Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. I do understand that the m4-2 was made in Midland but some are stamped "Wetzlar" and command a premium. Can anyone comment on why this is? Is it just that the later (Wetzlar) models were produced much higher on the learning curve?

Also, I have had a couple of M3s years ago and wanted to put the M2/M3 on the short list but have recently read a number of horror stories about "dim rangefinders, de-silvering rangefinder prisms" which I understand are non-repairable and I don't particularly want to buy into that risk. I also see this problem mentioned on some of KEH's offerings also.

Is this a common problem now that the early Leicas are nearing 55 years old?

Thanks again, everyone!

There ARE a small number of Wetzlar-made M4-2s according to literature (Denis Laney's Leica Collectors Guide - the book does not give details of serial numbers, dates of production, etc.).

The whole Wetzlar versus Ontario quality problem was apparently that M Leicas were assembled from parts made to only moderate tolerances and required a lot of input from skilled personnel in terms of trial-and-error fitting of parts, fettling etc. to make them work properly. The appropriate skills were not necessarily at the right level at the start of Canadian production.

Yes, you can experience de-silvering of rangefinder prisms with Leicas of appropriate age (I've had it with an M3 and a postwar IIIc). My repairpeople (Newton Ellis of Liverpool UK) can fix this, the cost was about 100. By and large Leica M2s and M3s are cheaper by an appropriate amount compared with M4 and M6, so a prism repair is by no means uneconomic.