In 1954, the Leica M3 was met with critical acclaim across the industry. Of the numerous 35mm cameras around at that time, this was at the top of the list for professional photographers. Its biggest draw would have to be its powerful rangefinder with automatic frame line switching. Sadly, albeit it?s amazing features, the M3 was not perfect. It was too pricey and the projected Frame line of the camera was not compatible for wide angle requirements of photographers. Thus, in 1957, the Leica M2 was released which offered a more favorable price point albeit some lost features, and the necessary wide angle lens support. Leica M2 The Leica M2 had very minor revisions throughout its lifetime, even until its successor, the M4 appeared on market in the late 1960s. The Leica M2 was quite a robust camera, though it?s rangefinder features have been greatly diminished compared to M3 (costing issues). Other features to take note would be the 0.72x magnification from the 0.91x of the previous model. The more appealing thing about the camera would have to be the projected frame lines that were adjusted to 35-50-90 which was more ideal for most photographers. The M2 is a single stroke cameras and uses as a frame selection lever and a simplified frame counter which is manually reset. Some notable features:
- The rangefinder for the M2 has 3 frame lines ranging from 35mm, 50mm and 90mm. the focal length appears individually compares to the M3 where the 50mm frame line is always visible with the 90 and 135mm frame lines appearing when necessary. A notable difference with the M3 is that the features are far simpler compared to the complexity of an M3. This means there is obvious degradation in the magnification options as well as darker image output. Also, the M2 appears to be more susceptible to flares.
- Users of the M2 find the knob rewind to be a bit challenging to use. It really varies from user to user since the knob is not that difficult to utilize. You can purchase knob adapters so that you can rewind crank smoothly and easily. Of course, the cranks can be quite steep in price but nowadays, there are available knobs now at a more affordable price point.