Leica MP review: mechanical analog perfection in the digital age

This luxury-priced 35mm film rangefinder is 20 years old, but can still be bought new today

Leica MP
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Leica MP is the pinnacle of mechanical precision and craftsmanship in film photography. Its robust brass build, intuitive controls, and precise rangefinder deliver an immersive shooting experience. The built-in light meter and manual operation foster a deep connection with your craft. Despite minor quirks, such as the front battery door and no shutter lock, the MP's simplicity and reliability make it a delight to use. For those seeking a timeless, high-quality film camera, the Leica MP is a superb investment, ensuring exceptional photographic results for years to come.


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    Fully mechanical rangefinder

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    Style icon

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    Built-in lightmeter


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    Pricey - and the lenses are too

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The Leica MP has earned its place among the best Leica cameras, and the best film cameras available today, despite its luxury price tag. Renowned for delivering a fully mechanical photography experience, the Leica MP continues to uphold the brand's legacy, offering modern photographers a connection to the golden age of film.

So, how does this 35mm film camera, rooted in a 60+ year-old design, fare in today's world? 

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Lens MountLeica M-Mount
FocusManual only
ShutterMechanical: 1/1sec to 1/1000
ISO raiting (lightmeter)6 to 6400
Frame lines28mm / 35mm / 50mm / 75mm / 90mm / 135mm
Size138 x 77 x 38 mm
Weight1.3 lb / 600 g (with battery)
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FeaturesPure photography at its finest ★★★★★
DesignIts timeless design hasn't changed since the 1950's, but the battery door at the front can be tricky to get used too★★★★
PerformanceThis is one of the finest photography experiences around, but it comes at a great cost★★★★
ValueIt's built quality is legendary, and its design is an icon, but it will cost you a fortune - but it will be worth every penny!★★★★★
Leica M11

Leica M11
While this is a digital camera, you are able to shoot in color, black, and white and record DNGs to tweak your image to your heart's content. Yes, it's a digital camera, but that comes with modern convenience that simply can't be ignored. However, if you only want to shoot film and analog is your chosen medium then you simply can't go wrong with the Leica M-A - it's the MP, just with no light meter at all.

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.