Home Film New Leica film camera to be announced in October

New Leica film camera to be announced in October

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It has been an open secret for the past six months that Leica is working on a new film camera and that it will launch in the autumn. Now that Leica Rumors has brought this into the open, I feel able to comment and, perhaps, add a bit of speculation.

The Leica M-A is one of the two film bodies currently being produced by Leica. It is an unmetered version competing with the metered MP, which has been in continuous production for over 20 years. The rumoured addition, which could be a limited edition, is expected to be a remake of the popular M6 Classic (Image Adam Lee, taken with his Leica M3)

The latest information from LR is that the camera will be launched in October and will be cheaper than the existing MP and M-A, which both retail in the UK for £4,200, including VAT.

Why would Leica introduce a new film camera? With both current models on back order and a factory unable to keep up with demand, it’s difficult to see why another version is necessary. There is no shortage of takers at current prices, no doubt prompted by the extraordinary inflation that has taken place in second-hand prices of popular models such as the M6.

The editor’s 2003 black-paint Leica MP with Leica Motor M Drive. This camera has been in continuous production for 19 years and was the last of the film bodies until the introduction of the unmetered M-A in 2014

My information is that the new camera will be a remake of the M6 Classic. The MP, although similar to the M6 Classic, is more expensive to manufacture because of the brass top plate.

Some commentators have suggested that the newbie could replace the MP, but I see no logic in this when the MP continues to be in such demand.

More likely is that this will be a limited edition with a restricted production run. I’ve even had a steer that the edition would be a trial run of 500 bodies. However, I have never heard the terms “limited edition” and “cheaper model” whispered in the same breath. [UPDATE 20/9/2022: Latest information is that it will be a series production model and not a special edition]

With the continued demand for all Leica film cameras, I rather hope that this new M6 Classic, if that is what it turns out to be, is destined for continued production. However, with Leica having enough trouble making two cameras, never mind three, yet another permanent version seems unlikely.

If we are right that the new camera will be announced next month, the question is when. While the new body might just be slipped in by press release, it now seems likely there will be a special event in Germany to mark the continued success of Leica’s film cameras. Other products could be announced at the same event. This ties in with the company’s current #filmisnotdead promotion.

I had thought that the LHSA conference in Dublin (October 13-15th), which will be attended by factory bigwigs, would be an ideal launch platform. It would be welcomed there by many potential customers with dollars in their pockets. But I am now told that this is very unlikely.

Looks like we are in for a busy October.


16 COMMENTS

  1. Stefan Daniel is speaking on Friday 14th october, so there may be some hints. The actual launch will have been organised for the following week as part of the events surrounding the 2022 LOBA Awards ceremony in Wetzlar. I have a large number of film Leicas (I’ve never counted them, but there should be at least 40). My M6 is getting an outing to the Goodwood Revival this coming weekend.

    Now, that would have also been a good event at which to launch a new film Leica. I wonder if I will see any other ones while I am there.

    William

  2. One more mystery camera. For professionals: why do they need taht for? For young film enthusiasts: how do they pay it? For collectors: a good investment? For sybarits: what else they could do?

  3. Indeed George – the recent increase in film photography interest – charted by 35mmc daily is perhaps not an indication of interest in a new expensive (even if “cheaper”) version. The interest now seems all towards the use of old used and increasingly obscure or forgotten models and different developing techniques. The postings revel in rehabilitating the old not celebrating the new….

    • Yes, Tony. I also spent a time getting old cameras (to later get rid of them). But there’s also the trend of making believe people all that’s the true photography and digital is just fake. A real Leica film camera (just the body) for 4500 €? At least with old cameras you can make fun for 20! Oh, and real photos

  4. Like some others, I also got the eMail from Leica with #filmisnotdead in the subject line recently.

    Well, this look a bit like #earthisnotflat in my eyes. Nobody claimed in the last year that film was dying. Just look what the young tourist carry around, just ask any photo dealer, just look at second hand prices. However, Leica tries to set an agenda and to prepare grounds for new products. I hope the do not only think of their loyal collectors but also of people who just want to take photos.

    If anyone wants to go analogue (again) they certainly do not need a brand new camera from Leica, the market is still full with used Pentax, Olympus, Tokina, Konica and other cameras (film Nikons and Canons are getting rarer and more expensive). But still the first new film camera in years would be a small landmark.

    We’ll see and read. JP

  5. The problem as I see it is that of repairing old film cameras. In a dealer last week I asked how many of the film cameras in the cabinet, from the 1970s on, could be repaired. His answer? None. I know from other sources that it is possible now, but for how long? So a new film camera which can be repaired for years to come (hopefully) is attractive.

    • Expensive cameras need to be repaired. Cheap ones can easily be replaced. Camera as a cult object vs camera as an object to take photographs.

      • That’s true. A €50 1960s/70s Pentax or Olympus is a perfectly good camera but if it breaks it’s cheaper to get another. This isn’t so with, even, the oldest M. They viable only as long as spares and repairs are available.

  6. Is it possible that someone else would make these cameras for Leica (at a cost Leica could never do), and Leica just does QC and finishes?

    • I think not because of the complexities of the rangefinder. But I suppose there is a first time for everything and that would certainly make for cheaper production.

      • I never understood that principle.
        Of course my M7 or any other Leica rangefinder is superbly functional. And expensive.
        But my Kodak Retina FII has one that works fine since the day my father bought it. Or my Yashica Electro 35CCN (so practical that I bought it again after lost) does pretty well the job.
        And those last rangefinder cameras were never very expensive. So it could be guessed a rangefinder mechanism can be made at a reasonable price.

  7. I received from Leica Italy the mail filmsnotdead, 2 model on future sale, MP with meter an M-A without. Price indicated is € 5.135,00 for MP and € 5.035,00 for M-A.
    Pit

    • That’s the current range. But the prices seem high. Here in UK they are both £4,200 for the moment. That will probably change after the announcement!

  8. And I note that even the Leica CM, successor to the Minilux, is listed used on websites at $2,000 —
    the same as a used SL.

  9. if Leica wants to continue making film cameras in the future, they better start making a film too, Black and white would be fine.

  10. If I was considering a film camera I suppose I might be interested in a new Leica M camera. However, I love the cost of my digital film too much.

    On a possibility more interesting note, Leica is going to announce shortly a refreshed m 35/1.4 with 11 aperture blades instead of 9. If you have a friendly dealer, get on their preorder list now.

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