In a move intended to honor the giant panda - a Chinese national treasure - German camera manufacturer Leica has produced a limited edition version of its M-P (Typ 240) rangefinder that is finished in black and white. The 'Panda Edition' will consist of a pair of kits that include the camera body along with either a Summicron-M 28mm F2 ASPH lens or a Summilux-M 35mm F1.4 ASPH. 

The lower parts of the bodies will be covered with the traditional black leather trim of the Leica M cameras, but the metal areas above the lens, and the base plate, will be finished in a 'special' white paint. The black and white color scheme is designed to remind us of the giant panda, and the white paint will symbolize calm.  

A panda logo will decorate the rear of the metal portion of the upper body, along with the engraving ‘CHENGDU CHINA’. Chengdu is an area in the Sichuan province that is considered home to the endangered giant panda, and where the majority of those still left in the wild live. The region is also home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the world’s largest giant panda nature reserve in the Wolong Valley. 

Disappointingly the lenses will be in the regular silver finish, but the traditional red dot will be replaced with a rare black one – perhaps to symbolize a panda’s eye. 

Leica will produce just 30 units of each of the two editions – reflecting the rarity of the giant panda itself, according to the press release – and the cameras will only be available from within the Chinese market, including the stores in Hong Kong and Macau. The kits will cost HK$110,000 ($14,000 / £10,000) for the 28mm lens version, and HK$ 120,000 ($15,000 / £11,000) if you prefer the 35mm lens. 

The only store is advertising the camera kits is the Leica Store Hong Kong, but more pictures can be found on the Leica Rumours website.

Press release: 

German technology encounters Chinese National Treasure: Leica M-P ''Panda Edition'' 

Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents a new limited edition: Leica M-P "Panda Edition”. This special limited edition is offered in two different sets, with a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f / 2 ASPH lens or Leica Summilux-M 35mm f / 1.4 ASPH lens.  There are only 30 sets for each edition and are available for sale only in the Chinese market. The number is extremely rare, reflecting Leica camera’s pursuit of exquisite craftsmanship, profound interpretation of environmental protection, peace concepts, and its cultural connotation to high oriental esteem; the perfect crystallization of the Leica Spirit and Chinese elements.

Following the launch of the "Revolution Centenary" commemorative edition in 2011, Leica camera launches the special edition featuring the Chinese-style again. German technology combined with the traditional national treasure - the panda. Timeless symbols of a black body is a classical tradition while highlighted with flawless white calm, brings unique color and imagery of the Chinese national treasure; the panda. This cleverly echoes past Oriental artistry.

Leica cameras’ century-old brand history devotes each set of these extraordinary and unique limited products to the photographer and collector as an indispensable part of their collection.  Leica M-P "Panda Edition" digital rangefinder camera uses a special combination of black and white color design. The metal part of the body is colored with a special white paint coating, matched with high-quality black leather trim, and on top of the machine's operating dial, shutter button, and each key, are an all-black design.  

The rear of the camera body is engraved with a distinctive black and white panda logo. Under the logo, the word of “CHENGDU CHINA” is also engraved. This special edition is not only a camera with the premium quality, but also valuable to any collection.

Leica M-P "Panda Edition” consists of the Leica M-P (Typ 240) and is accompanied by a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f / 2 ASPH lens or a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f / 1.4 ASPH. Both silver lenses are made with metal and the lens’ red dot features an extremely rare black design, so this special edition has a unique, simple, and elegant exterior design.

The front end of the two special edition lenses are equipped with a full metal hollow design, retro round hood, and a special bond spin-tunnel installed in the lens which encourages the use of filters. The lens cover is also made from metal; every detail of the product highlights Leica’s meticulous use of materials and the pursuit of the most sophisticated production processes. German advanced technology coupled with the highest quality materials with meticulous craftsmanship, not only to ensure the quality of products, but also increases the product's durability.

This special limited edition is offered in two different sets, with either a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f / 2 ASPH lens or Leica Summilux-M 35mm f / 1.4 ASPH lens.  There are only 30 sets for each edition, and will only be available at the Leica Store in China, Hong Kong and Macau. The recommended selling price in Hong Kong is HK$ 110,000 and HK$ 120,000. The same camera and lens special edition features the same technical specifications as the normal versions.

"Panda" theme fable

As a "living fossil,” the panda is a 300-year-old animal, it still retains many of the ecological structures of the most original features. The panda won the people’s heart around the world and are now known as the animal kingdom’s superstar. The Pandas in China mainly live in Sichuan Province, their numbers are extremely rare and they are referred to as China's national treasure, therefore, making them a gift with deep meaning when presented as China’s gift to the world. 

Choosing "Panda" as the design theme of this special limited edition is not only because the panda is a national treasure of China, but also because of its image representing Chinese people’s love for peace and kindness to others, strong-will and resilience to environmental change.