#4 Leica M6 TTL – My first Leica

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My first Leica was a M6 TTL silver edition – an analogue camera. A classic camera. The way to my first Leica was not a straight line. I think it all began around 2010, as Fuji announced the X100. I fell for the camera and since then I have used various models of the X-system. The reason why I fell for the X100 was partly the esthetics of the camera – it is a beautiful little camera – but more important; the X100 made me rediscover photography again. Suddenly I just felt like shooting every day, and it was much owed to the camera. I soon got the feeling that it was a “mini-Leica”. Of course – I had never shot with a Leica – but the Leica had always been there in my mind. A camera that was not reachable for me. Now I know that an X100 is nothing like a Leica – but back then I didn’t have a clue…

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When Fujifilm later released the X-Pro 2 I was sure that I had the perfect camera. Rangefinder style – almost like a real Leica. But then again, I had never tried a real rangefinder camera. I started thinking. Perhaps a cheap analogue Leica M would be a good way to test a real rangefinder. I was already thinking about going analogue again to slow down my photography. I felt that the modern high tech cameras made photography to simple. It was just to point and shoot – and I got a perfect result every time (at least from a technical point of view). Nice – but not fun. I took more and more pictures – but at the same time it was getting more and more boring. It wasn’t a challenge any more. Maybe a Leica could change that? Well. After a couple of months combing the internet for Leica information I finally settled on a Leica M6 TTL with a .72 magnificaion rangefinder. The lens I was going for was a Voigtländer 40/1,4. I found them on the Swedish version of ebay for a good price and pushed ”buy”.

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Shooting with my M6 proved to be exactly what I was hoping. Focusing and composing with a true rangefinder is something else. It also slowed down my photography, as I had hoped.  But I got one thing wrong. I hadn’t done my research. The Leica M doesn’t have framelines for a 40mm lens. Not at big problem, but I felt I didn’t have full control of the coposition. I ended up selling the 40/1,4 and instead bought two Zeiss-lenses; 50/2 and 35/2,8. Two great lenses for a resonable price.

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The problem now was that I realized that I had to get a digital Leica. The film process was after all too slow for me. So after about six months I found me a M8. The M6 later was traded in – with the M8 – for a M9. But that was a desicion I regret. The M6 could not be replaced with a digital Leica. I just had to have one again someday. That day was a couple of years later, as I found a nice silver M6TTL again. This time with a .58 magnification rangefinder – which works better with my glasses. This M6 I will keep. Period!

Finally a couple of M6 links:

Ken Rockwells review of the M6

Five reasons to buy a Leica M6 by ”The Real Sir Robin” (Youtube)

3 thoughts on “#4 Leica M6 TTL – My first Leica

  1. A very nice bit of kit that – and I don’t blame you for going back to 35mm.
    I suspect it will be a long time yet before I manage to get my hands on a Leica. I’m not too fussed about the ‘Trend’ value of that little red badge, but from a photography point of view I’ve always wanted to see what all the fuss was about in regards to the glass. I’m not a fan of Rangefinders though so I’d probably go for an R4 or R5….. Someday.
    Nice images!

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    1. I don’t care so much about the red dot – I would rather take it away. The thing for me is that the rangefinder slows me down, makes me think about how to take the shot and forces me to learn how the aperture and time affect the picture. I also have to focus manually – or zone focus. All this together give me a full experience as I take the picture. With my Fuji X-T2 the camera does all these things and present it to me in the EVF. Fantastic – but not as fun as doing it myself. Then one can’t forget the build quality in the Leica.
      I should not say that the Leica in it self has made me a better photographer directly – but maybe indirect. I compose more carefully, I think more about the shot I am going to take and I love to hold the camera in my hand.
      Regarding the Leica Glass – I have not tried it on my Leica M. I doubt that it would make my pictures that much better – but it could make a difference for a more talanted photographer than me 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read something like that recently. The camera itself won’t make you take better pictures, but it’s more likely to inspire you to get out and take more pictures – thus getting more practice.

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