Leica officially revealed their plans for a new 35mm film camera product but instead of inventing something new, they have brought back a popular classic, the M6. As we reported back in September, there were rumors about Leica’s new film camera release and what it may be. So, if this is a re-release of the 1984 M6, what has Leica changed since then? Let’s have a look.
For the most part, Leica kept the same structure as the M6 with a number of small upgrades. Leica’s press release mentions a redesign of the top cover originally die-cast zinc, now made from brass and fortified with a scratch-resistance black lacquer. The rangefinder has been modernized using the 0.72x viewfinder magnification also seen in the currently available MP and M-A (Type 127) cameras. The ISO dial is refreshed with electrical components. Two other upgrades include a new red dot showing the correct exposure in addition to the original arrows of the meter as well as a battery warning indicator. The M6 is also only available in black, rather than the option of silver as before. Lastly, the iconic red dot reads Leitz rather than Leica again just like the original.
Other features remain much the same such as the mechanical nature, with batteries (2 PX76/SR44 or 1 DL1/3N) used only to operate the TTL light meter. The shutter, aperture, ISO, focus, and winding are manual operations. ISO can be set from 9 to 6400. Shutter speeds range from 1 s to 1/1000 s and there is also a Bulb mode. Flash can be used via the accessory shoe and synchronises on the 1st shutter curtain. Sync speeds are up to 1/50 s. As for the lens mount, it is the Leica M bayonet. (Source: Leica Detail Product Page)
The viewfinder is large and bright with automatic parallax compensation. In rangefinder fashion, within the viewfinder are illuminated framelines highlighting the image field for six focal lengths. They come in pairs of 28 and 90 mm, 35 and 135 mm, and 50 and 75 mm. After attaching a lens that coordinates with the technology, the focal length of the lens will appear in the viewfinder. Additionally, you can select the framelines as well. Focus is calculated with the help of either the superimposed image method or split image method shown in the center of the viewfinder.
‘Write your story’ is Leica’s new M6 tagline. Centered and celebrated as part of the M6’s release are an all-male cast of three photographers that tell their stories around the M6. Mini-films showcase these stories on the product page here.
Twenty years after the last manufacture, the M6 is still handmade in Germany. It is available globally at Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store, and authorized dealers starting November 3, 2022, retailing at €5,050.00 including VAT. For more information head over to Leica’s product page here.