Variants: Silver-black and black
Camera Type: 35mm rangefinder system
Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean (0.72×)
Lens mount: Leica M
Shutter: focal plane
Exposure meter: CdS selective
Exposure modes: manual
ASA/ISO range: 6 to 6400 ISO
X sync speed: 1/50
TTL Flash: No (Yes M6 TTL)
Motor drive: Winder
Battery: 2× silver oxide or 1× lithium
Number produced: unknown
The Leica M6 is a 35mm film rangefinder camera produced by Leitz in 1984. It is part of the Leica M-series rangefinder camera system originating with the Leica M3. It was the first progression of the M series model number since the Leica M5 of 1971.
The M6 provides TTL exposure measurement but, unlike the unsuccessful M5, does so within the 'classic' M3 body size. Although having the same dimensions as the M3, the M6 was subtly restyled. The viewfinder includes LED exposure display which, unlike the M5, uses a fixed light receptor beside the bayonet lens mount pointing at a white metering circle on the first shutter curtain. Metering is only possible when the shutter has been advanced and some early lenses with deep rear elements will not give correct readings.
The electronics necessary for metering meant that a self timer was no longer fitted.
Following on from the Canadian made M4-2, M6 production reverted to Germany.
The Leica M6J is a limited edition version released in 1994. It offers a different viewfinder magnification of 0.85× compared to the more common 0.72× on the standard M6.
Introduced in 1998, the M6 TTL also provides TTL flash exposure measurement. There are variations with 0.72×, 0.85×, and 0.58× viewfinder magnifications. Utilising more sophisticated electronics this version required a 2.5mm increase in the camera's height and 40g additional weight.
Introduced in 2003, the MP is still all mechanical with only the meter requiring power. The name harks back to the much prized 1956 MP and some features, such as the special rewind lever, have been copied from the earlier version.
Metering electronics reverted to a simpler system not providing TTL flash exposure.
- Viewfinder: 0.72× and 0.85×
- Framelines: 0.72× (28-90, 35-135, 50-75), 0.85× (35-135, 50-75, 90)
- Shutter speeds: 1 - 1/1000 second plus 'B'
- Film speed: ISO 6–6400
- Power supply to exposure meter: 2 silver oxide button cells (type SR44) or 1 lithium battery (1/3 N)
- The Leica M-System page at Leica.
- An article about the M6 at the Washington Post by Frank Van Riper.
- Article by M. Feuerbacher