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Stupid question I know, but help me decide if I get an M6
Old 06-08-2014   #1
bobbywise
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Stupid question I know, but help me decide if I get an M6

I've built up a little bit of analogue and digital gear.
I'll never get rid of my Fuji-X gear.
I have a Sony A7 which I feel impartial to, but it's good for legacy lenses on a digital platform. So I'll keep the A7 for now.
I have some OM gear, which I'll probably keep (but the shutter is noisy).
I have some nice RFs, like the Oly UC, Leica CL, and Canon 7. I'll never get rid of those.
I have the M-Rokkor 28mm, 40mm Summicron-C, 50 mm 1.5 Canon LTM, 90mm Elmar-C (which I plan to sell), and the 90mm Tele-Elmerit.

I'm tempted to get an M6, but would like people's opinion of it with respect to my existing gear.

- I love the compactness and weight of the CL, and the UC. The Canon 7 feels a bit imposing and heavy. How does the M6 fit in with these cameras ?

- I find the RF patch on the CL a tiny bit small, but OK, and the RF patch on the UC pretty good. How is the M6 RF patch by comparison.

- I hear that the CL can be used with the 28mm (the outer edges of the VF correspond approximately to 28mm), but would I benefit from having the M6 for 28 mm ?

- How does the shutter sound loudness compare with the CL and UC ?

With Well Wishes,

Rob
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Old 06-08-2014   #2
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Given the name of this site, i think you already know the answer :-).
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Old 06-08-2014   #3
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True, but would still like people's experience, since I have no experience of the M6.

Also, I hear the are RF flare issues with the M6 -- did these issues stop from a certain year/serial number ?
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Old 06-08-2014   #4
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Sure, why not? You already have a bunch of cameras you might as well buy the M6 as well. They are terrific cameras by the way, and one of Leica's most popular based on sales.

But, if I may be so bold; Why?

What do you expect to do with the M6 that you can't already do with all the rest you own?

Or is it only so you can get another camera?

For film I prefer the M3, or when I need a meter, my Zeiss Ikon.

If you are interested in viewfinders, the ZI is the better option IMHO.
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Old 06-08-2014   #5
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Pioneer,

Without sounding like I have GAS, it's for the following reasons:
- built in TTL meter that works with standard batteries
- usefulness with 28mm framelines (hence one of my original questions -- the CL seems tricky to me, and I don't want to carry an external VF)



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Old 06-08-2014   #6
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Hi,

Get the m6 and sell all the rest, keep the 40mm cron and get yourself a vc 21mm lens.

Then buy a lot of film and go shooting.

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Old 06-08-2014   #7
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You can't really go far wrong with an M6. Buy a good one at a reasonable price, if you don't like it sell it for much the same as you bought it down the line.
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Old 06-08-2014   #8
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Funny I am looking to exit my M6Ti because I am no good at scanning and my local options leave me underwhelmed when i compare to my 120 scans. So decided over the weekend to exit my M6 and I bought a gorgeous 903SWC.

I find with Leica if you want it, you should just buy it because the itch never goes away. And if you buy a cheaper option you will lose money when you sell later and buy the first option.

I wanted a Monochrom a couple of years ago and convinced myself it wasn't a good idea, 2 years later I realised I was a dickhead and ended up losing money on what I bought instead and got the MM.
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Old 06-08-2014   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywise View Post


True, but would still like people's experience, since I have no experience of the M6.

Also, I hear the are RF flare issues with the M6 -- did these issues stop from a certain year/serial number ?
These "issues" are wildly overblown by internet wankers. If the M6 was the preferred tool for Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, David Alan Harvey, and Bill Allard in their film days (and it was), it's good enough for me you or most anyone else who posts here. Full stop.

If you're really troubled by the flare issue (which is minor), it is not hard to find a used M6 with the MP optics upgrade. I had it done on mine (originally purchased new) when I had it CLA'd at about year ten. Not a big deal.
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Old 06-08-2014   #10
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A Leica is like the Swiss army knife - a myth and necessity at the same time. Given, that you speak a lot about 28mm, my advice would be to get an 0.58x M7, or a 0.58x M6 or MP body, if you can find one. If you think, you can make without a Leica, the Zeiss Ikon will fix all your problems with framelines and lenses - with the exception of 40mm frames.
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Old 06-08-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
A Leica is like the Swiss army knife - a myth and necessity at the same time. Given, that you speak a lot about 28mm, my advice would be to get an 0.58x M7, or a 0.58x M6 or MP body, if you can find one. If you think, you can make without a Leica, the Zeiss Ikon will fix all your problems with framelines and lenses - with the exception of 40mm frames.
Have to agree here. Get the M6 and if you do not like it sell it for the same price. No risk. None.
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Old 06-08-2014   #12
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I'm pretty convinced to go for the M6 with the 0.72x VF. However, I'm interested to hear comparisons to the use of the RF patch compared to the Leica CL and Olympus UC. Can anyone help with this question ?
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Old 06-08-2014   #13
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Do you wear glasses? If so the 28mm frame lines will be a little hard to see with the .72 finder. I only had rf patch flare with my M6 .85 but I got it updated and it's great.

Be Careful. Get one and you might have to have a few more. Good Luck. Joe
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Old 06-08-2014   #14
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Oh. If you have the lenses and the money, why not?
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Old 06-08-2014   #15
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I can not imagine adding another camera to the set you already have, unless you've run more than a roll or two through each in the last 3 months. Also, can't imagine why you need all those cameras, but that is none of my business, I guess. The M6 is a no-brainer, especially with the 0.72, but I agree with mfogiel, I'd get the M7. I would also sell 4 of what you have...
Advice. Worth what you paid for it.
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Old 06-08-2014   #16
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I'm starting to come around to the idea of using an external 28mm VF with the CL.
The M7 is twice the price of the M6. However, I'm curious to know if the RF experience is far better on the M6 compared to the CL.
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Old 06-08-2014   #17
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I don't think there's any contest between an M6 and a cl with a 28mm finder on it. External finders suck, to be avoided if at all possible. They stick out, fall off, and are expensive. Imo.
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Old 06-08-2014   #18
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The rangefinder flare issue is a minor thing at best. I had my M6 for years before the Internet came along and never had any problems with flare, and I had owned an M4 before that, so I would have noticed a difference. This is one of those things that gains a life of its own on the Internet but in real life is totally inconsequential. I did have my Classic M6 upgraded and you gain a little contrast with the focus patch, which is nice. But I still have a M6 TTL LHSA which hasn't been upgraded and in daily use, I can't tell the difference. I would not let this be a factor in your decision...
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Old 06-08-2014   #19
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I've just realized (from CameraQuest) that the 28 mm M-Rokkor brings up the 35/135 framelines on the M6. I think I'll just stick with the CL and see how composing with the extreme edges of the CL VF goes. If I luck out with that technique, I'll get an external 28 mm finder.
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Old 06-08-2014   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywise View Post
I'm pretty convinced to go for the M6 with the 0.72x VF. However, I'm interested to hear comparisons to the use of the RF patch compared to the Leica CL and Olympus UC. Can anyone help with this question ?

I had the Leica M6 and also CL and the problem with the CL is the aluminum coating of the beam-splitter, designed that way for cost-cutting reasons. Many CL cameras show quite some deterioration of the semi-transparent aluminum coating resulting in a faint RF patch, which is most of the time unusable in low-light but OK in bright day-light. You can easily check the condition of the RF by looking into the small RF window to the left side (front-side of the camera) while pointing the VF against a bright light-source. If you see black spots then the RF needs re-silvering. The web-site of CRR (Camera Repair Luton) has more information on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywise View Post
I've just realized (from CameraQuest) that the 28 mm M-Rokkor brings up the 35/135 frame lines on the M6. I think I'll just stick with the CL and see how composing with the extreme edges of the CL VF goes. If I luck out with that technique, I'll get an external 28 mm finder.
I have the 28mm M-Rokkor myself and had it modified by Focalpoint to bring the 28mm frame-lines up. A cheaper method is to cut a triangle-shaped piece of plastic out of the lid of a plastic film-canister and push this beneath the frame line preview lever to keep the 28mm frame lines activated, problem solved.
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Old 06-08-2014   #21
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Personally, I think the CL and CLE are better cameras. I like the ergonomics, and the CLE is every bit as technologically competent as the M7, with a usable aperture priority mode, if you actually want to shoot hard and fast with film.

I'd also recommend taking a look at the Zeiss Ikon ZM, which I prefer over the M6 because of the big finder and the relatively easy film loading. Certainly not a camera for everyone, but a nice, modern alternative. The M6's main advantage is build quality, which is considerably better than most non-Leica RFs. I use a Bessa, though - I don't shoot enough film to justify a Leica.
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Old 06-08-2014   #22
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As others have pointed, it looks like you don't own a camera that's really close to an M6, so getting a modern metered M / ZI / Bessa can be fun...
It also looks like we can't make better photographs with any of them than with our other cameras, so it's about toys more than about photography: I enjoy toys!
Cheers,
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Old 06-08-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post

For film I prefer the M3, or when I need a meter, my Zeiss Ikon.

If you are interested in viewfinders, the ZI is the better option IMHO.
This has been my experience too. I've had M3, M6 and ZI, and for me the M6 is an unhappy medium. It does not have the nice modern features of the ZI, i.e. film loading, nice finder, AE, nor does it have the sheer beauty of the of M3.

I've had M3, IIIf, MP, M6, and the M6 was easily my least favourite. Many people feel differently of course, I think Leica made some incredible cameras, but the more modern you go, the more compelling the ZI and Bessa cameras become.

If I was shooting a 28mm a lot, then the M6 will certainly be OK, but you could also get any other RF and a clip on finder.
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Old 06-08-2014   #24
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I wouldnt worry too much about 'exact' frame lines. Is there such a thing ?
Shoot lots of film instead of worrying so much about the gear.

If you shoot enough, often enough you will get a rough feel from viewing a scene with just your eyes how much coverage a given focal length will get with relation to your distance from the subject. Each focal length has an angle of view (which can be different even for the same focal lengths. Its not that hard with some practice to picture the FOV a specific angle provides.
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Old 06-08-2014   #25
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The M6 has it's flaws, sure. But pound for pound, penny for penny, it is the most useful Leica M, hands down. The MP is probably better, but at 3-4 times the price, and the M2, M3, and M4 are better built, but they do not have a meter. If you shoot color film at all--and especially if you shoot slide film ever--the M6 is preferable over the earlier M's.

The Leica M6 is a marvel of a camera. You could, theoretically, sell all your other gear and keep the M6 and a few lenses, and that would get you by for years to come.
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Old 06-08-2014   #26
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Quote:
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The M6 has it's flaws, sure. But pound for pound, penny for penny, it is the most useful Leica M, hands down. The MP is probably better, but at 3-4 times the price, and the M2, M3, and M4 are better built, but they do not have a meter. If you shoot color film at all--and especially if you shoot slide film ever--the M6 is preferable over the earlier M's.

The Leica M6 is a marvel of a camera. You could, theoretically, sell all your other gear and keep the M6 and a few lenses, and that would get you by for years to come.
Now that is what they call Leica Koolaid.

The M6 is just a rangefinder camera that was already behind the times when it was introduced.

To me it is quite interesting. I enjoy using Leica cameras but lets get real. When it was introduced in 1954 the Leica M3 was so far ahead of its time that people felt that it would take years for any other camera to catch up. It took Nikon about 5 years with the Nikon F. Thirty years later in 1984 the M6 was so far behind the times that the shoe was on the other foot and Leica has never caught up.

The Leica M6 is a nice rangefinder, but it certainly is not a "marvel." Not when it was introduced, and definitely not now.
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Old 06-08-2014   #27
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I don't think you'll have time to master with M Six, end_joy your iX.
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Old 06-08-2014   #28
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i find the M's ( i have 2 m3's and on my 2nd CL ) to be superior to the CL. I am talking by a huge margin. I find the CL light and tinny in comparison. I also find the M's to be easier to hold straight and the weight and smooth shutter really helps at 1/15. Also no meter arm flying about to add to vibration pre exposure.
you could also get a cheaper m4p or even an m2 and just use the whole VF for 28, put some tape over the frameline window.

I don't the big red dot on the m6. also built in metering makes me second guess my exposures too much, i prefer meterless. each to their own.
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Old 06-08-2014   #29
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Quote:
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The M6 has it's flaws, sure. But pound for pound, penny for penny, it is the most useful Leica M, hands down. The MP is probably better, but at 3-4 times the price, and the M2, M3, and M4 are better built, but they do not have a meter. If you shoot color film at all--and especially if you shoot slide film ever--the M6 is preferable over the earlier M's.

The Leica M6 is a marvel of a camera. You could, theoretically, sell all your other gear and keep the M6 and a few lenses, and that would get you by for years to come.
wait.... i thought the mp was a just a modern copy of the m3, just made to different production standards

try a cheap m2 and see if you like it. get a phone app for the exposure and see how quickly it is before you can just use your eyes for exposure and 28mm composition, once you do that you will be super fast taking photos
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Old 06-08-2014   #30
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Of Ms I've owned and used M3, M4-P, M4-2, M6TTL, M2, and M9. And CL (on my third). I have an irrational love of the CL + 40mm + 90mm. It's irrational because of the Ms, I love the M4-2 the most and prefer its feel, its viewfinder, and its usefulness with lenses other than the 40 and 90 mm ... but I still love the CL a lot. It works well with 28 and 21mm lenses too, but I use an external viewfinder for that.

My M6TTL viewfinder flared constantly and was annoying for it. The 28mm framelines were invisible to my glasses-shod eyes. But it had an excellent meter and I either used a clip-on viewfinder or just framed with the whole viewfinder and guessed when using a 28mm lens. Never made much difference ... I don't frame "precisely" with a rangefinder camera. Doesn't make any sense to. I use the CL the same way with a 28mm sometimes, but I tend to prefer the external viewfinder on the CL.

The M4/M6 series is more akin to your Canon 7 in size and weight. The CL is substantially more compact and lighter weight.

The built in meter is a convenience, but I still prefer the M4-2 over the other Ms. I find I get more consistent exposures with an incident meter anyway.

It's impossible to say which of these cameras will suit you best. They're all good, they all have their charm and quirk. As do we. Buy what your heart moves you to, and what you can afford. Use it a lot.

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Old 06-08-2014   #31
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Buy one used, develop some film for a few weeks, then decide keep it or sell it.

You'll either want to keep it, or re-sell it, and you'll get most money back if re-selling.
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Old 06-09-2014   #32
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Now that is what they call Leica Koolaid.

The M6 is just a rangefinder camera that was already behind the times when it was introduced.

To me it is quite interesting. I enjoy using Leica cameras but lets get real. When it was introduced in 1954 the Leica M3 was so far ahead of its time that people felt that it would take years for any other camera to catch up. It took Nikon about 5 years with the Nikon F. Thirty years later in 1984 the M6 was so far behind the times that the shoe was on the other foot and Leica has never caught up.

The Leica M6 is a nice rangefinder, but it certainly is not a "marvel." Not when it was introduced, and definitely not now.
I agree, none of the rangefinders stayed in production for a reason. Except Leica, because that was their deal. All the others were outclassed by SLRs with TTL metering, WYSIWYG framing, autowinders, etc. I like and only shoot rangefinders, but I know I'd get consistently better photos from a $35 Canon AE-1 or Nikon F2, or Olympus OM-1
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Old 06-09-2014   #33
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Personally, I think the CL and CLE are better cameras. I like the ergonomics, and the CLE is every bit as technologically competent as the M7, with a usable aperture priority mode, if you actually want to shoot hard and fast with film. .......
+1

The CLE is a wonderful release II of the CL.


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....The M6 is just a rangefinder camera that was already behind the times when it was introduced. .....
Yes, but I got one of the early ones and it was FUN. It with another family now but it still is a great camera for those who feel like a nut from time to time.

IMHO, Yes, get an M6. If you do not love it, sell it. It's just a thing, happens to be a wonderful thing, but it's still just a thing. There is a reasonably good market for used things like that and will be for a few years yet.

Things you can buy, time you can't.

Enjoy.

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Old 06-10-2014   #34
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Pioneer, Without sounding like I have GAS, it's for the following reasons: - built in TTL meter that works with standard batteries - usefulness with 28mm framelines (hence one of my original questions -- the CL seems tricky to me, and I don't want to carry an external VF) Rob
Sorry to hit you with it like this but you do have G.A.S.

It's not all bad news though, there are people that can help.
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Old 06-10-2014   #35
Steve Bellayr
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IMHO: The Leica M6 is superior to the Leica Cl. I am pretty certain that the Leica Cl has a number of electronic parts that are no longer in production and repairs on the Cl will be difficult in the future. I would get rid of the 28mm and the 40mm and as far as the Om is concerned if you go to Leica optics you will be disappointed with the Olympic lenses. Again, this is my opinion.
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Old 06-10-2014   #36
Rob-F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywise View Post
I've built up a little bit of analogue and digital gear.
I'll never get rid of my Fuji-X gear.
I have a Sony A7 which I feel impartial to, but it's good for legacy lenses on a digital platform. So I'll keep the A7 for now.
I have some OM gear, which I'll probably keep (but the shutter is noisy).
I have some nice RFs, like the Oly UC, Leica CL, and Canon 7. I'll never get rid of those.
I have the M-Rokkor 28mm, 40mm Summicron-C, 50 mm 1.5 Canon LTM, 90mm Elmar-C (which I plan to sell), and the 90mm Tele-Elmerit.

I'm tempted to get an M6, but would like people's opinion of it with respect to my existing gear.

- I love the compactness and weight of the CL, and the UC. The Canon 7 feels a bit imposing and heavy. How does the M6 fit in with these cameras ?

- I find the RF patch on the CL a tiny bit small, but OK, and the RF patch on the UC pretty good. How is the M6 RF patch by comparison.

- I hear that the CL can be used with the 28mm (the outer edges of the VF correspond approximately to 28mm), but would I benefit from having the M6 for 28 mm ?

- How does the shutter sound loudness compare with the CL and UC ?

With Well Wishes,

Rob

I use an M6, MP, and M7, all with the .58 finder. These are my preferred Leicas for use with the 28mm and 35mm lenses, because I can see the framelines without strain, wearing glasses. But for the 50mm lens, I use my M2 (or now, my M5) because the 50mm framelines in the M6/M7/MP are dreadfully undersized. everyone knows you don't get accurate framing with a rangefinder, but still, there are limits!

So if you get an M6, know that your 40mm is a good match for the 35mm framelines of the M6. To bring up the 35mm frameline, your 40mm will have to be modified. It's simple. I modded my Rokkor in 15 minutes. But here's the thing to do with an M6: Leave the 50mm f/1.5 canon on another body, and use the 40 on the M6 instead of the 50.

I will also mention that the 35mm framelines are also undersized, but not so drastically as to keep me from using it. I'd rather shoot my 35 on the M6 TTL 0.58 than on the M2 or M5, because I can so easily see what I'm doing. If I didn't wear glasses, I'd put the 35 on the M2 or M5.

Don't worry about finder flare. On my .72 M6, it was bad enough to send it to DAG for the mod. On my 0.58 bodies, it's no problem!
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Old 06-10-2014   #37
Dez
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And now for a minority opinion. I think the M5 is a better camera than the M6. Yes it's a bit taller and has squared off ends, but compared to an M9 for example, it's relatively small. I think it looks great, especially in black, which works well with the style of the camera. I bought an M4 and swapped out the levers for the M3 versions, as I didn't like the cheesy squared-off parts with the plastic inserts. They suit the square-shouldered M5 perfectly, though.

Like the M6, it has a behind the lens spot meter. Unlike the M6, it has a shutter speed dial that can be conveniently turned with one finger, with speeds appearing in the finder. It is easy when panning over a scene to get an idea of how much range there is in light level due to its analog meter needle; with the M6 you get over/OK/under indications only.

You get framelines for 35/50/90 and 135mm lenses. The M6 will also give you 28mm with two of the three different finder magnifications, but you can really only see it easily with the 0.58 finder, and that gives far too small an image for 50 and 90mm lenses. The M5 finder does not flare; the M6 often needs an upgrade of a part from the MP, a camera which costs its weight in myrrh.

The M5 can make a claim to be the best built of the Leica M's, the last model built to the original quality standards. The M4-2 and later cameras are well built, but not to the same degree as the older models. Again the MP is an exception, but then again, weight-in-myrrh.

The M5 seems to be going through a surge of popularity these days, with very high asking prices from Japanese vendors on ebay, but it is still possible to pick up a really good example for well under a thousand bucks.

Cheers,
Dez
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142842
Old 06-10-2014   #38
leicapixie
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142842

I don't care if a Leica M6 is "outdated".
Every DSLR or mirrorless digital camera is outdated literally in weeks..
The M6 ,M7 or MP are special.
You either have one or you don't.
Similar, more features mean nothing.
My Nikon F3 runs circles around my M3.
It has a full complement of prime lenses and a few zooms.
I hate the bulk and weight, in spite of the technical advancements.
The film camera i most use is my battered M3.
The M6 runs second..
If your feel is to own one, go ahead.
You have a nice set of gear, simply add the "M".
Give it at least a year.
If you haven't bonded, sell it.
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Old 06-10-2014   #39
BillBingham2
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The M4-P does 28mm too! No internal meter but that's why I went with an M6.
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Old 06-11-2014   #40
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianstamatic View Post
i find the M's ( i have 2 m3's and on my 2nd CL ) to be superior to the CL. I am talking by a huge margin. I find the CL light and tinny in comparison. I also find the M's to be easier to hold straight and the weight and smooth shutter really helps at 1/15. Also no meter arm flying about to add to vibration pre exposure...
I worry about this comment and have done for some time.

The CL is a compact Leica and was meant to be smaller and simpler. It follows a long, long tradition of Leitz/Leica catering for all sorts of photographers including those who don't want to spend large sums of money and cart around a lot of kit. It's one of the things I like about Leica; look in the SLR's catalogues and you'll see their recommendations for basic kits. It's what the f/3.5 and f/2.8 lenses are for.

As for the behaviour of the CL, I've had one for a long long time and the M2 and, once, the R5 and the CL is a perfectly good camera doing what it should the way it should with those two splendid lenses.

It shouldn't be written off by anyone who want a sensible RF kit. Nothing personal but I sometimes I think that RF's have more fundamentalists than religions. And they believe in stoning people, still...

Regards, David

PS And I've taken shots at 1 second at f/2 and hand held with no problems.
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