Leica is to introduce a special M-P (Typ 240) kit that has been designed by the artist Rolf Sachs. The bundle will include a Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens and SF40 flash unit, and the body will be covered in the type of rubber usually reserved for table tennis bats. The red rubber will have the raised pips that table tennis players use to spin and control the ball, which Leica suggests will give the camera sure handling – and the nickname M-P ‘Grip’.

Sachs says on his website, ‘Our primary goal in designing the camera was driven by a utilitarian approach, seeking a specialist grip material that would respond to the scale of the camera with millimetre precision. Following in-depth research into materials that have strong ‘gripping’ properties and are traditionally applied in other manufacturing industries, we decided on a red ‘ping pong’ rubber, usually used on table tennis bats. This material adds practical tactility to the camera, while simultaneously creating an entirely new haptic experience.’

Not only is the body-cover red, but the company has used red paint in the engraved markings on the top plate dials as well as on the distance scale and focal length markings on the barrel of the lens.

The camera, lens and flash kit will come in a hard carry case and will be accompanied by a pair of brushes designed to keep the textured surface of the camera clean.

Only 79 kits will be produced world-wide, and when they become available in November they will be priced at $14,950/£12,500.

For more information see the Leica website.

Press Release:

Special edition: Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs

Legendary rangefinder technology meets creative design

In collaboration with artist and Leica photographer Rolf Sachs, Leica has unveiled a new special edition within its M-series camera portfolio: the Leica M-P (Typ 240) “grip” by Rolf Sachs.

This exclusive set comprises a Leica M-P camera body, together with a classic, fast Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens, and unites the company’s legendary rangefinder technology with an exceptionally creative product design. With its unusual finish and striking choice of colour, combined with Leica’s classic camera styling, this unique set is destined to become a true collector’s item. The Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs special edition will be strictly limited to just 79 sets globally.

“For many photographers over many years, the Leica M has been a passionate love affair! Its functionality and iconic design attracts me as an artist and an avid user. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to ‘undress’ the camera and create a new look – surprising, as well as functional. Applying a material that has never been used before as an easy-to-grip camera surface created a striking aesthetic, and a unique tactility,” says Rolf Sachs.

With the Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs, the artist chose to modify several features of the Leica M-P rangefinder in black paint finish, delivering the unique style he envisaged for the camera. For the main body finish, Sachs selected a material that is most frequently used in the production of table tennis bats. Applied to the camera body, the raised red nubs of this rubber trim lend the otherwise subtle and simple appearance of the M a distinctive and extraordinary look and feel – while also creating a completely new haptic experience.

Several elements on the top plate have been harmonised with the colour scheme of the camera trim. The engravings on the accessory shoe, shutter speed dial, on/off switch, video button and shutter release button are highlighted in red, rather than the usual white.

A ‘Rolf Sachs’ logo graces the back of the top plate as the designer’s signature mark, while the individual special edition number of each camera is engraved on the hot shoe. Furthermore, the engraved settings on the lens are also partly accentuated in red.

The Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs set is presented in a hard black outdoor case containing the camera, the lens, a black cotton carrying strap and a Leica SF 40 flash unit. Also included in this limited edition set are a special brush for cleaning the rubber camera trim, as well as a high-quality brush and cloth to keep the exterior of the camera and lens in premium condition.

Delivering the same high performance and technical specifications of the equivalent production model, the Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs special edition offers the benefits of the latest Leica digital rangefinder system with its famously robust and enduring qualities.

With its moderate wide-angle properties and natural reproduction of perspectives, the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. is one of the most versatile lenses in the Leica M-System portfolio. From selective focus in the close-up range to high-contrast available-light applications and landscape shots, with immense depth of field, the lens delivers exceptional results in any photographic situation.

The long-standing collaboration and strong relationship between Leica and Rolf Sachs is founded on a multitude of projects. Most recently, ‘Camera in Motion: from Chur to Tirano’, an impressive exhibition showing Sachs’ work shot with a Leica S, was displayed at the Leica Galleries in Salzburg and Wetzlar.

About Rolf Sachs

Rolf Sachs was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1955. He studied in England and the USA, and found inspiration in the art around him from the early years of his youth, becoming an artist himself in the late nineteen-eighties. His creative genres include photography, sculpture, set-design and installations. Inspired by everyday objects and their materiality, he searches for the unusual and unconventional within them, and brings them to light in the unique conceptual expression of his multidisciplinary works.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M-P “grip” by Rolf Sachs special edition will be available at Leica Stores and selected authorised Leica dealers in the UK from November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £12,500 including VAT.