The MP sure looks like a mid '50s Leica, but inside you'll find amazing
improvements that may make it the best M-series Leica ever
LAB TEST RESULTS:
Viewfinder data: Viewfinder magnification is exactly the same as for the Leica M6: 0.72X, which is average for a multi-frame range/viewfinder camera. Finder image is 74 percent of picture area, below average for a 35mm camera, but average for a rangefinder. Excellent parallax correction with minimal error detected (only 0.2mm shift toward the top of the screen).
Shutter speed accuracy: Considered good for a horizontal-travel, mechanical focal-plane shutter but below average compared to an electronically controlled shutter.
Exposure accuracy: A slightly better result than the
Leica M6. Extremely accurate within less than 1⁄10-stop over/underexposure from EV17 to EV6, very accurate within 1⁄4-stop underexposure from EV5 to EV1.
Meter patterns: Selective-area metering is similar to the Leica M6. The MP's area of maximum meter sensitivity is wider than a typical spotmeter, but narrower than centerweighted systems.
Camera: Leica MP 35mm rangefinder camera with Leica M-type bayonet mount. Approx. street price: $2,600, body only.Lens used for test: 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M. Approx. street price: $2,000. Apertures, f/1.4-16 in half stops, focusing to 2 feet, 4 inches (0.7m), 46mm filter thread.
Focusing and viewing: Combined, coincident-type, optical range/viewfinder with projected, autoparallax-compensating framelines for 28-, 35-, 50-, 90-, and 135mm focal lengths; manual frameline selector.
Shutter: Mechanically timed, horizontal-travel, cloth focal-plane with manually selected speeds of 1-1/1000 sec plus B, 1/50 sec X-sync flash speed.
Exposure control: Silicon photodiode in base of body reads off 12mm spot in center of first shutter curtain, providing TTL reading of about 13 percent of the frame area. Shutter speed and film speed (ISO) settings are electronically coupled to LED arrows and correct-exposure circle displayed in finder; metering range EV-2 to 20 at ISO 100.
Flash: Single-contact hot-shoe. Flash exposure controlled by computer in flash unit or by manual guide-number calculation.
Loading and winding: Manual bottom loading with removable baseplate, hinged back section. Ratcheted, single-stroke film-wind lever has 105-degree stroke from stand-off position; body accepts manual trigger-wind Leicavit M (street: $890), motorized Leica Winder-M, Motor-M, some earlier Leica motors.
Other features: Low-battery and beyond-meter-range warnings in finder. Meter powered by two PX-76 or SR44 button cells, or one DL1/3N lithium cell. Three MP models are available, with 0.58X, 0.72X, and 0.85X viewfinder magnifications respectively; model tested: MP 0.72.