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Leica M5

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If you were engaged in photography in early 70s you would have seen Leica M5 decorating pages of photography magazines during that time. It came out from the production lines of Leica camera AG of Germany in 1971 for the first time and was a camera that had the most up to date features at that time. It had Through the Lens metering and facility to interchange lenses though it was a range finder camera. It used 35 mm films and the pictures were taken on the 24x36mm format. M5 was the last camera to carry a mechanical self timer and it had a cloth focal plane shutter. This was the quietest one out of all camera shutters at the time of its manufacture. The camera was a bit heavier than the earlier models of Leica cameras and was a bit larger also. Film loading was one of the problems encountered with most of the earlier models of cameras but this one had an improved loading mechanism for films. Leica M5 had a horizontally moving shutter that moved a bit slower and therefore its flash synchronizing speed was only 1/50second. Through the lens metering system provided for M5 was a very useful feature. The light measured by the exposure meter was shown with a needle appearing at the bottom of the view finder. With its interchangeable lens this camera became one of the most versatile precision cameras of its time. The shutter speed dial was located conveniently and in the center there was the shutter release button. This is one of the most advanced Leica cameras at the time as it showed the shutter speed in the view finder. When you look at Leica history, you will find that it is the first camera to have used the 24 x36 frame size for pictures. Though the cameras used in the film industry had films of the size 18 x 24 moving vertically Leica maintained the same aspect ratio with a horizontally moving film. The prototype of the first camera by Leica was produced in 1913 and the company has improved its cameras a lot by the time they came out with the M5. Due to the invasion of the market by the SLR cameras, market for the M5 was not encouraging. Therefore, the production of this beautiful camera was halted in 1975. That marked the end of the journey for Leica M5.