By all traditional logic, the Leica M-A (Typ 127) shouldn’t be found. It’s a purely mechanical camera, a throwback to the times when portrait digital photography was as much technology fiction as intergalactic travel is today-and, of course, its “memory cards” is usually a roll of 35mm film. Shockingly, it isn’t the just 35mm camera that Leica produces-the firm still makes the M7 and MP both of which feature in-camera light meters. If a preference can be an old-college, purely mechanical camera, the M-A is best up to your alley. It is the closest to buying a whole new Leica M2, M3, or M4 as possible get today.
Leica M-A: Price
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Leica M-A: Design and Features
The physical style of the M-A is nearly similar to M bodies dating back again to the 1950s. If you look carefully you can spot differences between it and the initial M body, the M3, but you will have to have greater than a passing understanding of classic M cameras. The essential decoration of 35mm M cameras hasn’t changed considerably in past times 60 years; the M-A procedures 3 by 5.4 by 1.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.3 pounds without a lens or film.
The camera is definitely weighty, especially when you take into account its size. But its construction is beyond solid. The very best and bottom level plates are solid brass, completed in silver or black chrome, depending on your preference. Our review device came in dark chrome and ‘s almost without markings or logos, giving it a similar appear and feel to the digital M Monochrom. The silver chrome edition of the camera features the traditional Leica script logo design engraved at the top plate but lacks any sort of markings on leading. When in conjunction with the fixed-film progress lever and button rewind program, its appearance mimics that of Leica’s first M-mount camera, the M3. Newer Leica film bodies, like the M6 and the existing M7 model, make use of a film advance lever that’s hinged in the guts, and an angled film rewind crank.
Black chrome doesn’t wear away over the years just as that black paint will, which Leica uses for a few models just like the digital M (Typ 240) and 35mm MP. Whether you find this a very important thing is a personal choice. Having owned both black paint and dark chrome Leica digital cameras, my choice is for paint. Since it wears aside it exposes the brass underneath, providing the camera pleasant patina. Chrome is a lot sturdier and won’t wear very much the same, although it can grab light scrapes and scuffs as time passes.
Controls are minimal; the very best plate homes a shutter speed dial, the shutter release, and a film progress lever. Aperture is managed via the lens. Leading houses a button to release the lens, a lever that engages the film rewind system, and another lever that allows you to manually choose the frame lines that are shown in the optical finder. The M-A will automatically show different pairs based on which lens can be attached-28mm and 90mm, 50mm and 75mm, and 35mm and 135mm lines are paired together-but you can preview the field of view of a different zoom lens using the lever, a useful device for visualizing a picture without making a zoom lens change.
Leica M-A: Conclusions
It’s safe to state that only Leica will be bold enough to release a purely mechanical, meterless 35mm body nowadays, let alone give it a cost tag as high as the M-A (Typ 127). It’s a distinct segment item, but one that’s therefore well engineered that it’s hard never to marvel at it. Rangefinder devotees could be viewed as dinosaurs or oddballs by those that lust following the latest full-frame Canon DSLR, but Leica still suits its core audience. Individually, if I would spend anywhere near this much on a new 35mm camera, I’d go with an MP, but photographers who cut their teeth on older Leicas will probably choose the M-A’s clean viewfinder, which is free from any kind of projected shutter velocity or exposure information. In the event that you opt to buy a fresh M-A, rest assured that it is a camera that will, with occasional maintenance, last you an eternity. That isn’t something you can state about any camera sold today.