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Are Leica red dots replaceable?

Yes — the little red "Leica" logo on the front plate of an M6 or M7 (or R6.2 etc.) is just an adhesive sticker. As Jim Brick noted on a mailing list in Sep 2000:

The Red Dot on an M6 is exactly that. A cover over the RF vertical adjustment. It's simply stuck on and will usually be destroyed upon removal. They come in large rolls (or folds), glued to a slick paper backing, I have a half dozen Red Dots - a strip torn off of the roll/fold. Leica Service will send you a strip free.

"Red dot" ordering details

Product Badge circular 'Leica'
ID number 710 271 000 000

In Australia they can be bought for $AUD 3.80 each from Adeal Service at Adeal Australia, Melbourne

Red dots on Leica lenses?

These are small red hemispheres on Leica lens barrels to help get proper alignment when lens-mounting.

Sometimes these dots fall off. Sometimes they're MIA when you buy a second hand lens. What can you do?…

  1. Contact your Leica spare parts department and buy a replacement
    (@ $10 each in Australia!)
  2. Andy Piper recommended the following DIY tip in July 2006:
    You can also make your own (a tip I got from the old forum). Go to a map store and buy a box of map pins. These have spherical coloured plastic heads the same radius as the Leica lens dots (within .5mm), and red is a basic color available. Cut the red spherical head in half with a hobby knife, and super-glue one of the halves onto the lens.

DIY Black Leica dot

Find the red Leica badge too conspicuous and instead want a black badge like the black-paint LHSA M6 or black Leica MP?…

Follow these instructions:

  1. Carefully pry the red badge off the camera body using an artist's scalpel. As it's only stuck on, it should come off without too much fiddling.
  2. Stick the red-badge onto some baking paper or wax paper or grease-proof paper. You want to put the dot onto something which will hold it but not bond to its adhesive backing.
  3. Apply a coat of black paint. Don't worry about painting over the embossed silver lettering, just apply an even coat to the whole surface, letters and all.
  4. Now, before the paint dries, run a flat absorbant surface over the embossed lettering to wipe off any excess paint. I used a piece of cardboard. Don't worry if you don't get all the paint off — you'll fix this later.
  5. Allow the paint to dry (6-8 hrs).
  6. Apply another coat of paint and repeat the above procedure to remove any excess from the face of the "Leica" letters.
  7. Once the paint has dried (another 6-8 hours), get a very fine emery manicure board (the finest you can — buy them from any pharmacy) and carefully buff the surface of the embossed silver lettering to remove all traces of paint.
  8. That's it. Peel off the paper backing and re-attach to your camera. The adhesive will still stick because it didn't bond to the grease-proof paper.

Pretty easy to do and it's what I did to convert the red-dot on my chrome M6TTL a few years ago.

Magnum photographer Ron Benvenisti posted similar instructions to Leica Photography forum a few years ago. May be worth a look:

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