Leica M6 TTL “LHSA Special Edition”

35mm MF film rangefinder camera • Collectible


Production details
Production type:Small-batch production: 1150 (one thousand one hundred fifty) units
Order No.:10443 - 0.72, black paint
10479 - 0.85, black paint
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
Weight:<No data>

Manufacturer description


This is a limited-time subscription offer

The black paint Leica M cameras have always been among the most sought after of all Leicas.

There is probably no model of the Leica that both collectors and users agree about more wholeheartedly as being the most desirable than the black paint M cameras of the 50s and 60s. Be it an MP, M3, M2 or M4, these models have always had a special appeal. The brass underneath the paint gives a warmer feel to the metal and the paint also reflects the light differently than black chrome. It also shows the classic Leica engravings in a different way; the black is deeper and the white engravings are brighter and the camera has a certain glow to it.

Black paint was the traditional finish of the Leica camera, beginning with the UR Leica. This continued through the 1930s, when satin chrome became the prevalent finish. Even so, the black paint camera remained popular with professionals desiring a less obtrusive camera. Production of the last black paint Leica rangefinder, the M4, ceased nearly thirty years ago in favor of the black chrome finish.

The black paint camera is probably the only camera whose looks improve with wear. The camera shows wear in a special way that neither a black or silver chrome camera does. The black paint begins to wear after some use, and with time the brass starts showing through on the edges of the top and bottom covers and on the camera controls and levers. To the Leica cognoscenti, this “brassing” presents a particularly appealing patina. Over time and much use, the brassing takes on a unique pattern, an identifying mark of the way the user has handled his camera with his hands and fingers over the years. These cameras wear their scars with pride, and one can imagine if they could talk, what stories these cameras could tell. These cameras are rarely seen today and are almost certainly never used.

With this in mind, the LHSA has decided to resurrect a classic, the Black Paint Leica M. After more than three years of development in recreating the classic Leica Black Paint M, the LHSA and Leica Camera AG will produce this camera in both versions of the M6 TTL; the standard .72 and .85 high magnification model. The choice is yours.

The LHSA black paint camera closely follows the appearance of the last regular production black paint Leica, the M4. Each top cover is individually milled from solid brass by Leica. The brass top cover, base plate and all controls, levers and knobs are finished in a beautiful, deep black enamel. The traditional Leica “script” has been engraved on the top along with “Leica Camera AG, Solms Germany”. This is the first camera in Leica’s history to be engraved Solms! On the back of the top cover, the LHSA logo has been discretely engraved above the words “SPECIAL EDITION”. The Leica M6 engraving on the front and the strap lug protectors have been deleted in keeping with the classic Leica look. Even the Leica “dot” on the front is painted black. The shutter release ring is finished in polished chrome and the base plate locking catch is satin chrome.

The LHSA Black Paint M camera will be available exclusively to LHSA members for only a limited time. Orders will be taken only during the 90 day subscription period. After this period, the subscription will be closed and no further orders will be taken. The number of cameras produced will be limited to the cameras ordered during this period. Leica has agreed to produce 300 cameras in the first batch, with the balance of the order to be filled after the close of the subscription period. Leica has informed us that it may take up to six months after the close of the subscription period to fill these orders. In order to keep costs down, there will be no “special” boxed sets with lens. The cameras will be supplied in standard packaging and will be shipped directly to the members from Leica Camera, Inc., Northvale, New Jersey. Each camera will include the three year Leica USA Passport Warranty. The standard 0.72 version will be priced at US$ 2,595 and the high magnification 0.85 version will be US$ 2,695. Best of all, there will be no limit to the number of cameras each member can purchase during the subscription period. Please see the details of the terms and conditions of this offer on the order sheet enclosed.

The Leica is considered by many to be the Camera of the Century and what better way to celebrate this than by having an LHSA Special Edition in Black Paint. For those who want to have a unique yet still usable Leica, there is no better way to begin recording the new millennium than with your own black paint M6. Keep it pristine, like new in the box, or use it and put your own unique imprint on it. The choice is yours, or buy two and have the best of both worlds!

Who knows, someone, someday may look at your beautifully brassed M6 and say...

“If this camera could talk, what stories it could tell.”

From the editor

A special limited LEICA M6 TTL black paint finish camera released in 2000 for the Leica Historical Society of America. 650 units with the 0.72 viewfinder and 500 units with the 0.85 viewfinder were produced, 1150 units in total.

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35mm full frame

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

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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.