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Leica MP

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Specification

Production details
Announced:March 2003
Order No.:10301 - 0.72, silver chrome
10302 - 0.72, black paint
10303 - 0.58, silver chrome
10305 - 0.85, silver chrome
System: Leica M (1954)
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.58x
0.72x
0.85x
Actual rangefinder base:69.25mm
Effective rangefinder base:40.17mm - with 0.58x
49.86mm - with 0.72x
58.86mm - with 0.85x
Bright-line frames:28mm & 90mm, 35mm, 50mm & 75mm - with 0.58x
28mm & 90mm, 35mm & 135mm, 50mm & 75mm - with 0.72x
35mm & 135mm, 50mm & 75mm, 90mm - with 0.85x
Parallax compensation:Yes
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:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics
Weight:585g
Dimensions:138x77x38mm
Accessories
Body cap:14195
14397

Manufacturer description #1

03 - 03/2003 - LEICA MP

Leica Camera AG of Solms, Germany, is proud to announce the LEICA MP, a new tool for professional and dedicated amateur photographers. This purely mechanical rangefinder system camera is tailored entirely to the precise manual control of the photographically important parameters of time, aperture and focal plane. The photographer is not given any support, nor is he distracted by automatic program controls or options. If the photographer selects the shutter speed and the aperture, he or she will be completely independent of batteries. Rangefinding and exposure metering are of the very highest precision and have again been optimized. The new LEICAVIT-M accessory permits rapid manual film advancing. Virtually all system components of earlier models can also be used on the new camera.

All the functions of the new LEICA MP are designed for absolute ruggedness and longevity. Like all Leica system cameras, the LEICA MP is assembled with manual craftsmanship in Solms in central Germany. The pull-up rewind knob is easy to grip and, like the film advance lever, is entirely made of metal, which makes both elements impact-resistant. The camera top is milled from solid brass. “For the owner, this means dependability during decades of hard use as well as high value retention. The LEICA MP is not a photographic infatuation – it is a camera for life,” according to Jean-Jacques Viau, marketing manager of the system products business unit of Leica Camera AG.

The LEICA MP replaces the LEICA M6, whose production was discontinued in early 2003 after a highly successful run of 19 years. At the same time, the LEICA MP complements the LEICA M7, which was introduced in 2002 and has an electronically controlled shutter and aperture-priority automatic exposure control for greater convenience and more functions.

By using less electronics as compared to the LEICA M6 TTL and the LEICA M7, it was possible to reduce the height of the top cover of the LEICA MP by 2.5 mm. This further enhanced the new camera’s discretion and compactness, for which the Leica M system is renowned.

Additional characteristics of the LEICA MP are the new sure-grip leather covering and the absence of the familiar red Leica dot on the front of the camera. “Although many photographers love the red Leica dot, they nevertheless discreetly cover it up on their M cameras in order to be able to work as inconspicuously as possible. That is why we decided to leave it off the new LEICA MP right from the start. We believe that it is sufficient that connoisseurs and owners recognize the camera as a Leica,” says Jean-Jacques Viau. In addition to the silver chrome version of the LEICA MP, the camera is also regularly available in a black lacquer version. After intensive prolonged use, some corners and edges will wear down to the solid brass. Many photographers value this as a reminder of the many experiences they have shared with the camera,“ says Jean-Jacques Viau.

The name MP, which was already used for an earlier model, signifies that this is one of the Leica M cameras that have been specially designed to address the needs of professional photographers. “The Leica MP offers 'Mechanik in Perfektion' - the second meaning of the letters MP,“ says the CEO of Leica Camera AG, Hanns-Peter Cohn. “We see the LEICA MP as an antithesis to the trend towards digitization and automation. In our experience, it is not the functions and facilities of a camera that determine the real quality of an image. The most important factor is the person behind the viewfinder who sees, composes and captures. Not forgetting the quality of the lens, of course, which is the actual producer of the image. As the camera is unpretentious and discreet, it offers the photographer a longlasting harmonious and inspiring relationship,“ says Cohn.

Shutter: The LEICA MP features a mechanically controlled horizontal-action, rubber-cloth focal- plane shutter, which is extremely precise, quiet and vibration-free. Shutter speeds of 1 to 1/1000s can be preselected in whole steps on the speed setting button on the camera top. The “B“ setting is for long exposures of any duration. The delay is extremely short, making shutter release much quicker than that of a usual SLR camera. This is a crucial advantage for capturing the 'magic moment' that is the hallmark of a special photograph.

Rangefinder system: The LEICA MP integrates the top-precision rangefinder system of all Leica M cameras, which features a large, bright viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation. The field of view is indicated by pairs of bright-line frames, either for 28 and 90mm (90mm frame separately in the LEICA MP 0.85), for 35 and 135mm (35mm frame separately in the LEICA MP 0.58) or for 50 and 75mm. The corresponding frames are mechanically reflected into the viewfinder when the lens is attached. With the aid of the field-of-view selector, any required frame can be displayed. To enhance contrast and brightness, all the optical surfaces of the viewfinder have been given a multi-layer anti-reflection coating. Even with particularly critical side light, the viewfinder provides a high-contrast metering field and clearly visible frames for each focal length due to a modified mirror and an additional lens. The split- and coincident-image rangefinder allows fast and spot-accurate focusing in all conditions. Unlike SLR systems, in which the measuring base is determined through the lens by the focal length and the lens speed, the measuring base of the LEICA MP rangefinder is always the same whatever lens is used. Its focusing accuracy, particularly for short focal lengths, is therefore clearly superior to that of SLR cameras.

Exposure metering: The selective through-the-lens exposure metering of the LEICA MP leads to the same precise results as with the LEICA M6 TTL. Even against-the-light situations, spotlight illumination or glancing side light, which cause different colors, light intensities and contrasts, are effectively mastered. Measurement is activated by exerting slight pressure on the shutter release. The light reflected by a white patch on the shutter curtain is measured by a photo diode via a collector lens. Thanks to its extraordinary sensitivity (a light value higher), this measuring method can even be used in candlelight. A battery status indicator in the viewfinder signalizes a decrease in the operating voltage.

Mechanical components: The reliability of the mechanical components of the LEICA MP was verified in numerous laboratory and field tests before the market launch. Like the LEICA M7, the LEICA MP has a top of solid brass. The main body and housing consist of light-weight but robust diecast aluminum. All the controls such as the speed dial, the film advance lever and the rewind crank are made entirely of metal.

Because of the camera's sturdiness and reliability, Leica Camera AG is giving registered owners a special 5-year warranty on the LEICA MP. On top of this, the company guarantees the availability of all services and spare parts in Leica after-sales service for at least thirty years after a possible change of model.

The two lenses LEICA SUMMICRON-M f/2/35 mm and LEICA SUMMILUX f/1.4/50 mm are also available in a black lacquer finish to match the black lacquered LEICA MP.

The first supplies of the LEICA MP will be available at Leica stockists' from March 2003. There are four different versions: the black lacquer model with 0.72x viewfinder magnification and the silver-chrome models with 0.58x, 0.72x and 0.85x magnification.

Manufacturer description #2

Mechanical perfection. Nothing else. The LEICA MP is a tool. Made by hand, created for the photographer’s craft. Tailored to the decisive photographic parameters. In compact form, with clean design, clearly laid out. Unobtrusive, quiet, reliable. Concentrated technology for concentrated photography, without distraction by automation. For pictures that only a photographer can see, compose and record. Modern, because it captures the present. Current, because all its features have been optimized. Traditional, because it builds on the accumulated experiences of the pioneer in 35 mm camera construction. Not a photographic whim, but a camera for life.

With the name MP, the new Leica rangefinder camera joins the line of reporter cameras that have been tailored specifically to the wishes of professional photographers. It is the purely mechanical alternative to the LEICA M7, whose electronically controlled shutter and aperture-priority automatic exposure control offer more convenience and functions. The LEICA MP is dependent upon the skill of the photographer, but independent of, for instance, batteries. The latter are only needed for exposure metering. Those who set shutter speeds and apertures themselves can dispense with the electronics altogether.

All control elements are made completely of metal. The pull-up rewind knob is especially handy and impact-resistant. And because many pros love the red Leica dot, but discreetly cover it up on their cameras, we have dispensed with this round logo right from the start. We believe that it is sufficient that knowledgeable photographers and owners readily identify the Leica as such. The delicate Leica script on the top cover is an adequate reminder.

The LEICA MP is available in two different surface finishes: in silver chrome finish and in black lacquer finish. And when, after prolonged intensive use, the black lacquer wears down to the bare brass on some edges and corners, the photographer will know that he or she has shared many memorable experiences with that camera.

The LEICA MP with the silver chrome finish is available with the three viewfinder magnifications of 0.58 x, 0.72 x, and 0.85 x. It is tailored ideally to the preferences and needs of the photographer: The 0.58 x magnification for a great overview with wide-angle lenses and for eyeglass wearers. 0.72 x as a universal standard (also featured on the black lacquer version). 0.85 x for accurate focusing with medium focal length lenses and with Leica M tele lenses. The new body covering with its very good grip is common to all versions.

Photography means writing with light. Photography with a Leica M also means being able to create dramatic images even in low available light situations. Lenses that deliver rich contrast and full performance at full aperture, focusing with pinpoint accuracy with the Leica rangefinder and the vibration-free release of the cloth focal plane shutter are the basis for that capability.

Difficult light situations can be mastered accurately with the LEICA MP, because the camera does not attempt to think on behalf of the photographer. Instead, its selective exposure metering provides the photographer with accurate, unequivocal data on which he can base his decisions. The LEICA MP goes a step further with a newly improved viewfinder: A new type of mirror and an additional lens element present a measuring field rich in contrast and clearly delineated bright-line frames for the various focal lengths, even with particularly critical lateral light.

The LEICA MP has been designed for longevity and value retention. To that end, we only use selected materials and sophisticated fabrication processes. Before it was ready to be marketed, the LEICA MP was subjected to numerous and exhaustive field- and laboratory tests to prove its solidity. In extremely cold temperatures, in which no battery-dependent camera would function any longer. With shutter release cycles in numbers that hardly any other camera can sustain. Therefore Leica is offering an unusually long warranty period of 5 years for registered owners, who acquired their LEICA MP at an authorized dealer.

From today’s point of view we cannot imagine that the LEICA MP can ever be improved. Nevertheless we do guarantee that all services and spare parts will be available at Leica customer service departments for at least thirty years after a possible model change.

Manufacturer description #3

The Leica MP is built for long life and lasting value. This is guaranteed by Leica’s commitment to using only the finest materials and the highest precision manufacturing techniques. Time and time again, the Leica MP has proven its dependability under the most averse conditions.

The Leica MP’s strong body – crafted exclusively in metal – will withstand the worst conditions without fail, and batteries are only needed for metering. In fact, skilled photographers can ignore the electronics completely. Uncompromising dependability for all occasions.

By definition, photography is writing with light, and the Leica MP enables the photographer to master even the most difficult lighting situations. The camera offers you complete creative control; its selective TTL metering system merely offers supporting data to help you choose the ideal exposure parameters.

The Leica MP is available in two different body finishes: silver chrome and black paint. After years of hard use, when a bit of bright brass begins to show through, it’s a sure sign to savvy photographers that the camera and its owner have shared many memorable experiences.

Most professionals love the red Leica dot on their cameras, but for the sake of maintaining a low profile, the Leica MP was manufactured without this iconic emblem. Of course, knowledgeable owners and aficionados can identify a Leica anywhere without the need for special branding. The Leica inscription on the top deck is identification enough.

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35mm full frame

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

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

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.

14195

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

14397

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

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.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

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.