The Leica M6 2022 Edition: The Ultimate Leica Camera?


If you’ve read the reports online, you’re probably wondering why the Leica would come out with the Leica M6 2022 edition. According to them, there has indeed been a film renaissance, but it’s still mostly just a fad. I’d argue that film prices are keeping it a fad, and as a result, the Leica M6 2022 edition is a passion product. Best of all, it’s mostly the same camera as it was before being discontinued.

So why would they bring it back? Well, it’s the hottest and most sought-after Leica camera around. Leica even okayed us rounding up lenses for it for a sponsored article a while back. If you’re a Leica M6 owner or considering one, check this out.

Editor’s Note: Leica offered to fly the Phobographer to Germany for this presentation of the new Leica M6 2022 edition. We declined and instead asked for a meeting here in the US. We went out to Leica’s new headquarters in Teaneck, NJ, for that. All Leica provided for us was a bottle of water. Everything else involved in the production of this article came from the Phobographer’s budget. The Leica M6 TTL in this story is an original purchase Editor in Chief Chris Gambat made many years ago. We’ve also reviewed the original Leica M6 TTL and you can find that here.

Why is this important? We believe in being transparent with our audience about stuff like this. We don’t need to be jet-set across the world on all-expenses-paid trips. Instead, we just need to test things the way that you’d all do so.

What’s New

If you’re wondering what’s new with the Leica M6 2022 Edition, then here’s what you need to know:

  • It has the brighter viewfinder of the Leica MP instead of the original viewfinder from the Leica M6.
  • The top plate has the same coatings as the Leica M11 that prevent it from getting patina

And that’s it. It still has only 1/1000th max shutter speed, and there’s still a fully mechanical shutter. That means that it doesn’t need a battery to use it. The texture of the body is also slightly different. It also still uses the same 3V battery type as the original Leica M6. To change the viewfinder eye relief, you’ll still need to purchase the screw-in adapters. And best of all, it still loads up the same way.

Basically, if you’re an original Leica M6 owner, your original cameras just became more in-demand. And they’ll probably end up going up in price. The brand new Leica M6 is going to be more attractive to folks who want something working flawlessly.

Tech Specs

Anything you need to know as far as tech specs go can be found in our original Leica M6 TTL review.

Ergonomics

Here’s a look at the brand new Leica M6 2022 edition. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think that this is the same Leica M6 from many years ago but kept in immaculate condition. Here you’re looking at the leatherette texture. Plus, the raised area is for the battery. Next to that, the silver button with the red dot is for the lens release. The switch with an R is for rewinding the film. I’ve honestly never used it and instead just pressed the button on the bottom and rewound it.

Here it is, by the way, with the new 35mm f1.4 lens. And above that lens you’ll see the various windows. The central one is for illuminating the rangefinder. Then there’s the main viewfinder next to that.

Here’s the Leica M6 2022 edition next to the original Leica M6 TTL. They look almost identical to one another. Of course, my Leica M6 on the left has seen a lot more use.

On the back of the Leica M6 2022 edition is the spot for the PC sync cord, the viewfinder, and the ISO dial. If you’re shooting a roll of film, you can’t do multiple ISOs on a single roll of film unless it’s a specific Ilford roll.

Take the bottom plate off and you’ll find the are for film holding and loading.

And finally, on the bottom, you’ll find the bottom plate.

Build Quality

I could say, “It’s a Leica” and be done with it. But that’s not fair to anyone else. In talking with the Leica reps about this camera, they let us know that a lot of people that would be seeing this camera have probably never shot film before. So here’s what you should know. The body is made of aluminum and it’s not at all that heavy. Lots of folks look at rangefinders and say “Oh, it needs a grip.”

Trust me, no, it doesn’t. Leica makes rangefinders that feel great in the hands and that don’t need grips. They’re the perfect size for that, and photographers everywhere love them.

The Leica M6 2022 edition doesn’t have weather resistance, but if you know anything about how durable these cameras are, then you won’t be afraid. I’ll regularly take my Leica M6 out into the rain to shoot, and it’s never failed me. There are barely any electronics and if those get damaged, then my Leica M6 turns into a Leica M4 pretty easily with no working light meter. That’s it.

Like all other Leica M cameras, the smaller the lens, the better it is. You don’t need anything obstructing the field of view in the viewfinder. And overall, it’s a better package when things are smaller.

Ease of Use

Honestly, this is the simplest camera to use. There’s a shutter dial, a working light meter that’s easy to read, a speedy way to load film, and a rewind lever. That’s it! There’s no menu system or anything else like that. Of course, there’s an ISO setting too that will affect the light meter readings.

Focusing

Focusing the Leica M6 2022 edition is pretty simple. If you’ve ever shot with the original Leica CL, you’ll know how hard the viewfinder is because it’s so small. The rangefinder patch on the M6 ​​is bright, and the Leica M6 2022 has an even brighter one. That’s because it’s the same one as the Leica MP’s. I’m not sure how it will work over time, but as long as your camera and lens have a regular CLA, it’ll be fine.

Image Quality

I spent maybe two hours with Leica talking about the new Leica M6 2022 edition. And I don’t have my own roll of film from the camera. But honestly, it’s film. And I’ve shot tons of film in my Leica M6 with various lenses. Here are samples:

Conclusions

I adore the fact that Leica is bringing back the Leica M6. As an owner of one, I’m sure the price of mine will just go up. But more importantly, I’m also happy that the Leica M6 is being acknowledged as worthy of having a return. A film camera in today’s world from a major player in the photography space is very important to the future of photography. And truly, I just wish that the Japanese manufacturers understood that more.





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