No, you haven’t entered a time machine. Leica has re-released its iconic M6 camera, 38 years after it was first released back in 1984. While it keeps the same overall look and functionality of the original M6, this updated version does bring a few upgraded features.
Throughout its 18-year production run, Leica made nearly 175,000 M6 cameras in multiple variations. Used models still fetch high asking prices and it continues to be one of the most sought-after cameras in the world of film photography, in part because of the history of the Leica brand and name, in part because the cameras are proven workhorses.
This updated M6 features some technology from Leica’s MP film camera, but stays true to the M6 design. It features the anti-glare MP-Style 0.72x viewfinder from the MP and features a solid brass construction with an LED light meter, center dot and battery warning light. It uses the same rear ISO dial and features ‘modern electronics,’ although Leica doesn’t elaborate on what exactly has changed electronically from the original M6 models.
|The original 1984 version (left) and the new 2022 version (right)
‘Dimensions of the new Leica M6 remain true to the original but the black anodized finish and leatherette cladding are now the same durable black paint and textured cladding as the M11,’ says Leica in its announcement. ‘Also gone are the plastic side strap guards, resulting in a more modern silhouette.’
Other changes include a throwback red dot logo that reads ‘Leitz’ instead of ‘Leica’ and packaging and paperwork designed to be similar to that used when the original M6 was released. There’s also a leather carrying strap embossed with Leica lettering.
The updated M6 is available to pre-order for $5,295. It will initially be available in black and each unit is handmade in Germany. Leica notes ‘supply will be extremely limited for many months.’