The JCH Leica M2 Patina Edition *Update*


by Bellamy /

2 min read

The JCH Leica M2 Patina Edition *Update*
You might remember the Patina edition camera that I had made last month. Well, I felt that it wasn’t finished and it wasn’t really looking the way I had really wanted, so I went back to the drawing board and now it is finally complete.

Last month I wrote about the Patina effect camera that I had created for me by Kanto, and many people remarked how it looked incomplete or unfinished. This was my feeling too. So I decided that it needed to go back and have a few extra things done to it.
And Kanto got them done in record time too.


When I commissioned this camera I was hoping for something with a ‘steampunk’ type effect, but it wasn’t really there in the previous version. So, I had the original leatherette removed and had it replaced with a dark brown soft hide leather, giving it a much more worn effect that compliments the green nicely.


I also decided to have the dials stripped to the brass. Some suggested shiny dials and levers, but I thought it would look much better with unpolished ones that would take a shine over time with continued use. This has given the exact effect I had envisioned when I decided I wanted to push the boundaries of what could be done in customizing a classic Leica.


And it seems this camera is really divisive too. I have had some people calling it heresy and others saying it is the most beautiful camera that they have ever seen. I am happy that I have been able to finish the camera the way I had wanted it. Now I have to decide as to wether I keep it or sell it to fund the next project.

What do you think? Something you would use, or would rather be seen dead with?
If you would like to get a camera like this (or something even wilder) made for you then contact me and we can make it happen.
Please comment too. What camera would you do and how would you do it?


22 comments on “The JCH Leica M2 Patina Edition *Update*”

    Carlos December 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm / Reply

    Typical, you customize a valuable object more and more to your optimum like, regardless of any public taste, just to then give it away, or sell it.
    That’s happening in many other areas.
    I don’t want to judge it.
    But that way, the very personal touch of an unknown gets irrelevant to me, as it actually in contrary to the intend does not connect to the owner for use purposes. I was sharing the appreciation to modify it to the unknowns person taste far more, and was waiting for its use and photography with that same owner’s view of composition style whether it’d fit the camera style or bring further the personal perception of composition…
    But again, it’s just only a style object that has to go for sale, not inspired by its own life, yet.

    that way I prefer the normal touch of use-scars or marks on a camera.

    have a good day

    Todd December 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm / Reply

    Pretty cool! Definitely looks like a work of art – and art is a personal thing (unless it’s commercial) so it should reflect on your own style. I like that the effect makes it a conversation starter and a personal object that tells a story, unlike the sterile ‘perfection’ people seem to seek out of modern objects.

    Loving the copper-brass color of the lever and dials. I think it would be smashing to see a combo of copper and black, don’t you think?

    Dieter Fröhling December 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm / Reply

    Well as i can see from the pictures. Great work. The effect is what you described and that’s count.

    And have the “special editions” from Leica for what-the-heck-event in mind. This one makes sense.

    Not what i want, but for others a real winner.

    Hey, that’s Art.

    Michael December 21, 2014 at 3:44 am / Reply

    While I think the brown and brass, I just can’t stand the rest of the body. Maybe it looks better in person?
    I think you should keep it, after all you’ve put all that effort into making it how you like it.

    blink December 21, 2014 at 5:05 am / Reply

    I like the patina of age, it’s what makes a camera unique. This Leica looks instantly distressed, without any of the scuffs a camera picks up naturally. Off the peg antiquity is not a good look in any object, and cameras are no exception.

    Mark December 21, 2014 at 6:44 am / Reply

    Wasn’t too fussed with it beforehand, but now that you have put the leather and brassy bits on it I really like it. I would be in tears if you did it to my MP though…!

    Dave December 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm / Reply

    It’s not heresy it’s just ugly and a waste of money.

    Raphael December 22, 2014 at 1:54 am / Reply

    Awesome!!! That is so kickass. You should do this on a Leica IIIC, too! Or a Fed-2, Zeiss Ikonta 520/2, Kodak Retina IIA, Contax II or IIA, Exakta Varex VX, Alpa 4/5/6, Pentacon FM…so many cameras would look good in this finish.

    Hogarth Ferguson December 22, 2014 at 2:10 am / Reply

    I find it funny people are so concerned how you spend your own money.

    With the black leather I did not like at, and to be honest, I didn’t like it with the brown leather, it is ugly, but the more I look, the better it gets. I think you’ve hit exactly what you wanted, it looks perfect and I’m really starting to like it.

    Good on ya, Bellamy

    paul r December 22, 2014 at 5:57 am / Reply

    Hi Bellamy,
    IMO, what you have done is turn that camera into a unique artwork to be admired for its steam-punk aesthetic — and in so doing, you have certainly transcended the decadent relicising trend engaged in by some guitar manufacturers and have created an object fit for display in an art museum.

    Of course, each of us can decorate our cameras in any way we like — and it’s always good to be creative — but I prefer to keep my cameras (and guitars) in as pristine condition as possible — while allowing for the inevitably occurring marks of real-world usage. As for the M2, I prefer the original aesthetic of the camera, as designed by Leica. But each to their own . . .

    MM December 22, 2014 at 11:36 am / Reply

    If we had a matching lens, it would be perfect!

    Mark December 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm / Reply

    I like it!

    Good stuff…very unique. Love the exposed brass!


    Dan Castelli December 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm / Reply

    It looks post-apocalyptic; something to document the zombies as they come after you :-]

    JP December 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm / Reply

    That looks great, Bellamy.

    Brian December 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm / Reply

    Not my cup of tea, but it’s your money, Bellamy, and better than the first effort.

    Now you have to do something with the lens, as it’s newness sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Steampunk… does this mean that you have to grow a beard to use it? :-)

    George T December 22, 2014 at 11:58 pm / Reply

    I think your customized M2 is really good and does have a sort of Steampunk vibe to it.
    I don’t what your expert used to get the verdegris patina but I am an etcher, work on copper and use Ferric Chloride (Dutch Mordant) to bite into the metal.
    This may give you similar effects. I don’t think I would like to experiment on my own M2 though, a lot of trial and error may be required!

    Paul Schofield December 23, 2014 at 3:18 am / Reply

    It has the same patina as an old piece of guttering I look off the front of my house last year. I liked your first Kanto project better:

    Brett Patching December 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm / Reply

    The new leather colour is such a big improvement. I’m not sure if I like the Patina Edition, but the result is much, much more complete and coherent now.

    Jim December 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm / Reply

    Well, I am a bit on the fence with this one … the chrome/brass combo is not consistent to my eyes, and if I would have it, then I would get rid of the selftimer and the frames lever and the strap eyelets too. :) This camera begs to be used, often!

    ZDP-189 December 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm / Reply

    Personally, I wouldn’t buy it and wouldn’t have one customised in a similar way…

    … However, its aesthetic has improved since the previous iteration and I can now see what you are striving to achieve. As such I appreciate it as a functional one-off art piece.

    It still needs an appropriate lens.

    MaxT December 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm / Reply

    Definitely a look that grows on you. Well, at least for me. Looking at it for the third time now, I beginning to think it’s really quite something. Maybe not beautiful in the traditional sense, but certainly a visual enigma. I would love to see how it ages with use.
    My only gripe with it as a functional camera (if it is still meant to be one) is the lack of visually-distinct shutter speed markings; I imagine it would be a bit of challenge setting the right shutter speed in low light.

    Ming Thein January 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm / Reply

    Now you need one of these to go with it:

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