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View Poll Results: M2 repaint or black chrome M4
Repainted M2 16 28.57%
Black Chrome M4 40 71.43%
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M2 Repaint or M4 Black Chrome
Old 06-17-2017   #1
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M2 Repaint or M4 Black Chrome

I need some help deciding which to get - or really just to hear thoughts and think out loud. I've been using an M6 for about 6 years and an M4 for about 6 months. Since getting the M4, I've hardly used the M6. I just prefer the simplicity and the handling - the sum of a lot of little things I guess. In the end I've decided to sell them both and get either an M2 repaint or a black chrome M4. I've settled on one of these two because frankly an original black paint M2 or M4 is way out of my price range, and I want a clean black M to use, not collect. I know I'm shallow wanting black, but the chrome cameras just don't look to good to me. I only use and own a 35mm lens.

In my mind the pros/cons of each are;

M2 Pros
-Black paint
-No 135mm framelines - clean VF
-Classic styling
-Likely to have been serviced when repainted

M2 Cons
-Not original - how well has it been stripped/repainted?
-Not original covering - I find the newer M leatherettes not as good as the original M2/4 vintage

M4 Pros
-Original finish
-Faster rewind/loading

M4 Cons
-More $ than the M2 repaint
-Not black paint

I'm sure there are more but I just can't think of them.

Feel free to add your 2c!
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Old 06-17-2017   #2
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buy a silver chrome m4 with intact vulcanite and have it repainted at kanto, or get an m4 whose vulcanite is chipped and have it repainted and recovered at crr luton.
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Old 06-17-2017   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
buy a silver chrome m4 with intact vulcanite and have it repainted at kanto, or get an m4 whose vulcanite is chipped and have it repainted and recovered at crr luton.
In theory sounds good, but I'm pretty lazy and once my M4 sells I won't have a camera, so I won't have the patience to wait for a camera to be painted.

So you say M4 over M2?
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Old 06-18-2017   #4
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I guess I'm one of the few that prefers black chrome over black paint.
So it's an easy call - black chrome M4.
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Old 06-18-2017   #5
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Hmmm - I'm not goona vote yet. I have to think about it.

Knowing how much you like the M4 over the M6 it seemed an easy pick to go M4. But your M2 pros are quite convincing and as the shooter you are, the $ difference is a a fair bit of film and chems.

I guess you could pimp a B_RP M2 with a quick load kit and an M2 rewind adapter to make it fastser. But you might not need it in practice and then the rewind knob will brass nicely.
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Old 06-18-2017   #6
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Thanks John,
Not super helpful!
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Old 06-18-2017   #7
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I like original, so I'd have the M4. There's a saying in classic car circles: It's only original once. Once you restore it, it's no longer original.

CLA by all means, but for my money, I want a Leica as created by Leica.

Personally, whilst I adore the clean 35 frameline in my M2, the clarity of the M4 Finder makes up for any perceived disadvantage of the 135 framelines (which I hardly notice in actual usage).

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Old 06-18-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
Thanks John,
Not super helpful!
Well, I can only send you one to try....and you've used the chrome versions of both.
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Old 06-18-2017   #9
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Creative people need variety. They get bored easily. Therefore, my vote for your money is to go with something totally different then what you already have, either the M2 or the big daddy of them all (M3). Plus, black paint is cooler then black chrome, although both are nice. The black paint encourages you to use the camera to create that beautiful patina, but I wouldn't pay a whole lot more for just cosmetic differences. That's just me.
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Old 06-18-2017   #10
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What is the price of a Kanto repaint or similar?
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Old 06-18-2017   #11
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OK I voted B_RP M2 cos it will journey more obviously with you i.e brass up nicely over time versus the more resilient BP chrome on the M4. As long as the M2 has been stripped back properly.

And while I agree with the original is best view, I also like underdogs. 80,20 in the poll.
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Old 06-18-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveyork View Post
Creative people need variety. They get bored easily. Therefore, my vote for your money is to go with something totally different then what you already have, either the M2 or the big daddy of them all (M3). Plus, black paint is cooler then black chrome, although both are nice. The black paint encourages you to use the camera to create that beautiful patina, but I wouldn't pay a whole lot more for just cosmetic differences. That's just me.
Thanks Steve, the M3 is out as I only use a 35mm lens. As for variety, the differences between an M2 and M4 are practically nothing, I've used choke versions of both in the past. This is my dilemma, they're so similar!
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Old 06-18-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilkins View Post
OK I voted B_RP M2 cos it will journey more obviously with you i.e brass up nicely over time versus the more resilient BP chrome on the M4. As long as the M2 has been stripped back properly.

And while I agree with the original is best view, I also like underdogs. 80,20 in the poll.
I feel like you're just messing with me...
And it'd suck balls if the paint wore off to bright chrome a few years down the track...
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Old 06-18-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I feel like you're just messing with me...
You're welcome
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Old 06-18-2017   #15
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A properly painted BP M2 gets my vote. I like the M4 a lot and it's not an easy choice, but if you plan on using that camera a lot (I think you do) then it's actually cool to see the camera 'wear' . I've had my chrome m6ttl for about 17 years and it has brassed over the years (it's actually a brass top plate) but it has been 'slow' . I've owned my BP m6ttl millennium for a year and half and it has definetly changed a lot faster than my chrome M6ttl. Nothing against chrome cameras, I've been using one for 17 years , but I just prefer the way black paint cameras wear. As far as it not being an 'original' BP M2 goes, I'm a user, not a collector so the extra money I would save, it would go towards glass, or a plane ticket to somewhere cool.
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Old 06-18-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I guess I'm one of the few that prefers black chrome over black paint.
So it's an easy call - black chrome M4.
Agree.

I like the mat finish of black chrome. I had a black chrome M6 for years and now have a black chrome MP a la carte I had built and a black chrome M4-P.

Consider a black chrome M4-2 or M4-P. Two years ago I bought the M4-P in mint condition for $795. Ive owned a lot of M bodies over many years and the M4-2 and M4-P are as good as any.
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Old 06-18-2017   #17
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Make it simple: M4-2 or M4-P.

In my bag there is a chrome M4 and a black M4-2.
Both are Youxin Ye CLA'ed.
The difference in handling and feel is nominal.
I default to the Four Two.
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Old 06-18-2017   #18
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And where is this M2 coming from? There are a crop appearing on that auction site but no feedback on the paint job that I have seen. I'm an M2 fan, in particular no self timer, but I would worry about the quality of the job and agree on the leatherette, even with my bias if I wanted black I would go M4.
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Old 06-18-2017   #19
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As soon as I sell some guitar gear this summer I will have my M2 repainted by Alan Starkie, listed here:

https://www.cameraworks-uk.com/price-list

I will probably go with black, but I may choose green - just to be different.

Needless to say I voted the M2 option. I like this little camera - nice viewfinder, simple and clean.

Apparently, Mr. Starkie is now servicing M5s, which is fantastic news for users such as myself!
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Old 06-18-2017   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
And it'd suck balls if the paint wore off to bright chrome a few years down the track...
I've seen that on quite a few black paint (repainted) Ms where the claim was stripped to brass and painted!
There was one for sale here a while ago. Serious bummer to see the chrome appear under the paint instead of brass.
I've also seen other repaints where it did not age well. The paint came off in chunks instead of gracefully wearing.

Repaints of anything (cars, motos, cameras) are never as good as the original. Plus the extra cost (that could have bought a second M) and the downtime..
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Old 06-18-2017   #21
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If thinking about holding value the M4 black chrome would be IMHO the better bet. You are correct waiting for the repaint is difficult.
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Old 06-18-2017   #22
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IMHO a straight trade of a black chrome M4 with that worn black chrome M6 you just sold would have been possible. That is a lovely camera and it wears it's wear very well.
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Old 06-18-2017   #23
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IHMO the M4 is pinnacle of the M non-metered line. The black chrome M4 was the last ones made, therefore the newest in terms of age.

i have a black chrome M4 made in Wetzler with the MR4 meter which is dead nuts accurate and easy to use. Recently selling a lot of my gear I almost sold it. Decided that was a mistake and sold the M2. Still have an M7 which is still two too many (Plus and M9). I think the BC M4 has got to be cheaper than a repaint M2.
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Old 06-18-2017   #24
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I love my M2. A little slower to load but an extra spool solves that problem. Post rewind? Slower but you'll never bend the rewind crank. Most of all, the uncluttered viewfinder. Plus you get the DOF notches.
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Old 06-18-2017   #25
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I've got a black repaint m4 in the classifieds right now. Sounds like the solution to your dilemma
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Old 06-18-2017   #26
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Repaint, shmeepaint. I voted M4 black chrome.
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Old 06-18-2017   #27
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Sorry for the bulk reply, just got back to a computer first thing this morning and there were lots of comments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelbialecki View Post
A properly painted BP M2 gets my vote. I like the M4 a lot and it's not an easy choice, but if you plan on using that camera a lot (I think you do) then it's actually cool to see the camera 'wear' . I've had my chrome m6ttl for about 17 years and it has brassed over the years (it's actually a brass top plate) but it has been 'slow' . I've owned my BP m6ttl millennium for a year and half and it has definetly changed a lot faster than my chrome M6ttl. Nothing against chrome cameras, I've been using one for 17 years , but I just prefer the way black paint cameras wear. As far as it not being an 'original' BP M2 goes, I'm a user, not a collector so the extra money I would save, it would go towards glass, or a plane ticket to somewhere cool.
Cheers, Michael
Thanks for you comments Michael. Do you have any images of your BC M6TTL wearing to brass?
The difference in wear rates is a bit of a double edged sword - the BC will look newer for longer, while the BP might look really cool and worn sooner (assuming the paint is done well - which is the elephant in the room).
The difference in price would maybe get me from Brisbane to Sydney on the plane - I'd still be out of pocket the cab to the airport. It's not huge which is part of the dilemma!

Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Agree.

I like the mat finish of black chrome. I had a black chrome M6 for years and now have a black chrome MP a la carte I had built and a black chrome M4-P.

Consider a black chrome M4-2 or M4-P. Two years ago I bought the M4-P in mint condition for $795. Ive owned a lot of M bodies over many years and the M4-2 and M4-P are as good as any.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl J. View Post
Make it simple: M4-2 or M4-P.

In my bag there is a chrome M4 and a black M4-2.
Both are Youxin Ye CLA'ed.
The difference in handling and feel is nominal.
I default to the Four Two.
X-ray, I do like the matte satin finish on the BC cameras, very utilitarian IMO.
The M4-2 and M4-P, although fine to use (I don't think they're inferior - have used both), are ugly garish cameras IHO. I like the subtle elegance of the M4 and M4 (and M3, M-A, etc), rather than the "look at me I'm a Leica" branding on the front of the M4-2, M4-P, M6, etc. But yeah, I'm shallow and while I am a user not a collector, I'm also an appreciator of the aesthetics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLivsey View Post
And where is this M2 coming from? There are a crop appearing on that auction site but no feedback on the paint job that I have seen. I'm an M2 fan, in particular no self timer, but I would worry about the quality of the job and agree on the leatherette, even with my bias if I wanted black I would go M4.
Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Black chrome M4 girl here ... that's my VOTE
Had One for Years... love it and the M4-2/ M5

Unless it's a Truly Superb paint job I would not bother
M2 are beauties, Moreso the NO SElf timers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've seen that on quite a few black paint (repainted) Ms where the claim was stripped to brass and painted!
There was one for sale here a while ago. Serious bummer to see the chrome appear under the paint instead of brass.
I've also seen other repaints where it did not age well. The paint came off in chunks instead of gracefully wearing.

Repaints of anything (cars, motos, cameras) are never as good as the original. Plus the extra cost (that could have bought a second M) and the downtime..
Chris, Helen, Huss, I hear you, and it's my main concern - It'd just suck to have a repaint wear to chrome or have the paint chip or chunk off.
Helen, my dream camera has always been an original BP M2, button rewind, no self-timer. So damn sexy, but not at current prices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by creenus View Post
As soon as I sell some guitar gear this summer I will have my M2 repainted by Alan Starkie, listed here:

https://www.cameraworks-uk.com/price-list

I will probably go with black, but I may choose green - just to be different.

Needless to say I voted the M2 option. I like this little camera - nice viewfinder, simple and clean.

Apparently, Mr. Starkie is now servicing M5s, which is fantastic news for users such as myself!
That would be nice, but I just don't have the time unfortunately. Maybe for my next M (there's always another...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bellayr View Post
If thinking about holding value the M4 black chrome would be IMHO the better bet. You are correct waiting for the repaint is difficult.
Holding the value is not in the front of my mind, but in the end it's nice to be able to sell something down the road if you need to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
IMHO a straight trade of a black chrome M4 with that worn black chrome M6 you just sold would have been possible. That is a lovely camera and it wears it's wear very well.
Thanks Johan, It was a nice camera and I probably could've got a bit more for it, but in the end I more than doubled my money after 6 years of ownership so I'm not complaining. It's on its way to Western Australia as we speak, so it's staying Down Under! I find trades that are not in person a bit problematic, and there aren't many BC M4s floating around my neck of the woods.
Carrying that old M6 around was an good way to tell the real Leica nerd from the rest. I'd get a lot of comments about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
IHMO the M4 is pinnacle of the M non-metered line. The black chrome M4 was the last ones made, therefore the newest in terms of age.

i have a black chrome M4 made in Wetzler with the MR4 meter which is dead nuts accurate and easy to use. Recently selling a lot of my gear I almost sold it. Decided that was a mistake and sold the M2. Still have an M7 which is still two too many (Plus and M9). I think the BC M4 has got to be cheaper than a repaint M2.
Good point about the age, there could be 20 years difference... I do like the M4...

Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
I love my M2. A little slower to load but an extra spool solves that problem. Post rewind? Slower but you'll never bend the rewind crank. Most of all, the uncluttered viewfinder. Plus you get the DOF notches.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
I've got a black repaint m4 in the classifieds right now. Sounds like the solution to your dilemma
I had a look at it and it sort of confirms my worry about the repaint - will it wear nicely to brass of will some bright chrome patches appear long after the seller has left town? Nice price though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Repaint, shmeepaint. I voted M4 black chrome.
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Old 06-18-2017   #28
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An original M4 BP is not that much more expensive than a black-chrome M4 and simply just looks better. If black-chrome I would go for the M4-2, much cheaper, hot shoe and can be used with a winder.

I had M4-2 and M4-P Leicas for years, true workhorse cameras but when black chrome starts to wear, the grey nickel layer below does not really look nice.
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Old 06-18-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
An original M4 BP is not that much more expensive than a black-chrome M4 and simply just looks better. If black-chrome I would go for the M4-2, much cheaper, hot shoe and can be used with a winder.

I had M4-2 and M4-P Leicas for years, true workhorse cameras but when black chrome starts to wear, the grey nickel layer below does not really look nice.
Where do you see these cheap BP M4s (or expensive BC M4s)? All that I see are close to double the cost of the BC M4.
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Old 06-18-2017   #30
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Quote:
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Where do you see these cheap BP M4s (or expensive BC M4s)? All that I see are close to double the cost of the BC M4.
Almost all BC M4 that I have seen were in the US$1700 ~ 1800 range, BP M4 US$ 2400 ~ 2600.
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Old 06-18-2017   #31
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We differ in that I couldn't care less about the aesthetic. Leica is just another camera I use and I don't see it as anything super special. For me it's about making images. Then again I use a donkey bag and strap not a $600 bag, $250 half case and $250 strap, not that you do but that seems more important to some than the images they make. (I'm not taking a swiping at you.)
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Old 06-18-2017   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Almost all BC M4 that I have seen were in the US$1700 ~ 1800 range, BP M4 US$ 2400 ~ 2600.
I can only seem to find BP M4s in the US$ 3300+ range... Where are you looking?!

For example, site sponsor Sedatal Studios has a BP M4 for US$3500 and a BC M4 for US$1850 both in similar condition. That's pretty much the cost I see them for on auction sites too, pretty much double. There's a BP M4 in the classifieds for 3600 Euro - although it is very nice - it's a LOT of $ more than a BC version. This purchase is being funded by selling other camera gear, I'd prefer not to sink any more money into it.
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Old 06-18-2017   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
We differ in that I couldn't care less about the aesthetic. Leica is just another camera I use and I don't see it as anything super special. For me it's about making images. Then again I use a donkey bag and strap not a $600 bag, $250 half case and $250 strap, not that you do but that seems more important to some than the images they make. (I'm not taking a swiping at you.)
To a point I don't care, but then again to a point I do. I only have one camera, which sits on my self when I don't use it - so it has to look pretty else my wife wouldn't let me keep it there!
It's not just another camera, it's MY camera

Tell me about this donkey bag? I use a Domke, but autocorrect can be a PITA!
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Old 06-18-2017   #34
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I paid Euro 2160 in last year`s Westlicht Auction and this year the lowest hammer price for an M4 BP was Euro 2280. Even here in Tokyo with Leica gear usually completely over prized they can be found for below JPY 300000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I can only seem to find BP M4s in the US$ 3300+ range... Where are you looking?!

For example, site sponsor Sedatal Studios has a BP M4 for US$3500 and a BC M4 for US$1850 both in similar condition. That's pretty much the cost I see them for on auction sites too, pretty much double. There's a BP M4 in the classifieds for 3600 Euro - although it is very nice - it's a LOT of $ more than a BC version. This purchase is being funded by selling other camera gear, I'd prefer not to sink any more money into it.
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Old 06-18-2017   #35
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I went back and read it and that's funny. I have several Domke's. Actually can't remember the numbers. I like the olive color canvas and have used Adonis for decades. They're relatively inexpensive and with the padded inserts give really good protection. Also the canvas strap on the case with the rubber tread feels good to the shoulder.

I actually have 3 of the old canvas Leica bags I carry film holders, handheld strobes and stuff in. I have a small canvas Leica bag this I use for film. These were just canvas with no frills and were made in the mid 70's. They're similar to Domke.

I have a small Domke that I carry a Nikon and 105, 35 and 24 plus meter and film. It's very compact. I also have the next size up that I carry an M and three lenses(1on the body) and pan. Another I have inserts in and carry 2 M bodies and 5 lenses. I'll try to find the numbers and post them.
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Old 06-18-2017   #36
x-ray
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Looks like I have a Domke F6, F8 and F10JD.
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Old 06-18-2017   #37
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Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Looks like I have a Domke F6, F8 and F10JD.
I have the F6 in olive canvas. I use it to carry 1 M with lens attached, film, meter, and lunch. I walk to work every day with it, the perfect size.
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Old 06-19-2017   #38
BLKRCAT
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I had a look at it and it sort of confirms my worry about the repaint - will it wear nicely to brass of will some bright chrome patches appear long after the seller has left town? Nice price though!
I'm unsure. Some parts are wearing chrome, others are wearing brass. I didnt repaint it so its hard to tell.

the paint is wearing though and not simply flaking off and looking ugly. Whoever did it did a good job with it.
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Old 06-19-2017   #39
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$1895 BP http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M4-Bla...3D192217157229
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Old 06-19-2017   #40
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i had a great idea: get a bessa r2a while you wait for the repaint.
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