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Swe

looking for Leica M1 Rangefinder

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Hello,

 

i would like to upgrade an Leica M1 with a Rangefinder but can't find the spare part. I asked the Leica support but no answer yet (i don't have big hopes for a 50 year old part).

Maybe someone tried this recently and knows something. Internet research failed so far.

 

thanks and kind regards

Sebastian

Edited by Swe

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It used to be possible to upgrade an M1 to a rangefinder, but I think that the price of the parts - assuming you can find them- and labour costs would make buying a good M2 or M3 considerably more viable.

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Hi Jaap,

thanks for the fast reply.

I know what you mean. But it was a gift and i want to keep it. Also in my opinion the M1 looks better then the M3 and the M2. Lastly i also want to paint it black, so M2 and M3 are no options again. Its kind of building my own Leica M-A =D.

thanks anyway

Sebastian

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Hello,

Just curious ...

Sebastian, can you tell how the M1 looks better than M3/M2 ?

I doubt that you can built M1 to become M-A as I own 2 x M-A since 2014 and user of older MDa/M2/3/4/5/etc.

The best features user friendly I found in M-A are : usable with Leicavit M or Motor M , viewfinder at top of the contrast/clarity over every Ms that I had, clean looking black chrome on the black and so "classic look" with the silver chrome (I couldn't choose by then which one I prefer 😇)

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Hello a.noctilux,

 

personally i don't like the details around the M3 glass parts and the big levers(self timer, rewind release) Also preferring the M1/M2 Frame counter. On top i mostly shoot 35mm, so M3 Objectives look a bit clunky. The M2 looks much better for me, but i still don't like the rewind lever(the button version looks better). And since i want to give the Camera a black finish i have to open it anyway =).

you're right, i can't build a real M-A. But all i want from an M-A (no battery, clean look, highest build quality), i can achieve with a upgraded M1.

 

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Good luck, but I fear it is not a realistic project, either practically or financially. 

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I see 😉

 

Have fun in your quest 👍 Sebastian.

Yes M2 button is the nicest looking but mine does have field selection lever.

Does your M1 with button "R" also ?

 

If you want something to begin with, in your place I'd just buy an M2 then swap the VF M1/M2 to begin.

The "M1" marking is just a plate to remove.

Edited by a.noctilux

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Thanks

 

my M1 has a lever, but on the M1 the lever is even smaller then the button. I think i like it more.

 

If i would just buy a M2, i would use it instead. A broken one with working rangefinder maybe. I keep an eye out if i don't find the spare part.

This project may take up to a few years, but i let the Forum know if it gets finished. In the meantime i am happy for any information regarding the initial question =).

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Leica answered.

It's actually still possibly to upgrade the M1! Unfortunately they wont sell inner parts to customers or retailers and the price is around 900€ (1000$).

But im stunned they're still offering this.

 

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Use it with wide angle lenses and guess the distance. I got on ok with an MD, which I have now traded back in as I ended up with three M2’s.

 

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Thanks for the reply Pyrogallol, Over the years i made lots of good pictures with it, even with 35mm. But it's a long term heartproject to upgrade it =).

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2 hours ago, Swe said:

Leica answered.

It's actually still possibly to upgrade the M1! Unfortunately they wont sell inner parts to customers or retailers and the price is around 900€ (1000$).

But im stunned they're still offering this.

 

Hello Sebastian,

Welcome to the Forum.

1 reason that Leica is able to provide a range/viewfinder to replace your viewfinder is that the range/viewfinder mechanism made for the M1's sibling: The M2, is the basis for the currently available range/viewfinder in the film cameras.

The high cost of the M3's range/viewfinder was the cause of the majority of the cost differential between the M2 & the M3 when they were both offered at the same time.

Best Regards,

Michael

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Mate your M1 with a Super-Angulon 21 (or SEM 21 for a more "modern look") and you don't really need the rangefinder ;).

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7 hours ago, Swe said:

Leica answered.

It's actually still possibly to upgrade the M1! Unfortunately they wont sell inner parts to customers or retailers and the price is around 900€ (1000$).

But im stunned they're still offering this.

 

I'm stunned too… did they provide details about what RF they "put into" (M2 by logic… but maybe the M4 ? or even M4P with 28 ?(*) ) ?  Does the price include a general CLA ? If so,  900 Euros isn't stellar… I doubt that a good workshop like Van Manen asks less than 5-600 Euros using spares (new or not)  for such an upgrade… and a Leica CS work, duly documented, by defintion adds 50% of value.  Really, as Jaap said, the economics (compared to an Exchange for a M2 or M4) can be negligible or negative… but I understand perfectly your desire to keep YOUR camera.

(*) I wonder this because some years ago, Leica CS  proposed me to "repair" the broken RF of my (worn) M2 with a M4P one… I didn't do, and now my M2, in the hands of a LUF member, has became a splendid black M2 with its original and working RF… :)

 

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb luigi bertolotti:

I'm stunned too… did they provide details about what RF they "put into" (M2 by logic… but maybe the M4 ? or even M4P with 28 ?(*) ) ?  Does the price include a general CLA ? If so,  900 Euros isn't stellar… I doubt that a good workshop like Van Manen asks less than 5-600 Euros using spares (new or not)  for such an upgrade… and a Leica CS work, duly documented, by defintion adds 50% of value.  Really, as Jaap said, the economics (compared to an Exchange for a M2 or M4) can be negligible or negative… but I understand perfectly your desire to keep YOUR camera.

Hi Luigi,

yes he was talking about an M2 Rangefinder. I'm not sure if a CLA is included. He said: around 900€ but the final cost estimation i'd get after the camera arrived and was checked by the service team. So not sure, maybe he implies some stuff they normally have to do for M1s these days.

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I am more than stunned - they scrapped most Barnack spares in the move to Solms. It seems at least somebody kept his head back then. I find the price not unreasonable.

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Hello Sebastian,

The M1 & the M2 are essentially the same camera with the exceptions of the viewfinder, the range finder & a few other details. This is 1 of the reasons that Leitz offered the option of upgrading an M1 so that it could become an M2.

Best Regards,

Michael

 

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Hello Sebastian,

keep us posted about your project. Since Leitz offered the service to upgrade an M1 to an M2 many years ago I asked here on the LUF if anyone owned and used such an upgraded M1. Hardly anyone had such an M1/M2 however.

Lex

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vor 9 Stunden schrieb sandro:

Hello Sebastian,

keep us posted about your project. Since Leitz offered the service to upgrade an M1 to an M2 many years ago I asked here on the LUF if anyone owned and used such an upgraded M1. Hardly anyone had such an M1/M2 however.

Lex

I'll keep you posted but it might take a while =).

I also never saw an upgraded M1 on e-bay. Sure, sometimes there should be one, but there wasn't too many M1's in the first place.

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