Film News: The Leica M-A


by Bellamy /

3 min read

Film News: The Leica M-A
You cannot have missed the news that Leica released a new film camera. So here are my thoughts on it.

So I guess everyone knows by now about all of the new releases from Leica at Photokina, and if you don’t then you should probably check out Leicarumors for all of the details. Most of it is stuff that I really have no interest in, but a couple of announcements from Leica really piqued my interest. The M-A being one of them.

Leica-M-A-3_teaser-480x320 copy

So what is it? Well, it is a fully manual film camera, no meter no frills. Just a pure photography experience. That comes at a price. This is not a cheap camera by any stretch, but then it was never going to be. This is Leica after all.

But this is not actually a new camera. Not at all in fact. We actually got the first glimpse of this camera back when Leica release their 100th anniversary set, when it was released as a limited edition camera. But that was still not the first time we saw this camera.


A few years ago (2004 to be precise), Leica made a special edition camera for the Chinese market commemorating 50 years of Leica rangefinder cameras. This camera was called the MP classic and came sans meter and in a numbered set with a matching black paint 50mm Summicron lens. It was produced in a limited number of 500 sets and now commands very high prices. You can read about it here It was a very desirable camera and is hard to find now.


But this is a different camera. It is not limited, it is available and it has a few subtle differences. Firstly the leatherette is more of the classic style, which really suits the camera. Also, the black chrome around the shutter release is a really nifty touch. I think they should have blacked out the lugs on the black version though.

But, regardless of the history and the changes what we have here is something special. In the days of many other companies cutting production of film cameras *cough cough Fujifilm* Leica has made a firm commitment to film photography by producing this camera. And not only that, the camera will be supplied with Kodak Tri-X film, which is a fantastic gesture (though I do hope it is more than one roll).

Personally, I think this camera is gorgeous and I will be buying one, just as soon as the black paint version becomes available (which it inevitably will, along with a slew of other special editions). This is a camera that will last more than a lifetime and will be something I can pass to my kids (presuming of course that they want it).

The other announcement that interested me was the M Edition 60 camera. Whilst not film news this camera represents to me a modern interpretation of shooting film. No display, just pure experience in a digital camera.

VERARBEITUNG_teaser-480x320 copy

And not only that, it is flipping gorgeous. It is a shame that the price is out of this world and that it is limited to 600 pieces. Which means it will probably be bought up by the Chinese market and then sold on for horrendous prices and never get used. It would be really good to see a variation of this camera available in the same price bracket as the M-E.

So there you have it, my thoughts on what I consider to be the most important of the Leica announcements. This represents Leica listening to what its customers have been asking for, after a fashion. And I am very happy that they have made such a commitment to film photography.

What do you think? Would you buy the M-A?


45 comments on “Film News: The Leica M-A”

    Nick September 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm / Reply

    Bellamy, I can’t help but notice that the shutter dial of the M-A is exactly the same as M2, M3, and M4, meaning, it has a groove to attach a Leicameter. I’m now speculating that a new kind of Leicameter will be introduced… I don’t think Leica expect us to find an old Leicameter that’s probably not working anymore. If this happens, then my M3 = perfection. Fingers crossed!

      Tobias Weisserth September 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm /

      You can easily find the battery driven Leica Meters on Ebay. I got a battered one that works perfectly, you just need a Wein Cell to power it. My suggestion: look for a Leicameter MR or MR-4.

      stanis riccadonna zolczynski September 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm /

      About Licameter I can say that each model from selenium to Cds which I have used was pretty good but took some time to get readings, Then came Voightlander meter II with diode readout, small, neat, reasonably accurate but not couplked to shutter dial. The ideal Leicameter would be one coupled to shutter dial and showing big, visible under all conditions, F-stop. And of course ISO input with + – correction.
      C`mon Leica, it can and should be done.

    Roberto September 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm / Reply

    Hello Hunt, it’s a very important news. I think everybody got the news few days ago thorugh fb and sites. I was very happy and confident for the future of film photography when I first heard about it. The price isn’t that high if you think it is a German made Leica camera, all in all not that different from the price tag of the M6 and M7 of some years ago. I cannot afford it but yes, I will buy it one if I could.
    It’s great to see Leica returning to the film shooter after a lot of special editions that were mainly for collectors instead of for users.

    Mike September 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm / Reply

    It’s a gorgeous camera, no doubt, and it will sell. Moreover, it’s terrific to see Leica committed to film photography in 2014.

    But I fail to see why, as a photographer (as opposed to a collector) I would want to buy this rather than, say, an M4. Even original black paint M4s go for less than this, and you can certainly have a chrome M4 properly repainted black for less than this.

    I wont be giving up my MP or my M2 any time soon.

    Sam September 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm / Reply

    The release of the new Leica M-A makes true to Leica’s promise and commitment of “capturing the essentials.” It might be just an updated M2/3/4, but I’d say that it has buying value. It’s not just any camera, but it’s a film Leica made in the modern Information Age, with better-quality materials than any of the previous ones (not saying that they aren’t, but the M-A is made with better production methods). It’s a beautiful camera, either ending up as for use or for show. And that one roll of Tri-X must have been a propack of 5 or (better yet) a JCH film case (colour matching the camera too!) and 10 rolls of Tri-X.

    On the M60, it’s interesting how Leica always sets itself apart. First, a monochrome-only digital camera, then a digital camera without the display. I’m doubtful though with how it is treated as a “user’s camera”, as it might just end up as for collection.

    Still, no one can take my Barnack Leica away from me, even if (and if I’m really really really lucky) I can have an M-A.

    Brandon September 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm / Reply

    I’m quite glad with what they are producing too and committing to film, but since I’m only young (18) and don’t have a money tree in my garden my eyes are on an M2 as my first Leica.

    Carsten September 18, 2014 at 10:50 pm / Reply

    To be honest, I am getting a bit sick of the “Why not buy an M3, M4, M6, M7?” argument. This is *new* camera. Of course it is going to be more expensive than a used model. Particularly when it’s made bei Leica. If, say, Porsche introduces a new 911, would anybody say: “Oh why not get last year’s model, it’s so much cheaper”.
    I understand, that feature-wise the new M-A is pretty much the same as the Leica models from decades ago. But I fully agree with Bellamy that this is an important statement to film photography. Remember guys, those used cameras we’re all hoarding won’t be going forever. Sure, my M3 will hopefully be functional for as long as I am going to shoot film but if no one continues to make film cameras our way of photography will be dead as much as when the last film manufacturer calls it quits.
    Furthermore, I like the Tri-X gesture. Kodak has been, shall we say not quite successful with their marketing efforts to their loyal customers recently. At least someone at Kodak managed to pull off a decent marketing coup in this case.
    However, in answer to your question: I have a IIIf and an M3. Both working (fingers crossed). As I don’t have any kidneys to spare (and selling other peoples’ kidneys is illegal) I won’t be buying one. But, if I had that amount of money to spare, then, yes.

      Tobias Weisserth September 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm /

      Leica M cameras can be used indefinitely as opposed to cars. A car’s engine will be a total loss after several hundred thousand driven kilometers. My Leica M3 will still be good as on its first day (with minimal maintenance and investment) in 50 years from now. Because of that, it doesn’t make sense to everybody to buy a new M-A when basically the exact same camera can be bought as a 1981 Leica M4-P.

      Thorsten January 23, 2015 at 1:40 am /

      If I had that kind of money to spend on a camera, I had a few bucks more and had an MP.

      Honestly, I like, that Leica is still committed to film. But I really understand this camera. Essentially it is an MP minus the exposure meter. The MP is considered to be quite close to mechanical perfection, the M-A will not beat it in this and I alway can remove the battery from the MP and it will be exactly like an M-A.

      I’ll stick with my M3 (modified with a 0.85 finder from the M6J) and my M6 (non-TTL, 0.72) and maybe one day I will buy a nice MP. Do not forget, that the MP is still in production next to M7 and now the M-A and that it is available just as brandnew as the M-A.

    Anjolie September 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm / Reply

    The M-A. Gorgeous camera and a film camera no less! Very exciting news! The one thing that certainly put me off at first about the MP is that it uses a battery for metering but the M-A is fully mechanical, just like my beloved M3 and Barnacks. Kudos to Leica for introducing this film camera in a very digital age

    As for the M60, it’s also gorgeous with a very welcomed styling upgrade and I love the fact it has no LCD screen! And sadly, yes, I totally agree with you. With a price tag of $18,000, only wealthy collectors will own these beauties – taking such memorable shots of plates of food or their pet dog or cat

    Such a waste

    Hopefully Leica will bring back the M60 design a few years down the road as the upgraded styling for the Leica M series. Or perhaps we will see the Monocrhom with no LCD screen later on? One can only hope

    Dave Bias September 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm / Reply

    I will buy this camera simply to encourage Leica to stay in the film camera business! It will be truly awesome to finally own an unused Leica – my last one, an M6, was heavily used and so problematic that I had to get rid of it.

    Paul Park September 19, 2014 at 12:30 am / Reply

    Well said, Carsten. I like the new vs. old Porsche analogy.

    Eric September 19, 2014 at 12:30 am / Reply

    If you know your leica you should see a mr meter coming back…. Look at the speed dial, the notch is already there
    It’s the m4- p resurrection.

    Aaron Brethorst September 19, 2014 at 12:58 am / Reply

    “This represents Leica listening to what its customers have been asking for, after a fashion.”

    I concur on the M Edition 60: “Which means it will probably be bought up by the Chinese market and then sold on for horrendous prices and never get used.”

    On the M-A, it’s nice to see Leica releasing a new film camera, although it disappoints me that their prices for new gear are so high (twice as much as their older cameras after adjusting for inflation).

    Also, I’m really disappointed to see that the M-A lacks a light meter. When I read the following text on their product page for the M-A, all I could think to myself was “they don’t expect anyone to ever actually make photographs with one of these cameras.” Reason being is that timeless, perfect design is going to look far less perfect when you strap an ancient light meter onto the top of it.

    “Perfect and Timeless Design – The exterior of the Leica M-A is as timeless as the precision engineering hidden inside.”

    I guess you could get by without a light meter, but I find it hard to believe that there are enough people in the world who are willing to shoot ‘blind’ to make the M-A a profitable product in its own right.

    In closing, let me mention that I own a Leica M6, which I think is an absolutely spectacular camera. It gets used quite a bit. I also own a camera without a built-in light meter, a Hasselblad 501CM, which I also use regularly. I wish both Leica and Hasselblad all the best, and want to see them both survive and thrive, but not if it means that they’re going to trade on their brand name, or sell repackaged, overpriced point and shoots (see Leica D-Lux or—shudder—the Hasselblad Stellar and Lunar).

    Carlos September 19, 2014 at 2:42 am / Reply

    Leica has made a statement, yes. But the statement is in my opinion: We have many customers (a few) that want a film camera, same as Technics has turntable customers. We will focus on producing one to the Leica core, and that will be the M-A and a later surprise is a Lightmeter. This is about valuing tradition, heritage and as it happens these days, the retro-lifestyle, too. Why not?
    The film-industry big guys will not give a damn about it, as they get their profits from paperprints or masses of film customers, Leica and Mass, different worlds.
    Kodak will love it, Ilford, too, even though their films are not coming with it, but these are the niche guys we’ll be relying on in the future, and already do today.

    The camera:
    I like it, though it doesn’t fit my preferences that require an embedded lightmeter and even though uglier, the to me more practical M4-7 rewind knob. Using two M6 (classic and TTL), I’m actually only lusting for the newer RF glass with reduced reflections.

    I may still convince myself to buy it… We’ll see. Or the MP, or the M7, new, must be new. Old I have and would replace for the new one.

    I read about old-school camera built in the information age with modern methods. Well, I haven’t seen the production, but Leica creates beautiful cameras today with bugs and has created beautiful cameras that work trouble-free in the past. I doubt there’s a quality difference. I bet they’ll be made in Portugal as they have done before for about 40 years. Party happened earlier this year, after the new factory has been put into production.

    The M60.
    Here I get a bit grrrrr. I’d like to have a “standard” version, asap and monochrom, not colour. I like the restriction, but it should be to “das wesentliche”, which it isn’t as it’s a collectors fashion item, in an ugly colour, ugly Audi Design-elements for an ugly fashion-collector price.
    I want chrome, with or without red dot, but NOOOOO big screw, monochrom only and a mechanical counter display, showing the pictures count taken, or an LCD version showing the remaining uncompressed RAW pictures you can save onto the SD-card, or the Battery-level. As for the ISO wheel I prefer the original MP style.

    Waiting for the first results of the new summarits and the ZM 35 1.4, Voigtländers, …

    Interesting days….


    John Lockwood September 19, 2014 at 3:51 am / Reply

    Eric said it best, above. I recently acquired a pristine M4-P for less than $750 USD. B&H lists the M-A Type 127 for $4750. Other than as an investment, does it make sense to spend $4K more for this film camera?

    Geoff September 19, 2014 at 5:29 am / Reply

    I do like that they’ve made this, if for no other reason than I can buy a fundamentally good film camera which has no wear and tear on it at all. I think it actually does share a lot of the beauty of the M3 too, which is hugely appealing to me.
    But given that similarity I was a little disappointed that it doesn’t share the high magnification viewfinder. I know a lot of people love the 0.72x but at the moment it seems that even the 0.85x is not an option on this camera. If they really harked back to the M3 with a 0.9x I’d be calling them to reserve one.

      Tobias Weisserth September 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm /

      Higher magnification would break usability of frame lines in the range of 28mm all the way through 135mm. You cannot have both, high magnification AND support for all framelines.

    Dan Castelli September 19, 2014 at 11:15 am / Reply

    I’m glad to see the re-commitment to film from Leica. If you follow their site, you’ll see that film users have gotten the short end of the stick for quite a while.
    Now, I’m going to make the argument that you can get a pre-owned M-series film camera for a reasonable price from a dealer with a good reputation (i.e., JCH).
    Buy one, and send it to Leica, or one of the excellent repairmen/women that will essentially re-build the camera. It will last for a long time and the cost will be less that the 4K USD for the M-A. Use the cash you save to buy a (used) Leica lens.
    I did exactly this with a M2 I found in a VT antique shop. It’s a bit worn, but so am I.
    The important thing to remember is that we who shoot film do so for many reasons, and it’s nice to be remembered by a major player.

    Paul Schofield September 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm / Reply

    The M-A is a beautiful thing but it’s not exactly film photography for the masses. I guess that’s Lomo territory but it would be nice to have something decent in between to counteract the fact that most film cameras are old and will stop working one day.

    K September 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm / Reply

    This should be the way!! I ordered.

    Tobias Weisserth September 19, 2014 at 8:22 pm / Reply

    The M Edition 60 was never meant to be a camera for photographers, it’s a collector’s item by design and definition, also by the numbers produced and the price. They could have omitted the sensor in that camera and sell duds for the same price and collectors would still pay that and buy them. They even could have omitted the viewfinder (like in the Leica MDa range that were used by the German mail service) and it wouldn’t make a difference for the purpose of creating a collector’s item. Probably none of these cameras is EVER going to be used for taking pictures. So what’s the point. It’s stupid to waste time discussing this product among people interested in cameras and photography as this is not a camera for photographers.

    The M-A is more interesting. But again, what’s the point? The M-A is basically an extended Leica M3/2. It has all the functionality of the M3 (automatic reset of the frame counter etc.) and comes with all relevant frame lines. It features the same stupid rewind knob that they fixed with later M models. There are a few noteworthy points about this camera though, especially in comparison to a Leica M3:

    1. The viewfinder magnification is 0.72 as compared to 0.91 in the M3. This is mainly because of the frame line support for wide angle lenses. If you mainly shoot 50mm or longer, the M3 is still the better camera with a much nicer viewfinder.

    2. The M3 has less viewfinder clutter as only one single frame line will be displayed at a time while the M-A will always show two frame lines at a time.

    3. The rangefinder base length is technically the same on both cameras (which is great), however the M3 has the longer effective base length due it’s higher viewfinder magnification. This makes the M3 the better camera to focus longer focal lengths more precisely. Again, if you shoot a Noctilux wide open, the M3 will allow you to focus more precisely (and why wouldn’t you want to focus precisely when you’ve spent thousands of dollars on fast lens that is sharp wide open).

    4. Leica marketing is never short of extraordinary bullshit and their statement that “Photographers can read the shutter speed and aperture directly from the camera and lens and so concentrate fully on their subject.” is just not true. In order to read the shutter speed and Aperture directly from the camera, you need to remove the viewfinder from your eye – in other words you CANNOT concentrate fully on the subject.

    5. Looking at the M-A, it’s top plate design is nearly identical to the M3. The M3 was NOT designed to be a camera without a meter, it was designed to be a camera without a built-in meter. The M3 was designed to be best used with an external Leica Meter which is clipped onto the hot shoe and coupled with the shutter speed dial. The M-A features the exact same shutter speed dial with the clipping mechanism for a Leica Meter. In other words, the M-A is by extension also designed to be best used with a clip on, coupled meter. Why does that make a difference? The shutter speed dial of the M3 and M-A is much smaller than it ideally would be for sole use without the clipped on meter. Changing shutter speeds on the clipped on Leica Meter is a lot easier and faster than doing it directly on the top plate shutter speed dial.

    6. All M models up to the Leica M6 support mounting the near focus goggles for the Summicron 50mm DR. They won’t fit on the Leica M6 TTL and anything newer than that. I do not know if the M-A supports that lens and its goggles. Bellamy, do you know the answer to that? I couldn’t find anything about this on Leica’s product pages and the technical PDF documents. If the M-A doesn’t support that lens with the goggles, the M3 is again the better camera for that focal length.

    Choosing a M-A over a M2/3 only makes sense if you don’t want a built in meter AND you shoot with focal lengths all over the frame line range the M-A supports AND you are willing to pay the premium price for a M-A. If you cannot answer all of those with a yes, then a M6 or MP will probably be the better choice, especially if you want a meter.

    If you shoot mainly 50mm, the M3 is still the best M around because it offers the best viewfinder for that focal length (and longer). Also, imagine buying a M3 for around EUR800 to EUR900 in a decent condition and spending the remaining amount of your M-A budget on Kodak film and you don’t end up with just one roll of Kodak but something that comes much closer to a lifetime supply.

    Just my thoughts.

    Personally, my next M body in addition to my M3 will be a M6 and at some point a 28mm Elmarit. Both of those will be cheaper than the M-A.

      Tobias Weisserth September 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm /

      Actually, it just dawned on me, the Leica M-A is basically a Leica M4-P.

    Mark September 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm / Reply

    Just buy an MP, and take the battery out if you want an M-A experience. “The sleek and reliable Leica MP can be operated without batteries for all exposure times, under any weather conditions. No matter what Mother Nature throws at you, your Leica is ready to go.” Now you have the best of both worlds…

    Jukka Vatanen September 20, 2014 at 2:25 am / Reply

    Ok, great to see leica introducing a new film leica (Dr Kaufmann has said: If I could have it My Way, leica would still produce just film bodies and lenses, but I know Kaufmann family would fire me within six months…) Still, if M-A does not accept leica IXMOO reloadable metal cassettes ( that open in M2-M3-M4 and some M6 models but not in M7 or MP) they have not gone the “All Out Way” in introducing the dream analog leica M body. The IXMOO is the only way the die hard leica M users do it !!!

    Jukka Vatanen September 20, 2014 at 2:31 am / Reply

    Tobias Weisserth: The BIG DIFFERENCE with M-A and M4-P is the rewind: The M4/M6 crank is a laughable wobbling piece of terrible engineering, I have not seen one well used M4 or M6 where the crank is not bent, cracked or otherwise in a sorrowful state.

      Tobias W. September 20, 2014 at 5:26 am /

      Hi Jukka, that’s a fair point, I was not aware of that. As a user of a M3, I just find that while the rewind knob is ROCK SOLID, it’s also incredibly slow to use. Seeing the different construction on the M4-P, it’s looks a lot better in theory. I wonder how solid the current MP knob works.

    Colin Corneau September 21, 2014 at 3:52 am / Reply

    I think it’s very noteworthy to produce not only a new film camera in 2014, but a high-end new film camera. To me, that’s the main takeaway good-news, here.

    Leica has the ability to make boutique edition cameras, and that allows for some creativity — it’s brilliant marketing, because they’re setting the pace for these kinds of developments, not following. You have to admire the sass involved in making first a B&W only digital camera, and now one without an LCD screen…couple that with this new film camera and what does that trend say to you? A company leaning heavily on the film experience in its product development.

    As for specifics, the M-A body seems kind of ‘fat’ and akin to the digital bodies to be comfortable in the hand…I could be wrong on that.
    And I already have the equivalent of an M-A — I haven’t put batteries in my M6 for 3 years now. Just get a small incident meter and relish the old-school experience.

    gb hill September 22, 2014 at 3:59 am / Reply

    If I had the funds I’d buy one. The MP has always been my wish list camera.

    Pioneer September 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm / Reply

    I am thrilled that Leica has gone ahead with the M-A. As to whether or not I will buy one? I already have my pre-order in.

    jeff September 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm / Reply

    In my opinion, it is great Leica released a new film camera. No light meter doesn’t make sense to me though… Would prefer with a meter. I have a feeling that MP prices may go up with the discontinuing of those. We shall see. By the way, I totally understand the value of collecting film cameras – that makes sense to me.

    (M60 related) As far as collectible digital cameras, does that really make sense? An expensive digital camera will hardly be able to be powered up in ten years, batteries discharge, no longer in production, etc., or still have the attention it once did. How many computers are there that are “collectible?” Just what I want to own, a digital collectible. My first generation ipod is worth a fortune… yeah right!

    Short lived digital rot is all I see. Film cameras are in some ways a worthy investment. Plus you have entertainment and enjoyment from using them.

    Albert October 13, 2014 at 7:56 am / Reply

    I’ll stick with my M6 and M4

      Jeff Lewis October 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm /

      Me too – the perfect combo! Chrome M4, Black M6.

    Chris November 26, 2014 at 1:53 am / Reply

    Why is no one stating what I see as the most practical option? I just bought a new M7 and I’m loving it. Excellent build, better and more efficient rewind knob, and Aperture Priority metering built in. Focus on your subject/composition instead of fiddling with dials and guessing exposure. It’s enough you have to manually focus these cameras as well. All of this expense to get a poorly exposed/composed image? Or you miss the shot? For some weird old camera nostalgia? No thanks Leica. I’ll stick with my M7 which seems to be perfection in a film rangefinder.

    Andrew December 8, 2014 at 7:48 am / Reply

    I would probably buy the MP over the M-A, not sure though. I currently shoot with an M Monochrom and an exceptionally clean and nice M5. Not sure about giving up the meter even though I often use an external incident meter (Minolta Auto IVF).

    Linden December 12, 2014 at 11:42 am / Reply

    I’ve learned that I just like to go around in GAS circles with these sorts of cameras. For some reason I really want one of these, despite the fact I could have a super grade M2 AND a super-grade M3 pair for the same money. Like you, I think a black paint one makes sense – aesthetically, and because ‘real’ black paint M2s cost more (forgetting M3s!). Actually, what I’d really want is a factory matt black paint – same look as the black chrome, but brassable paint instead. But this is obviously pure GAS talking.

    I’ve read through the comments on this article – really valuable discussion.

    Between Ms and the Zeiss Ikon I bought from you a couple of years ago, the ZI gets more use, because of a.) its massive bright viewfinder, and b.) the option of switching M7-style to auto-shutter speed when moving subjects mean focusing is as much as you can deal with. It’s practical, I love to use it, but I don’t *love* it. And when I look at the lower grade finish, and hear the loud shutter snick, the snob-within regrets not taking an M out instead.

    I’m pretty sure and M-A, with the right finish, is a camera I would love in that wonderfully camera-fantasy illogical way. And this is, after all, a hobby and a passion for most of us. It doesn’t have to make good sense.

    Jaymz December 24, 2014 at 1:48 am / Reply

    I just ordered the M-A. I love shooting film and I have a MP chrome so I just bought the black chrome M-A. I never shot meterless but I think it aint that hard. I have a love for film MA is the new way of life. It should be here today and hopefully its the last camera I will have to buy.

    Andrew February 2, 2015 at 7:08 am / Reply

    Read this (and commended) when it first came out, and stumbled back a few times as I’ve been saving for an M-A.

    Well, recently fondled one at a dealer and a mint M2 they also had for sale. Kept going back and forth, and then just today bought an excellent though not mint M2 that is accurate at all speeds, has one tiny dent and some minor brassing, but otherwise is in perfect condition including the L seal.

    I like the idea of brand-new, but I also like the idea of a $4000 discount for essentially the same functionality and possibly even better workmanship.

    Stéphane DENIS May 14, 2015 at 2:08 am / Reply

    If you ar OK, please consider this version (with an error corrected. It can published in french.) Thanks

    Ingénieurs, ouvriers et commerciaux de Leica démontrent avec le M-A qu’ils sont capables de produire un appareil photographique conçu en 1950 et rentable en 2015. L’entreprise, moribonde il y a quinze ans, prouve ainsi qu’elle “en a”, qu’elle est capable de la beauté du geste, qu’elle sait encore produire des objets de distinction et les vendre à ceux qui, les acquérant, croient appartenir au happy few alors qu’il ne font que posséder une petite machine qu’ils ne sauront, pour la plupart, pas utiliser mais qui fait rêver les hommes – et quelques femmes – depuis que la photographie amateur de masse a vu le jour. Leica sait que ce modèle sera acheté non pas pour prendre des photos, mais pour prouver à soi-même et aux autres qu’en homme complet et réussi, on est capable de posséder non pas un appareil photographique mais un symbole de pouvoir technologique et artistique. Leica aura réussi une fois de plus à vendre de l’illusion à quelques milliers de riches et une superbe machine à une poignée d’amateurs de micro-mécanique.

    Francois May 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm / Reply

    conception in 1950, happy few, gesture beauty of the brand… are right.
    BUt it’s not an illusion because you can use it . Out of the F16 rule, any iphone could be transfored in a light incidence meter….not practicle ? If you are using triX in an average constant environment, you just need to mesure light once.
    In street you use the ground wich is a good grey, or your hand.
    To define this camera as an MP Without lightmeter is techniquly right but professionaly wrong.
    The MP is a reflexion lightmeter camera ( so it is enclosed to the box)
    The MA is an incidence lightmeter camera ( so you carry it in your hand)
    See the Hasselblad 500 line….it was useless to build a lightmeter in except for some specific aplication.

    Rob Challis September 1, 2015 at 5:56 am / Reply

    I have the MP which I bought new recently

    I also have an M6 TTL and an M7 as well the complete R series and all of the Olympus OM film cameras

    Finally I have the last of the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder cameras

    The MP tops them all in every way and as a result I am selling all of the others

    I will also buy the MA as it is just such a wonderful camera and I would like a fully manual camera

    So I will end up with the MP, MA, M240 and M246 Monochrom

    When I go out shooting I always take the 240 and one of the film cameras or the 246

    I get so excited working with each and any of them

    I regards myself as very fortunate to have these amazing machines

    I loved all of these posts- thank you

    Best wishes


    Tony September 16, 2015 at 10:56 am / Reply

    I just got my M-A and love it. To those who raise the point of saving money by buying a used M3 or other other earlier M, my decision on that question was based on a desire for a new camera. The last M3, for example, was produced in 1966, or nearly 50 years ago. I’m sure there are some very good used ones out there, but I wanted something new that wouldn’t need a CLA in my first month of ownership, and one of which I am the first owner.

    I am a bit apprehensive about not having a light meter on board, but my iPhone has a light meter app, and in any event I’ve had mixed experiences with on-board light meters in other cameras. If I find I really need one, I’ll buy a light meter. I purposely chose a camera that was stripped down to the essentials of photography for the challenge and experience. I applaud Leica for making this possible today. Most camera makers want to coddle their owners with autofocus, auto-ISO, auto-shutter speed, auto-aperture, auto-white balance. I really welcome the absence of those features. If I mess things up, I’ll learn from my mistakes and be a better photographer as a result.

    The much bigger decision than choosing new vs. used is buying a film camera at all in 2015, which is a radical deviation from the current fashion in digital camera purchases with its constant upgrade cycle to more megapixels, more features, more money (but more rapid depreciation in value). Personally, I’m very happy to be getting off the digital treadmill to something a lot more simple, yet also more challenging and, I hope, more interesting and enjoyable for many years.

    Bob October 22, 2015 at 8:38 pm / Reply

    Interesting to see the complaints about the ergonomic rewind from the M4. I have an MDa, which has the M4 rewind and the older metal shutter advance.

    To put this in context, my 1970 MDa is ex-lab. It’s not been repaired or maintained in a long time. The frame counter needs nudging to reset it when you change film. And at the 1/50 speed, there is a couple-thou deep dent into the long-since exposed brass of the speed dial, where the shutter advance has smacked into it thousands and thousands of times. And the camera has a lovely deep impact dent where the viewfinder would be on an M4.

    This camera has been abused, and ignored and it has seen thousands of rolls of film. And that ‘laughable’ piece of ‘terrible engineering’ is still as solid as the day it was made. So with the greatest respect to someone who has made some fantastic work and shown great insight… I call foul on this one comment. It’s maybe uglier than the M3 rewind, but it’s just as tough, and it’s way more useable.

    Heinz J Gassner October 14, 2016 at 3:57 am / Reply

    The Leica film cameras that are all metal inside can be rebuilt many times over. I have an almost pristine 1965 M2 that has new shutter curtains and a fresh CLA. It works like new.

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