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List of Leica M Mount Cameras

Considering how famous the Leica M lens mount is to Rangefinder Nutz, it may be surprising to realize how comparatively few rangefinder models have been produced in Leica M mount -- 31 by my count.  The listing below indicates basic camera models, NOT all the variations or special editions.   Leica production figures are approximate, varying with which official Leica list you care to believe!  At 226,178 the M3 was produced in the largest  numbers.  The M6 is second at 132,454.  The M2 is third at 85,200.

Mechanical Leica M Mount Cameras -- Shutter Works Without Batteries

Leica M Buying Guide

Leica M3    1954-1966  226,178

Leica MP    1956-1957  449

Leica M2    1958-1967  85,200

Leica MP2 1958-1959 527

Leica M1   1959-1964  9650 -- simplified M2 without rangefinder for Visoflex and scientific use

Leica MD  1964-1966  3475 -- simplified M1 without rangefinder/viewfinder for scientific use

Leica M4    1967-1975 59,441

Leica MDa 1966-1976 14,925 simplified M4 without rangefinder/viewfinder for scientific use

Leica M5    1971-1975  33,900

Leica CL 1973-1976  65,000

Minolta CL 1973-1976 20,000 ??? -- Leica CL with Minolta nameplate for Japanese market

Leica M4-2 1978-1980 17,100

Leica M4-P 1981-1987 22,444

Leica M6 1984-1999 132,454

Leica M6TTL 1998-2002  TTL flash

Leica MP 2003-

Leica MP-3 2006 1000

 

Red Flag 20 1971-77 200?  Red Chinese Leica Copy

Voigtlander Bessa T 2001-2004

Voigtlander Bessa R2 2002-2004

Rollei RF 2003-2004 modified Bessa R2

Voigtlander Bessa R2M 2006 1000 limited edition

Voigtlander Bessa R3M 2006 1500 limited edition

 

Electronic Shutter M Mount Cameras with Aperture Priority AE

-- No Batteries Mean No Pictures--

Minolta CLE 1980-1984 AE only, no Metered Manual, TTL flash

Konica RF 1999-2003 -- motorized film advance, AE or Metered Manual, no TTL flash

Voigtlander Bessa R2A  2004-  AE or Metered Manual, no TTL flash

Voigtlander Bessa R3A  2004- AE or Metered Manual, no TTL flash

Epson RD-1 / RD-1S  2004-2006  digital, AE or Metered Manual, no TTL flash

Zeiss Ikon 2004-  AE or Metered Manual, no TTL flash

Leica M8 2006-  digital, AE or Metered Manual, TTL flash

 

Electronic Shutter M Mount Cameras with Aperture Priority AE

-- Limited Backup Mechanical Shutter Speeds--

 

Leica M7 2002-  AE or Metered Manual, TTL flash

 

Potential Repair Problems

No available parts translates to difficult or no repairs.  Factory parts are not available for the excellent but often un-repairable Minolta CLE.  While the shutters and rangefinders on the Leica M5 and CL can be serviced, the lack of meter parts often transforms them into meterless cameras.  With the demise of Konica-Minolta, the parts/repair situation for the Konica RF went from difficult to dismal.  Many Epson RD-1 owners have complained on the net about unsatisfactory repair experiences.

Leica M TTL Flash -- Not So Great as Newbies Might Think

With today's  superb TTL flash from the likes of Nikon and Canon, many newbie RF users assume that TTL flash in rangefinders is equally good.  Not True.  TTL rangefinder flash is basic 1970's centerweighted technology, without the modern multi-segmented evaluative readings.  While an improvement over no in the camera flash sensor,  RF flash technology in the four TTL M mount cameras (Minolta CL, Leica M6TTL, Leica M7, Leica M8) is about three decades behind the flash technology in the latest Nikon or Canon SLR!  In other words, for most experienced M shooters, TTL flash is not much of a factor in selecting a M mount camera.


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Revised: July 26, 2006     Copyright   2006 Stephen Gandy.   All rights reserved.   Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.