Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/02

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Subject: [Leica] Black M&M's
From: Robert Browne <>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2000 23:12:01 -0400

Today I came a little closer to understanding the collecting aspect of Leica mania. While I can understand that some people like to collect cameras and place them in glass cases and gaze at them with affection and wonderment, that aspect of camera ownership has never held any interest for me. I appreciate Leicas for their design and engineering and for their ability as photographic tools.

Today I happened to be in Ken Hansen Photographic in Manhattan to look for an odd size step up ring for a lens. Before leaving, a case in the corner caught my eye. Two of the objects it contained were a M-2 and a M-3. Both were all black and looked like they had never been touched by human hands. Quite a sight! The perfection of these objects was that I could never see myself actually using one of them. I suppose they truly belonged in a case to be admired. Or perhaps they longed to be used, anticipating the thrill of capturing a unique moment, envious of their worldly brethren. I didn't bother to ask Ken the price for either. It was like heroin for Leica users. Those interested might want to check them out while they are still there. 

I did have a short conversation with a very nice older gentleman accompanied by his son who noticed my Leica III and told me he received one when he graduated from high school in 1936. We talked briefly about the other Leicas and lenses he had owned.  After that I forgot about the black M's.