From the photokina Floor: The New Leica M Manual Camera with Kodak Tri-X


What better way to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the legendary Leica M-3 of 1954 than by bringing out the latest in this long line of iconic rangefinder cameras? The M-A, an unabashed, elemental, all-mechanical iteration of the classic M, that forgoes the famous red dot logo for an unobtrusive “LEICA M-A” engraved on the top plate of the chrome version or discreetly placed in the accessory shoe of the black model. Available in traditional chrome or matte-black finish, the M-A is supplied complete with a roll of Kodak’s Tri-X black-and-white film, another photographic legend that also debuted in 1954.

When you hold the Leica M-A camera in your hands, focus the 50mm f/2 Summicron ASPH lens, and wind the film to the next frame, it’s hard for anyone who got into photography during the film era not to feel nostalgic—and that’s the idea. Or, as Leica eloquently states, it’s a “precision tool for lovers of decelerated photography.” Yes, it is gorgeously finished, and its controls operate with a silky smoothness that was known as the “Leica feel,” back in the day.

For the record, the M-A has a mechanical rubberized cloth horizontal focal-plane shutter and no meter, so batteries are not required, but it does provide automatic flash exposure control via the flash unit itself. Its classic multi-frame range/viewfinder has auto-parallax-compensating frame lines covering focal lengths from 28-135mm (though the camera accepts lenses as wide as 16mm with an accessory viewfinder) and a magnification of 0.72X. The shutter provides speeds from 1-1/1000 second plus Bulb and, of course, on top you’ll find a classically proportioned single-stroke film-advance lever, an old-fashioned rewind knob, and a traditional film counter. If you’re a purist dedicated to capturing images film, you can hardly do any better.