Add a Lens Code to Your Leica Lens with Black and White Paint


Newer Leica lenses have a special lens code on the mount flange of each lens that informs the camera of what’s mounted on it, and allows lens-related EXIF data to be embedded inside photographs. If you have an older Leica lens or a third-party lens on your hands, you might not have this special code, but did you know that you can apply the code manually to a code-less lens using black and white paint?

La Vida Leica! has published a tutorial showing how simple the process is: it only takes around $15 and 15 minutes to do.

Aside from the paint, you’ll need a new mount flange to replace the one on your lens — these can be found through places like eBay. You then look up the proper code, apply it to your mount flange, and then fix the new mount flange to your lens.



Once the dated-coded flange is in place, your lens should start beaming the correct identification to your camera, and will start appearing in the EXIF data of your images.


This same conversion can be done by sending your lens to Leica, but doing it yourself can save you quite a bit of time (of not having your lens) and money.

To get started, head on over to La Vida Leica! to read the detailed step-by-step instructions.

Converting to a Coded M Lens Mount [La Vida Leica!]

Image credits: Photographs by La Vida Leica!

  • dikaiosune01


  • Smart Dude

    Why not just use a sharpie like most people?

  • Smarter Dude

    Because it wears off; paint doesn’t. This is all about a *permanent* solution.

  • Smarter Dude

    Because it wears off – paint doesn’t. This is all about a *permanent* solution.

  • Sascha Rheker

    No, I don’t want to loose my Leica mount flange for some spare from china…

  • Terry Clark

    So you just unscrew the lens mount and pop on a new one like any spare tire to your car. Sure, not like a mounting flange has anything to do with the proper alignment of lens to film plane. Naw, not anything like that. What’s a few 1/100ths of an inch? Just the difference between proper focus and not. Maybe you’ll be lucky and all will be okay, but it sounds to me like a good way to really need to send your lens off for repair, not just coding. Leave the repair work to the professionals. If you wouldn’t drill your own teeth when you have a cavity, why would you attempt to fix your own lenses?

  • Keith

    Not all of the Leica flanges are the same.