I have ordered a 50th Birthday present.
As if going to the US in June wasn’t enough, I have ordered myself a new camera. This will be the first new Leica that I have ever bought and I am going to have to wait for it to be made. They do not make them on a normal production run any more, but in small batches when they get sufficient orders to dedicate a week or two to production.
It’s possibly the best looking camera ever made (in my opinion, of course – your’s may vary!). It is an “MP” model, much like this one.
Delivery dates are being quoted as roughly eight weeks, so, in maybe seven week’s time, I will be getting a call. It would be great if it arrives before the end of May, but it’s OK if it doesn’t.
The black finish is paint on brass metal top and bottom plates. Over time, the edges get worn through, allowing the brass to show through the paint. This brassing gives the camera significant character and is a very personal thing. My previous M cameras have both been chrome plated and they do not wear at all. They remain looking as good as new for decades.
All the gears internally on this camera are brass and even out of the box, the action is extremely smooth. Again, over time, as the gears really bed in, the wind on gets smoother and smoother.
It does have a built-in meter, but it is lacking the auto-exposure feature and the electronically controlled shutter mechanism of the M7 which I currently own. It will continue to work properly even in the absence of a working battery. It really is the ultimate mechanical camera and it will be interesting to see whether it changes my photography. I suspect I will get more incorrectly exposed shots!
I am going to try to get Pippa’s old lead made into a strap for it. I will speak with the shoe repairer in town to see if he can attach the ends from a Leica neck strap to the leather of the lead. I can’t see that it would be too difficult to do with the right tools.
So, more info when I have it.