The Leica M4 in gray is cool enough but look at those gorgeous brass patina accents.
Gray cameras have always been positively stunning to me. And this Leica M4 is no exception. That camera is already experiencing a price boost because of its reliability. But this is just the cherry on top. Before writing this post, we did some research to see if this is a rare special edition. The only rare versions of the Leica M4 were in Olive green and made for the German military. And so this camera is a one of a kind, custom build. With that said, it’s positively stunning.
According to the seller’s listing, this Leica M4 had a recent CLA. It’s also listed in perfect working condition. That’s truly wonderful considering what the Leica M4 is. In terms of purely mechanical engineering, the Leica M4 is a marvel. The Leica M6 was essentially the same camera with electronic metering. And it wasn’t until later on that Leica achieved even faster shutter speeds using non-mechanical shutters. Technically speaking, a Leica M6 becomes a Leica M4 when it doesn’t have a battery. But the Leica M4 will always be just what it is. The shutter will always work no matter what because it’s mechanical. And overall, the camera will simply function as long as there no problems with it. Of course, that means you need to meter for yourself. But using the Sunny 16 method is very easy.
That’s one of the reasons why it was called the camera for the thinking photographer. There isn’t a single automatic function to assist you means that you need to be an active part of the picture-taking process. As antiquated as that seems, it makes you take better photos.
I used to own a Leica M4-P before selling it to a friend over at DPReview. In my review of the Leica M4-P, I called most digital photography “soulless.” And I still believe that, but it’s been changing for the better.
But let’s admire how gorgeous this Leica M4 is! It’s got a gray color to it. But additionally, there’s also a lot of wear and chrome/silver dials. This helps to contrast against the body color. Plus, all the inlays are written in black. That helps keep the look very subtle. Around all this is the brassed patina and wear. This tells you that the camera has been worn and worked. Who knows what this camera has done. It could have been in the hands of a street photographer. It could also have traveled across the world with another photographer.
The beautiful patina continues around to the back. But here, it’s only evident on the top plate. The back ISO dial is in a different color too. This dial is really just for your own memory. That’s how you can remember what ISO the film is inside. It won’t change the light meter the way it would for later cameras.
Of course, you can also see the viewfinder. This camera will pair nicely with silver and black lenses alike. Silver would probably bring out the lighter accents more. In that case, it would be a much more eye-catching and beautiful product. But most folks wouldn’t care about it because it’s a film camera. And that’s also one of the most powerful things about something like this. In the same vein that one would bring a non-descript Rolex camera around, you’d bring a gray Leica M4 with silver lenses around.