Today, Leica has reintroduced an updated version of its iconic M6 analog rangefinder. One of the most popular camera models ever produced by Leica, the M6 is a beloved classic. First launched in 1984 and remaining Leica's flagship product for almost 20 years, over 175,000 M6 cameras were manufactured. And today, 30 years since its discontinuation, the venerable M6 remains in high demand by analog photographers, with many still getting daily use.
And today, Leica officially brings back this iconic camera. With the reintroduction, Leica has honored its legacy while updating the M6 with newer technology including the anti-glare MP-Style 0.72x viewfinder, solid brass construction, light meter LED indicator with center dot and battery warning light, rear ISO dial with modern electronics, and the ability to turn off the camera when not in use.
Dimensions of the new Leica M6 remain true to the original but the black anodized finish and leatherette cladding are now the same durable black paint and textured cladding as the M11. Also gone are the plastic side strap guards, resulting in a more modern silhouette.
Leica has also tossed in some nice throwback touches, like the red dot logo that reads “Leitz” instead of “Leica”, original-style packaging and paperwork from the 1984 era, and a leather carrying strap with embossed Leica lettering.
Getting Hands On
Kirsten Vignes and I are currently in Wetzlar, Germany for the Celebration of Photography event. Following the press conference where the Leica M6 was introduced, we had the opportunity to take the M6 and the also-introduced 35mm Summilux-M Version 1 “Steel Rim” for a little test drive. Of course, film being film, I don't have the images to post online just yet.
Without even looking at the results, the M6 didn't disappoint in the experience department. The camera feels simply amazing in the hand and just so natural and organic to use. Obviously, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's used a Leica M film camera before. But as a photographer who starting shooting film and moved almost entirely to digital, it was refreshing to come back to my roots and experience to joy of analog M photography again. Even more special was seeing the old Leitz factory a few blocks away while shooting in the Alstadt (Old City).
I can't wait to see the results of my first roll of film run through the M6.
- 0.72x Viewfinder with Coated Glass Surfaces
- Solid Brass Top Plate Enhanced with Abrasion Resistant Black Paint
- Red Leitz Logo
- Original M6 Style Packaging
- New Light Meter Indicator with Battery Warning
- New Leica M6 Style ISO Dial, Newly Developed with Modern Electronic Components Inside
- Leather Carrying Strap with Embossed LEICA lettering
- New Black Leatherette with Leica M6 Typical “MADE IN GERMANY” Embossing
- Made in Germany
Pricing, Ordering and Availability
Initial deliveries of the Leica M6 in matte black finish will start immediately for a price of $5,295. As with any major Leica launch, and especially true what is slated to be produced in smaller numbers, supply will be extremely limited for many months. If you are interested in ordering the Leica M6, you can do so at Leica Store Miami by clicking the button below, calling 305-921-4433 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in trading in any other Leica equipment towards the purchase of the lens, you can note it during the pre-order process.
|Camera||Analog rangefinder system camera (35mm)|
|Lens mount||Leica M bayonet|
|Lens system||Leica M lenses from 16-135mm|
|Order No.||Black: 10557|
|Material||Closed full metal housing, top cover and bottom cover: brass, black finish|
|Operating conditions||0°C to +40°C|
|Interfaces||ISO accessory shoe|
|Tripod thread||A 1⁄4 DIN 4503 (1⁄4”) with stainless steel in the base|
|Dimensions||138.6mm x 78mm x 40mm|
|Weight||575g (without battery)|
|Viewfinder||Large, bright-line rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation|
|Parallax compensation||The horizontal and vertical difference between viewfinder and lens is compensated automatically in line with the relevant focus setting. Congruence of viewfinder and actual image. The size of the bright-line frame matches the distance: – at 2m: the exact sensor size of approx. 23.9 x 35.8mm – at infinity: (depending on focal length) approx. 7.3% (28mm) to 18% (135 mm) – less than 2m: less than film size|
|Viewfinder magnification||x0.72 (all lenses)|
|Wide-base rangefinder||Split and superimposed image rangefinder shown as a bright field in the center of the viewfinder image|
|Shutter type||Focal plane shutter with rubber liner, mechanically controlled|
|Shutter speeds||Mech. shutter: 1s – 1⁄1000s Flash Synch: up to 1⁄50s|
|Shutter release||Two-stage: Power up (activation of exposure meter) – Release Integrated standard cable release thread.|
|Loading||Manual with quick wind lever or LEICAVIT M, motorized with LEICA MOTOR-M, LEICA WINDER-M, LEICA WINDER|
|Rewinding||Manual with telescopic rewind knob|
|Frame counter||On top of camera. Automatic reset after removal of bottom cover|
|Working range||70cm to ∞|
|Exposure metering||TTL (exposure metering through the lens), with working aperture|
|Metering cell||Silicon photo diode with convex lens to the top left behind the camera bayonet|
|Film speed range||Manual setting from ISO 6/9° to ISO 6400/39°|
|Metering principle||The light reflected by a metering spot in the center of the 1st shutter curtain is metered. The metering spot has a diameter of 12mm and therefore corresponds to approx. 13% of the full negative format or around 2/3 of the short side of the corresponding frame in the viewfinder.|
|Flash unit connection||Via accessory shoe|
|Synchronisation||On the 1st shutter curtain|
|Flash sync speed||1/50s; slower shutter speeds possible.|
|Flash exposure control||Via computer control of flash unit or via guide number calculation and manual setting for the required aperture|
|Power Supply||2 Silver oxide button cells (PX76/SR44) or 1 Lithium battery (DL1/3N)|
Leica M6 – An Icon of Analog Rangefinder Photography Returns
Wetzlar, 20 October 2022. For more than 100 years, Leica Camera AG has been a synonym for cameras and lenses with permanent values such as reliability, consistency, and quality. With analog photography experiencing a renaissance – the new Leica M6 represents Leica Camera’s continued commitment to these values. Among Leica’s rangefinder cameras, the Leica M6 holds a special place in the world of analog photography: From 1984 to 2002, Leica handmade almost 175,000 units which served the best photographers as an instrument to capture their view of the world. This resulted in numerous captured moments which today represent a piece of contemporary history. With the new edition of the legendary rangefinder camera, Leica is now fulfilling the wishes of younger target groups in particular, who want to experience being an active part in the photographic creative process. again. Even today, the M6 still offers exactly the right equipment to focus on the essentials when taking pictures.
Stefan Daniel, Executive Vice President Technology and Operations, explains: “The Leica M6 is a milestone in the corporate history of Leica Camera AG. Since 1984, countless iconic pictures have been taken with it; it was a part of the product range for over 18 years and is still a fascinating camera with an extremely high utility value. Conscious analog photography as an antithesis to the flood of digital images is enjoying great popularity. Therefore, it was only logical for us to produce the Leica M6 again as one of the most popular representatives of this camera type.”
The Leica M6 from 2022 relies on a modern version of the Leica M rangefinder with a 0.72x magnification. Furthermore, all of its optical surfaces are now coated and thus less sensitive to stray light. The light meter in the latest M6 now shows the correct exposure via a red dot in addition to the two arrow symbols originally used. Additionally, it is equipped with a battery warning indicator. The top cover has also been redesigned: While the cover of the preceding model was made of die-cast zinc, it is now milled from solid brass and enhanced with an abrasion-resistant black lacquer. The exposure meter in the M6 measures light via a brightened area on the mechanically controlled cloth shutter.
Like the original from 1984, the new edition of the M6 is also adorned with the red Leitz logo. A logo which has made history, because it is the name of the visionary entrepreneur Ernst Leitz who not only shaped the fate of Leica but of an entire market when he founded the Leitz brand in 1869. The courageous decision in 1924 to produce the world’s first 35mm camera revolutionized photography and made it possible to capture the past 100 years in pictures.
The M6 remains true to itself and preserves all other typical character traits such as the slanted rewind crank for the film. Recent achievements such as the optimized rangefinder, however, ensure even more functionality. Whether historic or new, the M6 concentrates on the essential photographic functions. Handmade in Germany, it is an extremely reliable companion for all those who appreciate the lasting and contemplative nature of analog photography.
The Leica M6 is available globally at Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and authorized dealers starting November 3, 2022. The retail price will be $5,295.
I just received my trusty old (1986 vintage) M6 back from a CLA and MP finder upgrade after being without it for about 6 months, and it felt like the return of an old friend. I’m excited for those who pick up the M6 for the first time and put it to use. It is the (nearly) perfect photographic tool.