Leica MP, 1956~1957
Leica MP only had a very short production duration. Considered as one of the
most desirable & pricey Leica collectible camera body today. Whether from perspective
of rarity or basic features embodied within, it can be still considered as an evolved
form from Leica M3 rangefinder camera. The "P" in Leica MP
is referred a special production series of a M3 that were catered for professionals
or press photographers if you like - because most "pros" during the time
were referred to press/media photographers* and/or photojournalists. Except for its
announcement literature in Photokina, 1956 Leica MP, the camera had not been catalogued
in general Leica product catalogues as it was not meant to be marketed by Leica as
a mass-market consumer model.
Compare this with the M3 early DT
profile of M3-700131,
1954 internal view
Typical Leica MP models
have a few points which made it a little different from regular Leica M3 camera model. Internally, it has a longer shaft in its film advance mechanism.
It was delivered with a companion accessory Leicavit rapid advance base unit attached.
Leica has also omitted some features such as Self Timer whereas the exposure counter
has to be manually reset. Some of the changes were concealed within the body and
requires experienced traders/technician to remove the chassis to determine. There
were two features in this respect for authentication 1) the serial number xxx has
a "P" alphabet behind. The serial number is located under the base plate
and has to be removed in order to see it. Next, there was a change in mechanical
structure. In order to withstand demanding rapid winding action with the Leicavit,
the gear has changed to harden steel rather than brass as found on standard M3 unit.
The Leica MP camera has NO self timer Although in popular belief Leica was only intended
to produce a series of 500 units (MP1~MP500 serialize-numbered) but according to
a favorite reading reference of mine, Leica Collector Guide by Dennis Laney, the highest number recorded thus far is Leica MP 402
(but some seasoned collectors may only acknowledged a total of only 252 units still
circulating). Next, although the initial production was started in 1956 but majority
of the units were rolled out from the factory in 1957.
NOTE:- Leica Collectors Guide has a detailed
breakdown of units produced: S/N MP1~MP12 & MP151 onwards were finished in chrome;
S/N MP13~MP150 were finished in black. Total units:- 11 (1956; 300 (1957)=311 Units
in Chrome. MP13~150=138 units in black (1957). Prototypes/Variants: Modified version
from standard M3 into MP spec. 1xMPE=Alfred Einstein = M3E1=Alfred Eisenstaedt (Updated); 2x; 4x M3D-1,2,3,4= D.Douglas Duncan.
Factory made prototypes: "*" is added behind S/N. Ref: Leica Collectors Guide, by DENNIS Laney. Hove Collectors Book Publishing, East Sussex, UK. * Some cameras such as Nikon F3P, 1982 carries similar interpretation - Nikon has also removed the
S/T. Press photographers don't use self timer huh? There are also quite a few other
illustrative photos of early, rare versions of Leica MP bodies appeared in page 193
onwards on another good reference book, An Illustrated History of Leica Camera Vol. 1 by James L. Lager.
One of the Due to rarity
of the Leica MP, most collectors or enthusiasts would rather use the S/N to track
or identify each of these MP that may surfaced in the market. Photo Showcased here
involved 4 Leica MP models. The contributors of these photos came from Leicashop® Austria & Photo Arsenal®, Germany. Information
and links to these two helpful Companies were listed at the bottom
of this page.
I do WELCOME
any MP owners
to send us <firstname.lastname@example.org> images of their valuable possession/collection
to be included in this showcase.
(M3 "E" for "Eisenstaedt") contributed by LARS Netopil <lars-netopil.com>
LEICA MP-313 chrome,
double stroke w/Leicavit MP, 1957
An auctioned item conducted by Leicashop® its
auction literature stated" .. a fully original MP in perfect working order,
L-seal still existing, shutter crate engraved “P 313”, no dents or heavy scratches,
with Leicavit MP in fine condition...". Leicashop rated it as condition: B;
but the Year mentioned is 1958. It has an auction start price of EURO 9,000-00 but
the hammer price (buy-now) is EURO 17,400** incl. premium). LEICA MP series cameras were built in small
numbers (with a total of approx. 252 chrome items) specifically produced for professional
use. Only few of these cameras survived in un-restored original condition with all
original features such as double-stroke film advance, lack of self-timer feature,
early angular-shaped strap eyelet etc.
** NOTE;- Indicative price(s) herein 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: Images courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights
reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
|Additional information:- " ...Dear Sir, I
checked out the site where you used my pictures on! Very nice site and a very good
idea to make this overview on-line. I also must say I'm quite pleased, not to say
proud, with the M3 set picture. I also have to thank you of course and if you ever
need something just let me know. Regards, W. van Kammen. P. S. The Leica MP 313 was
used to be mine once.. Someone bought it and sold it on xxxxxx a few months later.
I am attaching a few pictures of the MP 313 when it was CLA'd by our in-house repair
technician, specialist on Leica, Mr. Will Van Manen who had been commissioned to
handle this special restoration assignment.
Regards, ..." - Wish-4-Leica®EBAY
Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Mr.
Wytze van Kammen from Wish-4-Leica®,
Holland. The Company also
operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles. Image Copyright ©
2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing
MP, 1960~1966 (SMYOM)
The rapid winding device designed to
supplement the original LEICA MP found its way in to serve the later Leica M1, M2
and MD models. In some ways, the Leicavit MP was like the earlier Leicavit SYOOM
in 1951 designed for some of the compatible SM mount Leica bodies such as IIIg, IIIf
etc. It is not entirely a power winder as with the eventual Leica Motor introduced
later in 1967 which works on compatible Leica M2 & the M2-M or Leica-MOT that
followed. Further, there were some references that said Leitz Wetzlar did produced
a prototype Winder Unit for the Leica M3 but never actually realized as standard
production unit.* Here is an article that relates to some operational issues
on the Leicavit, with
primary Link points to a very useful Leica FAQ. * There was a illustration photo of a Leica
M3 mounted on a Leica-Motor on page 178, An Illustrated History of Leica Camera Vol. 1 by James L. Lager.
This standalone Leicavit MP accessory
which has a chrome finishing, rated Condition: B/C by the Auctioneer, has a start
price of EURO 1,400-00 and a hammer price of EURO 2,750-00.
This is an original black paint Leicavit
for Leica MP or M2 with an auction price of GBP 2,848-00*
Pricey ? But this is an extremely rare piece of original accessory for the MP.
Indicative price(s) herein this site were based original prices published on previous
Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or
other renewed valuation methods.
||<<<--- A modern re-issued Leicavit MP black paint lacquer
finish, LHSA Special Edition Unit.
Credit: Image courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany. The Company also maintains an active EBAY Store, trading many used and new photo equipment
of various labels. Photo Aersenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik,
Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: email@example.com.
Arsenal has a office in Hong Kong, headed by Evan Wong. Address is: Ting Shan East
Selling-Office Unit 210, 2/f., Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Phone:
+ 852/23126690 , fax. +852/23126691.Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved.
Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Here are some views below of a Leicavit (SYOOM) for Leica SM bodies (with the bottom image as shown mounted on a Leica IIIg SM
body). The original SYOOM replaced the older SCNOO. This could be later model SYOOM/14109.
There are some variations in slightly different configurations. Older and rarest
version has single/continuous settings/modes control. All Images courtesy DigifanCN@Ebay®:-
RELATIVE:- Compared this with another matching grey LEICAVIT-M for
MP Anthracite kit
or a gray
hammertone Leicavit-M for the Leica MP
LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Model
| Next | 1/8
Leica MP 367 & 368. The following units have many visual, I need to break
the page up.
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 |
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
Leica MP-3 LHSA;
Leica MP TITAN,
| Leica MP Nomenclature | Leica MP Instruction manual (1MB PDF) |
Technical Specification (96k PDF)
/ 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
| Leica M3 Black Paint:-1955/1958/1962~1964/66
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 M3 Instruction Manual 1) Location 1 (1.35mb PDF) by Joe Chan; Location 2 (1.2mb PDF) by M.Butkus < Mike@bukus.org>;
| Message Board | lenses | Message Board | RF cameras
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