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View Full Version : Leica Naming Convention -- What's Up with That?


giganova
03-06-2016, 20:03
I have to admit that I'm confused by Leica's naming convention.


M2 -> M3 -> M4 -> M6 -> M5-> M7 + M-P + MA: analog film cameras
M8 -> M9 -> M (Typ 262) + M-P digital (Typ 240)+ M-E + M Monochrome (Typ 246): digital cameras
M-P analog / M-P digital (Typ 240): why use the same name on such fundamentally different cameras?

M8, M9 are already taken, so where does that leave room for an update to the M7? Does the naming convention imply that we won't see any new analogue cameras in the future?

Huss
03-06-2016, 20:22
http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/whats-up-with-that/n12960

W/ re. to the M7, I cannot see much to improve on it. One thing that would be cool, that would never happen, is to have a hybrid optical live view view finder. So you'll never get a wrong exposure.
But.. I pretty much never get a wrong exposure with this camera anyway..
Maybe improve the ISO dial to it is harder to accidentally set exp comp? Even though I really haven't had issues w that either..

kshapero
03-06-2016, 20:33
I agree it is really screwed up in my HO.

jschrader
03-06-2016, 20:53
I agree it is really screwed up in my HO.

Another vote for this "explanation".

However, if they would have gone with the simple numbering, where would we be now, M 18 or M19?

The problem is, the counting was beautiful and simple because they did not produce minor varitions twice a year (e.g. with and without red dot) and sell it as a new camera.

pyeh
03-06-2016, 22:03
I have to admit that I'm confused by Leica's naming convention.

M2 -> M3 -> M4 -> M6 -> M5-> M7 + M-P + MA: analog film cameras
M8 -> M9 -> M (Typ 262) + M-P digital (Typ 240)+ M-E + M Monochrome (Typ 246): digital cameras
M-P analog / M-P digital (Typ 240): why use the same name on such fundamentally different cameras?M8, M9 are already taken, so where does that leave room for an update to the M7? Does the naming convention imply that we won't see any new analogue cameras in the future?

Giganova,
In fact the film MP is called the MP (no hyphen) while the digital M-P has a hyphen. But yes, the distinction is so subtle as to be meaningless. I agree the naming system is up the creek.

FrozenInTime
03-06-2016, 22:27
The M-A is the odd one out ; to save confusion, they should have restricted the '-' to digital models.

michaelwj
03-06-2016, 22:31
Although they had a naming convention that incremented numbers, now there are film and digital models side by side it is harder.
It is clear that moving forward the models will from now on be called M (or M-P for the 'upgraded' edition) with a type designation. That the new M-E was not called that, just M262 is a hint at the future. We now have M240, M242, M262. All M's.
Non camera nerds will just call them an M, the same as mac users just say they have a Macbook Pro, but to mac nerds, it has a model number.
I would assume that M-A film models going forward will all be called M-A (or MP ) with a type designation. I think that if a new MP is released, it may be called M-A with a different type designation.

I confused myself just writing that, so I see your point.

jaapv
03-06-2016, 23:34
I agree it is really screwed up in my HO.It is in transition.

jaapv
03-06-2016, 23:38
Another vote for this "explanation".

However, if they would have gone with the simple numbering, where would we be now, M 18 or M19?

The problem is, the counting was beautiful and simple because they did not produce minor varitions twice a year (e.g. with and without red dot) and sell it as a new camera.M4-MOT? M4-P? M4-2? First M3, then M2, then M1?
M6-J? M6-TTL? Barnacks so close they could be converted?

Just to start with... One needs a serious book to keep track of the model numbering in the past, with some models only being produced for two years.
The past system only appears simple through the muddy telescope of nostalgia.

Michael Markey
03-06-2016, 23:52
I agree it is really screwed up in my HO.


Yep ... its a car crash but then so ,to me , is the model line up with all these variations within a particular model.
It all adds to the confusion .

It matters little if Leica can come up with a rational explanation because its still failing to be understood by its customers .

David Hughes
03-07-2016, 02:12
Hi,

They've been doing it for 80 to 85 years; so we should be used to it by now...

OK, here we go; there was logic to the Standard, the II and the III (and 250 both in 1933). Ditto the IIIa (1935) and IIIb (1938) which varied slightly (sort of) from the III.

Then along came the major change of the die cast body to the IIIc (1940) but why wasn't it called the IV? Perhaps the IIId (1939) ought to have been the IVa and so on. Then they brought out the Ic (1949) and so on...

And they are not the only makers doing it.

Regards, David

ruby.monkey
03-07-2016, 02:30
Wasn't it M3->M2->M1(following the older numbering method denoting feature-richness rather than age)->M4(start of generational numbering)->M5->M4-2(because the whole world and his dog hated the M5)->M6->M7->yaddaYaddaYadda for the film Ms?

View Range
03-07-2016, 05:16
"About this Mac" under the Apple on the upper left tells a prospective buyer when the computer was designed. Cars have VINs which tell when the car was made. If Leica would publish the current serial numbers by year and lot type, it would help a buyer tremendously. How often to we look up serial number lots on Barnack cameras to see what a particular camera really was when built?

jsrockit
03-07-2016, 05:31
No big deal to me... being familiar with Leicas for 25 years or so. I would imagine it's harder if you are trying to learn what is what now.