Leica Titanium (M6, M7/MP and M9) Trivia/FAQ

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 Post subject: Leica Titanium (M6, M7/MP and M9) Trivia/FAQ
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 am 
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Here are some funs fact about Leica's use of titanium - that mystical, high-tech and for various reasons, particularly expensive material. Both very strong and very light, it appeals to many because of its exotic nature, being used in various aerospace and military industries.

These days it's quite popular as a jewelry/watch material also. I know I'm a fan - having a ring, a Tissot T-Touch watch and a BBQ (actually an X-15 combustion chamber) all made of it. I even have a Delta Titanio fountain pen with the furniture and nib made of it which writes wonderfully (smooth with a hint of tooth, wet and slightly flexy).

The Leica M6 titanium edition, along with the various titanium finish lenses are not actually made of titanium. They're merely coated with titanium nitrite (TiN). It's a very hard-wearing finish but has been known to chip off on the lenses at least. The coating is akin to black/silver chrome or black paint in that regard. These bodies also sport the (fake) ostrich skin leather.

The Leica M7 and MP titanium editions are where it gets interesting as the top and bottom plates are both actually made from titanium, saving about 90g of weight over the regular brass parts. These can be quite pricey as they're rare (only 500 of the M7s and 150 of the MPs made). Figure about $18-21k for the M7 kit (which includes a titanium finish Summilux 35/50mm f/1.4 lens). The MP features the rougher vulcanite over the typical sharkskin whereas the M7 is the other way around.

Finally there's the Leica M9 titanium edition, which much like the M7 has pieces that are actually machined from titanium as well. The last of these in truly "new" condition (and not on the collector's market) is already sold out but still available here and there from dealers that have them. Cheapest price for the body alone seems to be just over $26k. Better than the original $30k asking price...

Some lenses can have either a black or titanium finish lens hood. So if you're shopping the used market, keep an eye out. One such example is the Summilux 35mm f/1.4 "Pre-ASPH" lens.

M6:
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M7:
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MP:
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M9:
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The Ultimate M7 Kit ($107-160k):
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