Leica MP Rangefinder camera models - MIR Image Library

 

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.

Internal S/N marking of LEICA original MP 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 <rick_oleson@yahoo.com> images of their valuable possession/collection to be included in this showcase.


Front view of Leica  M3 E1 (M3
(M3 "E" for "Eisenstaedt") contributed by LARS Netopil <lars-netopil.com>


Leica MP w/Leicavit S/N 171
Leica MP S/N 171


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.

LEICA MP-313 chrome, double stroke w/Leicavit MP, 1957 front section view

Top plate of various esential features of a LEICA MP


Rear section view of a Leica chrome double stroke MP body

Top plate of a LEICA MP

Base plate with retracted ready position Leicavit MP in a MP-313

Leicavit MP in detail view

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

CLA'd from our repair technician, specialist on Leica, Mr. Will Van Manen, wish-4-Leica@ebay.com
CLA'd from our repair technician, specialist on Leica, Mr. Will Van Manen, wish-4-Leica@ebay.com

CLA'd from our repair technician, specialist on Leica, Mr. Will Van Manen, wish-4-Leica@ebay.com

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 photographer.

Leicavit 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.

Leicavit MP original 1960-1966

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.

Leicavit MP black paint, Tyoe 1 by Photo Arsenal
Leicavit MP black paint, Tyoe 1 by Photo Arsenal

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.

* 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.


A modern re-issued Leicavit MP black paint lacquer finish, LHSA Special Edition Unit <<<--- 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: ebayshop@arsenal-photo.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®:-

A detail close-up view on Leicavit rapid film advance device unit for Leica SM bodies
Internal section of a typical Leicavit rapid advance device unit by Leitz Wetzlar, Germany for Leica M Bayonet mount bodies
Leicavit  by Leitz at the base plate at rest position
Leicavit MP by Leitz on a Leica SM (screw mount) rangefinder camera

RELATIVE:- Compared this with another matching grey LEICAVIT-M for the grey-colored MP Anthracite kit
or a
gray hammertone Leicavit-M for the Leica MP LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Model

 

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Leica MP 367 & 368.
The following units have many visual, I need to break the page up.

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: Images for Leica MP 367 & 368 courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008.. Images on Leica MP171 & 375 courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwid® Germany. The Company also maintains an active EBAY Store, trading many used and new photo equipment of various labels. Photo Arsenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik, Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: ebayshop@arsenal-photo.com.. The Leicavit SYOOM courtesy of some nice folks from DigifanCN®. The group 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 photographer. The Three repair pictures of LEICA MP 313 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 photographer.