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Leica M Instruction Manuals

Leica's M-series of rangefinder cameras are marvels of mechanical engineering and provide the photographer with rich and sometimes complex functionality. So it's always useful to have an instruction manual available, just in case one needs to look up some camera or handling detail. Leica, of course, ships a manual with every new camera and provides downloadable user guides for its current models on its website. Yet, corresponding information for older cameras is more difficult to obtain and has to come from other sources. Pre-owned prints of camera manuals can sometimes be found on ebay. In addition, for many of Leica's older M-system cameras, some Leica fans (namely, Mike Buktus, Joe Chan, and David Young) have made scans of out-of-print instruction manuals available as free pdf downloads on their websites. Hopefully, the manual you are looking for is available in the listing...

Leica M5 manual
Front page of the M5 instruction manual

Also, if you would like to put your M-camera into the context of Leica's history, you might want to have a look at a set of pdf-documents that contain much of the information that went into Erwin Puts' Leica Compendium. This 2011 publication has become a reference book on the evolution of Leica cameras and lenses. All three print editions have sold out, but the author has made drafts of the underlying material available on the web in the form of several booklets and excerpts. These downloads are not as nicely formatted as the published version and do not contain all the illustrations of the print edition, but they nevertheless bring together plenty of interesting information for the Leica aficionado. Just move across to the Leica documents page to see the listing of respective downloads.

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Leica M Instruction Manuals
  Camera model Launch
Hard copy
Soft copy
1Leica M31954checkdownload
2Leica MP1956check..
3Leica MP21956check..
4Leica M21957checkdownload
5Leica M11959check..
6Leica MD1963check..
7Leica MDa1966check..
8Leica M41967checkdownload
9Leica M51971checkdownload
10Leica CL1973checkdownload
11Leica M4-P1980checkdownload
12Leica MD-21980check..
13Leica M61984checkdownload
14Leica M6 TTL1998checkdownload
15Leica M72002checkdownload
16Leica MP (2003)2003checkdownload

Further Reading

Information on the evolution of Leica's M cameras and an overview of lenses for the M-bayonet are available on separate pages on this site. Moreover, there is a collection of Leica pdf booklets and brochures, as well as a downloadable version of the Leica family tree available. Finally, if you are unsure about some term or definition, the Leica glossary will hopefully be able to clarify the meaning.

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