Despite several technical improvements, the Leica M5 achieved only very limited success on the market and was discontinued in 1975 – marking the end of the M series.
However, Leica M cameras continued to be in demand, so that the Canadian Leitz subsidiary started to produce the Leica M4-2, a simplified version of the M4.
Unlike the M4, the M4-2 offered the newly developed hot-shoe contact feature, which had been implemented for the first time in the Leica M5 and enabled an automatic flash synchronisation of up to 1/500 second.
The M4-2 also offered the angled rewind crank first introduced on the M4, as well as
a preliminary version of an automatic film transporter mechanism. The self-timer was omitted in the interest of keeping production costs low.
Around 16.000 models of the M4-2 were manufactured until production was halted in 1980 – all of them in a black-chrome finish.