The Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 remained basically unchanged in its second version from 1961 until 2004, after which the aspherical model replaced it. Only the barrel design changed over those years. The optics never did. The old pre-aspherical Summilux is a classic lens that reigned supreme as a fast 50mm lens for decades.
Tsukiji is one of the few remaining neighborhoods in Tokyo where you can get a sense of what the city was like in the 1950s and 1960s, and a favorite street photography stomping ground of mine. Tsukiji had been to be home to Tokyo’s famous tuna auction for seventy years, which has only recently been moved to Toyosu a few kilometers away in a modern but clinicalesque facility. Fortunately, Tsukiji’s outer market remains with its myriad shops and food stalls, and is still popular with not just tourists but also local Japanese. Without the early morning tuna auction, Tsukiji is less frenetic until about 10:00 AM or so when throngs still pack its narrow streets and alleyways.
The Leica M6J is a limited edition pre-M6 TTL released in 1994 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the introduction of the Leica M3 in 1954. Leica produced 1640 of them, 40 for each year from 1954 to 1994, and they have serial numbers that start with the year that the camera represents. The M6J was sold as a kit with a matching serial number Elmar 50mm f/2.8 collapsible lens, but the remade version, not the 1950s version, all packaged in a wooden box. Some people say that the “J” stands for Jahre, the German word for “years,” but I prefer to think the “J” is a tip-of-the-hat to the Japan-based Leica users group that had orginally proposed the camera’s concept to Leica.