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The Leica M2 is an advanced 35mm film rangefinder produced from 1957 to 1969 with around 83,000 being made. Most M2s were made in Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, Germany but around 1500 were made in the Ernst Leitz Canada. The M2 had brass top and bottom plates and the grears were also brass. The M2 was hand made by factory workers with the tighest tolerances. Most M2s were chrome but black ones were also made and are now very rare. A year after the introduction of the M4 around 2000 M2-Rs were made. These M2-Rs had the quicker loading spool of the M4 which allowed for much faster loading of film.

Leica M2s were made with self timers but these are absent on many models for a cheaper price. The early models had a button rewind wheras the later ones had a lever rewind. The top plate has the tradional Leica engravings which are absent on the M4-2 and onwards only comming back with the 2003 MP. The body is coated with vulcanised rubber. The back of the M2 can be opened with the removal of the bottom plate for easier loading of the film and on this back door there is an ISO/ASA speed dial. This dial is to remind you of your film speed, as the M2 dosen't have a meter this dial is not essential.

The Leica M2 was Leica's second production M camera following the M3. The M2 was designed as the M3's cheaper alternative. The M2 was virtually the same as a single stroke Leica M3 except for the manual reset film counter dial that rotates around the shutter dial and the viewfinder magnifcation and frame lines. The Leica M2's had a .72 magnification ratio as opposed to .91 of the M3. This new magnifcation allowed for the use of the 35mm frameline with the removal of the 135mm frameline. This lower finder magnification mean for less precise focusing but made it easier to see the 50mm frameline if you wear glasses.

The Leica M2 has shutter speeds ranging from 1 to 1000 and bulb. It also had 2 flash sync ports on the back which when used with an adaptor can be used with a PC sync cord.