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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Black paint M2 question
Old 12-03-2009   #1
abenner
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Black paint M2 question

I could have posted this over in the Leica M forum, but I figure if anyone knows anything about black paint M2's, it's Tom.

I've seen both (claimed) original black paint M2's and (claimed) Shintaro black M2 repaints in which all the parts appear to be black paint over brass except the retaining screws (I think that's what you call them - maybe it's retaining rings) for the self timer and preview levers on the face of the camera, which appear to be black paint over chrome, or at least over a silver metal.

Here's an example: black paint M2 on ebay

and here's a Shintaro repaint:


And it's not just the way the light is reflected. I've seen the Shintaro repaint in question and it's definitely silver metal there despite brassing elsewhere, and the one on ebay looks the same to me.

My question is, were these parts not brass? I know Shintaro dechromes all the little bits and pieces before painting, so either they're not made of brass or they don't get dechromed for some reason, which seems less likely.
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Old 12-04-2009   #2
abenner
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Thanks Robert.

I could have swore they were brass on the M2 you painted for me but obviously my memory fails me.
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Old 12-04-2009   #3
Tom A
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The retaining screws are steel and if you try to chemically strip them - they dissolve! I am speaking from experience here. On some very early black paint M3's (DS) they were brass, but that is the only ones I know off.
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Old 12-04-2009   #4
Tom A
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It is somewhat disconcerting to pull up the clamps - an there is nothing left!!! Occasionally you get nicely pitted ones and the thread is gone too. Bead blasting or even a Dremel with steel brush works better!
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Old 12-04-2009   #5
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I forgot the early M2's had the brass screws and retaining rings! The early DS M3 black also had a black paint baseplate lock and a black film counter dial. I suspect that Leica went to steel for simple strength. The brass fittings do wear quite quickly and brass does not hold threads very well. I know that the later M2's came with the steel retaining screws for self timer and frame selector levers.
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Old 12-05-2009   #6
Erik van Straten
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Old 12-05-2009   #7
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Old 12-05-2009   #8
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Old 12-05-2009   #9
Al Kaplan
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The great thing about these old M2 (and M3) bodies is that they're still working just fine after all these years of hard work. I bought mine back in 1972, #9290XX, used from a Miami News photographer, and she'd bought it from a UPI photographer. Mine isn't black paint but it still shows signs of use!
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