Produced from 1959 to 1964, the M1 lacks a rangefinder and was intended for use with the Leica Visoflex or attached to a microscope. The view finder permanent displays 35/50 frame lines. Less than 10,000 units were produced.
No rangefinders, I was going to have to do zone/guess focus. Why not use a lens that is designed for guess focus? Specifically the Minox 35 - Minotar 35mm f2.8. I go mine form www.alpenhause.com who harvests them from donor Minox 35s. My lens looks like it came from a Minox 35 MB. It is converted using a screw mount adapter so I had to add a screw mount to M mount adapter. Ironically, the lens cost more than my working MB.
The M1 is simple to use (other than loading the film like an M3 with a removable spool). Only a shutter speed dial to worry about. The frame counter advances automatically but has to be manually reset when you change film. As an added bonus, it was fun to see a less than high performance lens hanging off a Leica. Leica owned Minox at one point so this is not as strange a pairing as it may sound.
This was fun to shoot. The Minox 35 lens is simple and the M1 gave that Leica high quality feel to the process. I would not go buy am M1 over the rangefinder Ms, but if you have one, putting on a 35mm and zone focusing is a way to get it out and enjoy it.
Lens: Color-Minotar 35mm f2.8
Film: Ilford HP5 Plus 400