Leica M6

35mm MF film rangefinder camera


Production details
Order No.:10404 - 0.72, black chrome
10414 - 0.72, silver chrome
10413 - 0.85, black chrome
System: Leica M (1954)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), stop-down
Exposure modes:Manual
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.72x
Actual rangefinder base:69.25mm
Effective rangefinder base:49.86mm - with 0.72x
58.86mm - with 0.85x
Bright-line frames:28mm & 90mm, 35mm & 135mm, 50mm & 75mm - with 0.72x
35mm & 135mm, 50mm & 75mm, 90mm - with 0.85x
Parallax compensation:Yes
Physical characteristics
Body cap:14195

Manufacturer description #1

On the Rangefinder System

There is no alternative worldwide to the classical LEICA M6, since only Leica offers a compact mechanical 35 mm rangefinder system camera. It is complemented by a range of high-speed lenses from 21 to 135 mm and a radiantly bright viewfinder. Highest optical performance to the limits of technical feasibility; precise, spot-accurate focusing even in the poorest light conditions, a silky smooth, practically inaudible shutter. Selective through-the-lens light metering. Durable mechanical precision.

The photographer looks through the LEICA wide-base rangefinder - an exclusive, optical and precision-engineered masterpiece that guarantees split-second, accurate focusing.

Close to the Center of Action

The sleek, elegant form that so perfectly and ergonomically fits the hand makes the LEICA M6 a particularly handy camera set of highest quality and an ideal constant companion. The photographer working with the LEICA M6 stays at the hub of what is going on, unobtrusively bridges the gap between himself and his subject. The whispering, precision mechanical shutter release without mirror movement, typical of SLR-cameras, allows him to remain unnoticed, to become part of the event and take dynamic, spontaneous photographs in the center of action.

On the High-Contrast Viewfinder

The viewfinder remains radiantly bright, irrespective of the lens used, while high contrast, bright-line frames indicate the image area, enabling perfect picture composition. A clearly visible field around these bright-line frames facilitates quick-action photography of moving subjects, allowing the photographer to better assess the final composition of the picture within his frame.

On the Highest Optical Performance

13 LEICA M Lenses from 21 to 135 mm, with light speeds of up to f/1, are distinguished by brilliant imaging performance of world-wide acclaim: high contrast and resolving power, exemplary freedom from reflexes and neutral color rendition - even at full lens aperture.

Selective Exposure Metering

Even the most difficult light conditions can be mastered by the LEICA M6 and its selective, through-the-lens exposure metering. The photographer is empowered to express his creativity through the refined composition with light, to master a range of colors, backlighting as well as variations of brightness and contrast. With the exposure meter's sensitivity of up to 0.125 cd/m the LEICA M6 can captivate the special atmosphere of low-light scenes all the way down to a candle-light dinner.

A light touch on the shutter release switches on the exposure meter. The exposure time and aperture are adjusted manually until the viewfinder's balancing scale shows that the subject is correctly lit. Fine adjustment even at a professional level and intentional over- or underexposure are also possible.


Technical data

Camera type: 35 mm rangefinder camera.

Lens attachment: LEICA M bayonet.

Viewfinder: Bright-line frames for 6 focal lengths. Rangefinding scale. Exposure meter on: shutter/aperture balance.

Parallax compensation: Automatic compensation of viewfinder/lens parallax.

Wide-base rangefinder: Bright-field split-image and double-image rangefinder.

Exposure metering method: Selective through-the-lens metering at working aperture.

Photocell: Silicon photodiode.

Switch on exposure meter by light touch on shutter release, for about 10 s.

Aperture settings by ring at front of lens, click-stops at full and half-stop settings.

Shutter settings: Setting knob on top cover of camera. Click-stop settings, read from above: B, 1 s to 1/1000 s (1/50 s for ↯).

Film-speed range: ISO 6/9° to ISO 6400/39°.

Shutter: Rubberized-cloth horizontal focal-plane shutter. Mechanically controlled speeds. Practically inaudible.

Flash synchronization: Standard X contact socket for bulb and electronic flash units. Central X hotshoe contact.

Shutter release: Release button with standard thread for cable release. Two-stage, switches on exposure meter and releases shutter.

Film transport: Quick-wind lever with movable handle. Interval movement possible. Motorized film transport with add-on LEICA M Winder.

Exposure counter with magnifying display, resets automatically on removal of base panel.

Rewind lever: Release lever, sloped hinge-out rewind lever.

Film-plane mark on top panel.

Camera body: Closed camera body of die-cast aluminium, hinged back. Top panel 0.8 mm die-cast zinc, bottom panel 0.8 mm brass. Eyelets at sides for carrying strap. 1/4" A thread for tripod screw. Mechanical contact for LEICA M Winder. Black or silver chromium finish.

Dimensions / weight (excl. lens): 77 mm (3") / 138 mm (5 1/2") / 38 mm (1 1/2") / weight 560 g (1 1b 4 oz).


Concentration on Essentials

The classical LEICA M6 has its origin in the so-called "Ur-LEICA" of 1914, with which today's world standard 35 mm-format (24x36 mm) was created. It's fascination is built on the experience of original creativity and the expression of Leica philosophy in its purest form: concentration on essentials.

Photography with the LEICA M6 puts human skill foremost. Indeed, the idea behind the development of the LEICA was based on the conviction that above all it is human creativity, the human capacity of feeling and expression, the ability to compose with form, light and color, that can invest a photograph with outstanding qualities.

This dimension of creativity must of course be matched by the highest criteria of technical performance, and these are met in an exemplary way by the world-famous LEICA M6, which excels in absolute reliability, long-lasting durability, perfect functioning, mechanical precision and highest optical performance.

Manufacturer description #2

Small, quiet, and discreet: The Leica M6 is the ideal camera for photojournalism, travel and available-light photography.

The LEICA M6 at a glance:

  • Combination of ergonomic design and classic, timeless elegance.
  • Extremely quiet shutter release facilitates unobtrusive photography in sensitive situations.
  • Unsurpassed precision focusing even under poor light conditions and low motif contrast by means of a wide-base rangefinder with a constant measuring base of 49.9 mm.
  • Small size and weight of camera and lenses.
  • Compact and fast LEICA M high-performance lenses ranging from 21 mm to 135 mm.
  • Bright-line viewfinder that retains its luminosity.
  • Exact exposure metering even when light conditions are extremely poor.
  • "Just-in-time" photography, thanks to minimum shutter-release delay (10 - 12 ms) - almost 10 times shorter than with standard reflex cameras.
  • High-quality optical components and rugged precision mechanics provide greatest possible reliability and long-lasting value.
  • Top-notch, practical accessories

Technical data:

Camera type: Rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses

Lens attachment: LEICA M-Bayonet

Rangefinder: Split-image and double image rangefinder

Exposure metering method: Selective through-the-lens (TTL) metering

Shutter: Practically inaudible rubberised-cloth horizontal focal plane shutter. Mechanically controlled speeds from 1s to 1/1000 s, B

Working range: At ISO 100/21° exposure values from EV-1 to EV 20, i.e. 2s at f/1 to 1/1000 at f/32

Exposure meter display: Through shutter/aperture balance in viewfinder. When shutter and aperture match the exposure meter reading, two red triangular LED's are illuminated simultaneously and with equal brightness

Film-speed range: ISO 6/9° to ISO 6400/39°

Camera body: Closed camera body of die-cast aluminium, top panel 0.8 mm die-cast zinc (LEICA M 6 titanium finish: 0.8 mm brass), bottom panel 0.8 mm brass.

Dimensions and weight: Height 77 mm (3"), Length 138 mm (5 1/2"), Depth 38 mm (1 1/2"), Weight 560 g (1 lb. 4 oz)

The LEICA M6 is available in black or silver chrome and titanium finish.

Manufacturer description #3

As LEICA M4-P, but with selective exposure measurement through the lens (TTL). Exposure meter display as light balance in the viewfinder.

Serial No. from 1657251.

From the editor

An elegant camera with fully electronic TTL exposure metering. Was manufactured in Germany: until 1988 - in Wetzlar, from 1988 - at Solms. Originally in black chrome, but silver chrome finish became available in 1986. A black chrome version with 0.85x viewfinder magnification was introduced in January 1998. A LARGE number of special limited LEICA M6 (and M6 TTL) cameras were also released.

Special limited editions (27)

Similar cameras (13)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Rangefinder • Leica M mount

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2 M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2002
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R3A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R3M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R4A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R4M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-T M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2001
Konica HEXAR RF E, 1/4000 TTL • WA AM 1999
Leica CL
Also known as LEITZ minolta CL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1973
Minolta CLE E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 1980
Rollei 35 RF M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2002
Zeiss Ikon E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


Protection cap, for camera body with LEICA M bayonet mount.


Protection cap, for camera body with LEICA M bayonet mount.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.