The pinnacle of mechanical technology: LEICA M-A The precision tool for lovers of decelerated photography
With the Leica M-System, Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, is one of the few manufacturers still producing both analogue and digital cameras. In this, the company can draw from decades of experience in the construction of the finest precision-engineered cameras. Now – 60 years after the first Leica M rangefinder camera, the M3, left the factory to significantly change the world of photography – we have chosen the occasion of this anniversary to present a new analogue model: the Leica M-A.
As a purely mechanical rangefinder camera, the Leica M-A stands for a return to photography in its most original form. Without reliance on a monitor, exposure metering or batteries, photographers can explore entirely new creative horizons. Because, with a camera reduced to only essential camera functions, users of the M-A can now concentrate entirely on the essential parameters of subject composition – namely focal length, aperture and shutter speed – and on capturing the decisive moment.
From its shutter-speed dial and the aperture ring on the lens to the characteristic rangefinder focusing principle – the technical specifications of the Leica M-A are essentially based on the currently available analogue Leica MP. All of its precision-engineered components and functions are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life, and are housed in a painstakingly hand-built metal body. This ensures that the Leica M-A, as a product with particularly enduring value, brushes aside every challenge with absolute dependability.
The visible elements of the Leica M-A are as timeless as the precision-engineered principles employed inside it. For example, the Leica red dot was omitted to emphasise the classical simplicity of its design. Seen from the side, the Leica M-A is significantly slimmer than its digital counterparts.
The camera can be supplied in a choice of two different finishes: the classic appearance of the silver chrome version carries forward the traditions of 60 years of Leica M design. In the black chrome alternative, the M-A is reminiscent of the style of the M Monochrom and sets new standards in unobtrusiveness and discretion. While the silver chrome version of the M-A displays its origins in the engraving on its top plate, only much closer scrutiny of its completely matt black counterpart reveals the discreetly engraved Leica script on its accessory shoe.
Each Leica M-A is supplied complete with Kodak Tri-X 400 black-and-white film, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Since its appearance on the market in 1954, its unmistakeable look, exceptional sharpness and tonal gradation, extremely broad exposure latitude and very good shadow detail made this black-and-white film a firm favourite and the classic medium for art and reportage photography.
The Leica M-A will be available from authorised Leica dealers starting October 2014.
Technical data LEICA M-A
Leica M-A (type 127) compact, 35 mm rangefinder system camera with a mechanically controlled shutter
Leica M-Lenses,16–135 mm
Manual setting of shutter speed and aperture with values from an external exposure meter or by estimation
Flash exposure control
Hot shoe – accessory shoe with centre contact
On first shutter curtain
Flash exposure control:
Computer control by the flash unit or guide number calculation and manual setting of the required aperture value
Large, bright, combined bright-line viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation
Adjusted to –0.5 dioptres; correction lenses available for –3 to +3 dioptres
Image field framing:
By projection of pairs of bright-line frames for 28 and 90 mm, 35 and 135 mm, 50 and 75 mm lenses; automatic display of corresponding frames when lenses are locked into the bayonet mount
Lever enabling alternative frame pairs to be displayed in the viewfinder without changing lenses (e.g. for framing comparisons)
The horizontal and vertical differences between the viewfinder and lens axes are automatically compensated for in relation to the focusing distance
viewfinder and film image:
The bright-line frame size corresponds to an image size of approx. 23 × 35 mm at the minimum focusing distance for all focal lengths; focused at infinity, and depending on the focal length, approx. 9% (28 mm) to 23% (135 mm) more will be captured on the film than is shown in the corresponding bright-line frame
0.72× (for all lenses)
Coincident and superimposed image rangefinder, shown as a bright field at the centre of the viewfinder image
Effective rangefinder base:
49.9 mm (mechanical rangefinder base 69.25 mm × viewfinder magnification 0.72×)
Shutter and shutter release
Horizontal rubberised-cloth focal plane shutter; extremely low noise; mechanically controlled
From 1 s to 1/1000 s in one-stop increments, B for exposure times of arbitrary length
Standard internal thread for remote-release cables
Film loading, advance and rewinding
Manual loading after removal of the base and opening the rear flap
Manually, with rapid wind lever or Leicavit M; motorised, with Leica Motor-M, Leica Winder-M, Leica Winder M4-P or Leica Winder M4-2 (from article number 10 350)
Manual, pull-out rewind knob after disconnecting the advance mechanism with the R-lever on the front of the camera
On camera top plate; automatically reset when camera baseplate removed
One-piece full-metal body with rear flap; top deck and baseplate in brass with black or silver chrome finish
Thread A 1/4, DIN 4503 (1/4″)
Reminder dial for film sensitivity
Approx. 138 × 38 × 77 (length × depth × height, in mm)
Approx. 578 g
Body cap and carrying strap
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in England, France, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Italy, Australia and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.