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Hello there. I have been entertaining the idea of buying a half case for my Leica MP. I have mixed views about the half cases for these fine cameras. On one hand I want to protect this valuable piece of delicate machinery from harm as much as I can but on the other hand I don't want an extra layer of thickness while holding the camera which has already perfect dimensions. While I think of the Leicas and the cameras in general which have survived to this day I see a lot of them have some sort of leather case that protected them for all those years. But when I see the cameras of pros that have been brassed beautifully I admire them even more because of those marks. What are your thoughts on this subject? Does a Leica need a protection from harm? Should a black paint Leica brass over time? Will a Leica brass no matter what the intentions of its user? Does a half case make the camera thicker in a way that it affects its usability? Or do half cases make the camera easier to hold? If used with a half case, does black paint Leicas gather an uneven patina? 

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I always used a traditional full 'Ever-Ready Case' with my M2 and M3 when I had them, for their own protection while I was doing a lot of travelling, including a lot of off-road.

I started using a half case with my M9 and used it with a neck strap for a number of years, but now all my cameras live naked in bags across my shoulder, with a wrist or hand strap - they get the protection from the bag and don't need a case.

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The first answer should be enough. You don't want an extra thick ...
Yes, the dimensions are perfect. With Case you lose contact with the body and the feeling.
The years of protection have also damaged many cameras. At least the one made of leather. Corrosion, fungus, ...
Yes, the patina and signs of use will share. Above and below.

p.s: In addition, all the new half cases are ugly. 😝

Edited by Reini

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Never bothered with a case on any M, film or digital. These bodies are not delicate; more like tanks as long as not dropped. To me a case is like sticking a ‘car bra’ on the front of an otherwise beautiful sports car. Maybe the next owner benefits, but it’s not appealing in the meantime. I find it ironic that so many complain about a few mm camera thickness, then stick the camera in a case.
 

But to each his/her own; there’s no right or wrong, and every opinion imaginable applies.

Jeff 

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I have the opposite opinion.  I find the the extra thickness of a leather half case makes the cameras more comfortable to use.  The quality of the leather used for the genuine Leica cases is superb.  The case will keep your camera in mint condition, as the oils in your hands won’t degrade the vulcanite/ leather covering and you won’t get any bumps/scratches on your camera.  The genuine Leica cases can be found for reasonable money on ebay.  

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Well a lot of content on internet says that those Arte di Mano cases fit the cameras snuggly and they feel great in the hand. I love the minty look of my MP but a part me tells that I should let this beauty brass. I can decide which road to take :)

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The Arte di Mano cases look amazing, but are very expensive.  I would recommend a Leica 14870 case.  If you are patient these come up in mint condition for around £100 and used condition for half that. They were an expensive case when bought new and the quality of the leather reflects this.  I paid $400 AUD for mine nearly 20 years ago, equivalent to about $300US I suppose.  I also have a beautiful 50 year old M4 case and the leather still looks like new.

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A half case mostly covers the camera covering and bottom plate.  The majority of the top plate is still exposed.  My cameras don’t get babied, but they still look great over time.  Not much happens to it from my hand or shoulder to my eye. More importantly, I like the feel of the bare camera in hand; if not, maybe I’d have a different view. 
 

Jeff

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I have and love the mr. zhou half case. They feel great, smell wonderful, look nice and even have a little grip thingy. I have one for the M6 with an opening for the film speed dial and one for the M4-P with a plain back. They’re fairly inexpensive and very well made. 

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9 hours ago, BradS said:

I have and love the mr. zhou half case. They feel great, smell wonderful, look nice and even have a little grip thingy. I have one for the M6 with an opening for the film speed dial and one for the M4-P with a plain back. They’re fairly inexpensive and very well made. 

While I prefer the feel of Leica's without a case, a half case does provide much protection, so I use them on several bodies. I agree the Mr. Zhou cases are excellent for the money. I have them for M3, 5, 6, 9, & CL, and also for Zeiss Ikon ZM. For M10 I tried an Artist and Artisan, which is also good, but changed to a case with bottom flap to access battery and card.

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I prefer original case for M4-2 and half-case on M-E 220. If two cameras are on me and without them it is metal to metal and it doesn't feel nice.

Leicas are not tanks, they are rangefinders. 

https://www.angelfire.com/biz/Leica/page10.html

 

Edited by Ko.Fe.

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I like half cases. They protect the bottom plate and add to the gripability.  I use Arte de Mano cases on my Leica Ms. The fit is amazing and they are not bulky. With the naked camera, I always feel like I might drop the camera and I don't like the sensation of sweating on my gear ( my hands do sweat some ). I have had the Mr. Zhou cases and they are a great value and the fit is good enough, but not the same as Arte de Mano.

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Many, many years ago I used a full case with an OM-2.  It came with the camera and 50mm 1.4.  The full case was comprised of a bottom half case with three snaps on the back, like an upside down triangle.  The upper case had two snaps for the two top snaps on the back and a snap on a flap that came up under the camera for the third snap on the back.  I kept the bottom case on all the time and used the upper case when storing the camera or when walking about if their was a chance for rain or snow.  

The upper was easy to remove completely or to let hang from the bottom flap.  I have no experience with Leica cases except for the Neveready case that came with my M-3.  You can unsnap the top so it drops below the camera but there is no way to remove it without removing he whole case.  I thought about having a snap installed on the flap that comes under the camera and having a third snap put on the back of the half case.  But I usually carry a bag when I'm out so weather is not a worry.

As far as half cases go, I have one for the M3 but never use it.  If it had a grip built into it, which is a Louigi option, I might use it.  Otherwise, I'm good without a half case although I understand why someone wants one.  

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I recently purchased the Artisan&Artist half case for my M6 Classic from B&H Photo.  It was $165, and I am super-happy with how it fits, looks, and feels.

 

Here is a link:

 

M6 Half case.

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I was lured by Luigi's Leicatime half case for my M6. It was clearly a beautifully hand crafted leather case with both protection and user comfort in mind all rolled up into an expensive fashion piece. Over the years since, I've used Mr. Zhou cases for my other cameras, when travelling. They're a good value for the money, but not as perfect a fit as Luigi's. I don't use cases when using my cameras or storing them, only when travelling with them.

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Quote

On one hand I want to protect this valuable piece of delicate machinery from harm as much as I can but on the other hand I don't want an extra layer of thickness while holding the camera which has already perfect dimensions.

@Keops -  The Arte Di Mano half cases are truly beautiful, but provide only partial protection for the camera.  They do help with protection for the camera - as long as the camera is dropped or banged into something on the approximately 50% of the camera body that the half case covers.  The half case gives the lens no protection. 

If your camera slips out of your hand and goes inverted as it falls to the ground, the half case cannot protect the top plate and lens from damage.  Additionally, no half case protects its camera from rain or wind driven dust and grit.  Half cases - the Arte Di Mano and Luigi half cases in particular -  are very nice and do offer some protection, but they can also give the camera user a false sense of security.

I have added the Leica grips to my M cameras and to my Q2 to enhance ergonomics and grip-ability.  Leica does (did) make a an accessory grip for the MP, #14405 - which is out of production but can still be found on the secondary market. 

I would not want to add a half case on top of my accessory grip; this would make a beautifully proportioned M camera start to look corpulent.  It's true that could remove the grip and get the ADM half case that has the grip bump on the front; these half cases sell for $500-580, depending on which model you get.  I cannot escape the thought that for that kind of money, I could get a small high end camera bag (Oberwerth, Fogg or Billingham) that would provide 100% protection for the camera and the lens - and if I went the Billingham route, I'd have a chunk of cash left over. 

The Billingham Hadley Digital sells for $220 and seems to be the optimal small bag for serious protection of an M camera with a lens mounted.  Some people will complain about not wanting to carry a camera bag everywhere - but do they really want to go to the grocery store, mall, drug store, chiropractor or auto repair garage  wearing a costly M camera and lens for one and all to see?   JMHO but that comes across as somewhat exhibitionistic. 

Just my thoughts - everyone else's mileage may vary.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Herr Barnack

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There's a reason the pros call them, "Never-ready" cases. Using just the bottom half is a good compromise, but will still slow you down when changing film.

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I have got a box full of front flaps for various never-ready cases.  I only use the bottom half for the reasons noted above.  I find the OEM case a great bargain for Leica and the pro Nikon models (F2, F3) and they always fit perfectly.  These were high end cameras and the manufacturers put a lot of effort into making premium quality cases.  

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I see that there are great suggestions and opinions written in this topic. Thank you for sharing you thoughts.

On 12/15/2020 at 7:12 PM, Herr Barnack said:

@Keops -  The Arte Di Mano half cases are truly beautiful, but provide only partial protection for the camera.  They do help with protection for the camera - as long as the camera is dropped or banged into something on the approximately 50% of the camera body that the half case covers.  The half case gives the lens no protection. 

If your camera slips out of your hand and goes inverted as it falls to the ground, the half case cannot protect the top plate and lens from damage.  Additionally, no half case protects its camera from rain or wind driven dust and grit.  Half cases - the Arte Di Mano and Luigi half cases in particular -  are very nice and do offer some protection, but they can also give the camera user a false sense of security.

I have added the Leica grips to my M cameras and to my Q2 to enhance ergonomics and grip-ability.  Leica does (did) make a an accessory grip for the MP, #14405 - which is out of production but can still be found on the secondary market. 

I would not want to add a half case on top of my accessory grip; this would make a beautifully proportioned M camera start to look corpulent.  It's true that could remove the grip and get the ADM half case that has the grip bump on the front; these half cases sell for $500-580, depending on which model you get.  I cannot escape the thought that for that kind of money, I could get a small high end camera bag (Oberwerth, Fogg or Billingham) that would provide 100% protection for the camera and the lens - and if I went the Billingham route, I'd have a chunk of cash left over. 

The Billingham Hadley Digital sells for $220 and seems to be the optimal small bag for serious protection of an M camera with a lens mounted.  Some people will complain about not wanting to carry a camera bag everywhere - but do they really want to go to the grocery store, mall, drug store, chiropractor or auto repair garage  wearing a costly M camera and lens for one and all to see?   JMHO but that comes across as somewhat exhibitionistic. 

Just my thoughts - everyone else's mileage may vary.

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered a nice leather strap with bumpers to protect my black paint MP's sides. But I couldn't wait for it to be delivered and attached Leica's own strap with hard plastic bumpers. After only 1 hour of walking I noticed that Leica's own strap had unfortunately scratched/scuffed my MP's lef side just above the strap lug. I was waiting for such a thing to happen through my use but I wasn't expecting to happen that early when my camera was just 3 days old. I think I will let it brass gracefully. Actually the reason I bought a black paint in the first place was that it would free me of anxiety that these kinds of situations brings :) I may use a half case when I travel. In my daily use I think I will just store my camera in my camera bag.

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