black paint
4 Jul 2018
Leica Black Paint #1 - Bubble
Anyone here interested in Leica Black Paint camera? Why all Leica collectors at some point of time are so obsessed with Black Paint Leica? They look like defected paint, they are not durable like chrome, they are not consistent and all look different. But I believe the imperfection and how it gradually becomes aged is where the charm is.  It is an elegant piece of equipment, with Germany’s precision, and wears gracefully. 

I became more and more critical in assessing Leica Black Paint and almost to a point I need to give up collecting it because of the growing uncertainty of its authenticity.  We should be very picky when it comes to collecting vintage and try our best to learn, investigate, research and share/discuss with friends and experts. That is part of the fun, otherwise...why bother?  There is no fun in collecting something that you have the slightest doubt.  I have my own set of philosophy in collecting Leica and will share it with you at a later stage.

I would like to share some observations and tips with you that I have accumulated from my years of collecting, research and study with experts. I have no intention to write technical information that you can easily search in books or internet. This is all about personal observation and sharing. Hopefully it is something interesting that you can’t find in any Leica books.

Let us start with an easier topic for both junior and senior Leica collectors.

Only the vintage M2, M3 and M4 black paint will show some forms of bubbles in the paint. Newer black paint such as the one on M6, MP3 or even digital Ms such as M9-P etc. will probably never develop bubbles due to the paint used. The bubbles will be developed simply by exposing the Black Paint camera in the air and moisture, as evidences show that even the very new condition one or some so called “NOS” (New old stock) will have a few developed. Beware if there are no bubbles developed on a M2, M3 or M4 black paint.  Repaint can look very beautiful and real but so far it is still not easy to "artificially" recreate those bubbles.
Black Paint M4 is relatively new compared with M2/M3 and there is a chance that bubbles are not as obvious or not showing yet especially those with serial number beyond 1 2XX XXX.  Furthermore, there are not many fake Black Paint M4 out there because there are plenty of authentic ones, the cost of which is more or less the same as a chrome M4. Besides, commissioning a good repaint technician to dechrome and repaint a M4 is not cheap either compared with the cost of getting a real one.
So Black Paint M4 should be relatively "safe" for beginners.
SN Pre-1 000 000 M2 and M3 in general have a matt paint service (details to be covered in future articles) and usually have a lot of finer/small bubbles.  I have seen a very early BLACK PAINT M4 which is full of bubbles, but later ones are usually quite “clean”.

credit to Edison Sam
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6 Jun 2020
Douglas So: A Collector's Love Story
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17 Sep 2019
Names in Leica World #2
A few of my friends told me they really love the article in Leica Names and find them interesting. It is always fascinating to learn a little more about the history of Leica, and the history of the specific Leica camera you own! In fact, another very interesting “code letter” is the black wax that covers one of the 5 screws which help to fix the M bayonet mount together.
2 Apr 2019
Grey Leica #1
Let us talk about grey painted Leica, but we will skip the “legendary grey M2” for later and focus on some fundamentals of IIIc grey instead. There are many different variations of IIIc grey, but they do share some common features. We will cover the basic here and will go into more detail later. (Likely will need to split IIIc grey into 3-4 articles)
29 Mar 2019
the first Leica M series camera - Leica M3 #1
How many variations of Leica M3 existed?? 10? 20? 30? My guest is that it has over 50 different types of M3 cameras. Let’s cover all the variations one by one in the next 10, 20, 30 or 50 or so articles on M3. But let us start with some of the fundamentals and “fun facts” first: