Jump to content

"Betriebsk" Engraving - Should I worry?


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)


I'm in the market for a used black M10 -- upgrading from my old M8  (very exciting!). 

I just started the search and they seem hard to come by - at least in camera stores I'm familiar with / trust. 

I did just come across one from a trusted store which is a floor model (never owned). But, it has an interesting feature - an engraving of "Betriebsk" on the top. I attached a picture for reference.

Apparently, it refers to "for use in factory" in German. It was printed on models meant only for internal Leica use which makes sense given this is a showroom model. The store has assured me that it's an identical camera to the 'standard' models without this engraving. 

Is anyone familiar with this engraving? Is there anything I should be concerned about / know before I get it? I think it's an interesting quirk that makes the camera more unique, but want to make sure I'm not missing something (e.g., lower resale value,  anything else). 

Thanks for any thoughts!

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is engraved Betriebsk because it is not intended for sale. Make sure that this it in fact is a reputable seller and that the paperwork is in order and the receipt is fully disclosing this fact. I don't know what Leica says if they receive a current Betriebsk camera for service - perhaps you should ask?

Edited by nitroplait
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Robert Blanko said:

Just make sure it‘s not a dummy.

Still remember when I wanted to buy a Swarovski spotting scope some years ago and the seller told me that the one in his showcase was only a dummy and that he had to order a „real“ one. 😉

Hello Robert,

That is good advice. In the past Leitz display "dummy" cameras had regular looking model letter/numbers that had serial numbers which ended with the letter "A". The "A" is for "Atrappe" which is the word for "dummy" in German.

Best Regards,


Edited by Michael Geschlecht
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

2 hours ago, kangaroo2012 said:

I have a dummy M3 . The weight alone is enough to warn you

It has only one element in the lens and nothing works.

I have seen Betriebsk cameras here in Sydney for sale.

Good luck


Hello Philip,

Welcome to the Forum.

Is there an "A" at the end of the serial number?

Best Regards,


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michael,

No Michael. It is #748229 and has normal markings



Ernst Leitz GMBH

Wetzlar Germany

It has the old long strap lugs but as there is nothing inside and no moving parts

it is hard to tell if it was a 2 stroke.

My second Dummy is an M2 #13075A with a 50mm f=2 Summicron with a very sluggish focus

and only a front element, which is black

The markings are the same on both cameras.

The M2 came from a camera store that I worked at and the M3 from our camera market.

Both were very cheap.

Obviously no collectors except me.




Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, jaapv said:

How can a camera for internal use of a current model come to the market? I would certainly give Leica a quick call to ask whether the sale is legit. They don't mark the camera as their property for fun.

I thought the base M10 was out of production in favor of the M10P?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall a Betriebsk M7 being on offer at my then dealer in the early 2000s. It was at a discount to the normal production stock IIRC. 
I wouldn’t automatically suspect anything untoward, but others are clearly more suspicious. 
Good luck, whatever you decide. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, rramesh said:

Keep it. All you need to do is to get a spare top plate and swap it. Keep the original in mint condition for sale down the road, at a premium.

Leica won't sell a top plate spare alone without sending in a top plate to be destroyed. Just something to keep in mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All -

Thanks to everyone for the helpful input! I did end up getting the camera with the “Betriebsk” engraving on the top plate and it’s been great. I really like the distinct mark - makes it feel a little bit more unique.

I got it from an official Leica store where they assured me everything is identical to the standard models - and everything looks completely normal to me so far.

The only difference was that it didn’t come with the outer silver box (just the inner boxes). The store told me that these “factory” models are often missing small components like this. I realize not having the box might hurt resale value down the road, but hopefully any premium from the unique mark makes up for it. And even if it doesn’t, it’s worth the interesting detail that I’ll be enjoying for a long time! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...