternative magnifications an option on the M240.

All of your points are valid Mike, but really, the perfect Leica is the one you have in your hand.

Says the woman who wants to buy the M7.

Around the time that the M7 came out I wrote a quick summary of it on photo.net (http://photo.net/equipment/leica/m7/) where I mentioned that it would likely be the best loved Leica M to date, but I got a bit of disagreement from the audience. But I did really enjoy the camera for the couple weeks that I had it.

Now you are just sounding like a Steve Huff wannabe.


Ok, not boring, more like tedious.

Celebrity owned gear is kind of fun, isn't it? I once owned a 90mm Summicron R and 180mm Elmar R that had been used by High Times magazine's "grow editor" Mel Frank to travel the world - Afghanistan, Hawaii, Lebanon, Northern California - photographing the techniques used to grow the world's best marijuana and make the world's best hash, published in some of the first books and magazines to show others how to grow your own. The lens optics were impeccably clean, but the body exteriors had clearly done some 3rd world living. There was something cool about shooting with these lenses and imagining the sights they'd seen.

My Leica M-P typ 240 is offended by your dissing it..

The M7 was released after I'd stopped looking at new film cameras. But of the things you love about it, the .58x viewfinder isn't my favorite. I prefer .72x as a fast 50mm lens is too hard to focus accurately with that small a focusing patch. I use 50mm just as often as 35mm, and I can see well enough for both with the .72x.

My "best film Leica M" choice differs because when I shoot film now I'm usually looking for a more minimalistic experience, meterless works well for me. I go with the M4-2 for its simplicity and the addition of a hotshoe flash terminal. But these nuances are all highly personal and subjective.

As someone else said, the best Leica is the one in your hand when you're shooting. :-)

The Leica M7 is my first Leica. It started a love affair.

It has a lovely shutter sound. Load a roll of CineStill T800 and don't look back, or Tri-X....

Metering actually started with the M5, not the M6, and in use the M5's meter is arguably preferable to that of the M7. Also, the M5 was the last M to be hand-assembled using the adjust and fit procedure, and many users and repairers (Sherry Krauter among them) rate it as the pinnacle of the M bodies in terms of construction quality, ahead of the (wonderful) M4. There were a number of very significant improvements to handling as well. It's hardly perfect, but having used it, when I pick up any other M I find myself thinking "If only it had the M5's XXXXX", so that disqualifies all the others from being perfect as well!

Synchronicity! I was just about to pick up one of John's Lucas Davenport novels - possibly my favorite crime series ever - when I clicked your site and saw his name.
I would love to own that camera, but I'm hooked on digital now. Possibly because I was never very good at darkroom work.

"To the manor born, not to the manner born."
Nope, to the manner born is correct.

HORATIO: Is it a custom?

HAMLET: Ay, marry, is't:
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach than the

However I'd rather have an M2 for wide angle photography. So much simpler.

I'm going to dissent here, I think the digital M bretheren are better than their film versions (at least M9 and after). I used an M6 non-ttl for 6 years or so, and now an M9 for 2 years.

On the body, the digital M allows you to shoot more freely. You don't run out of film. You don't have to process film. It promotes more experimentation. The only advantage of the film M is its slightly smaller size and quieter shutter.

On the lens, I think the 35/2 is a better lens, the lighter weight making up for the extra stop. To be honest, I haven't used the 35/1,4 on a long term basis, but the cron is pretty much perfect.

Sure I loved my film M, but I really love my digital M. Sure it isn't as perfect a digital camera (especially compared with the Japanese with their superior electronics), but it is the better M. Not perfect, but better.


Well, if I’m to adorn any camera with a subjective superlative, it would be my M2-R with 50mm DR Summicron. Acquisition of this combination effectively excised all desire for any other camera, except maybe one or two additional M2/50 DR sets…never hurts to have perfection backed up by perfection.

Oh my gosh....a fellah can dream, can't he?

Bruce, it is 'to the manner born'.

To the manor born is an old BBC comedy show.

( to the manor born )

I have been thinking of a film Leica, because, with the blessing, I'll be heading to Antarctica with the NSF in October for 6 weeks of photography. Yes, I'll be bringing my digital camera gear, but Antarctica and film seem to go together. B&W film. Maybe its the idea of Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley man hauling sledges of camera gear around over a century ago that makes me think this. Or the incredible images they made with that gear in those harsh conditions. The other thing is the irrational thought (knock on wood) that my digital gear might fail in that same environment. What do I do then? I pull out a fully mechanical film camera to save the day! If I had the cash available I would put down for this camera & lens toot sweet.

No thanks ;-)

I love my M6, but...heck, I was lucky enough to get my hands on it, of course it's my favorite!:) I have a IIIC my wife got for me one christmas - she even convinced the camera shop guys to LIE to me about the buyer. (And yes, I have the best wife in the world)


Has a good example of the difference in finders. Can't find the page Leica used to have showing the differences, alas.

Duh, batteries anyone?

Shaun suggested that the Leica M7 is fully mechanical and electronics independent, but it isn't -- no battery, no workee... Just to correct the slight error. ;o)

Capa used a Contax and was holding one when he was killed.

M3 is my personal fave Leica, FWIW.

I bought my M7 12 years ago.

2005, I bought an Epson R-D1, then sold it and bought an M8, then sold that and bought an M9.

M7 is better in every way except that you don't get the immediate feedback, or colors above ISO 1250. Diafine and Tri-X gives convincing B&W up to 1600.

So if I am shooting where OTHER people expect to see the shots, the M9 comes out. If it is for me, then it's the M7, the XPan, the Hassy, and the 4x5.

This begs the question- why is Mr. Camp selling 'the perfect Leica'?
He can't possibly need the money and it doesn't take up much space.

Say, I just got hold of a F2 photimic. A camera alone might, or might not, make a difference, but how you feel about using a particular camera makes a HUGE difference. I have already taken a dozen brilliant pictures with the camera, and I've only shot a short-exposure follow! Who cares if a camera buddy thinks it's clunky. Bill

OK, THIS is the "perfect Leica" for several reasons-

1. It never needs a battery
2. The Entire rig cost $670.00US
3. It's MINE!

Leica M4-P With 50mm f2 Jupiter-8 Lens, April, 2010

i'm going to go ahead and respond to this more seriously than i should: nope, it isn't the perfect m. the perfect expression of the m doesn't exist; it would have to be an mp .58 with the modern shutter speed dial, which they do not make, and your choice of rewind cranks (a la carte, baby). but the closest runner-up is the m6ttl in .58, which i am fortunate enough to have. (another reason i shouldn't be writing this: it can only drive up the price of replacement copies, which currently sit at a downright reasonable level.) the m6ttl .58 has some of the same benefits you extol for the m7, only it also *actually* has the benefit of being as rugged and reliable as an m should be. the m7's are so notorious for breaking down, even leica reps have been caught advising pros to buy twice their usual number of bodies. and that doesn't count the reliance on batteries for the shutter. an all-mechanical m has to be the best m, and surely the only sort one should take on an expedition to antarctica or the like (though it should be prepped before you go with the right lubricants). as for aperture priority ae, i just don't see the point. if you are inclined to take control of your photos--which you need to do if you want to shoot well with any m--then take control already.
of course, i actually like the digital options quite well. my m9 gave me many excellent results, far beyond what most people think it should be capable of, despite its less than stellar reliability (lockups cost me some good shots, too). but then again it did get dragged around the globe unceremoniously for years and still works fine to this day. but the m240 finally brings the virtues of shooting with an m design--which are definitely not specific to film--to digital without sacrificing reliability. the new monochrom based on the mp240 should be the best m yet made. wish i could afford one or two of them, with one each of the three current 35mm lenses... lovely choices.

I'm telling you, Mike, the best film Leica is a Nikon. Ok, ok: enough.

Ken Tanaka:"The first roll paid for the camera and lens! What's not to love about a camera that can do that?!"

Well, what's not to love about a photographer that can do that!?

Had an M7. Great camera.

Sold it because my Zeiss Ikon is a better camera. For me of course.

To each their Ms, Mike...
Mine is a 6 pre-TTL, the only problem with it is the tiny shutter speed dial, not as quick in. handling and turning counterintuitivels vs the exposure arrows.
I disagree about the idea that digital Ms are 'replicas' though. I use an M9 the same way I use the M6, plus A exposure (so, like a 7!), plus postprocessing flow made much more interesting and flexible. Can't see why I would ever use live screeens and EVFs on an M. Well, then might as well move to Fuji and be done with it...
Digital Ms have one issue for me, size: too thick, especially the new generation. M240/246 are likely beyond what's reasonable for an M, I surely will not trade up from the M9/MM until forced to do so by breakdowns and such!

This post got me to take out my M6 for a family event yesterday. It really is perfect. Except for the film.

What I'd really like to see is a shooter's version of the M60. No fancy limited edition, and maybe just try and shave a few MM's off the thickness of the body. And make it cheaper than a 240. It'd be hard to resist.

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