Old 05-01-2016   #81
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The M4-2 is the ******* child of the M4 from a drunken and very loose night in Canada.

Love mine, it is after all a decent camera, no less than any other Leica.
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Old 05-01-2016   #82
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The M4-2 is an excellent camera and sell for great prices.
I owned one for years and only recently sold it to get an M5 which is perfect for how I shoot.
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Old 05-01-2016   #83
Bruno Gracia
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I found the rangefinder patch too prone to flare, is there any chance to place a M4 finder into M4-2? Its my favourite looking M.
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Old 05-01-2016   #84
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A good technician can upgrade the rangefinder to the "MP" flare resistant RF. In the USA, Don Goldberg charges about $250 to do it.

If you find an earlier M4-2, before they took the condenser out (i.e. when it was still an M4 rangefinder), then you won't have this issue at all.
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Old 05-01-2016   #85
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Love mine
Only dead don't drink and enjoy.
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Old 05-01-2016   #86
Bill Clark
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The M4-2 camera I'm fortunate to own has the same framelines as my M4-P.

I'm guessing someone previous to me had the change made.
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Old 05-01-2016   #87
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Eons ago, I was shopping for an M4 but a bargain M4-2 crossed my way and that was the scratch for that itch for some good six or seven years. During that time my M4-2 also became the grab-and-go meterless camera, my best friend, the one that gave me a lot of keepers and fits my hand like a glove. So much for the black sheep of the family!
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Old 05-01-2016   #88
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My M4-2 looked good cosmetically but failed a month after I bought it. All the speeds from 1 sec to 1/8 sec dropped out, second curtain failed to close. YYE sorted it out, cleaning and relubing (properly) the slow speed mechanism. Later the M sync socket just fell out and is well and truly lost. The X sync seems secure though. Destroyed the value of the camera. Leica buyers just faint dead away when they discover it's not "perfect". This is true even though only two Leica M users world wide still use bulbs.


Oh I'm going to catch so much flak for that last jab.

PS; One more thing, I want a 50 but you know, short arms and deep pockets so.....think I'll sully the thing with on of those $30 FSU 52mm f2.8 lenses. I already have a $10 Chinese M to LTM adapter that brings up the 50 frame lines.
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Old 05-01-2016   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
The M4-2 is the ******* child of the M4 from a drunken and very loose night in Canada.

Love mine, it is after all a decent camera, no less than any other Leica.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Gracia View Post
I found the rangefinder patch too prone to flare, is there any chance to place a M4 finder into M4-2? Its my favourite looking M.
The M4-2 is the camera that saved Leica Camera from extinction in 1978, when R system sales had tanked, the M5 too, and the CL was costing them way too much money in warranty repairs and rework costs.

Three batches of M4-2s were made, 1978, 1979, and 1980, before it was replaced by the M4-P. The first batch and part of the second had exactly the same viewfinder optics as the M4, although the RF mechanism was redesigned to be simpler and not require as much hand work to assemble. (This latter was part of the re-engineered manufacturing process designed to reduce cost of manufacture while maintaining quality in order to enable Leica a survivable profit margin.)

A running change was made to the viewfinder optics about the middle of the second batch which removed one element from the viewfinder optical assembly. The intent of this change was to increase the brightness of the frame lines (due to customer requests); unfortunately, it increased the propensity of the focusing patch to flare. This change continued through all subsequent M cameras until the MP, when Leica came out with an updated set of viewfinder optics that eliminated the problem.

When I returned to Leica Ms in 2011, I specifically looked for an early batch M4-2 as the M4 had my favorite viewfinder. Just four frame line sets—35, 50, 90, 135—with fine, clear, but not overly bright illumination; the perfect range for a 0.72x viewfinder M, and a very simple, uncluttered view.

The M4-2 is my last and favorite film M. I bought it cheap and neglected for $700, body only, and had the viewfinder/rangefinder cleaned, collimated, and calibrated for another $100 after I got it. The steel film transport gears are beautifully worn-in and are as smooth as any M3, M2, or M4 that I've used. The hot-shoe allows me to use an an RF flash trigger when needed, without any adapters. It's only problem now is that the shutter needs to be cleaned and recalibrated; it runs a fast at one end and slow at the other at 1/500 and 1/1000 (about .3EV off at 1/1000), but since I mostly use it with ASA 400 film and a 2.5 stop orange filter, it's rarely set to more than 1/125 second. I'll get that done someday.

I don't intend to sell the M4-2, ever. It will likely outlast me.

G
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Old 05-01-2016   #90
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I had an M4 stolen in 1986. I went to Italy for a month on a holiday without a camera. I lasted two days. Near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence I bought a second hand M4-2 and tabbed 50 Summicron for $AUD1,800, a bit of a premium but I had to have it. I took some of my best and favourite photographs that month. I liked having a black camera. The M4-2 and the 50 Summicron were a perfect pairing. The balance was just right. The M4-2 is not quite as heavy as the M2. I liked that it was not so precious as my M2 which was a gift from my Dad. I traded in the M4-2 for an M6 which served similar duty. It was a good decision in a sense, although I prefer a hand-held meter with my film Ms now anyway, and so I might just as well have kept the M4-2. A great camera.
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Old 05-03-2016   #91
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Thanks guys!!

I'm trying to identify if my "new" M4-2 if its from the first batch, with M4 finder but seems to be a.. Leica R3 olive !

Serial N: 1468615
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Old 05-04-2016   #92
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The M4-2 is the most talked about, because of being made in Canada.
It was the only way, at time, to save Leica, from itself.
Some were imperfect. That's life. By now, all corrected.

My M3 11,55***, was one of the last made, in Wetzlar.
It arrived, new in box, 3 signatures on guarantee.
The Rangefinder was not fully assembled!
It was finally assembled in South Africa, at service center.
I guess Wetzlar also had drinking parties!.

Leica cameras seem to require more attentions.
Live with it.
They also keep going and going, better than the infamous bunny.
In end all M4-2, like the brand are pure enjoyment.
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Old 05-04-2016   #93
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I owned a M4-2 for over 20 years before selling it to Blake. (BTW, you still owe me $100 you frickin' redneck.)

I bought mine new. Paid $600 dollars. It did come with a pinhole in one of the shutter curtains. Leica USA was kind enough to replace it and get it back to me in less then two weeks at the time. Leica had an office in the Gulf-Western Building on Columbus Circle here in NYC. I brought it to them with a couple of contact sheets and negatives, and they took care of it. Why didn't I just return it to the shop where I purchased it? I worked at the shop, Camera Barn, and policy was if you bought something, and something was wrong, you had to deal with the manufacturer. Other then the pinhole, that camera performed flawlessly for the remainder of the time it was in my possession.
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Old 05-04-2016   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Gracia View Post
Thanks guys!!

I'm trying to identify if my "new" M4-2 if its from the first batch, with M4 finder but seems to be a.. Leica R3 olive !

Serial N: 1468615
Definitely in the 1978 year of production, should be first batch. I think the records listed on Leica Wiki are just a bit messed up in that time period as they jump around between R3 and M4-2.

The M4-2 production was a new process for M cameras and probably started and stopped a few times as they worked out kinks.
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Old 05-04-2016   #95
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I bought an M4-2 back in the day - Junk. Besides a host of other problems the flash post came loose and fell inside the camera. First repaired by Leica under warranty and after that Sherry repaired it. Spent more time in repair then it did in my hands. When I got it back from Sherry I sold it at a big loss.

I would assume that if you bought a working one today all the bugs have been fixed. Still, why not just buy an M4, M2 or M4-P without the reputation.
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About the flash synch ports dropping out
Old 05-04-2016   #96
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About the flash synch ports dropping out

Those of you who downloaded the Modern Photography review of the M4-2 will note that the flash contact mount was pointed out as a source of weakness. Instead of the aluminum mount used in the previous cameras, on the M4-2 the flash synch port mount was plastic. Even on the test camera Modern said hairline cracks had developed on the plastic.

So, yes the original flash mounting was definitely a problem due to cost cutting. But, surely it can be fixed properly today if it hasn't already been done in the course of time.
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Old 05-04-2016   #97
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My M4-2 has served me well for over 20... No issues whatsoever.

But I must admit I've always been overly cautious with me gear. As a general rule I wont even change a lens in the field.
Instead I carry a second body & lens.
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Old 12-17-2016   #98
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Old thread, but I can't help myself: The M4-2 is my favorite Leica. Price is accessible, and there was a time when you could buy two M4-2's for the price of a single used M6. M4-2's have the best viewfinder—sorry 28 users—very similar to the M4's, with a larger 50mm frameline than newer models, designed from a time when 50's only focused to 1m. Meter? Who needs a meter. Basically, you get 90% of the shooter charm of an M4, in a more affordable package that isn't really collectable, so you never feel guilt about USING it.

The only reason I use an M6 now is because my M6 is 20 years newer than my previous M4-2, and so I feel less paranoid about shutter deterioration, etc. Also, the newer cameras have better light baffling, but that's not a bid deal.

All that said, one of my old M4-2's had a very strange problem. I had one of the very early bodies, like, one of the first 200. This camera had the most irritating flaw ever. The sprocket hole timing was off so the sprocket holes fell between frames. Translations: every cut frame from that camera, for ever more, catches in a negative sleeve or page and is more likely to scratch other negatives it might contact. It sounds very trivial, but I'm telling you, after dealing with that minor fault for a few hundred tolls of film, it became too much. I sent it to DAG. Don couldn't fix it! He said he never saw that problem previously in a single Leica, in all his years, and that it was set at the factory (seems a little dubious?) and couldn't be altered. It was the nicest looking Leica I ever owned, and the most irritating.

My previous Leica had been a very early M6 ttl with that nasty battery drain issue. Go figure.

Anyways, later M4-2's and on lost the engraved top plates, but were more artfully assembled. It's almost like Leica took the savings from not engraving and painting the inset and put that towards QA. Good choice.
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Old 12-18-2016   #99
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Quote:
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...The M4-2 is my favorite Leica.... M4-2's have the best viewfinder... Who needs a meter....

... I use an M6 now ...
It reminded me:
"...Look at me now, a shadow of the man I used to be...."
Alan Parson Project, Pyramid.
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Old 12-18-2016   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
It reminded me:
"...Look at me now, a shadow of the man I used to be...."
Alan Parson Project, Pyramid.
Funny... I know, I know. I was thinking something like that as I was typing the above.

Looks like your link broke their website (it's not working). I found it on u2ub though, although I can't say I enjoyed it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAlaRtpFXqs
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Old 12-26-2016   #101
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Originally Posted by kbg32 View Post
I owned a M4-2 for over 20 years before selling it to Blake. (BTW, you still owe me $100 you frickin' redneck.)

I bought mine new. Paid $600 dollars. It did come with a pinhole in one of the shutter curtains. Leica USA was kind enough to replace it and get it back to me in less then two weeks at the time. Leica had an office in the Gulf-Western Building on Columbus Circle here in NYC. I brought it to them with a couple of contact sheets and negatives, and they took care of it. Why didn't I just return it to the shop where I purchased it? I worked at the shop, Camera Barn, and policy was if you bought something, and something was wrong, you had to deal with the manufacturer. Other then the pinhole, that camera performed flawlessly for the remainder of the time it was in my possession.
Camera Barn- I remember seeing those ads in one of the many modern photography magazines I had lying around

Who were the other premier NYC shops at the time?
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Old 12-26-2016   #102
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Camera Barn- I remember seeing those ads in one of the many modern photography magazines I had lying around

Who were the other premier NYC shops at the time?
Olden Camera (where I bought my first Leicas), Cambridge Camera, 47th Street Photo ... these are the ones I remember best. I used to take the D train to Manhattan after school (high school in the Bronx) and visit them every few weeks.

There were several others, IIRC.

G
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Old 12-26-2016   #103
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I gave Olden a fair amount of my hard earned cash over the years.
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Old 12-26-2016   #104
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Those of you who downloaded the Modern Photography review of the M4-2 will note that the flash contact mount was pointed out as a source of weakness. Instead of the aluminum mount used in the previous cameras, on the M4-2 the flash synch port mount was plastic. Even on the test camera Modern said hairline cracks had developed on the plastic.

So, yes the original flash mounting was definitely a problem due to cost cutting. But, surely it can be fixed properly today if it hasn't already been done in the course of time.
I'm not sure how they are meant to be fixed. When Youxin CLA'd my M4-2 ( that the dood who sold it to me with foggy vf claimed it was cla-d....) he said someone had at least once repaired the flash contacts by gluing them back in. He had to reglue them as part of the cla, but when i got the camera back I made the mistake of putting in those white plug caps, which snagged my shirt and snapped them off again. So I glued them back in, again, and no longer used those caps so there is nothing to snag against.
The camera itself has been great, and I much prefer the vf than that of the m4-p, m6, mp, even my m7. As long as I do not need to use a 28mm lens. Which I rarely do. My CLE is for that.
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Old 12-26-2016   #105
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Prices on M4-P's are running low these days. I bought a minty black one for $795 this past summer and see them on the auction sight now in minty condition for $895.
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Old 12-26-2016   #106
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... As long as I do not need to use a 28mm lens. Which I rarely do. My CLE is for that.
Since I can't see 28mm framelines even when I have them due to my glasses, everything I can see in the viewfinder is close enough... :-)

G
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Old 12-26-2016   #107
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Well, I'm quite happy with my early M4-2. I bought it in 2011, had the viewfinder taken care of, and done nothing other than use it since. It works as perfectly as I need it to ... :-)

G
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Old 12-26-2016   #108
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To date, mine is my default camera. In any format and in any medium.

And Tom, I'm happy to learn about the durability of the 1500xxx and later cameras as mine is of that batch.
The previous owner(s) hadn't enough carefulness so the camera looks beat up. But Youxin Ye has rebuilt it internally and I'm happy as a clam with it.

Once life turns around, I may seek some artsy-rendering black lenses for it. Say a 1.5/50 C Sonnar and an adapted 2/85 LTM Sonnar.
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Old 12-26-2016   #109
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I bought a new one when they first came out and used it professionally for quite a few years. I shot a lot of film through it but didn't abuse it and never had an issue. In nearly fifty years of using them the only issues I've had were a couple of RF alignments on my first M3 in the 60's and a self timer spring that broke. I had my 1960 M2 need its first cleaning about five years ago and my new MP a la cart shutter had a shutter capping problem. I've owned more than a dozen new and used bodies and shot thousands of rolls through them. I currently have and shoot four bodies. I still have and shoot my 1960 M2 and am the 2 new owner, dry nice M3 SS, minty M4-P and my MP I bought new. The digital and Leica lenses are another story though. I've owned M2's, M3's, M4's, M4-2, M4-P's and MP's. The M4-2 was just as good as all of the others, no difference.
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Old 12-26-2016   #110
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The "woe is me M 4-2" saga must be at least a decade old running thread here on RFF. It is periodically dusted off and presented to a mostly new audience.
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