I got a Leica M4-P.
Since I've started looking at Leica rangefinder cameras I always run some search alerts on eBay, observe several Facebook groups and some camera dealers for good offers.
Honestly, I don't have the money to buy all those special, limited, or near mint editions. I'm looking for the ugly cameras, which deserve some love. I'm not after trash, the camera has to work or has specific problems, so I can estimate what it would take to get it back to beauty.
This Leica M4-P was exactly that ugly, lost camera which I finally adopted to bring it back to life. It wasn't always easy this time, but after all I so satisfied with the result.
Let's talk about the ugly. When the camera arrived at my place its condition was pretty bad. The was almost no leather on the body, the rewind know was bent, one strap lug was missing, on the body were traces of glue from some kind of tape and everything (inside and out) was dirty.
I started with cleaning the body and removing the last parts of the leather. Next, I repainted all letterings white and some details red. After opening the body, I did some CLA stuff inside, and ensured the mechanics are working perfectly.
The worst part of this rebuild was the fixation of a new strap lug. I took ages to get the correct parts first, and lots of patience to finally bring it to the body. In the end it worked and I even managed to get the body shell back in place with film counter and frame lever working correctly again.
After the body was reassembled and I attached a brand-new rewind know which was provided by the Leica Customer Service, I wrapt the M4-P in new leather. As always, I ordered at cameraleather.com and went with "Restoration Black" this time. A "Leitz" logo sticker was found in mint conditions to make the M4-P look like new. On the back I decided to remove the ASA indicator, it was missing when the camera arrived and I personally don't use them anyway.
The Leica now looks so great again. It is far from mint or new, but now it is an old beauty made to last. I probably will sell the camera after some rolls of film to fund my next project, not sure though what this could be...
(After the first roll I realized the infinity alignment was off, so I spend some time adjusting the rangefinder. Now, the camera works like fresh from the factory.)
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