Leica M 35mm
Checklist for
your variant.
Back doors, levers,
strap lugs, etc.

Online ordering

Leica M page 1 Leica M page 2 Lugs, Levers?
How should we cut?
Applying your new cover
Vulcanite removal

You are here ^

Left: M3 bodies have early (LEFT) or late (RIGHT) style strap lugs. They are easy to tell apart, and we need to know which you have before we can cut your parts. Sometimes they are called "Buddha" or "Moon" type, respectively.

You should remove both the camera strap (and strap hooks or rings) before you start your recovering project. You MUST do this if you have the late style lug, or you will come to a very annoying detour just as you are ready to apply your parts.

M3 back doors changed over the course of production. Early style doors have a vulcanite insert that is about 76.5 mm wide, and the later doors have an insert width of about 78 mm. The only* tool you need is a metric rule, to make a careful measurement of your insert. Give us the measurement at the purchase page, or in a separate email. A part that is not correctly chosen here, will fit poorly, or not at all.

Late cameras with the "moon" lug, will all have the ~78 mm back from the factory, which was also put on some of the later production "Bhudda" style cameras. The ~76.5 mm type back was affixed only to early cameras, all with the "Buddha" lug. There is actually a third "middle" size back panel that is a bit over 77 mm long, originally used on later production "Bhudda" style cameras. However, it can be very difficult-even for the most intelligent Leica owner--to parse out the ~77 mm back, and the ~76.5 part will provide a very satisfactory fit on this "middle style" back.

All subsequent Leica M 35mm cameras will accept the "late" style ~78 mm back piece!

If this is not already thoroughly confusing, M3 owners who are not the original purchaser (most of you at this point) can take all this Leica M3-back-door history and set it aside. It's a common practice for Leica sellers to "mix-and-match" back doors, pairing them with bodies that have similarly pristine--or tatty--vulcanite. So please always provide us with information based on your own careful measurement!

*(Please leave the pressure plate alone; you can get in trouble trying to figure out if it is glass.)

Lugs, Levers
Dots & Pins
M3: Very early M3 bodies usually have a self-timer lever, or a lens preview lever, but not both. Middle production M3 bodies usually have both levers, and all late production M3 bodies have both. It's important to tell us is you have one or both levers, if your camera has the "Buddha" style strap lug.

M2: Some have a self timer, some don't. This is normally the only variable. Very rare examples may have the M3-style release guard, around the lens release.

M4: A genuine M4 has both self timer and preview levers.

M4-2, M4-P: Neither camera has a self timer. Owners of the M4-P can request a cut that will let them delete the "Red Dot" on the front.

M5 Some cameras have 2 strap lugs and some have 3. Please tell us.

MD, MD2, MDa Rare examples may not have the metal stud like those on the M2/M3. This is normally located on the end opposite the base plate "ear".

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