Leica MP à la carte - MIR Image Library

 


Introduction:- * à la carte, popular term is a restaurant when ordering; it simply means Leica has a division to tailor / custom designed your wish camera in personal configuration, which includes personalized signature on camera, choice of leatherette color, small configuration on rewind crank style or film advance lever as well as viewfinder magnification type i.e. 0.58X, 0.72X or 0.85X. The service may even extend to the color choice of the camera case to match the camera color selection. Leica claims there are close or more than to 4,000 combinations to personalize a MP for individual, even with unusual request can be served. The service covers LEICA M7 and MP range of bodies.

Extracted from a Leica marketing Literature, it says " ...Fine materials, forms and colors allied to a variety of variable components and functional details open up almost unlimited scope for individual design - from a totally inconspicuous professional camera to an extravagant eye catching version. This is only possible with the expert individual handcrafting that only Leica’s traditional manufacturing can provide. For example, each type of leather with a different structure and density is optimally adapted to the camera, split to a thickness of 0.8 mm and fitted to the camera by hand. From the assembly of the individual components through to the final quality inspection, every detail of the 1,300 components that make up every MP is lovingly created to meet the customer's requirements à la carte. By people who love the Leica M as much as you do. ..".

So, this is why there are some LEICA MP seemingly having some odd specifications being surfaced periodically during recent years. Getting a personalized LEICA MP will , certainly not a cheap investment, disposing a LEICA with MR. ABC can greatly reduced the appeal as a collectible. Basically, not everyone is a DUNCAN nor Ansel Adam level of celebrity and even celebrity depends on who he/she is, say if a non-photographer personality will only confine the collection value only good for the fan club members. This is photographic collectibles and not a microphones or underwear worn by sexy movie stars. I would think by law of filtration, those who dare to order a custom LEICA MP, M7 would be pre-qualified within financially affordable league and seldom had any idea of disposing the personal possession (if one does, he is either broke, superstitious or whose estate doesn't even bother just wanted some cash on sales - not because he is giving up personal photography by simply letting go a personalized, signature collection. Anyway, the idea was an original which I think justify to compliment LEICA innovative marketing concept. Anyway, it takes a LEICA to make this possible, other Companies which had mass market in sight wouldn't bother the sentimental element at all.

The LEICA MP
à la carte offers services to custom designed your LEICA MP (or M7) with a few variations/choices. One of the most distinguished way to let others to know you have a "special" Leica can be via the leatherette, exterior body covering, in short, to make a LEICA looks "unusual" from a distance and admired by others is probably best from this starting point. You can say partly it sells on this "exclusiveness" physiological business concept (but I am NOT implying to relate all MP à la carte owners are having this kind of thinking). From the color scheme offered for the supposedly matching colour camera cases listed below, you can identify a few uncommon colour choices such as naturally tanned leather, box red calf, Nappa racing green, Dark brown calf leather, "cognac", Nappa Bordeaux, Blue calf leather, Ostrich look, chestnut - and even within the common black, you can find options such as Lizard look black, Ostrich look, black etc.
Leica M7 in original black vulcanite leatherette
Personally, I think LEICA looks BEST in original black vulcanite leatherette , not the smooth skinned leather outfit. It would be better to alternate the colour choice using the base skin as vulcanite. Secondly, black finishing Leica with matching vulcanite projects a more rugged look and feel, other than adding a less offending, stealth property for photographers in photojournalism or street photography - but definitely not one of those brilliantly eye-arresting odd colors. However, black lacquered Leica are not entirely scratch resistance, I read one of the phase LEICA used on their system brochure .."... And if the black lacquer starts to reveal a glimpse of the plain brass at some of the corners and edges after long use, the photographer knows that he has shared plenty of experiences with his camera...". Errr .... I'd really like the interpretation of these but to be fair, you still need not have to worry too much, inside the MP, you will have brass for the top and base plate and a high-strength magnesium alloy for diecast body chassis.

The black lacquer exterior was having a layer of a modern artificial resin lacquer with adhesion property. What it actually means is,despite how well is the camera was being designed, owners care must also be taken into consideration, the paint won't be able to last abusing state of use, not the camera itself. For silver chrome LEICA, I would think it has a better scratch resistance, According to Leica, the surface is initially copper plated, nickel plated and then given an extremely durable fine matte shiny chrome finish. Besides, scratches usually hides better in a silver chrome body than a black finishing. Actually, I have some reservation over the choice of material on the MP leather - only time will tell if the new choice of materials will deform or shows its properties. I remember back in those days, the 1988 pro-class
Nikon F4 which had a new scientific breakthrough by using a bump-resistance rubber compound with industrial resin coating for its exterior, most F4 had shown its flaw after 15 years. It turns sticky. Well, I am not implying the LEICA newly used compound would face the same issue, but it takes time to tell if the German has superior idea than the oriental counterpart in this small area, that is all. Personally, my 1992 green leatherette LEICA M6 COLOMBO and the Ostrich-skinned LEICA M6 Titanium was still very at their original condition with the latter always hiding under my car seat in hot, humid tropical weather. One way of another, mechanically I still feel German can make better camera body than the Japanese.

To me, valuation of an
à la carte LEICA MP (or M7) is lying in the heart of the original owner - subsequent owners only put a price on how close it matches his personal aspiration in possessing an LEICA.

Ever ready case M à la carte in Leica à la carte leather types, matching any individually produced M à la carte camera. Secure protection for an MP or M7 with one of the following lenses : 21 mm f/2.8 without lens hood, 24 mm f/2.8 without lens hood, 28 mm f/2 with or without lens hood, 35 mm f/1.4 without lens hood, 35 mm f/2 with or without lens hood, 50 mm f/2.8 extended, 50 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/2, 90 mm f/4 retracted. Naturally tanned leather, cognac Order no. 14 857, Nappa racing green Order no. 14 858, Box red calf leather Order no. 14 859, Dark brown calf leather Order no. 14 860, Lizard look, black Order no. 14 861, Ostrich look, black Order no. 14 862, Ostrich look, chestnut Order no. 14 863, Nappa Bordeaux Order no. 14 864, Blue calf leather Order no. 14 865

Ever ready case M with standard front
holds a Leica M camera without LEICAMETER, Motor M or Winder M and with one of the following lenses : 21 mm f/2.8 without lens hood, 24 mm f/2.8 without lens hood, 28 mm f/2 without lens hood, 35 mm f/1.4 without lens hood, 35 mm f/2 with or without lens hood, 50 mm f/2.8 extended, 50 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/2, 90 mm f/4 retracted. Black Nappa calf leather Order no. 14 870

Ever ready case M with large front
Also holds Leica M camera without LEICAMETER, Motor M or Winder M and with one of the following lenses : 21 mm f/2.8 with or without lens hood, 24 mm f/2.8 with or without lens hood, 28 mm f/2 with or without lens hood, 35 mm f/1.4 with or without lens hood, 35 mm f/2 with or without lens hood, 50 mm f/2.8 extended, 50 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/2, 75 mm f/1.4, 75 mm f/2, 28—35—50 mm f/4, 90 mm f/2, 90 mm f/2.8, 90 mm f/4 extended. Black Nappa calf leather Order no. 14 871

Neoprene case M
black, with practical hand strap. Can be used as an ever ready case and as a base in emergencies. Reliably protects the camera and has practical Velcro fasteners and two spaces for memory cards. With small front, holds a Leica M camera with a lens up to 65 mm in diameter and 60 mm in length Order no. 14 867, with large front, holds a Leica M camera with a lens up to 65 mm in diameter and 80 mm in length Order no. 14 868 “Billingham” combination case The most flexible case for your Leica M equipment, it holds either two M cameras and two lenses or one camera and three lenses. It provides easy and compact transportation for large lenses or with a LEICAVIT-M or LEICA MOTOR-M fitted. A zipped compartment also provides space for a LEICA SF 24D flash and for films and other accessories. Waterproof canvas. Black Order no. 14 854, khaki Order no. 14 855

Ever ready case for M with LEICAVIT-M
Holds a LEICA MP with rewind crank and all other analog M cameras with a LEICAVIT-M fitted. Durable saddle leather Order no. 14 856
Camera carrying strap à la carte in traditional narrow design in all Leica à la carte leather types, matching individually produced Leica à la carte cameras : Black saddle leather Order no. 14 453, Naturally tanned leather cognac Order no. 14 454,; Nappa racing green Order no. 14 456, Box red calf leather Order no. 14 457, Dark brown calf leather Order no. 14 458, Lizard look, black Order no. 14 465,; Ostrich look, black Order no. 14 466, Ostrich look chestnut Order no. 14 467,; Nappa Bordeaux Order no. 14 468, Blue calf leather Order no. 14 469; Wide camera carrying strap in black saddle leather. Wide neck section provides optimum comfort when carrying, non-slip due to micro-velvet on inside. Order no. 14 455

So, how does one of these Leica MP à la carte models looks like. As individual preference can be very different from one another,
below and the pages that might be uploaded are simply individual choice in custom made to order outfit:-



Leica MP "Leica à la carte" 0.85 Red leather 0.85x *

Shown is a Leica MP à la carte* 0.85 Red leather. It is indicated with 0.58 view finder, but it actually equips a 0.85 view finder. Only for display and demo, never been used on field and insert a roll of film. Product ID: LM2983229; Serial Number: 2983229. Item(s) Included: The camera, body cap and box. Suggestive Auction Price: USD3,500-00*

Further notes provided by Mr. Daniel from www.
9days.HK® who put up the camera via Ebay auction:- " ... The Red Leather MP shown here is a demo "a-la-carte" MP camera which bought from an "a-la-carte" dealer. Since the camera is a demo camera inside the deal shop, so it was never been insert a film. Since the camera is just for demo beforehand, no one noticed the mismatch of the wording "0.58" and the actual viewfinder. ... My opinion is the mismatched viewfinder should be a mistake from Leica instead of modified by the owner... since 0.58 is much easy to sell out instead of 0.85...". It carries many similarities in its basic spec & doesn't it looks like one of those "Leica MP Betriebsk 0.72" range of pre-launch/evaluation Leica MP camera bodies ?

* à la carte , popular term is a restaurant when ordering; it simply means Leica has a division to tailor / custom designed your wish camera in personal configuaration.

Viewinder Magnification with corresponding Brightline Frames for various Leica Lenses in gaphical display (Gif files):
0.58X | 0.72X | 0.85X | Combined (50k Gif)

* * NOTE;- Indicative price here in this site were based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.

 

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Mr. Daniel from 9 days Photography Ltd. <www.9days.HK®>, Hong Kong. The Company also operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles from Leica, Contax and Nikon etc. Image(s) Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

 

Leica MP A-La-Carte 0.85 Red leather 0.85xReaer section view of a Leica MP A-La-Carte 0.85 Red leather 0.85x
Top plate showing v=basic camera control / functions and S/N on a Leica MP A-La-Carte 0.85 Red leather 0.85x
Base plate on a Leica MP A-La-Carte 0.85 Red leather 0.85x
Removing the film back and shown with the film transport mechanism and features on a Leica MP A-La-Carte 0.85 Red leather 0.85x

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Mr. Daniel from www.9days.HK®, Hong Kong. The Company also operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles from Leica, Contax and Nikon etc. Image(s) Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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A series of photos of another LEICA MP à la carte body in Nappa Racing Green configuration

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;
Others:-
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: Image(s) courtesy of Mr. Daniel from www.9days.HK®, Hong Kong. The Company also operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles from Leica, Contax and Nikon etc. Image(s) Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.