Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/07/25

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Subject: Leica M4: To buy or not to buy, that is the question
From: Dave Munroe <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 97 19:06:52 PDT

Chances are I won't buy an M4 I've had my eyes on, but I still
think about it.  It's been on the shelf in a pro-oriented
camera shop for about a month.

This is a nice chrome M4 body without any scratches or dings,
and all shutter speeds sound and seem ok. Self-timer and preview
lever also work.  The only thing that looks somewhat bad is the
shutter curtain itself.  It's not wrinkled, torn, or cut, but it's
got what I'd describe as "rub marks" on it.  These marks are not
from normal wear over decades of use: one of the larger ones is in
the middle of the first curtain, is horizontal, and is about an
eighth of an inch wide and a half inch long.  Another is vertical,
the full width of the first curtain, and looks like it was caused
by film leader snapping against the curtain.   I couldn't detect
any light leaks.  Operation is as smooth and as quiet as you'd
expect a Leica to be.  I can't figure out how someone who took such
good care of the exterior of their Leica managed to do this to their

Anyway, I suspect this is what's kept the camera from being sold,
that and the price - well over $1300.  I don't exactly "need"
another camera right now -- I've got plenty, so it's probably
best to wait for that pristine M4 to eventually show up.

Speaking of curtains, I was a bit surprised when I first looked
at the curtain of my M6 - it has a rubbery appearance with areas
that are waxy looking.  I've seen a lot of rubberized cloth
focal plane shutters in my day, but not quite to the extent of
the M6.  Not a complaint, mind you, just something I didn't expect.

- -Dave