A closer look at the Leica M9-P Black Paint (Video)

A Closer Video Look at the Leica M9-P

Hello to all! It’s bright and early in the Huff household and after going through all of my emails from the past few weeks I came across a few that asked me to do a short video on the M9-P camera. Many of you had a question on the black paint finish and were asking if it was more of a matte finish or a glossy finish. The M9-P in black has a matte finish and is VERY nice looking. It is not as shiny as the MP or the black paint M8.2 but it IS the most attractive digital M to date in my opinion.

But, the M9-P is the SAME as the M9. The differences are strictly cosmetic (and of course the Sapphire glass screen on the still substandard LCD). For your extra $1000 you get the good looks and un-scratchable screen. Basically, what the M9 should have been in the 1st place for an extra $1000. For me though, this is the M I envisioned since the M9 was released. For me, it was a no brainer to trade up as I am sucker for all black and plain. Beautiful!

Check out the video below to see more…there is even an appearance made by a think tank retrospect 5! Enjoy!

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  1. PS: When I said it doesn’t give me the right satisfaction, I meant Autofocus in all the other camera makes, not with the Leica.

  2. Having just received my new M9-P (black), it’s such a joy to be manually focusing again, I know you can set most other cameras to manual, but you don’t. I, for one, don’t really trust the cameras to get the right bit in focus. AF makes me a very lazy photographer, get the main bit in focus, recompose, shoot. It doesn’t give me the right satisfaction, having to focus on the right part, recompose and check it’s right aperture etc. Leica lenses are that good, it’s also a relief to be freed of the need to acquire the next lens, or bit of gear. When I started, all I wanted was my trusty 50mm and OM camera.

  3. I feel like a Mormon, with two wives, a sliver M9 and a black M9-P, and I love them both. Am I in heaven?

  4. When I go shooting about with my M9, people ask me why I am using such an antique film camera, I just smile at them and say “I’m old school”. The point is, the Leica M9 is already disarming, so the only thing the M9-P has over the M9 is the saffire screen, which Leica should have put in the original M9, but I guess the marketing guys have the last laugh.

    Anyways, I now own both the M9 (Gray) and the M9-P (Black), I go shooting, I bring both camera bodies with me, because these Leica digital rangfinder cameras are not built like the M4s and M6s, they are electronic devices, which we all know will fail sooner or later.

    I am so glad I did not sell my old bag of M lenses (28mm 2.8 Elmarit, 35mm 2.0 Summircon, 50 mm 2.0 Summicron, 75mm 2.0 Summicron & 90mm 2.8 Elmarit M), they work great with the M9.

  5. URGENT Question:
    I have received my replacement for my M9-P. I returned my first one because I noticed in the underside of the LCD screen, some very tiny bubles about 2 mm long. The location is at the bottom part horizontal underside the sapphire glass screen that attached to the bezel of frame.
    Can someone confirm if this is normal? Because the second one that I received yesterday also has the same thing.
    First, I thought it was a defect but now I am thinking it is just part of the design?
    It is hard to see because it is very tiny mark/bubbles on the underside of the glass.
    Please help..so I have some piece of mind….

    • I think you are looking at the “sapphire” or “diamond” etching Leica put on the sapphire screens to let you know you have the bullet proof screen.

  6. Is the black paint and textured grip on a M9 any different from the M9-P? I get that the top cap and glass over the screen are different. Anybody who’s seen both care to comment? Thanks

    • Yeah, I’m also interested to know please. Is the black paint any different from the standard M9 black paint? Also the Vulcanite I believe is suppose to be different, but I can’t seem to get a straight answer on this anywhere on the net.

  7. I like the overall look but I think that the Leica logo on top and especially the Made in Germany sign are just too bold. Ideally this thing would be discreet all around. The Made in Germany is not important at all. Why does it need to stand out that much? Just because they did it that way years ago? If discreet is the theme then do it without compromise.

  8. Steve, I really like the Music in your videos – makes me a happy man!
    Oh, . . . and of course the M9-P 😉

  9. Yummy, what a gorgeous beauty this little thing!

    Steve, you will make people like me go bankrupt soon by tempting us! 🙂

  10. leica says it is planning to introduce mirrorless interchangeable lense camera like the olympus ep and the panasonic GF, what is your comment on that? are they going to make cheaper lense for the mirrorless? and is it going to have auto focus like other mirrorless?

    • Larger sensor than m4/3 line…all I know is that it has been in the works for 2 years. I have no details. Im guessing it will be able to use R and M lenses via adapter though.

      • I think it’s a conspiracy of lies that Leica and Sony are both telling. LOL! I’m still waiting for the Carl Zeiss lenses! Bwahahaha!

  11. Steve love the video of M9-P.
    I’m going to sell my steel grey and get the silver chrome M9-P. woohoo…
    together with the silver nocti would be heavenly….*drool*
    Like you, if I feel good about my camera I take better picture and plus I can spend my dough on whatever I want 😀

    • “…plus I can spend my dough on whatever I want.”

      Personally, I think this entire Leica thing borders on cultish, insanity, and foolishness. But you’re absolutely correct.


      I wanna see it painted black, painted black
      Black as night, black as coal
      I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
      I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

      • Steve ha estado mucho tiempo de gira con Seal por la noche y ahora ve bien todo lo negro

        • PLay the Rolling Stone song here.
          Paint It Black:

          I see a red dot Leica and I want it painted black
          No colors anymore I want them to turn black
          I see the girls walk by with Fujis and who knows
          I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

          I see a line of cams and they’re all painted black
          With no dots and my love, both never to come back
          I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
          They just don’t recognize the money that I paid

          No more will my green paper go to something less
          I could not spend a dime on Canon’s crummy glass
          If I look hard enough into the setting sun
          My Leica camera will flare and that is fun

          I look inside myself and see my heart is black
          I see my red dot and it’s been painted black
          Will the red dots fade away and not expose my gear
          It’s not easy hiding red dots from people that I fear

          I see a red dot and I want it painted black
          No colors anymore I want them to turn black
          I see the lenses that I put on lay-away
          I have to pay the bill, didn’t want food anyway

          Hmm, hmm, hmm…

          I wanna see it painted black, painted black
          Black as night, black as coal
          I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
          I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

    • Rich, I agree, but I have to like what I have with me. Sometimes you get a camera that fits like a glove. I feel that way about some cameras. Other cameras are kind of clunky, and hard to work around. It’s a personal choice. It’s like guitars. I love playing certain guitars depending on the sound, and that can be from a cheap 100 dollar guitar or an expensive one. It’s just a certain sound I like coming out. I’ve tried guitars worth over 3K that sounded like crap to me, and old used guitars for less than 100 bucks that sounded better. That’s why I always play a guitar for quite some time before I buy it. The same model can even sound different.

  12. As Elaine said: I think this is one sexy beast

    One day I will afford it and then my images (may) will not be better – but it will be much more fun doing them. Already now: the way is the destination.

    Steve, Leica marketing will become jealous, as you do their best job, in the best way of thinking.

    Thank you for sharing all that
    Regards Axel

  13. Removed the White paint on the top plate of mine, looks great, comes off without problems! No black marker.

  14. What exactly does the sapphire glass do?
    What’s its purpose? Is it purely cosmetic as the “black paint”?


    • Sapphire glass, as used on some watches, and as used on the previous M8.2, is pretty much scratch-proof. The soft plastic surface of the M9’s rear display window can – and does – get easily scratched. The sapphire surface is – like diamond – much harder than most things which are likely to scrape against it, and so it keeps a smooth, polished, unscratched surface for longer than the plastic surface of the standard M9 rear display. The sapphire surface costs more to produce and fit than the standard plastic surface.

    • Swings and Roundabouts – let’s not forget that whilst Sapphire Crystal is harder to scratch, it is a lot easier to shatter … Personally I’d rather have a scratched screen, or a screen covered with a cheap translucent disposable protector than a screen which is no longer there !!

      • Oh, and yes, it does shatter. Someone did mention that their LCD did shatter, but that’s when they dropped or mishandled the camera. Ouch!

  15. STEVE, I HATE YOU! Cuz now I’m looking at my bank account again!!! LOL

    Keep up the good work! 😛

  16. I think this is one sexy beast. Reminds me of the M8.2, without the white M8 ink and black Leica dot. I love the full frame. Once of these days I may get one with a 35 cron or lux. Not sure yet. Meanwhile I’m still using film and my older digital gear. 🙂

  17. Nice new M9P Steve and you certainly have demonstrated your talent with the gear while on tour – well done.

    I was tempted to change however for the minor cosmetic differences prefer to put that money towards the Super Elmarit-m 21mm , I am also looking forward to seeing your review on this one.

    Any recommendations on viewfinders for this would be appreciated ?

    Regards Ross

  18. Finaly a new Video from Steve.

    Had the M9 in Black with a 50mm Summilux for playing around over the weekend. Just Love the M9… however not in Black. I pretty much prefer the M9 in Grey or the M9-P in Chrome.

    I would say that next year its mine…


  19. Hi Steve!

    Indeed a “sexy” stealthy camera…for me personally I think I’ll not “upgrade” from my steelgrey M9 cause the saphire glass is not necessary because of my half-case by Luigi – just the chrome-version of the M9-P gave me a second thought – cause of fear loosing the paint on my M9…but hopefully I will be able to buy a M10 earlier then the paint on my M9 gets lost to get a good resell price for it to really upgrade then to the M10.


  20. .
    M9, Canon 50mm f1.2, black felt-tip pen. Of course, it doesn’t have the scratch-proof glass on the back. But just saved myself $1000.

    If you’re buying one new, then of course there’s the choice between 9 and M9-P (‘P’ for ‘prettier’?)

    But if you already have a 9 ..selling it and buying a ‘P’ for the extra £1000 (plus whatever loss on selling the used 9)..? Why not just post the 9 to Solms and ask them to engrave ‘Leica’ on the top-plate, if that’s so important?

    Perhaps I’m missing something essential here..

    • You are not missing anything. Basically, it is all personal preference. Id rather have a black M9-P over my Grey M9 or a felt tip marker M9 🙂 As for the Canon 50 1.2, it is not even CLOSE to the performance of a 50 Lux or Nocti. Totally different look and signature.

      When I shoot, I not only get satisfaction from the images I take, but also the experience. When I feel good about my camera, I get better results. I’ve always wanted an M9 like this, since day one. Now that one has arrived I am happy, and am happy to have the sapphire glass as well.

      Besides, I didn’t lose much of anything in this swap so it was an absolute no brainer for me. Happy as can be. If I had to buy an M9 from scratch today, I could not even afford a standard M9 so I am blessed to have what I do have, and it all came from 3 years of hard work. That gives me the right to buy what I want doesn’t it?

      No need to get upset David when someone wants to buy the latest gear, especially me as it is part of my job as well 🙂 If I didn’t get one, then all of you guys would not get to read all about it here! hahahahah, yea, thats my excuse.

      Thanks for the comments!

      • .
        “..When I shoot, I not only get satisfaction from the images I take, but also the experience..” ..yup, me too: that’s why I painted out the red and white markings on the front ..I didn’t feel good about flaunting “Expensive Camera!” wherever I carried it. I wanted to melt away into the background and be Mr Nobody.

        “..the Canon 50 1.2, it is not even CLOSE to the performance of a 50 Lux or Nocti. Totally different look and signature..” ..exactly: softer, less contrast, more flare and ‘glow’, less “clinical”. That’s what I prefer.

        I realise that you’re – everyone is! – free to indulge whatever whim. But I was pointing out to anyone who might think “God! My photos won’t be worth a nickel unless I trade up my 9 to a P” that it really doesn’t make a ha’porth of difference; same sensor, same slow display, same clunk-whirr of the same shutter: it’s just a slight cosmetic difference (apart from the scratch-proof glass).

        ..Just trying to add a note of dull realism to counterbalance the fantasy, desire, lust and craving which are almost palpable!

        Like everyone else, I’m happy that you’re happy! Me ..I’m happy too: a completely black body (no white writing on the top) ..and I think I’ll paint away the remaining garish steel on the Canon lens ..or maybe I’ll make it tomato red with a hint of aubergine ..no; wait: deep indigo with a dash of crimson.. no, er, grenadine and a slice of lemon, please..

  21. Love those A&A straps! Please do the video about the Retrospective 5, it’s something I’ve really looked forward to. Good to have you back and love that M9-P!

  22. Good deal Steve.

    I’d be willing to bet that keeping current with the latest digital gear & trading-up to the latest, greatest thing ASAP, is overall the least expensive digital way – even surpassing the usual buy & hold as the traditional lowest cost approach.

    Especially makes sense with a gear site, where peeps want to read about the new goods.

    Well done.

    ps. I’ll venture a guess that your .95 Noct will be the next to go. As amazing as it is, I didn’t find it to be the best choice for an M – far too big, heavy & intrusive into the RF’s FOV – which too me is just way out of character with what the M is all about.

    Personally I’d rather stay with the Cron, or the amazing Lux, for sure. That 1.2 Noct looks like some incredible glass – but probably not worth the premium & difficulty in finding one (for most people) over the Lux.

    A comparison between the 1.2 Noct v 1.4 Lux – would sure be interesting ….

  23. Congratulations on your Leica M9-P Steve, it look great.
    Unfortunately i can not afford it, because you have uploaded a masivt number of pictures taken with 50mm Noctilux – soo I just’ve invested in Noctilux

    M9 and 50mm Noctilux, and i am happy :o)).

  24. You continue to taunt us in the most wonderful way possible, Steve. Well done, sir.

    A few thoughts:

    1) Any word on possible upgrade programs for those of us the lesser non-P M9s? I simply want the sapphire glass. A little inelegant black electric tape does rest okay…though I long for the top plate script.

    2) Also, how scratch proof is the paint? In other words, isn’t it ironic that they put scratch-proof rear glass on a camera that is more scratchable than the M9? Is my assumption wrong?

    3) Regarding the ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 5 – I’m interested in your take on the bag, as I have it, too. When I carry my 21 Lux, 50 Lux, and 90 APO, I find that the lenses are a bit too big. So, when I insert the M9, the mounted lens (especially the 21 Lux or 90 APO) hits the other lenses. It’s not a problem with the smaller lenses, like the 28 ‘cron or 35 ‘cron. I imagine my WATE would suffer the same problem, as it’s a longish lens, too. Any hints or tips to carry $20k of glass and camera safer are always welcome 🙂

    Welcome home!

  25. Thanks for the video tour Steve. These past few weeks I’ve been changing my mind hourly about which of the two M9’s I want to buy, and hearing you talk about as passionately as you do helped me make up my mind. It’s gotta be the M9-P for me as well. Looks gorgeous, even more so than the M9, and the screen is a good plus as well. Good thing it’s only €500,- more expensive for us Europeans…

  26. Thanks for the video. congrats on the M9P. I have a silver one on it’s way! I agree with you about the black but I have a black MP so I wanted to differentiate them. I’ve read that the sapphire screen has anti-reflective coatings. Can you see a difference between the original M9? Also, can you review the new 21mm 3.4 SE lens? Best regards

    • Thanks. The chrome is also gorgeous! I have not noticed any difference in the LCD at all. I will get a hold of the new lens soon. Should be fun.

  27. You’re a “saucer” for all black and plain? Didn’t you mean “sucker” for all black and plain?
    You can delete this comment after you fix the typo.

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