Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Leica M2 (Leica M2-R, M2S and M2M)

The M2 was a camera that appears to have been aimed at users on both ends of the market. It was designed as a less expensive alternative to the M3, initially lacking self timer, although later models included it, and the film counter was external, and had to be manually reset.

It also appears they designed the camera for the professional, changing the viewfinder to accommodate the field of view of a 35mm lens, with framelines for 50 and 90mm, a set of framelines better suited for many professionals. The camera also accepts the trigger wind baseplate, and a small batch were fitted with electric motor drives, and are marked M2M in front of the serial number.

Earlier cameras had a button on the front to release the clutch for rewinding the film. Later examples have a lever.

In 1966 the US Army ordered M2 cameras with the rapid loading system found on the M4. Designated as M2S, these cameras bear no special markings, and any M2 can use an M4 baseplate and have this feature. Civilian versions of the M2S were sold as M2R, which was marked in front of the serial number.

One batch of 20 cameras were finished in gray paint for the German Air Force, but are listed in the statistics as black cameras.

Production started at 926,001, and ended at 1,165,000

A black Leica M2 with 50/2 Summicron in matching black paint. This camera lacks the self timer, and has the lever rewind release.

A black Leica M2 body with self timer and lever rewind.

A black Leica M2 body with button rewind.

A chrome Leica M2 without self timer, and has the lever rewind release.

A chrome Leica M2 with self timer, and has the lever rewind release.

Production figures by year and camera finish:


Chrome Black Motor Canadian


200 -0- -0- -0-


15,970 500 -0- 430


7715 -0- -0- -0-


10,930 270 -0- 300


9100 200 -0- 250


9450 350 -0- 250


7000 -0- -0- -0-


3800 250 -0- 150


9475 300 -0- 200


8049 -0- 276 -0-


60 -0- -0- -0-


-0- 1 -0- -0-


81,749 1871 276 1580