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M3 Before Repaint

Your camera is old
and the chrome
is tired...





"We endeavour to perform the task as it would have originally been carried out at the factory"

As Leica service specialists, we are in an enviable position to understand the construction, materials and the history of Leica products. Whenever we do a repaint, we endeavour to perform the task as it would have originally been carried out at the factory. This means completely dismantling every part of your camera and the removal of plating down to brass. We don't aggressively sand off the plating and we never paint screws in situ, we don't mask areas that should be dismantled, to save time and money. This means the finished product will have the look and feel of a camera that was factory finished.

A camera is the primary tool of the photographer. As a Leica user, you enjoy the simplicity, reliability and the build quality that a Leica provides. You probably also appreciate the Bauhausian design gestalt.


Using a camera that embraces the concept of what Leica call "das Wesentliche", or essence, does not guarantee better pictures, yet those aesthetic qualities enhance the experience of the user. This is why so many owners ask us to not only restore the mechanical and optical systems but to restore the aesthetics too.



When the chrome M6 appeared sporting black levers and fittings, it quickly got the name 'Panda'. This look, it is said, was not born of design, nor was it a special edition, but the result of parts shortages. However the look became very popular. We can recreate this look on any Leica 'M' and even screw mount cameras.

Reverse Panda

Reverse Panda

Taking the idea of using contrasting parts further, we have what we call the Reverse Panda. Generally a darker colour painted top and bottom plate and chrome fittings. We believe this can be of the most attractive looks for a Leica. Any colour that contrasts with chrome works well. Naturally, for best results, the chrome levers etc need to be in good condition.

M2 Grey Reverse Panda_edited.jpg
Fatory Pattern

Factory Pattern Repaint

Original black cameras were painted following a certain pattern. For example, the shutter release button is usually chrome. The bottom plate release catch on an original black M2 or M3 is chrome but black on an M4. We will research original examples based on your serial number for guidance. The colour may be black, olive or safari green, or any colour you like.


After painting your camera or lens, the engravings are infilled with a variety of materials. For black-painted cameras, our default style is to use white enamel. In fact, pure 'brilliant' white looks a little odd. We actually use an 'ivory' white, which looks correct in most cases. If you are seeking a contemporary look, possibly 'brilliant' white could be used, but what about a light grey, for a more subtle effect? For the top plate of a camera, we could pick out the 'Leica' logo to stand out differently, using different colours. It's entirely up to you. We also have available metal loaded wax infill paint, with silver being a pretty good representation of the old 'wismut' silver inlay found on older black screw mount cameras. For lenses it is the same story. Our default position is that feet markers on older lenses are traditionally red. Metre markers and other engravings are done using ivory. More recently, Leitz figured out that red is quite difficult to see against black and that is why they started to use a mustard colour for those engravings. If you want things done differently - let us know. For example, what about colour coding aperture numbers and depth of field indicators for fast setting of hyperfocal distances? Finally, glow-in-the-dark infills of various shades are also possible!

The Colours of Cerakote



In addition to the suggested painting schemes above, we can also provide a multitude of different colours and textures by Cerakote. These include military colours, olive greens, olive drab, safari colours etc. We can do a flat ceramic black 'stealth' finish, even with a black lens mount for those who do not wish to be noticed so easily. There is also a titanium finish which is very close to the original Leica PVD coating. We are able to provide camo styles and other designs that can be applied by hydro dipping. Basically, whatever you can imagine, we can make happen.

Alan Starkie is also a City & Guilds qualified silversmith and experienced stone-setter. We are happy to discuss any projects that may require the use of precious metals or gemstones, including diamonds. We also possess a 50W fibre laser engraving machine.

Reskins are currently based on the well-known Koyo Orient #4008 pattern leatherette. We now cut these skins on our own premises which gives us better control over quality and fit. These are not currently available as DIY kits. Coming soon are real Italian leather skins in a variety of colours and also interesting materials such as Kevlar

'Snakelegs' Leica

The concept is to distill the pure essence of the Leica. Retaining only what is necessary and removing anything that can get in the way. This can include removal of strap lugs if required, frame preview lever, self-timer, flash ports, film door ASA reminder being replaced with film carton memo holder. We can also remove the 'fangs' that protrude down each side of the top plate to surround the lens mount.


Leica M2 'fangs' removed, self-timer
& preview levers and mechanisms removed AKA 'Snakelegs

We recently completed such a camera for one of our customers which included fitting of Nikon F2 titanium shutter blinds.  The weight of the camera had been reduced by about 50 grams - almost 10% of the weight of the original camera. We can take this further should a lightweight camera be required.


Leica M3 'Snakelegs'

M7 Stealth Edition

Simulated with the cameraworks-uk configurator

Summicron 35mm beforeAfter-01.png
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