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M6 Titanium Bubbles Appearing
Old 08-19-2016   #1
jonwardle
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M6 Titanium Bubbles Appearing

I have just discovered the top plate of my Leica M6 titanium has pin prick size bubbles appearing.
It has been stored in an English climate in normal temp and humidity: 20C 65% ish RH.

I rang Leica London UK and asked their opinion. Needless to say if I want to replace the top plate its at my expense!

I am most annoyed although I have owned the M6 for 10 years from new (and looked after it) I am now in this position.
Any thoughts people. I know this has happened to chrome M6's but titanium?

Do I write to Leica CEO expressing my disgust ?

Last edited by jonwardle : 08-19-2016 at 08:13. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-19-2016   #2
benmacphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwardle View Post
Any thoughts people. I know this has happened to chrome M6's but titanium?
It could happen to any M6 as they were zinc plates. The titanium is just a finish, zinc is still below it.
Had a black M6 that had them, I just ignored it.
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Old 08-19-2016   #3
Talus
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^it would appear that the intended purchase of the camera was from a collectors perspective, meaning the value would increase over time.

I see the frustration, but at being 10 years old and handled, paint will deteriorate. This is especially true as the natural oils in our hands are highly corrosive to metals and paints.
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Old 08-19-2016   #4
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmacphoto View Post
It could happen to any M6 as they were zinc plates. The titanium is just a finish, zinc is still below it.
Had a black M6 that had them, I just ignored it.
Ben,

You are correct that M6's were made with zinc top plates, but I believe that the limited edition Titanium versions had brass top plates that were titanium plated.

M6's are know to display pitting due to the zinc top plates.

I kinda did a lot of research on Ti M6's because I likely own a rare prototype M6 that is a Wetzlar version 2 (with strap ring protectors) that has a Ti plating over what I would later learn is a zinc top plate.

My research revealed that my unusual Wetzlar has all the usual Wetzlar engravings, embossed Vulcanite, early metering, knurled metal rewind knob tip, Leitz Red Dot... but features a zinc top plate that is titanium plated. Oddly the knobs are all chrome and my serial number indicates that my camera was made about 5 years before the later limited edition was released.

I remember discovering that the Ti version had a brass top plate which further added notoriety to my prototype. I bought this Wetzlar M6 from Setadel Studios, the current sponsor about 9 years ago. This vendor seems to be located kinda close to the old Midland Leica plant, even though my camera was made in Germany.

It seems that my body chemistry has sped up the pitting and it also became more evident that underneath the Ti plating is zinc. My Ti M6 has a wonderful patina as somehow the Ti plating is kinda getting worn through in places, and then there are bubbles and pitting that are the result of chemical reactions.

The edges are rounder on my M6 when compared to my black paint MP which has more of a square to the edges.

Cal
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Old 08-19-2016   #5
nobbylon
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Why would it disgust you after owning it 10 years? I can't think of any camera manufacturer that gives a 10 year warranty on finish. As is told it's a finish and not a titanium top plate. you've probably over handled it
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Old 08-19-2016   #6
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http://leicastoremiami.com/products/...FQ10vQodjAYCWA

"In 2001, Leica produced a limited edition run of 1,000 Leica M6 TTL Titanium camera bodies. The camera’s top and base plates are coated in titanium plating over brass .."

BUT!

http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/com...nium/index.htm

"So when Leica was announcing a Leica M6 Titanium back in 1997, equally I was excited and had mailed order a unit with a matching Titanium finish Summilux-M 1.4/35mm lens. Perhaps, slightly over-excited and should have studied more in detail before making such a rush decision... Later I have found out that the M6 Titan was just a Titanium coating applied to standard M6. "

It seems some were titanium paint over brass, some were over zinc. Because yours is bubbling, it seems you have one over zinc.

The M7 and MP series returned to brass.
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Old 08-19-2016   #7
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
http://leicastoremiami.com/products/...FQ10vQodjAYCWA

"In 2001, Leica produced a limited edition run of 1,000 Leica M6 TTL Titanium camera bodies. The camera’s top and base plates are coated in titanium plating over brass .."

BUT!

http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/com...nium/index.htm

"So when Leica was announcing a Leica M6 Titanium back in 1997, equally I was excited and had mailed order a unit with a matching Titanium finish Summilux-M 1.4/35mm lens. Perhaps, slightly over-excited and should have studied more in detail before making such a rush decision... Later I have found out that the M6 Titan was just a Titanium coating applied to standard M6. "

It seems some were titanium paint over brass, some were over zinc. Because yours is bubbling, it seems you have one over zinc.

The M7 and MP series returned to brass.
Huss,

Thanks for the reference material that offered a lot of clarity.

There was some confusion on my part about the brass top plate. Evidently they changed from zinc to brass on the M6 TTL.

My Ti Wetzlar M6 is more of a polished champaign color rather than the kinda bead blasted dull mat grey displayed in your article, but one can clearly see the more rounded edges of the zinc top plate.

I have seen pitting on other chrome and black chrome M6's.

Cal
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Old 08-19-2016   #8
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My old M6TTL had a zinc top plate. I thought the MP was the reintroduction of the brass top plate.
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Old 08-19-2016   #9
madNbad
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Leica brought back the brass top plate in 1999 with the M6 TTL Millennium and then began to use it on more special editions.
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Old 08-20-2016   #10
css9450
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Probably needs to be moved out of the CL/CLE subforum...
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Old 08-20-2016   #11
wjlapier
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Two bubbles on my Leitz M6. Price to pay to have a M6 form the first year batch. Its a gamble. This thing sat in a store in the Netherlands until I found it. NOS.
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Old 08-20-2016   #12
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If the bubbles affect the image quality, I would worry about it.
Sorry couldn't help it.
Come on 10 years and the coating shows signs of age, give me a break...
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