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Thursday, January 1

Leica M5 Brochure



Having said earlier this month that my Leica of choice, were I splashing out on one, would be the M4, it's much more likely that the camera I'd actually buy, given that money is a very big object, would be the slightly cheaper M5.

Yes, Leica's so-called ugly duckling would probably get my vote from a price, practicality and performance point-of-view. Let me be clear that the M4 is my favourite but I reckon the slightly larger M5 might well make the better "user".

For me, the attractions, aside from the cash saving, are the built-in meter, a shutter speed dial that overhangs the top plate and makes switching speeds a one finger affair and the side-mounted strap lugs that let the camera hang vertically making it possible to hide it more effectively under a jacket whilst wearing it over a shoulder.

The brochure featured here is one of Leica's more effusive efforts. There's a lot of info in it including a section designed to help you choose you perfect M5 outfit. As ever with Leica brochures, the pictures are up to the company's usual inspirational standard known as "bloody awful". Maybe they didn't want them to detract from the lingering close-ups of the actual camera…

Apologies if you find the page loads slowly. I thought, as with all the brochure scans I've been posting, that it made most sense to provide big files in case you wanted to print the pages out and make them up into your own booklets.
























15 comments :

David M said...

Make sure you're sitting down.
Scroll down until you come to "Versatility at minimum cost."
'nuff sed.

Bruce Robbins said...

Nothing to a man of your calibre, David. :)

zeitguy said...

After acquiring a mint condition M3 a few years ago I put it through it's paces with several Leitz lenses and both Ilford and Kodak films.

The novelty and cachet fueled me through 15 or so rolls of film.

That wore off and the weight and clumsiness of the camera put me off.

Yes the film advance and shutter release are quiet and silky smooth. So are my other well-maintained RFs.

The general handling is another matter.

IMHO Leica is curiously overrated, just as Minolta is unjustly underrated. My opinion is based on my first-hand experience. If you are interested in a 4-lens entry kit with a beauty of an M3 (including unbroken service seal) let me know.

Paul Blanchard said...

I think the fairest thing one can say about the photographs in the Leica M5 promotional brochure is that they go straight for the target of the newly globe-trotting wealthy Amateur in it's country of origin, and the US market.
I would suggest that none of the pictures come up to the standard seen on this site neither do they reflect the dedicated Leica silver workers output,then or now.The M5 arrived at a difficult time for Leica when many felt it was losing the way.It did little to provide reassurance.

Antonio Aparicio said...

The M5 actually sold very well. Its a very nice camera. Ideally you need an M5 and and M4 Bruce :-)

Gert-Jan said...

I got myself an M5 because it was designed foremost as a tool for photographers.
Having the meter really makes life easier (compared to my meter-less folding camera), and I like the needles in the viewfinder. The shutter-time that you can change with one finger is also visible in the viewfinder, so you can change it without moving your eye away from the viewfinder; really a well designed tool.
On top of that an M5 is less expensive than the other (metered) Leicas.

morris1800 said...

Thanks for posting this Bruce as an M5 owner this was the one I was eagerly awaiting. I think the M5 is a great user camera but if you are uncomfortable with using rangefinder cameras it may not be for you. To be honest I think the rangefinder on my IIIf easier to use being magnified and being a separate finder not intruding on field of view. Ken Rockwell does an excellent review of the M5 on his website, where he too highly rates it. An excellent book (2nd hand) which may help you decide whether to pursue the M5/ M4 is 'The Leica Way' Andrew Matheson 10th edition published 1972 which introduces the Leica M5 and covers its relationship with all the Leica accessories.

Herman Sheephouse said...

The weight and clumsiness of a Leica?
Sorry but I find my M2 to be quite the opposite - light but solid, wonderful craftsmanship and intuitive to use.
It's what your right thumb and forefinger were designed for . . .

Bruce Robbins said...

I've said it before, Phil, (probably a few times too many) that I'd love to get on with a Leica rangefinder. It's definitely my loss that I find rangefinders harder to use than SLRs because they're wonderful tools. There's still a feeling here that I should give them one last go.

morris1800 said...

Rare Leica gear and special editions may be a decent long term investment but even off the shelf Leica cameras are unlikely to decrease a great deal in value should your relationship with the rangefinder be a brief one. Go for it Bruce ...make it a special Christmas :)

Michael said...

The M5 is one of the more underestimated cameras from Leica (or probably the...). It's a nice camera, nice design, but it has one flaw: It still needs the PX625 mercury cells. They last forever, but once you need to replace them today, you either need an adapter or have to send in the camera to adapt it to newer cells.

Bruce Robbins said...

You can also use Wein cells. They cost around a fiver and last a year or so. An adapter is about six times that so it depends on how much you're going to use your M5 or how long you're going to have it.

Bruce Robbins said...

Forgot to say, too, that the fact the M5 uses an unobtainable battery isn't a flaw. It's just the result of some morons deciding there shouldn't be any mercury in batteries - but there should be some in low energy light bulbs instead.

Dimitris said...

Can anyone tell me if the R5 has an aperture priority feature?

Bruce Robbins said...

Yes, the R3, R4, R5 and R7 have aperture priority auto. The M5 and the R6 are manual only. The later R bodies each have about 627 exposure modes.