Camera Geekery: Dream Lens Custom M3


by Bellamy /

3 min read
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Camera Geekery: Dream Lens Custom M3
I often get to see some really cool items, and sometimes I like to share them with you too, but I cannot share them all. But then some things come in that just cannot be ignored and I have to show you. This is one of them.

A while back, after making the Shiro Edition M2, I got a lot of people deciding that they wanted their own custom Leica. Whilst all of them are beautiful in their own right, this one stood out in particular as something really special. This was not just a camera, but a lens too.


This is the Dream Lens Custom M3. And what a beauty it is.
When we where going through the process of putting this camera and lens together, there were certain points that the customer was very specific about, the details were very important for him. The right gloss to the paint, the right colour mix for the infill script. Everything had to be just perfect.

But it wasn’t that he just wanted an M3, he wanted the 50mm 0.95 Canon lens (converted to M-mount) to match the body as best possible, as his plan is to shoot this combination without ever removing the lens. The paint had to match and the lens had to match the body too. And I think it has turned out perfectly.

The camera leather was also an important choice for the customer, and the eventual decision on small hide lizard skin really works with this particular combo, we went through about 6 different colour versions (there are over 100 leather colours available). The yellow and the red matching on the body and lens too is a particularly nice touch.

There was a lot of back and forth with this camera, as I am sure you can imagine, with paint samples and swatches to be checked, but the final result after 3 months of work is nothing short of spectacular. One of my favourite details on this particular camera is the frame counter, which has been changed to black with red infill. To me it is that level of detail that really sets something like this apart.

And before you all shout ‘shelf Queen’, I can assure you this will not be. The customer wanted this camera personalised so that he can use it and feel that it is really ‘his’ camera. This camera will most definitely be getting some use.

Getting a customisation like this for you camera doesn’t come cheap, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. I have a couple of special cameras of my own and I know what I want to get done next. But what about you? What would you do? What camera and what combo? Oh, and don’t say Hello Kitty, we have all see that.

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 understand that not all cameras can be repainted due to the materials used to manufacture the camera. If in doubt, please ask.


15 comments on “Camera Geekery: Dream Lens Custom M3”

    Scott W May 18, 2015 at 11:48 am / Reply


    Scott W May 18, 2015 at 11:48 am / Reply

    Perfectly executed.

    EdgarDavid May 18, 2015 at 12:03 pm / Reply

    One day I want an M6 Patina edition…. one day…. :-)

    fabien May 18, 2015 at 3:21 pm / Reply

    Wow Bellamy!
    What a beauty, i will keep this for life.

    Alex May 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm / Reply

    Stunning, absolutely stunning!

    joseph saunders May 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm / Reply

    WOW wow WOW (gordon ramsay voice) that is simply amazing and beautiful

    ZDP-189 May 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm / Reply

    Bellamy’s Hello Kitty comment was directed at me, but I /STILL/ want the mythical 1998 Hello Kitty 20 Jahre M6TTL or maybe a M-A customized to suit.

    Tony Ramos May 19, 2015 at 11:09 am / Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. We have always dreamed about it. Now we have seen it.

    Daniel Castelli May 19, 2015 at 8:36 pm / Reply

    Wow. Lend me the camera and a one way ticket to Paris…
    I remember shooting w/an old Canon R/F borrowed from my photo professor. The year was 1974, and the camera was old then. It had a hunk of glass hanging off the end of it like this lens. I don’t remember the maximum aperture, but boy, was it fun to shoot in available gloom!

    One of my photo hero’s, David Douglas Duncan, was on assignment in Viet Nam. He carried Leica M3D’s (the legend has it the “D” stood for Duncan or double winder). One was fitted w/a 50mm Summilux f/1.4, and the other was fitted w/a Nikkor 28mm. I don’t know if the 28mm lens was retro-fitted w/a Leica M mount, or it used a screw mount adaptor.

    The point of this too long post is that it wasn’t uncommon for professional photographers to get gear modified back in the day. My father was a master toolmaker, and he modified some 16mm cameras for film makers back in the 1960’s here in CT.

    Does the size of the lens interfere with the rangefinder?

    I hope your client has much success with the camera/lens combination.

    Love your website!

    Alexis May 20, 2015 at 2:45 am / Reply



    foto2021 May 30, 2015 at 10:40 pm / Reply

    @Daniel – Canon made 50mm lenses with f/1.8, f/1.5, f/1.4 and f/1.2 maximum apertures as well as the Dream f/0.95. I used a 50mm f/1.4 on my Leica M7 for several years. It was sharper wide open than the contemporary Leica Summilux.

    Brendan August 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm / Reply

    Awesome rig, am insanely jealous! Great work putting it together.

    Tina Kino November 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm / Reply

    ..also wondering how much of the finder is blocked by the massive lens!

    Camera looks awesome, but is it really usable?

    Gavin March 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm / Reply

    Wow. I have asked bellamy for estimated price my own custom m3 double stroke 2 months ago. Ill have my time to have my very own custom. Still trying to find time and enjoy my purchases from himü

    Gavin Go December 28, 2017 at 4:13 am / Reply

    Cant believe I commented on this almost 2 years ago and just lately Im still wanting the same concept but a little stupid dream of repainting an M6J if I get one. Imagine how its price will fall if I get tired of it.

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