Leica M6 Opinions
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
Jake Mongey
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Leica M6 Opinions

Looking for some opinions as I have the option to buy a beater m6 with some ugly corrosion on top plate and stuck framelines at 50mm however the owner of the shop said theyd sell it around £600 in its current state and I have been dreaming of an M6 for years but could never even have the hope of getting one.

Due to a recent job ive been offered I do have some cash to start with but im looking to sell a lot of equipment to fund this:
  • Tamron 70-210 2.8
  • rolleicord V
  • Mamiya TLR 135mm and 55mm sekor

Those are the two main items but as i have quite a history of impulse buying I would just like to get some opinions on whether you guys think it could be worth it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Don't! You will only wish it was in better shape. Save up and buy one you will be proud to use the rest of your life. If you have owned Leica, you already love Leica. If you have never had one, you will fall in love with it. Get something you really want. Buy the best condition you can get. Even if it means waiting and saving up for it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
John Bragg
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Sounds like it has had a hard life. One to avoid since there are many out there in better condition. A "beater" is one thing, but one with bu¢¢@red frame lines is of no use.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Sell those items in the list anyway and get any other working M which will fit into 600 budged. You could measure exposure with free app in mobile phone (if yours support it) or here is cheap modern Seconic-208 which is available on ebay under better price.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sekonic-L-20...AAAMXQlgtSx5S9
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
Jake Mongey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
Sounds like it has had a hard life. One to avoid since there are many out there in better condition. A "beater" is one thing, but one with bu¢¢@red frame lines is of no use.
I mean can it be fixed? The problem is that they dont change but they are perfect the ones that are displayed for the 50mm and i think 90 and once I get a lens I will be mostly using a 50mm.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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I have to agree with the sentiments above. A "user" condition is no problem, but this one sounds as though you'd have to sink a significant amount to get it to reliable condition. There are tons of M6's out there, in all kinds of condition and there are deals to be had.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
Jake Mongey
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Ko,
I have a L308 which I use for meterless cameras but The convenience of a meter in the camera is a huge deal for me, I love the fact that the canon 7 has a meter and mine is in pretty good shape but If im getting a leica I always decided that it would have a meter.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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I bought a beater leica (M2) when I was 17...

if you're sentimental like me, you'll probably be more inclined to get the camera fixed instead of selling it for something nicer when you can afford it, years and miles later. And then you might end up spending what the camera cost and end up with an ugly but well functioning camera, whereas you could have waited until you had the money to buy what you "really wanted". Whatever that means.

Also beater cameras that have been well used might be okay, but I'd be weary of corrosion on cameras. Corroded parts will eventually fail and then have to be replaced (not cheap).




incidentally, I just bought a Canon 7 and one of my first impressions was - why didn't I buy one of these instead of my M2? the canon 7 is nice.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Don't do it. Sounds like it has taken a lot of abuse and while many places can 'fix' it, only a few can fix it correctly. And that costs.
600 quid is still a lot of money.

Get a sweet non metered M. If you don't feel comfortable estimating the light, take one reading w/ your handheld if need be, and that would give u a base line. And in daylight it is really easy w/o.
My M5 has a built in meter, and I don't use it most of the time. Same w my M7 - normally I switch it to manual and do my own thing.
You could get a really nice M4-2 for 600. Maybe an M2.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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p.s. that corrosion may be zinc bubbles. A chemical reaction to the paint. M6 cameras have their top plates made of zinc, unlike early M4-2s, all M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, MP, MA...
Those are made from brass.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
Jake Mongey
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Okay, so the general feeling is that I should get another M camera for this money, still looking at a metered body and keeping the same budget would the M5 be a good choice or could anyone find an M6 for this?

Im completely fine with guessing exposure and using external meters but once again its a nice feature. Kinda changing the topic now but just curious as a visit to leica mayfair a couple months back reminded me why ive always dreamed of owning a leica
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
Jake Mongey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
p.s. that corrosion may be zinc bubbles. A chemical reaction to the paint. M6 cameras have their top plates made of zinc, unlike early M4-2s, all M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, MP, MA...
Those are made from brass.
They were green spots on the top plate? looked like bubbles now you mention it. If it is Zinc Bubbles would that change if it would be worth it?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Mongey View Post
They were green spots on the top plate? looked like bubbles now you mention it. If it is Zinc Bubbles would that change if it would be worth it?
Unless I look at it I can't tell if it is corrosion or zinc bubbles (which is a type of corrosion of course).
But the fact of that and the frame lines not working shows abuse/neglect.
Who knows what is going on with the RF mechanics or the meter?
This sounds like a money pit of a camera to me, that once you start trying to fill that pit you realize you could have bought a nicer one to start off with.

Get a non-metered one and relish the thought that Leica is still making a new unmetered M - the MA - that you can buy new at Leica Mayfair. But you just saved big moolah.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
Bill Clark
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Hi Jake,

My advice, don't sell stuff just to buy more stuff. If I didn't have enough money to buy something I would figure out a way to earn more money to make the buy.

I understand, at 16 you may feel limited to earn money. I didn't look at it that way when I was your age. I thought if I got more people who'd pay me to mow their yards during the summer or shovel snow during the winter, I was ready to do that. Get my attitude!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
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Like everyone said, I would avoid. Corrosion, once startated, would only get worst. Also, sounds like it would need another $400.00 at least for a nice CLA and fixin the frames. Not a good deal to me. I own both the M5 and M6. M6 gets the more use but M5 is a great camera. You already use some big cameras so I would say M5 would suit you well. Meter is really good.

I think $700.00 would get you a decent M5.

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Marcelo
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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There are few cameras more expensive to own than a high priced camera in beat up shape bought for a low price.

G
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
There are few cameras more expensive to own than a high priced camera in beat up shape bought for a low price.

G
Pretty much sums it up.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
There are few cameras more expensive to own than a high priced camera in beat up shape bought for a low price.

G
I can attest that this is true. While I have spent enough money to bring non-functional beaters back into use, I have also foolishly bought a couple seriously abused cameras that could not be fixed - they were too far gone. It was a learning experience, but now I just say, "No more."
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Not to try and dissuade you from your M6 dream, but there's a really good looking M5 in the classifieds here on RFF that seems to be within your budget.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
Jake Mongey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaChase View Post
Not to try and dissuade you from your M6 dream, but there's a really good looking M5 in the classifieds here on RFF that seems to be within your budget.
Now thats something I could go for - will probably be gone by the time I have the funds though.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Mongey View Post
Now thats something I could go for - will probably be gone by the time I have the funds though.
When you factor the exchange rate, it's only £512
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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If you go the M5, try looking for one with a working meter. Pretty handy and, IMHO, one of the best deviced meter/viewfinder designs. The fact you see the speed without taking the eye from the viewfinder is a thing of beauty.

Regards.

Marcelo
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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The m5 is probably nice, i've never used one personally, but have thought about getting one many times. If you really want an M6 though, i'd just save a little longer. Be patient, or, assuming you could find an online place to buy it, or a store that accepts it, you could do what I did back 7 years ago, and use credit (i'm sure most won't recommend this, but if you're responsible I don't see the issue) I paid mine off in a couple months, before the interest kicked in.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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Save your money and avoid any corrosion. Bumps, scratches, dents, ok.

I'd save your money up for the camera you want. Sell what you have is not a bad thing as you can buy it back over time if you really miss it.

B2 (;->
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #25
conyon
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agree with other folks here.... there is beater and then there is beater... what you describe sounds problematic. Perhaps wait.....
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #26
Emile de Leon
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If you are into printing..like it or not..the sad truth is..the lowly TLRs..will slay the M6 for quality prints..
The M6..is a 35mm camera..and like any 35mm cam..just uses a tiny piece of film..
If I got back into film again..unless I was into gritty street..and grain..the Rolliecord iv..is one hell of a cam..esp at f5.6..and downwards..and the one to be used..
I've printed very large prints with that cam..and it just provides a great output..
The Leica M6 is fun..but these are getting pretty old now..and stuff can go wrong on them..w/expensive service costs indeed..
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #27
Colin Corneau
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I own an M6 and love it. Truly a camera you can see having the rest of your life.

HOWEVER -- I'd give this one a pass. For the amount you'd have to almost certainly spend to get it in reliable condition, you can find one that's fine from the start.
I'd humbly suggest selling your gear, and start saving now to find that M6 in good condition from the start.

I'd also consider finding an M4 or M2 and buy a reliable small exposure meter...likely save even more money for basically the same camera.
For example, I rarely put batteries in my M6, I have a Sekonic Digisix meter which is wonderfully accurate and quite inexpensive...without batteries an M6 is essentially an M4.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
Jake Mongey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emile de Leon View Post
If you are into printing..like it or not..the sad truth is..the lowly TLRs..will slay the M6 for quality prints..
The M6..is a 35mm camera..and like any 35mm cam..just uses a tiny piece of film..
If I got back into film again..unless I was into gritty street..and grain..the Rolliecord iv..is one hell of a cam..esp at f5.6..and downwards..and the one to be used..
I've printed very large prints with that cam..and it just provides a great output..
The Leica M6 is fun..but these are getting pretty old now..and stuff can go wrong on them..w/expensive service costs indeed..
True but everyone knows that a good MF camera can beat a 35mm even a leica at resolution but what im after isnt about that - Its about getting my dream camera and even then you can still get cracking shots from 35mm and if you develop it correctly can get some pretty large prints.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #29
Jake Mongey
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Ill be passing and it does look like an M5 will be suiting me - starting to get to work
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conyon View Post
agree with other folks here.... there is beater and then there is beater... what you describe sounds problematic. Perhaps wait.....
how about this....

There are beaters and then there are those that were beaten!

Beaten cameras are best use as parts donors.

A good beater can be sent to DAG (or Sherry, etc.) an be used for years!

B2 (;->
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #31
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Whew! I'm glad to hear you're passing on that M6. I consider it grossly overpriced considering the condition. And you would be "ripped off" if purchased.

An M5 is great. Really, they're great. Put simply, you won't regret a good M5, but that M6 would leave you sour.

Of course, if its an M6 your heart is set upon, saving for a good one is not as awful as it sounds. I saved for several of my camera gear over the years and it seemed like an eternity, and crushing difficult, but in the end I managed to do it. You can too. Its a fact that not all of us are fabulously wealthy enough to pop over to the Leica store and pick up a few items (M10, APO summicron, 21 summilux). Kudos to those who are
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #32
Emile de Leon
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Quote:
True but everyone knows that a good MF camera can beat a 35mm even a leica at resolution but what im after isnt about that - Its about getting my dream camera and even then you can still get cracking shots from 35mm and if you develop it correctly can get some pretty large prints
.
I still own my M6 from 1988..and my Rolliecord 4 from the 50's too..
The M6 cost me brand new $1600- back in 88..and the Rolliecord cost me $50-..around 1992...
If you are on a budget..there is no 2nd choice..skip the M6..but that said..the M6 was my dream camera too..and for certain things..it is truly great.. like in travel..I luv that cam for that..
But then..to realize that M6 goodness..you have to get the Leica lenses for it..and well..you know what they cost..
As to the M5..it is nothing like the M6..some people swear by it..but imo..it is one big clunker of an M camera..and Leica took a bath on it..
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Mongey View Post
True but everyone knows that a good MF camera can beat a 35mm even a leica at resolution but what im after isnt about that - Its about getting my dream camera and even then you can still get cracking shots from 35mm and if you develop it correctly can get some pretty large prints.
Exactly! I'm glad to see what you are able to see it without horse blinders.

Jane Bown ditched Rolleiflex and went with OM. Henri-Cartier Bresson never looked back at MF after getting Leica. Garry Winogrand and George Zimbel were in the “Midnight to Dawn” club which was the darkroom. Both were with education in arts. They were printing from negatives taken by Leica. I have seen their large prints and I have seen large prints from 6x6 taken by Diane Arbus and Vivian Maier. No significant difference.
I was at Meyerowitz prints show and his Leica taken prints were priced as high as his LF prints. Tens of thousands dollars.

"The Leica camera must have Leica lens on it" statement is another nonsense. Winogrand used Canon LTM lenses for many years. Most astonishing print I have seen of his was taken with one of these. Even HCB was using 50/1.5 Zeiss Sonnar lens on his Leica for years.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #34
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Jake,

I have an early Wetzlar M6. As Huss mentions the plating and the zinc top plate often displays corrosion on M6's, and this really is only cosmetic.

The thing with buying a Leica is you really need to hold out and buy a good one because it will likely be a camera you would want to own a long-long time.

I would pass on this particular M6, and I would be patient to wait for the right one because there is the possibility you could own it the rest of your life.

I have owned my M6 for over a decade, it is still a great camera, and I intend to keep it the rest of my life. Mine is showing quite a bit of corrosion to the point that my body chemistry shows discoloration in the plating. M6's are known to have bubbles emerge over time that turn ito blisters. Some of this bubbling and blistering is evident on my M6, and it does not bother me.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #35
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Agree on trying to handle a M5 before buy. I like my M5 and M6 equally, but they are different beast altogether. I think you wouldnt regret it, but it would be wise to do.


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