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About Leica M6
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Leica M6 Film Camera
Leica M6
Camera Type
Film Rangefinder
Lens Mount
Leica M
Exposure Aids
TTL Metering
Viewfinder Framing
Maximum Shutter Speed
ISO Range
Viewfinder Magnification
Hot Shoe

Leica M6 Film Cameras: Classics for Collecting or Creative Use

Leica produced the Leica M6 film camera from 1984 to 1998. It's referred to as the "classic" to differentiate it from the M6 TTL model and because it retains the dimensions of the earlier M3 model. You can find new, open-box, and used versions of the Leica M6 at affordable prices on eBay.

What are the distinguishing features of the Leica M6?

The cameras of the Leica M line were the first Leica cameras with a bayonet-style lens mount. That mount allows these cameras to use interchangeable lenses. For that reason, you may find the Leica M6 for sale listed as "body only." This means that the camera body is being sold without lenses, leaving you free to purchase the lenses for the type of photography you prefer.

Although the Leica M6 retained the dimensions of the Leica M3, the body of the M3 was made of heavy machined brass, while the top and bottom plates of the M6 were made of a less expensive and lighter-weight magnesium alloy.

Additionally, the M6 was the first Leica with a classic body to have a built-in light meter. The light meter is center-weighted. Center-weighted light meters keep the person or object at the center of the image, usually the main subject, well-lighted and sharply focused while also providing a sufficient level of brightness so that objects in the background also remain in focus.

Leica M6 cameras are completely mechanical, manual cameras. Only the light meter requires batteries to operate. The M6 TTL has a hot shoe for a flash unit, and a bulb setting for use with the flash.

The manual setting allows you to select the shutter speed, the aperture or width of the lens opening, and the ISO setting. With a film camera, the ISO setting is determined by the film the photographer selects.

Focusing a rangefinder camera

When focusing a rangefinder camera, you look through a separate window rather than the through-the-lens (TTL) viewfinder. Through that window, you see two images. By turning a dial, you bring the two images closer together until they merge into a single image, focusing the camera.

What lenses are available for the Leica M6?

The M6 accepts most Leica M-mount lenses. Six lenses specifically for the M6, ranging from a 28mm to a 135mm, are available. A 28mm lens is a wide-angle model used for group portraits, landscapes, streetscapes, architecture, and vertical shots of skyscrapers. A 135mm lens is a mid-range lens used for portraits and still-life photography.

Types of film to use with the Leica M6

The M6 accepts 35mm color or black and white films ranging from ISO 6 to 6400. Films with lower ISO numbers, known as low-speed films, are less sensitive to light and are used in full sunlight and other very bright settings. Films with higher ISO numbers, known as high-speed films, are more sensitive to light and are used for shooting indoors or at night. These latter films are also used for sports and action photography. The most commonly used films have ISO numbers from 200 to 800.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Leica.
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