Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica’s M10 Monochrom Wetzlar edition

Leica’s M10 Monochrom Wetzlar edition

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To complement the launch of the new M10-based Monochrom, Leica is producing a limited number of bodies bearing a “Leitz Wetzlar Germany” engraving on the top plate. That makes them ever so slightly less stealthy than the standard model but I don’t suppose anyone will be complaining. Only 650 of these cameras will be available for the world market and, rather surprisingly, the price is the same as the standard M10 Monochrom — £7,250 including tax in the UK.

Shades of grey, with monochrome infills replacing the glaring red you find on common-or-garden rangefinders such as the M10. There’s no red dot on the front of the camera and even the raised dot on the lens has gone all grey, Pure stealth, unless you flash your top plate and frighten the horses…

The factory is also producing a small number of matching 35mm Summilux-M lenses with grey infill instead of the standard red. Even the red positioning dot becomes a grey dot. The camera and lenses will be sold separately rather than as a kit. As far as I am aware, the stealthy lens will also be the same prices as the regular 35mm Summilux.

I’ve read a lot of comments about the price of the M10 Monochrom since it was announced. Admittedly, it does sound a lot. But it’s a criticism you could aim at all the company’s rangefinders. Unlike most cameras on the market, they are made in Europe and, again unlike electronic viewfinders, the rangefinder is a precise mechanical instrument. It is said that the rangefinder mechanism alone costs around £1,000 to manufacture.

The Monochrom has always sold at a premium but this latest model is just £1,130 more expensive than the original Monochrom when it was launched in May 2013. That’s not bad in view of the big inflation in general camera prices over seven years. The current M10 Monochrom is £760 more expensive than the M10-P on which it is based and £1,500 more than the standard M10. In Leicaland, those prices are par for the course.

If you have your eye on one of these limited editions you’ll need to get your order in soon. I understand that supplies in the UK can be counted on the fingers of one (or maybe two) hands.


Read more on the Leica M10 Monochrom

17 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Mike, I couldn’t place it at first, but the engraving is exactly the same as that on the M5!
    Interesting that it says “Leitz” and not Leica

    • Hmm hope that isn’t a bad omen. I seem to remember they did a similar edition of the M246 Monochrom last year to commemorate an anniversary.

      • The Leica engraving started with the II Model D in 1932. Prior to that the engraving around the shutter dial ‘mound’ was Leitz. The Leitz engraving (or probably stamping) came back for a while in the 1970s with the CL (the ‘real’ one), the M5 and the M4-2 and M4-P (including the Canadian made versions of the latter two) Some M6s also have a small engraving referring to Leitz. I am not sure why the Leitz engraving was re-introduced in the 1970s. Perhaps it was to hark back to tradition as Leica was being hammered in the marketplace at that time by Nikon etc. Indeed the M4-2 with a Leitz engraving is often referred to as ‘the camera which saved Leica’. Perhaps the current ‘edition’ contains a reference to the Leitz Photographica Auction as the re-named Westlicht Auction, now owned by Leica AG, is called. We also have the Wetzlar Camera Auctions owned by Lars Netopil and others, which is independent of Leica, but which has a lot of expertise on Leicas.

        William

  2. Although I like the form factor of the M10 Monochrom I’m afraid I’ll be sticking with the M9 version for the quality of the output.

      • Hi Mike. As the M10-M will never get past the finance committee… I am looking at older models right now. I would love to hear more on your thoughts on the M9 version being better than or preferred to the M246. Or those of anybody else who would like to chime in. All the best. Des

        • I don’t want to lead you on this, Des. As you’ve seen, many experienced photographers swear by the CCD sensor. I’ve been told by one guy that the construction of the CCD lends itself better to monochrome than CMOS, but this could just be an old wive’s tale. Others tell me that all this is nonsense and that there is no rational reason for preferring the CCD.

          It all comes down to what suits you best and, maybe, you could visit a dealer and do a few test shots with both versions. Personally, I wouldn’t like to go back to the M240 model simply because I’ve grown accustomed to the better feel of the M10. So if I wanted an M10-M and, for whatever reason, couldn’t get one, I’d be thinking of the original M9-based version.

          I haven’t checked prices recently, but the M9-M is likely to be quite a bit cheaper and, with luck, it will suffer less depreciation.

          Sorry that I can’t be more helpful, but one person’s meat is another’s poison… as usual.

    • Hi Tom, I recently purchased a new old stock M-E that is ccd version. I absolutely love the rendering of colours and tonality. I was considering the new monchrom but I was also starting to think about the M9 monochrom version since I love the ccd rendering of tonality. What are your thoughts? The M240 version is not a consideration for me for various reasons.
      I actually enjoy the quaint sound of the M9 shutter and I am only looking at the black and white tonality being smooth.

      • If you “..enjoy the quaint sound of the M9 shutter..”, Brian, then you might like the Foton ..it’s a dead-ringer for an electric hammer-drill.

        I wonder why Leica/Leitz, which built its reputation partly on the “whisper quiet” silence of their shutters, didn’t promote the M8 and M9 with “..if you like the sound of horses’ hooves a-clattering on cobbles, you’ll lurve the double-clatter steel mill sound of our new, really noisy M8 and M9!”

        It’d have been a great marketing ploy?

    • My own journey has been M9M>246>M9M. I just couldn’t bond with the 246, and its images never raised the hairs on the back of my neck in the same way as the M9M did, from the first time I viewed and tweaked the images. It continues to do so.
      I have an M10M on order but I doubt I’ll let go of my M9M, even though it does sound like a clockwork toy. I love it.

  3. Hi Mike
    I relieved Red Dot Cameras of one of the 35 Summilux lenses yesterday, just after you departed the shop. I have to report a slight frisson of disappointment that the positioning dot is white rather than grey. Ivor and I stared at it for a bit, and yes, it’s white. The very definition of a first world problem, especially given current events.
    It’s a nice thing though, with the grey engraving and all.

    • Ah, must have missed that — it must have arrived after I left. What a disappointment, a white dot. But, as you hint, a very Goswell Road problem.

      • That new M10-P “White” looks nice, though “..can you just hand me my tins of white and silver paint, please, My Love?!..”

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