Customers purchasing the Leica M9 or M9-P are still experiencing waiting times, after production is slowed while some of the Japanese factories hit by the earthquakes earlier in the year take time to recover.

Speaking to PhotoRadar, Leica UK's Richard Swan spoke of the delays the company had been experiencing, suggesting an average three month wait for most customers.

Although Leica is a German manufacturer, which uses sensors from an American company (Kodak), some smaller components are produced in Japan.

At the moment, according to Swan, the demand for the M9 and M9-P outstrips availability, but he said that three months was the absolute longest that a customer would have to wait.

'Bigger issues'

But Swan was also keen to point out that Leica is in no rush to speed up the process, allowing factories to take as long as they needed. "We won't rush to get them out, just to meet demand – that's not the Leica way - and the Japanese have bigger issues to tackle at the moment," he told us.

The Leica M9 is a full-frame digital rangefinder which was launched in 2009 and features an 18.5 million pixel Kodak CCD sensor. The Leica M9-P was introduced in June featuring a tougher, scratch-resistant sapphire coated screen and more discreet branding for professional photographers.

Both cameras are claimed to be the world's smallest full-frame system cameras and are designed with photojournalists in mind. The M9 retails at around £4,950 (body only) while the M9-P RRP is £5,395 (body only).

Photographers looking to get their hands on the £6,800 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux lens can also expect to join a year-long waiting list before receiving the lens.