Leica M4-P

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Production details

Production details
Announced:1981
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:10415 - black chrome
10416 - silver chrome
System: Leica M (1954)

Specification

Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Shutter
Type:Focal-plane
Model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure
Exposure metering:None
Exposure modes:Manual
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.72x
Actual rangefinder base:68.5mm
Effective rangefinder base:49.32mm
Bright-line frames:28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm, 135mm
Parallax compensation:Yes
Physical characteristics
Weight:<No data>
Dimensions:<No data>
Accessories
Body cap:14195
14397

**) Some basic information is missing in the specification as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer description #1

As LEICA M 4-2, but with automatically superimposed field of view frames for six focal lengths: 28, 35, 50, 75, 90 and 135 mm lens.

Serial No. from 1532377.

Manufacturer description #2

The LEICA® M4-P - quick and dynamic, robust and dependable

The LEICA is the classical example of all 35mm systems cameras. It has revolutionized photography and its name has become a synonym all over the world.

The LEICA M4-P continues the series of famous rangefinder LEICA cameras. Next to the reflex LEICA-R it is a master of clearly defined tasks.

The LEICA M4-P is the camera of choice when using extremely fast lenses within the focal length range of from 21 to 135 mm. If focusing accuracy, even under poor lighting conditions, becomes the prerequisite to completely utilize the highest optical performance, the LEICA M4-P has no peer; or when instant camera readiness and hushed, silent photography is the sine qua non.

As a result of the compact combination between camera and lens and the soft, vibration-free release, even long exposures can be made by hand.

When the LEICA M4-P is combined with extreme high-speed lenses for dynamic, available light, photography for news reporting or for the instant shot.

It is no accident that the history of the LEICA and the development of modern photography and photojournalism are closely related to one another. In all areas of the world, the LEICA catches scenes difficult to repeat and documents once in a life-time events. It is always present when quick quiet and unobtrusive photography are important. This applies to reporting, to sport, to the theatre, to the church, the exhibition, the court of law or the concert hall - whenever unusual photos are being taken, the LEICA camera M4-P remains the LEICA of choice. Its secret of success is based upon the ideal combination of size and weight, quietness and quickness, as well as accuracy and dependability.

***

The LEICA M4-P-view-rangefinder: quick, simple, precise

The LEICA M4-P offers an illuminated frame-line finder which is an optical direct-image finder in its ideal form. It works with the lens and is coupled to the rangefinder measuring the distance while at the same time determining the area of the image. The viewfinder image is extremely bright and highly contrasted. Even under poor lighting conditions the photo area is determinable quickly and exactly. A bright frame borders the field of view. The remaining field is extremely important in order to observe the entire action. In sport photography this serves to determine the correct moment of exposure. The illuminated frame is coupled to the rangefinder setting in such a manner that any parallax between viewfinder and lens are automatically compensated for. The viewfinder image is easily visible even for those who wear glasses. The clearly defined measuring area shows up bright in the middle of the field and facilitates focusing. Lenses of focal lengths from 21 to 135mm are coupled automatically to the large base rangefinder of the LEICA M4-P as they are inserted into the camera housing.

The appropriate illuminated field-of-view frame for lenses from 28 to 135mm are also displayed. To preselect the correct field of view, the frame-line selector permits the photographer to determine even without lens which focal length is best suited for a particular scene. Just a fingertip pressure will switch in any other field-of-view frame-line.

Only after this control procedure has shown the optimum image outline, one inserts the appropriate lens into the camera.

The LEICA M4-P-large base rangefinder - exact focusing whether by day or by night

One glance into the rangefinder of the LEICA M4-P leaves no doubt whether exact focus has been set. The rectangular field for rangefinding in the middle of the viewfinder is clearly visible. Even under unfavorable lighting conditions, at dusk or in low artificial light, focusing is quick and certain. Even a slight distance change is shown quickly in the measuring field, regardless whether you focus with a short or a long focal length lens: the rangefinder system of the LEICA M4-P is independent of the focal length of the lens used. The large effective measuring base of 48mm guarantees sufficient accuracy even under minimum sighting conditions .

The LEICA M4-P-precision mechanics for fast, quiet photography

Film loading

The LEICA has always been a very fast camera. This is the reason why it is the camera of the professional in all areas of specialization. It starts with the quick film-loading system. Place the cartridge at left and the leader through the slot in the take-up spool. Replace the baseplate and rewind the release lever. That's all there is to do it. One has to experience it one's self in order to believe how simple it is.

Lens change

The lens change system is primarily responsible for fast camera readiness and handling comfort. LEICA lenses are changed simply and quickly by hand. Push the tab and twist the lens counter clockwise and it is free and can be removed. Insert the new lens into the bayonet in such a manner that the red dot is situated opposite the arresting knob. After a small rotation to the right the lens clicks audibly and perceptibly into position. One does not need to use a guide pin or an arresting latch aimed at a milled-out slot. LEICA lenses can be exchanged with eyes closed and you can feel the points of orientation.

The exposure release

The exposure release of the LEICA has always been synonymous with perfection. The release button is situated in exactly the right position. The wind lever for shutter advance and film transport has two positions: rest position - the lever is then located parallel to the top of the camera housing. Working position - the lever is approximately 20° off the camera housing. The film transport and shutter winding are fast and easy via a very short stroke. Everything on the LEICA M4-P is designed for simple and fast manipulation.

Low noise level camera functions

There are many photographic situations where noise-free camera operations is of extreme importance to the photographer. Loud camera noise can destroy the atmosphere or mood which the camera man wants to capture. It is the particular strength of the LEICA M4-P that its functions are very conservative with respect to noise levels; even when using the winder. Photographing in a television or radio studio with open microphones, only the very quiet rangefinder LEICA is often permitted. Whether you take your M4-P into the theatre, the concert hall, a museum or a court of law, it is always a welcomed guest. The vibration free LEICA shutter makes shooting at long exposure times out of hand practical and eliminates the often cumbersome tripod, the flood lamps or electronic flash.

Extraordinarily functional and serviceable in use

The reliability of the LEICA is legendary. It is no exception that a LEICA camera will function for forty years without trouble. Thousands of photographers all over the world use their decadeold LEICA camera for their daily photo work. Quality control, which at Leitz was always a preeminent occupation, is constantly being improved by applying the most modern technologies available.

Take a good look at the LEICA M4-P. The cast housing is made of one piece. It encloses, like armour plate, the valuable optical and mechanical parts of the camera.

The operating elements are functional both with respect to their form and their position. The quick change chromium plated bayonet mount is a masterpiece of precision mechanics. In the same elegant manner in which a lens fits into the bayonet mount, it is equally secure and precise when it is locked into place. No shake, no play, regardless of how often the lenses are exchanged . The tolerances are extraordinarily small. Even a forty year old LEICA lens when mounted with a bayonet ring, will be as precisely positioned in the camera bayonet as if it were a brand new lens.

It is precisely this accuracy and quality control that has made the LEICA into a robust camera of long life which has virtually been on the spot during the prominent events of the last fifty years. The cold of the Antarctic, the heat of the Tropics or the rain forest - the LEICA can be depended upon. In the future it will like-wise be in the center of events.

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Copyright © 2012-2022 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

14195

Protection cap, for camera body with LEICA M bayonet mount.

14397

Protection cap, for camera body with LEICA M bayonet mount.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.