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Leica M2 favori envoyer Print
Photos by GL text by GL. From the collection of GL
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Chronology of the Leica brand  New window

Manufactured in Germany from 1958 until 1966.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11433

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Leica M2

Traduction de Christian Surle.
M2 Leica is a 24 x 36 rangefinder camera using 135 format cartridges.
Four years after M3, M2 aims to be a cheaper and more affordable version of model M Leica.
The main differences affect the telemeter, whose concept is modified (and which be fitted with all further M Leica); the view counter becomes a notched ring like on the eldest screw mount Leica’s (to be reinitialised manually on every reloading), and some details such as the self-timer which will not fit the early models, and also the knob unlocking the film transport (instead of a lever).
Notice that from 1959 on, this knob will be replaced by a lever, and that the self-timer comes back later during that year.
However, the main difference is the viewfinder magnifying. The 0.91 finder of M3 Leica was not very appreciated by reporters who had to fit their bodies with a huge accessory in order to use 35mm lens, the maximum M3 frame being 50mm. So, M2 is fitted with a 0.72 magnifying finder, and view frames are 35, 50 and 90mm.

This is a full mechanical camera, without any integrated cell. The focal shutter is a rubber-cloth one. Speeds work from 1 sec to 1/1000° sec with flash sync at 1/50° sec, plus B setting.
There is a “M” bayonet mount, with automatic view-frame selection thanks to the lens barrel.

M2 adopts the shape of the elder M3 model. You can see on the upper cover, from left to right, the rewind knob, the accessory shoe, the speed selector (slow and fast speeds on the same knob), and the transport lever with central release knob, surrounded by a view-counting ring.
The body back features twin flash sync M and X contacts, and a ring reminding film type and sensitivity. On the front and looking from shooting position, you can find the manual selector for view frames on the left of the lens; on the right the unlocking knob (or lever) to rewind the film, and the self-timer for models featuring it.