Leica MP w/ choice of variable viewfinder magnification ratio - MIR Image Library


Site preview 2nd draft 08.09.2008
Leica MP combined view and rangefinder window with finder magnification engraving
The standard LEICA MP comes with universal viewfinder magnification of 0.72 x and offered two other alternatives with different configurations on viewfinder magnifications. At later stage, only the 0.72X is retained as standard whereas, the two others has been offered via Leica à la carte range, includes a 0.58 x wide-angle version suitable for users wearing glasses and a 0.85 x telephoto version. It is just like the Nikon F3HP 1980 which has pioneered the well-received High-Eyepoint concept, the viewfinder magnification such as the 0.58 x wide-angle version suitable for users wearing glasses. The high powered magnification mode with 0.85 x is more suitable to aid telephoto usage.

<<<--- Shown with a 0.58X magnification Leica MP model, each (0.72X, 0.85X) will have a small magnification ratio at the front, bottom right hand corner of the combioned range-viewfinder window.

Typical Bright lines frame for Leica camera
Bright-line view- and rangefinder The LEICA MPís bright-line view- and rangefinder is not only a very high-quality, large, brilliant and bright viewfinder, it is also a highly accurate rangefinder coupled to the lens. The size of the bright-lines corresponds to an image size of 23 x 35mm (slide format) at the shortest setting distance for each focal length. At longer distances, the camera records more of the subject than can be seen within the brightline frames. The bright-line frames are linked to the distance setting in such a way that parallax - the misalignment between the lens and the viewfinder axes - is automatically compensated and the image within the bright-line frames and the picture are identical over the entire distance setting range from 0.7m to 8. Three LEICA MP modes are available, with different versions of this viewfinder. They differ exclusively in their magnification: If lenses with the focal lengths 28 (Elmarit from serial number 2411001), 35, 50, 75, 90 or 135mm are used with the LEICA MP with 0.72x viewfinder magnification, the associated brightline frame automatically adjusts itself in the combinations 28+90mm, 35+135mm, 50+75mm. On the LEICA MP model with the stronger 0.85x viewfinder magnification, five frames are activated for the focal lengths starting at 35mm (90mm, 35+135mm, 50+75mm). On the LEICA MP 0.58, five frames are activated for the focal lengths up to 90mm (28+90mm, 35mm, 50+75mm). In the middle of the viewfinder image is the rectangular distance metering image, which is brighter than the surrounding image field. All lenses with focal lengths from 21 to 135mm connect with the range finder when used on the LEICA MP. If the exposure meter is turned on, the exposure meter Note: On the LEICA MP 0.85, the central area of the lower 50mm bright-line frame is hidden by the display.

Image frame selector The image frame selector (20) expands the possibilities of the LEICA MP viewfinder. This built in universal viewfinder allows you to activate brightline frames at any time, which do not belong to the lens currently being used. You can then see immediately if, for image composition reasons, it would be better to photograph the relevant subject using a different focal length. If the lever is pushed outwards, i.e. away from the lens, the image frames for the focal lengths 35 and 135mm appear (
NOT the image frame for 135mm focal length on the LEICA MP 0.58). If the lever is moved to its vertical central position, the image frames for the focal lengths 50 and 75mm appear. If the lever is pushed inwards, i.e. towards the lens, the image frames for the focal lengths 28 and 90mm appear on the LEICA MP with 0.72x viewfinder magnification, and only the bright-line frames for 90mm focal length on the model with 0.85x viewfinder magnification. - Extracted from MP Instruction Manual -

Seen a Re-issued Leica MP Prototype w/Prototype Leicavit-M ?

Viewinder Magnification
with corresponding Brightline Frames for various Leica Lenses in gaphical display (Gif files): 0.58X | 0.72X | 0.85X | Combined (50k Gif)
Typical Bright lines frame for Leica camera
Typical Bright lines frame for Leica camera

Graphs for various viewfinder magnification on Leica MO cameras
Distance metering Due to its large effective metering basis, the rangefinder on the three LEICA MP models is very precise. The benefits of this are particularly noticeable when using wide-angle lenses with their relative deep depth of field. The higher magnification in the case of the 0.85 viewfinder has the effect of providing an even large metering basis, further increasing the accuracy as shown at the left table.

The rangefinder metering field is visible as a bright, sharply defined rectangle in the center of the viewfinder. If you keep the large viewfinder window (14) closed, only the activated bright-line frame and this metering field remain visible. The focus can be set using either the superimposed image or split image method: Superimposed image method (double image) In a portrait, for example, aim the metering field at the eye and turn the distance setting ring on the lens until the contours in the metering field are brought into line. Then choose the subject detail. Split image method When taking photographs of architecture, for example, aim the range finder metering field at the vertical edge or another clearly defined vertical line and turn the distance setting ring on the lens until the contours of the edge or line can be seen at the limits of the metering field with no misalignment. Then choose the subject detail. In practice, there is often no clear distinction between the two methods. The two criteria can be used to great effect in combination.

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A photo profile on LEICA MP 0.58x Silver Chrome Model

LEICA MP-Specific models/variants - Visual Profiles on selective Leica bodies:- Leica MP Prototype, 1955 | MP Betriebsk w/Electric Motor, 1956 | Leica MP-88/MP-150 Black paint, 1957 | Leica MP-167; Leica MP-171/MP-313/old/new Leicavit visual, 1957 | Leica M3E1 / MP 271/288 Alfred Eisenstaedt | Leica MP 367 & 368 Dual, 1957 | Leica MP-375, MP-368 & MP-386 | Leica MP 'Edition Hermès', 2003 | Leica MP Betriebsk 0.72x | Evential production model MP 0.72x Black paint, 2002 | Leica MP classic Kit Set 1 / Set 2 | Leica MP chrome 0.58X(2 parts) | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.58x | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.72x Standard | Leica MP 0.85x Finder Mag. model | Leica MP Anthracite* Limited Edition Set | Leica MP LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Grey Hammertone Finish (3 parts) | Brief Introduction on Leica à la carte:- Leica MP Red Leather 0.85 / Nappa racing Green Leather 0.58X | Others:- Visual case study on counterfeit LEICA MP ; Leica MP Prototype w/Prototype Leicavit-M; Leica MP-3 LHSA; Leica MP TITAN, 2007

| Leica MP Nomenclature | Leica MP Instruction manual (1MB PDF) | Technical Specification (96k PDF) |

Recommended resources / Reviews on Leica MP Models (External Links): Popular Photography (4 parts) | Shutterbug (2 parts) | Stephan gandy/Cameraquest on MP | Photonet;
How to load M6/MP w/Rapidwinder-M(Video); Comparing M3 with MP (Leica FAQ); Price indications: Westlicht Auction House; Ebay Search on Leica MP

Visual Library on Leica M3 Prototype, 1952; Leica M3 Test model, 1953/4 | A photo showcase on early series of Leica M3 DS bodies:- Leica M3-700131 / M3-700170 / M3-700000/M3-70031x/M3-70051x | M3 double stroke chrome 1954~1957 bodies:- Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4; Leica M3 Single Stroke 1957~60/1961~66 | Leica M3 Black Paint:-1955/1958/1962~1964/66 / Case study on Prices | Leica M3 ELC, 1955/56

Other Leica M3 Variants:- Leica M3 chrome Leica-Technik 57 1954; Leica M3 GOLD Edition, 1956 | Leica M3 DS United Nation Edition, 1957 | Leica M3 Olive Bundeseigentum outfit 1957/ Olive Green Bundeseigentum outfit, 1959 (2 Parts) w/info on high quality M3 Olive Conversion | Leica M3 Betriebskamera/ Betriebsk 1960 | Leica M3 Royal Dutch Marine Periscope Model, 1966 | Leica M3 Dummies / Riesen-Mode (Giant scale Model); Leica M3 Cutaway Display Unit , 1954

Recommended External Link: Leica FAQ | Leica M3 Instruction Manual 1) Location 1 (1.35mb PDF) by Joe Chan; Location 2 (1.2mb PDF) by M.Butkus < Mike@bukus.org>;

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Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Mr. Daniel from www.9days.HK®, Hong Kong. The Company also operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles from Leica, Contax and Nikon etc. Image(s) Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.