This is a (my) beautiful collector grade Leica M2-R, 1969-70, no. 1249498, chrome, with a Summicron f/2 50mm lens no. 2181428, close-up finder and lens hood.
In 1960, Leitz contracted with the US Army to supply an M2 with rapid-load three prong take up spool. These were designated as the Leica M2S. After the Army cancelled the order in 1968, numbers 1248201-1250200 (2000 units) were designated Leica M2-R and were sold to the public in the States only through Leitz New York in 1969 and 1970.
Leitz sold the M2-R as a kit with a very late version of the 50/2.0 DR Summicron with close focusing goggles. The DR Summicron offered with the M2-R was a second generation optical design produced between 1956 and 1968. The Summicron was a revolutionary design when first introduced in 1953 and has been updated optically only twice since. The DR Summicron was introduced in 1956 as the first iteration of the non-collapsible M-mount Summicron. This revised edition incorporated a harder front element and different geometry with the rear element recessed 4mm deeper than the collapsible version, with weight increased from 220g to 285g.
Both this lens and the Rigid are considered to represent the pinnacle of Leica’s manufacturing quality. The DR is also superb optically. A 50 DR measured the highest resolution ever tested by Modern Photography Magazine at over 100 lines per mm.
The DR Summicron (SOMNI/11918) has two focusing ranges, normal and close focus to 19 inches. Later DR’s have a dual feet and meter focusing scale, with a simpler Leitz logo, and focus to 20 inches. The “goggles” (SDPOO/14002) fit on the lens for close focusing and places ocular lenses in front of the M2-R’s rangefinder and viewfinder windows. All DR Summicrons are silver with the exception of 1 black paint unit made to special order.
M2-R’s with the late model DR Summicron command prices upwards of $3000-4000 depending on condition.