Leica M7 Titanium
& 50mm Summilux
Special edition cameras can be
hit or miss. With their fancy
wraps, special metals, and
custom engravings, Leica’s
special editions command
much higher prices than normal
production models. But every
now and again, opportunities
align and expensive cameras
come to market at great prices.
-Leica M7 Titan & 50mm f 1.4 ( $7,999 )
When the first M6 Titan was introduced, there was a low boo rumbling from the crowd. The M6 was not solid titanium but a titanium coated brass. The matte finish had an industrial look, but many people thought the camera felt like a gold plated engagement ring.
In 2004, Leica released the M7 Titanium in two sets, the first came with three lenses, a 50mm Summilux f 1.4, 28mm Summicron f 2.0, and a 90mm Summicron f 2.0 ( serial # 3,000,000-3,000,050 ) and the second set came with only the 50mm Summilux f 1.4 ( serial # 3,000,051-3,000,550 ). This camera is from the second set which came with the 50mm. Unlike the previous M6, the M7 Titan top and bottom plates are machined from solid titanium and the camera weighs 13% less than a production M7.
Solid titanium top and bottom plates will not chip or scratch easily. As the body becomes warn, there is nothing but pure titanium under the surface. Since these cameras are usually reserved for collectors, I have never seen one of these log 100,000 miles on the road. But for those of us who are renewing our vows with film, this M7 and 50mm Summilux are perfect pair to take traveling.
Silicone Diode Coating. Titanium is naturally more resistant to corrosion than most other metals, like brass, steel, or aluminum. Leica opted to coat the metal body with a silicone diode coating, which means that when you eat greasy street food and finger prints will not show up on the camera. The thin layer of silicone makes it resistant to oils, but I would not recommend deep frying it as a test.
Gray Leica Dot. Nike has the “Swoosh” and Leica has their dot. Like a Hindu bindi, the red dot of a Leica is recognizable from miles away. On a few special edition cameras, the Leica red has been swapped for grey or black. The grey dot on the titanium body give the camera a different look than other special editions. Personally its one of my favorites.
Good Luck. Through a fortunate chain of events, this camera became available at Photo Village. Normally this camera and lens combo sell for around $15,000, on eBay, but the only vendors selling it right now are in Hong Kong. Not my favorite place to buy expensive camera gear. The M7 Titan, aside from being Seal’s camera of choice, is one of the slickest cameras Leica has ever produced. Whether it will be a new addition to the showcase or a new tool collecting dust from all seven continents, this M7 is a brilliant deal.
Whoever ends up buying this camera, I would love to hear your reactions to using it on the road.
Link to M7 Titan & 50mm Summilux: All of the images included above are of the actual camera and lenses. The images were taken in-house at Photo Village. I saw the camera myself the other day and can tell you, it is stunning.