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Leica M4 with 50mm f/2 and proxiphotography glasses
|Type||35 mm camera|
|Lens mount||Leica M-mount|
|Flash||standard accessory shoe with separate bulb and electronic flash connectors|
|Dimensions||138 x 77 x 33.5 mm|
The M4 started production in November 1966, as the direct successor of the M3 and M2, featuring framelines for 35 mm, 50 mm, 90 mm and 135 mm lenses in a 0.72 magnification viewfinder. It has the frame counter of the M3, with automatic reset after reloading.
Three ergonomic modifications were introduced in the M4:
- a different, angled film advance lever, as well as slightly different rewind, self-timer and frame selection levers
- a crank for rewinding the film, that replaced the telescopic knob of the M3
- a faster loading system that does not need a removable spool
Production of the Leica M4 ceased in 1975.
A scientific version without a viewfinder was made as Leica MDa (similar to the Leica M1).
Leica M4-2, Leica M4-P
Production of the M4 stopped briefly in 1972. Its successor, the M5 had been introduced in 1971. However, the relatively bulky and expensive M5 met with a cool reception, and sales did not live up to Leica's expectations. Production of the M4 was therefore restarted quickly until 1975. In the year 1975, a special edition was made for Leica's 50th Anniversary, and in 1977 the company launched the updated M4-2, which was based on the M4's body, but with a streamlined production process that reduced manufacturing cost. The M4-2 added a hot shoe and motor drive compatibility as standard, but removed the self-timer.
The M4-2 was followed in 1981 by the M4-P, which added framelines for 28 mm and 75 mm lenses. The range continued with the Leica M6 in 1984, which was essentially an M4-P with through-the-lens (TTL) light metering. The M6 finally ceased production in 1998, although Leica released a special edition with a high-magnification finder in 1998.
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