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Thread: M9 leatherette, durable?

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    M9 leatherette, durable?

    I am just wondering about this, not really concerned about it, but out of scientifical curiosity

    My used M6 vulcanite covering was 26 years old when I bought it, and it was in excellent condition. How would you rate the durability of the M9 covering, especially the non vulcanite one like on the steel grey paint. How many years does it last and did anyone have to change it?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Member StephenPatterson's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    The vulcanite on my 50+ year old M2 is still going strong, but I am careful to keep it in a humidity control cabinet when not shooting, as you know what conditions are like here. Vulcanite is a great finish, but humidity (too much or too little) can definitely destroy it.

    As for the leatherette covering I found both my M8 and M9s to be excellent and have not noticed any significant wear.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Thank you Stephen. I read quite often about people changing the leatherette on the digital M, but probably because they like some other material better, like shark, stingray, python (not sure about tiger though ), not because the leatherette has worn off.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    I think people change the covering not because of wear, but because they prefer Vulcanite or leather. That's what I did on my M8.

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    Member StephenPatterson's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    I only know of one place that is capable of replacing actual vulcanite on older Leica M cameras, as the camera must be completely disassembled and the material baked on to the metal case. I believe the shop is in Luton, BEDS.

    Obviously it's much easier to replace a leatherette or "vulcanite"-like covering using the present day peel and stick method.

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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Did the M6 ever have a vulcanite covering? I don't think so.

    But the plastic covering is harder wearing in the long term and I can't see why the M9's covering would wear any more than an M6 covering.

    Steve

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Well the M6 may be vulcanite-like if it's not real vulcanite. It is however tough as nails. The one on my steel grey M9 is definitely softer and more sticky imo. Better grip but less durability.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    I don't think any of them will be wearing out any time soon.

    The only thing of note is on the M7s. The leatherette seems to peel away from the edges on a lot that I've seen (though thankfully not mine). I don't know if it's endemic.

    Thankfully there's cameraleather.com, aki-asahi and others for replacements. Which all offer much higher quality (e.g. real leather or Griptac) stuff. Be careful ordering from cameraleather.com though...
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    There's also the leatherette on the Zeiss Ikon and Bessa. The one on the Ikon is very fragile. It wears out in a matter of a few months with heavy use and no half case.

    I would presume the one on the Bessa isn't better since they're both made by Cosina.

    What's the problem with cameraleather?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Well the M6 may be vulcanite-like if it's not real vulcanite. It is however tough as nails. The one on my steel grey M9 is definitely softer and more sticky imo. Better grip but less durability.
    You are unlucky that your covering is wearing on your grey M9, perhaps have Leica look at it. It is the same covering that came on the early MP and those have been going strong without any wear showing for ten years now. There is one thing certain though, that it will be more durable than real leather.

    Steve

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Luckily I'm not that unlucky The covering is still looking as new and I have no real concern about it. I was just wondering why I always hear about guys changing the leatherette of the M9 to something like the griptac mentioned above. As I said its just scientific curiosity
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I was just wondering why I always hear about guys changing the leatherette of the M9 to something like the griptac mentioned above. As I said its just scientific curiosity
    It is called accessorising. Find something that Leica didn't design especially for you, then find a way to spend money putting it right. Women do it with handbags and the things that go with them. Leica men do it with camera straps and finding the perfect camera bag, or in this case falling into a swoon when they see another pattern of covering for their M9, although I can't imagine anybody swooning over Griptac.

    Steve

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: M9 leatherette, durable?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    It is called accessorising. Find something that Leica didn't design especially for you, then find a way to spend money putting it right. Women do it with handbags and the things that go with them. Leica men do it with camera straps and finding the perfect camera bag, or in this case falling into a swoon when they see another pattern of covering for their M9, although I can't imagine anybody swooning over Griptac.

    Steve
    Nothing wrong with that. I'd say that both men and women tend to do this with all kinds of things: cars, houses, watches, clothes, guitars...you name it. Heck, I even spent $20 on a black dot for my black M9, although I think I'll stick with the original vulcanite.
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