Towards the end of last year, I treated myself to a Leica M6 TTL camera.
I had been toying with purchasing a Leica M analogue camera for a while but kept talking myself out of it, especially after I purchased my Hasselblad.
However, after using such beautiful quality camera’s such as the Hasselblad and the Olympus Pen FT, it kept drawing me back to wanting to own a Leica M for my 35mm photography.
After lots of research I decided I would like to own a Leica M6 TTL version. The main reason I wanted to own an M6 model was because it has the built in light meter.
I had originally thought I would like an M6 but in the end, I preferred the larger dial on the TTL and also the way it syncs with the flash when using one. Plus, it also has a circle in the light meter reading to show when the exposure is correct.
I also felt the way the dial turns with the light meter reading was more intuitive than the Leica M6 which, is the opposite way to the arrows in the viewfinder.
Lastly the TTL has an ‘off’ dial which is handy for the battery and I also wanted a newer Leica M6 so knew the TTL would have been the most recent of that series prior to the release of the M7.
The other great thing about the M6 TTL is that there are 3 x different viewfinders (.58, .72, .85) which links to the magnification you require in the viewfinder since it’s a rangefinder so you won’t actually be focusing the whole image, just the little square in the middle of the viewfinder.
I had tried out the .72 rangefinder in a friends leica so I was able to gauge what would work for me and decided on the .85 magnification since I mainly wanted to use a 50mm lens with this camera.
The different types of magnification work better for different lenses and I had read the .85 isn’t particularly great with 28mm lenses since you lose those lines in the viewfinder but I hadn’t planned on using that size lens anyway since I tend to use my Hasselblad (and soon my Intrepid 4×5) cameras for more serious landscape photography.
Deciding that I wanted both the classic chrome body along with the .85 magnification proved somewhat difficult to find. There seemed to be lots of black models for sale with this magnification but not chrome.
After several months of trawling through various vintage camera dealers and looking on eBay and gumtree etc, I finally found a camera dealer in France who had just what I was after.
I had read good reviews online (in french!) about this camera dealer so took the plunge and purchased the camera.
I was very excited and I certainly wasn’t disappointed when it arrived in the post. It was exactly as I expected so I was really pleased.
After toying with getting a cheaper 50mm lens which I know are quite good, in the end I decided if I’m purchasing a Leica M Camera, I may as well also get a Leica lens. I plan on making large prints in my darkroom so hope the picture quality/detail will still be good when printed to a larger size. In the end I decided on a 50mm Summicron lens and the main reason I decided on the Summicron version was because I had seen some great shots taken by other photographers on instagram using this particular lens and also, it was within my budget. I ended up getting a version with a built in hood since I figured that would be more suitable for me as I do find it a bit of a pain with my other camera’s when I have to keep adding on and physically removing the lens hood.
Since using this lens, I am certainly pleased I purchased one with the built in lens hood as it has been really convenient when taking photos.
I look forward to updating you all over the next few weeks with what films I’ve tried out in the camera so far.
It’s certainly been a very exciting few months for me using this camera!