This is a story about why I purchased Leica MP as my film camera choice.
I have another blog at NAVER platform. With this NAVER blog, I talk about various Leica gear, digital and film photography. Since this blog can be easily found via search (NAVER Search), lots of people who are interested in either Leica or film visit my blog. They often ask me what is my favorite choice for a film camera. My answer is “It’s a Leica MP!”
What’s so special about a Leica MP?
First of all, I like its build quality and design. In fact, they are the main reasons I was attracted to the Leica camera brand in the first place. It’s amazing to see the resemblance of the Leica 50 years ago and today. When you hold a Leica MP, you would instantly feel that you can trust it will offer you the best photography experience.
A Leica MP is a mechanical camera. It has an electronics part but it’s only for exposure metering purposes. If you apply a sunny 16 rule or use an external exposure metering device, you don’t need a battery. However, since the battery lasts more than a year, you don’t have to worry about it for the most part.
Can I buy a new film camera?
Yes, Leica is pretty much the only brand you can buy a new film camera. If you go with other brands, you’d have to find used one. As you can imagine used film cameras are often more than 10 years old. It’s challenging to find good used film cameras.
My first Leica film camera was a used Leica M7. I loved it. But then I realized that I could buy a new one. So I ordered a Leica MP. It took me four months to receive it. I was told from the Leica Store that they typically start building a camera upon customer order. So it’s really brand new! Yeah!
Leica MP vs Leica M6
If you’re looking for a mechanical film camera, Leica MP and Leica M6 are the best options. The difference between the two is user experience. Other than that, they are both identical excellent film cameras.
Recently, I sold my first Leica film camera, Leica M7 and bought a mint condition Leica M6. I was so lucky! Precious owner of the Leica M6 opened the box, but he didn’t even try to use it. So it’s as good as new. I’ve shot 10 rolls of film with Leica M6 since the purchase. Both of my Leica M6 and MP produce excellent film photos.
The fun of using RF(Range Finder) film camera
Why use old RF focusing technology as opposed to convenient modern SLR technology? I was attracted to the Leica but I a bit hesitant to purchase RF film because I was told from a lot of other film photographers that RF could be tough to use in terms of focusing. Plus, due to RF system’s limitations, the shortest focus range is 70cm while that of SLR system would be typically 20cm or so.
But now I find it difficult to focus on complex objects with the SLR system while I could nail any objects with the RF system. This is why I love to use Leica MP (and Leica M6).
If you’re looking for a film camera, check out the local store and try the digital Leica M system in the store. This will give you insights about the RF film camera user experience. Note that if you are not familiar with the RF system. It definitely takes time to be comfortable with it. But it will come to you very shortly.
Check out film example photos at this link shot from Leica MP
If you can read Korean (or use Google translator), this article might be interesting as well. It’s about Leica MP vs Leica M7.