Leica MP w/ choice of variable viewfinder magnification ratio - MIR Image Library


LEICA MP Chrome, 0.58X (10303), 06.2003

The LEICA MP is offered with three variable choices in different viewfinder magnifications of 0.58 x, 0.72 x, and 0.85 x. In a very nice way to put it, the alternatives are tailored ideally to the preferences and needs of the photographer: The smallest magnification option, the MP 0.58 x magnification can be ideal if 80% of the works by the photographers are using with wide-angle lenses. The smaller magnifications has another significant convenience for eyeglass wearers as the entire view field can be observed through a slight distance away from the eyepiece The 0.58X magnification finder MP was originally offered as one of the three standard MP. But due to lack of large volume of specific interest, Leica had decided to make it as an option in the exclusive
à la carte* range - a division setup by Leica AG to tailor made Leica for special request. Please take note that, 0.58X magnification finder has only been used in the previous M6 TTL as well as offered in the new Leica M7.

Regardless the magnification, the viewfinder principle of all Leica MP remains the same. It offers a large, bright line frame viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation. The Eyepiece is calibrated to -0.5 dpt with alternate options for correction lenses from -3 to +3 diopter. The bright line frames activated in pairs and automatically displayed when the lens is mounted. The preview selector can be used to display each of the pairs of frames. Alternative bright line frame configurations are available as part of the Leica a la carte range. The horizontal and vertical difference between the viewfinder and the lens is automatically compensated in line with the current distance setting. Split and superposed-image ranger finder displayed as a bright field in the centre of the viewfinder image. Effective measuring basis for 0.58X finder is approx. 40.2 mm (mechanical measuring basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification 0.58x). Please take notice that on the LEICA MP 0.58X model, five frames are activated for the focal lengths up to 90mm (28+90mm, 35mm, 50+75mm). Please take note of the single focal length of 35mm offered in the 0.58X MP model.

What significant is 0.58X finder delivers in actual photography ? It has its strength and convenience esp. for eyeglass wearer. But smaller magnification also means smaller image inside the viewfinder. For an example, in comparison with a typical 0.72X universal finder, the viewfinders projects a smaller image in the 0.58X models for the 50 frameline. As focusing is still manual with the MP, it may need a little extra effort and precise adjustment of focus. Further, brightline frame for some popular focal length such as 135mm will not be shown. that is all.

Leica MP 0.58x finder model with Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8 f=50mm lens
Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model  front view
Camera top plate, Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003
Base plate,  Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003
 Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003 rear section view with ASA film speed index disc

Leica MP 0.58X model maintains a high quality Leica tradition. Except for the rear film reminder disc section which I thought can be improved upon, overall, I would still think the physical built quality is exceptional and could lasts a few decades of hard use. In a world dominated by digital imaging, it remains a a purist camera which serves the traditional photographers.

Viewfinder magnification 0.58X,  Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003
All metal construction on key camera control features,  Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003.Film rewind knob,  Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003Film speed ASA index disc, ASA 6~6400,  Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003
 Leica MP chrome 0.58x finder model, 2003 with Leica ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8

A LEICA MP 0.58 Silver chrome finishing model, sold in Japan.

A LEICA MP 0.58 Silver chrome finishing model, sold in Japan.

Leica (M6 TTL, MP or M7) with 0.58X is considered more rare than others. The rarity element is contributed by less interest in getting a wideangle lens-specfic Leica. But it is also meant for specific reason for those who intended to get a 0.58X finder. Presumably, Leica only offered this alternative in silver chrome finishing and for those who specifically requested for black lacquer finishing, it can be ordered through Leica
à la carte service. However, the next chapter has a black Leica MP 0.58X (10304) model but I am not sure if it was a à la carte MP.

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A photo profile on LEICA MP 0.58x Black Lacquer Model

LEICA MP-Specific models/variants - Visual Profiles on selective Leica bodies:- Leica MP Prototype, 1955 | MP Betriebsk w/Electric Motor, 1956 | Leica MP-88/MP-150 Black paint, 1957 | Leica MP-167; Leica MP-171/MP-313/old/new Leicavit visual, 1957 | Leica M3E1 / MP 271/288 Alfred Eisenstaedt | Leica MP 367 & 368 Dual, 1957 | Leica MP-375, MP-368 & MP-386 | Leica MP 'Edition Hermès', 2003 | Leica MP Betriebsk 0.72x | Evential production model MP 0.72x Black paint, 2002 | Leica MP classic Kit Set 1 / Set 2 | Leica MP chrome 0.58X(2 parts) | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.58x | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.72x Standard | Leica MP 0.85x Finder Mag. model | Leica MP Anthracite* Limited Edition Set | Leica MP LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Grey Hammertone Finish (3 parts) | Brief Introduction on Leica à la carte:- Leica MP Red Leather 0.85 / Nappa racing Green Leather 0.58X | Others:- Visual case study on counterfeit LEICA MP ; Leica MP Prototype w/Prototype Leicavit-M; Leica MP-3 LHSA; Leica MP TITAN, 2007

| Leica MP Nomenclature | Leica MP Instruction manual (1MB PDF) | Technical Specification (96k PDF) |

Recommended resources / Reviews on Leica MP Models (External Links): Popular Photography (4 parts) | Shutterbug (2 parts) | Stephan gandy/Cameraquest on MP | Photonet;
How to load M6/MP w/Rapidwinder-M(Video); Comparing M3 with MP (Leica FAQ); Price indications: Westlicht Auction House; Ebay Search on Leica MP

Visual Library on Leica M3 Prototype, 1952; Leica M3 Test model, 1953/4 | A photo showcase on early series of Leica M3 DS bodies:- Leica M3-700131 / M3-700170 / M3-700000/M3-70031x/M3-70051x | M3 double stroke chrome 1954~1957 bodies:- Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4; Leica M3 Single Stroke 1957~60/1961~66 | Leica M3 Black Paint:-1955/1958/1962~1964/66 / Case study on Prices | Leica M3 ELC, 1955/56

Other Leica M3 Variants:- Leica M3 chrome Leica-Technik 57 1954; Leica M3 GOLD Edition, 1956 | Leica M3 DS United Nation Edition, 1957 | Leica M3 Olive Bundeseigentum outfit 1957/ Olive Green Bundeseigentum outfit, 1959 (2 Parts) w/info on high quality M3 Olive Conversion | Leica M3 Betriebskamera/ Betriebsk 1960 | Leica M3 Royal Dutch Marine Periscope Model, 1966 | Leica M3 Dummies / Riesen-Mode (Giant scale Model); Leica M3 Cutaway Display Unit , 1954

Recommended External Link: Leica FAQ | Leica M3 Instruction Manual 1) Location 1 (1.35mb PDF) by Joe Chan; Location 2 (1.2mb PDF) by M.Butkus < Mike@bukus.org>;

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Credit: A special thanks to my buddy, Tony Leong® <work place> in sharing his private collection of various Leica/Leitz camera/lenses.