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The history of the Leica M series is more than 60 years. In the market of digital cameras, Leica is still making analog film cameras. M-A and MP are two of the three existing analog film cameras. Which camera should you choose if you wanted one?
Leica MP is a light metered film camera whereas the M-A model doesn’t have a light meter and is fully mechanical. Both cameras have a metal finish reasoning a heavy body. MP has fewer better features than M-A but the price tag of both balances that anyway.
This article will discuss the differences between Leica M-A and MP model cameras to help you choose whether you need a film camera or not and if yes then why? Let’s go.
Leica M-A vs. MP: Comparison Table
Leica M-A and MP are not for all camera users. Those who are interested in old, classic, and vintage film cameras will collect this camera.
However, before selecting the camera for you to buy, look at the differences between these two.
Leica M-A vs. MP
|Features||Leica M-A||Leica MP|
|Film speed||ISO 6-6400||ISO 6-6400|
|Mount||Leica M-mount||Leica M-mount|
|Focal length range||16 – 135 mm||21 – 135 mm|
|Viewfinder||Optical rangefinder||Optical rangefinder|
|Film size||36 mm x 24 mm||36 mm x 24mm|
|Dimension||138 x 38 x 77 mm||138 x 77 x 38 mm|
|Shutter Speed||1s – 1/1000s||1s – 1/1000s|
|Max burst||Singe fire||Singe fire|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.72x||0.58x, 0.72x, 0.85x|
What are the key differences between the Leica M-A and MP?
In design, viewfinder, body, and other features there are many differences and similarities between M-A and MP. Let’s compare them in detail.
The design of M-A was adapted from the bodies of Leica M bodies from the 1950s. M-A adapted features from M-series cameras which were used to make in the 1950s.
The basic size and shape of 35mm are still the same as the old models. The camera is 138 x 38 x 77 mm by dimension and weighs around 578g.
The Leica MP is the other analog camera that Leica still makes. The metal frame, shape, and rewind knob carry a tradition as well as M-A but this is the reason the Leica MP is so heavy. The camera weighs 585 gm and has a dimension of 138 x 77 x 38 mm.
Both cameras are heavy and cost a lot. But if you are a collector of analog vintage cameras then these cameras are for you. Especially I would suggest you the Leica M-A.
The Leica M-A has a solid metal body that is equipped with a 28mm lens. It also has a so-called six-frame line design. Each of the three accessible values is combined with two frame lines. A rapid loading mechanism is there to make the loading quicker and easier.
On a contrary, the Leica MP is built for long life and lasting value. The Leica MP’s strong body is made of metal. This helps the camera face the worst conditions without fail.
The batteries are only needed for metering. A professional photographer shouldn’t be concerned about the electronics part.
Both cameras are good. But M-A has beautiful external look than the MP. So, you can go with the M-A in terms of outer look.
Pure Mechanical Excellence
As a purely mechanical camera, the Leica M-A doesn’t have a monitor, exposure meter, or battery. This mechanical quality carries Leica’s 100 years of experience instantly tangible. Shutter speed and aperture are read directly from the camera and lens.
The Leica MP is fully mechanical and manual as well. So, the photographer has to put his customs. Exposure adjustment within a half of stop may be your style. The photographer can use the meter to fine-tune.
Both cameras are compact and mechanical. But I would buy Leica M-A if I wanted one.
The MP has a viewfinder of parallax correction, though its framing isn’t as correct as of the SLR. There’s no autofocus. The meter in it is very primitive and it’s just a center-weighted average one.
The MP comes with a brass construction like the classic early Leica’s. The meter on this is aero base.
The M-A also has an optical rangefinder viewfinder as well. There’s no autofocus in the M-A. Its Viewfinder Magnification is 0.72x compared with the MP of 0.58x, 0.72x, 0.85x.
There’s a bit of difference about the viewfinder there. The MP wins the competition with M-A.
Color and Version
The Leica M-A is offered in two distinct finishes. The silver chrome version maintains the design history established by Leica M-Cameras.
While the Leica logo is visible on the accessory shoe of the silver chrome, only a closer look at its black-colored counterpart exposes the Leica logo on the top plate.
The Leica MP comes with two different body finishes as well. One is silver chrome and the other one is black paint.
After years of hard use, when a bit of bright brass begins to show through, it’s a sure sign to savvy photographers that the camera and its owner have shared many memorable experiences.
The M-A looks vintage and classic. I would choose M-A over MP.
The Leica MP allows the photographer to deal with the most challenging lighting settings. The camera provides creative control. The camera’s selective TTL metering technology only provides data to assist you in selecting the best exposure values.
On the other hand, Leica M-A comes with no light meter at all which makes it fully mechanical. So, you will be lacking the battery compartment cover that MP has. Though it doesn’t come with a light meter you can use previous models’ light meter in this as well.
In terms of light reflection, the MP wins the competition.
Leica M-A and MP both cameras fulfill the desire of a cameraman who loves carrying a historical camera. You can be one of only a few people to hold an analog mechanical camera cause the production of this type of camera is very limited.
When M-A launched only hundreds of them got released and for MP the amount was a few more than four hundred. These cameras are strong, metal finish, vintage looking and the cameraman has to be an expert using the camera.
The discussed comparisons are enough for a user to choose between these two models of Leica. There’s a detail on Leica’s official website. You can visit there and look for one. Enjoy your happy journey with the Leica.