Leica M3 black paint, 1964

Leica M3 black paint, 1964
Leica M3 black paint, 1964 — Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica

Leica M cameras with black varnish have long held a special fascination for collectors. On the one hand, this is because they are rare (most of the M3, M2 and M4 cameras were delivered in a chrome version), on the other because the black-paint cameras were often used very heavily by press photographers and thereby acquired a particularly beautiful patina, whereas used chrome cameras do not have this charisma. Of course, the history of the often well-known owners and the photographs taken with these cameras is also of great interest to collectors.

Initially, back in the 1920's Leicas were offered only in black color, then they all shifted to chrome.