Leica M1 - what is its place in the Leica universe?

Discussion in 'Leica M Camera Forum' started by funkydog, May 7, 2014.

  1. funkydog

    funkydog Leica Place Rookie

    May 6, 2014
    The M1 is an M2 without the rangefinder mechanism. There is also a MD which is an M2 without viewfinder and rangefinder. How did the M1 fit in the grand scheme of things? Was it a budget model for 35mm wide angle shooters to scale focus? Was it developed to torment photography majors at art schools? Did Leica have an overstock of body parts it somehow had to get rid of? I know that some M1s were adapted for shooting phone meters or something like that but what about the rest? What was Leica hoping to achieve with this model and what did people buy them for? Curious am I.
  2. Kookie B.

    Kookie B. Leica Place Regular

    Dec 26, 2013
    IIRC, I think the anticipated use was for the rangefinderless Ms was for scientific applications, such as with microscopes via adapters that had separate viewing optics.

    Ed B.
  3. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    That's my understanding as well. I've seen them on eBay every now and then and the description usually indicates that it was used in conjunction with a microscope.
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Nikon and others also made cameras for the scientific market, basically SLR's without reflex housings.
  5. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2013
    I think they could be used with a Visoflex, too.
  6. Metal Mariachi

    Metal Mariachi New to Leica Place

    Aug 31, 2015
    Keith Menefee
    Sorry to reactivate an old thread.
    I am getting used to my recently aquired M-1.
    lack of RF isn't that big of deal once you get the hang of judging distance or with hyperfocus on wide lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Beautiful camera and lens- that is a very late Summarit.

    As stated before, I think the M1 was a less expensive camera for technical applications. It came out after the M2. Also useful with a Viso-Flex. It certainly is useful for wide-angle lenses with large DOF. The M1 could be factory converted to an M2, I believe Youxin Ye and others will do this.