World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Leica M2

Article Id: WHEBN0012842889
Reproduction Date:

Title: Leica M2  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Leica Camera, Leica M3, List of Leica cameras
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Leica M2

Leica M2
Type 35 mm rangefinder camera
Lens mount Leica M-mount
Focus manual
Exposure manual
Flash standard accessory shoe with separate bulb and electronic flash connectors
Dimensions 138 x 77 x 33.5mm
Weight 580g

The Leica M2 is a 35 mm rangefinder camera by Ernst Leitz GmbH of Wetzlar, Germany, introduced in 1957. Around 82,000 M2s were produced between 1957 and 1968. Around 1500 M2s were produced by Ernst Leitz Canada, but most of these are not marked as such on the top plate.

The Leica M2 is the camera that was used by Alberto Korda to take his famous photo of Che Guevara.


The M2 was considered to be a more affordable, simplified version of the 1954 Leica M3. Notably, the frame counter of the M2 was composed of a disk plate beneath the film advance lever that had to be manually reset to zero after reloading. This system was close to that of the Leica III series, and unlike that of the M3, which is an independent frame counter, visible through a window in the top plate, that automatically resets to zero when the film take-up spool is removed.

The rangefinder system was also simplified from that of the M3 and this made it potentially more prone to rangefinder flare. The M2 has a rangefinder with a 0.72 magnification and frames for 35, 50 and 90mm lenses instead of the 0.91 magnification and 50, 90 and 135mm frames of the M3. This made it better suited for photojournalists who favour shorter lenses or for spectacle-wearers using a 50mm lens who sometimes find it difficult to see the framelines on the M3. The ground glass frameline illumination window of the M3 was replaced with a fresnel-type plastic lens. Finally, the ornate beveling around the various windows on the front of the M3 were flattened on the body of the M2. Unlike the M3, the widest framelines were not always visible so only one set of framelines were ever displayed at one time. All M2s are single stroke advance.

The M2 was followed by the still simpler Leica M1 and then the Leica M4, which used a similar rangefinder design but re-introduced the M3 style frame counter and added a faster loading system and a canted rewind lever.

On the present-day used market the M2 commands similar prices to the M3 despite its original "affordable" intentions. Both cameras are made to a similar level of quality and the M2's framelines have proved to be more versatile over time, with all subsequent Leica rangefinder models having 35mm framelines included.


There are a number of variations of the Leica M2. Although most models have the self-timer lever, it is absent from some earlier models. Also, some early models have a film rewind push-button instead of the typical lever. About 2400 M2s were factory-painted black, but these are relatively rare and more valued by collectors. Near the end of production, Leica also produced a number of M2-R models, which had the faster loading system of the later Leica M4.


External links

  • Leica M2 on
  • Leica M Serial Numbers on
de:Leica M2
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.