How does M6 age

mattj

Active Member
I got my self a nice chrome M6 TTL. It's in perfect condition and I like it very much. I never had chrome equipment before. How should I expect this camera to age? My other equipment (xpan) that I use a lot is covered with gaffers tape (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) but that's because in Las Vegas during photoshow I saw an xpan that looked like somebody took it gravel surfing. Paint was peeling off and it looked horrible plus Xpan rep acknowleged that first series of cameras had this problem. Replacment that I got after I lost my first xpan in WTC on 9/11 is one of the first batches but it seems to hold up well. Since I climb, ski, kayak and hike with a camera hanging from my neck (or in the pack) I was wondering how the chrome leica will look after few years? Also does it matter if I store the camera winded or unwinded? Any general tips on care and use of the M6 will be very much welcomed. I use it with following lenses: 25mm (cosina), 35mm (f2 asph), 50 elmar and 75mm (cosina). Also any tips on shooting landscape as far as the metering goes?

Thank you gentemen and ladies for your time.

Matt Jachyra
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 
C

Craig24

Matt

You can expect to use your beautiful chrome M6 for many years ahead and still have it looking beautiful. The chrome finish is very hardy and doesn't show up scuffs as much as the black ones.

Judging from the many well used M3s I've seen over the years your M6 will still look pretty damn good in 40 years from now. My chrome M3 (made in 1959) gets bashed about a bit, wherever I go it tags along, and despite the abuse it just keeps on looking very nice.

You really don't have to be over precious with the chrome Leicas, it takes quite a lot of maltreatment to scuff them up.

Enjoy your camera, and the chrome M6s are rather nice looking. I haven't seen one in years, they all seem to be black these days.

craig
 
C

Craig24

Sorry Matt missed a bit

Definitely store the M6 with the shutter uncocked. When it is wound on a spring is tensioned. Best to leave it untensioned whenever the camera is not in use.

In relation to maintainence. When I bought my first Leica the salesman said the best thing you can do for this camera is use it, and I've come to learn he knew what he was on about.

Remember your M6 is basically 1940s mechanical technology and as such Leicas don't like to be left sitting for long periods. If they are left unused both Leica cameras and lenses tend to stiffen up. So give them a regular workout. Twist the lens focussing ring the full way round periodically to prevent it from stiffening up along certain sections that aren't often used in your general practice. Over the years lens focussing rings can to get a little tight at the close focussing range position. General use across the full focussing range keeps them working smoothly.

In short use your Leica gear every day and it will still be working in 50 years time. Oh, also in 10 to 15 years time think about having it serviced.

Periodically wipe the outside surfaces with a soft untreated cotton cloth to remove grease from finger prints and dust. Dust accumulation is bad as it can harbour mold spores.

Hope this helps, Craig
 

jcr

Member
About leaving the spring tensioned.... I don't believe any decent = spring suffers much from this. When the Rollei 35 was introduced, there = was a lot of correspondence about this, because the camera cannot be = closed away without cocking the shutter. Some technicians may have = comments on this, but I don't believe this has proved to be a design = fault of that camera. I don't know (again, I defer to technical = knowledge), but I imagine that Leica shutter timing is determined by an = escapement, not by spring tension, in which case the bogeyman must be = spring failure rather than weakening.
 
C

Craig24

Matt

In relation to the question over caring for your M6.

You may find Erwin Puts' article "How To Choose A Leica M version" helpful.

go to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


or just pug "erwin puts" into a google search and click on the first cab on the rank and you are at his photosite. If you haven't been there before it is highly recomended.

In regards to leaving the shutter cocked, Dr Puts has this to say, "The shutter tension spring mechanism uses some grease and this will harden when not used regularly. The springs are very strong and there is no difference in wear and tear if you keep the shutter tensioned or not"

So it doesn't matter if you keep the shutter wound on or not with your M6. I'm from the old school in the sence that old timers have repeatedly advised me to leave the shutter uncocked when the camera is stored away, so that's what I've always done.

regards craig
 
D

david40

> Uh huh, cocked or uncocked, whch is it to be? I have always heard it's better to leave the shutter tensioned, partly because you are instantly ready for that next shot...but perhaps ths is wrong? Has anyone ever experienced any problems by leaving the shutter cocked?
 
C

Craig24

David

Yes it makes sense to have your camera at the ready when you are using it.

However, the theory (or old wives tale) is that when the camera is put away for any period of time, it is best to leave the shutter uncocked. The rational for this is that the shutter tensioning spring left in an untensioned state it is not under stress for lengthy periods, and will provide longer more reliable service.

I suppose the question is with a new camera or one that is 40 or 50 years old does it really matter. The consensus here is that it doesn’t matter whether the spring is left constantly tensioned or not. The said spring will suffer no ill effects over many decades.

I’m in the habit (for good reason or folly) of storing my cameras with the shutter left uncocked. When out and about on the hunt for shots, the film is always wound on so the camera is ready to go.

craig
 

tbc

Well-Known Member
Whether the shutter is left cocked or not depends on the following. 1. Camera. Everyone on this site says that the Leica shutter spring is robust, therefore it likely won't matter. However, some cameras (Hasselblad) end up with a replaced spring often when the shutter is serviced (C lens). Must weaken on some cameras. 2. Do you want to be ready for the next shot? If so, leave it wound or at least wind it before your shooting op when you take your camera out.
 
C

Craig24

I think the issue over whether to leave cocked or not, is interesting when it comes to Leica M cameras, in particular. I doubt (in al honesty have no real idea)if ware and tare is that great in general use. But going back to Matt's orignal question,

"...does it matter if I store the camera winded or unwinded?"

Does the conventional wisdom of leaving the spring untensioned during storage apply for the M series cameras? Considering also many of us tend to buy these things and expect them to continue running faultlessly for life, conceivably the part can't last forever.

Are there any technical gurus out there who have a handle on this issue and can perhaps provide a more definitive answer? As a matter of general interest it would be nice to know.
 

dodger

Member
> There is no harm whatsoever in leaving a Leica in its wound-on state for as > long as you please. I have asked various Leica repairers about this on a > number of occasions (to dispel my scepticism) and they have all assured me that > a Leica can be left wound on as long as you like with no detrimental effects. > It's true, the spring does weaken on some other cameras. Viz the > Hasselblad ex&le - NEVER leave leaf shutters cocked for longer than absolutely > necessary. They are minutely engineered and highly stressed and don't like it > very much at all.
 
S

sdmjr

The tension on the shutter spring of a Leica ranefinder camera uncocked is 50%; cocked it is 75%. So either way you aren't doing any damage to your cameras. It is a personal choice. Happy Snaps,Sal
 
S

sonc

If you want to make sure your camera shutter is released each time, just buy one of those "softies." Then every time you put the camera in your camera bag, if the shutter is cocked, it will most certainly fire. I have several dozen shots of the inside of my camera bag. ; D

Regards, SonC
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

mattj

Active Member
Thank you guys for your answers. I have couple of other things I would like to ask.

-That clear plastic sheet on the bottom plate of the camera what purpose does it serve? Is it there only for protection when camera got out of the factory or is it acctually used for something?

-I use gaffers tape to cover my camera. I was shooting a Pow Wow festival in NY and some guy told me that I should be ashamed for covereing Leica name and equipment with tape? What's that all about? I kayak and trek and my camera is on the go and spends time in the dry bag and I don't want to get scuffled marks on it.

- Is the automatic winder available in silver?

- Now this may be the silly question and please don't make fun of me. For ex&le if I shoot with 1/125th and when my lens is at 5.6 it shows me that I'm on the dot but slighty overexposing (right arrow) now when I go "up" to the next click, exposure still is on the dot but now it is slightly underexposing. When I turn lens gently and find a mid position between clicks and exposure than is right on the dot, can I take a pic like that?

-My Leica bag consits of M6, 75mm (cosina), 50mm Elmar, 35 Summicron, 25 (cosina), Bessa L with 15mm. Any tips on that setup?

-Any tips on metering when shooting landscape?

Thank you again guys for all your time and answers.

Matt Jachyra
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

ruben_blaedel

Well-Known Member
Matt,

You can put as much gaffa on your camera as you like - i prefer my leica worn beutifully with age, but again some of your activities sounds rough!

It appears that you need to read and understand a little more about fundamentals of lightmetering and i suggest that you you find a book on the library on the subject - as a general rule remember that your meter whant to se everything as 18% (15%) gray ! So when you uncritical use your meeter in snow, the snow will be gray unless you overexpose the shot and again if you meter on a black buliding it will be gray if you do not underexpose the picture.

You need to know that the area of the meter changes with the lens you put on the camera

If you shot negative film the tollerance is bigger then dias so you would not need to worry to much about a little over or under exposure

In landscape photography there are som traps to lightmetering - backlit scenes, reflecting areas like water, sunrises etc.
You could visit the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
they have parts on lightning and likewise on
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


your lens setup looks fine to me for the outdoor activities you like !

good luck

Ruben
 
C

Craig24

Matt

“For ex&le if I shoot with 1/125th and when my lens is at 5.6 it shows me that I'm on the dot but slightly overexposing (right arrow) now when I go "up" to the next click, exposure still is on the dot but now it is slightly underexposing. When I turn lens gently and find a mid position between clicks and exposure than is right on the dot, can I take a pic like that?â€

Welcome to the wonderful world of M6 metering. The answer is yes.

No the winder only comes in black and you probably don't really want one.

Matt, if you want your Chrome M6 to look bad and ugly put gaffer tape on it. If you want it to look pristine forever put it in a glass cabinet.

The chrome M6s are really nice looking with that smooth top plate, but rest assured the chrome finish is pretty hardy and the camera will age well without the need for the kit glove treatment. It is doubtful the dry bag will affect the finish. The chrome finish will not scuff unless you drag it across rocks. Don't ask me how I know this. My chrome Leicas have been thrown and stuffed into back packs, rained on burred in snow, thrown into the back of trucks etc. for many years. No dings no scuffs. Rocks and the clip on Leica Meter (for the M3 and M4) are another story.

Relax and enjoy your photography that is what the M6 is made for. What’s the point if you are afraid to use it. It’s the great images you are going to create from you trips into the wilds that count at the end of the day. Chances are no matter how careful you are one day you will most likely ding your M6, almost every body does, and nobody likes it when it happens. But it will be YOUR dig that eventually becomes part of the history and character of YOUR M6.

Keep the plastic sticker on, it protects the base plate from scuffing. ie no need for gaffer there.

Metering for landscape; buy a Pentax spot meter and read Ansell Adams "The Negative." A little Zone System is very useful even with 35mm format.

Your lens setup is more than adequate and will cover all requirements. If anything restrict the number of lenses you take on trips. A lot can be done with just a 35 and 75mm kit. Sometimes an ultra wide angle comes in handy, depending on where you are.

I know they are a pain to drag around but a good tripod, or next best, one of the lighter carbon fibre monopods will help you get sharper pix in low light situations.

All the best, Craig
}
 

mattj

Active Member
Craig,

that you very much for your answer. As you can see from my web site I'm not even an amature photographer yet... I don't take photographs but just pictures which I hope to change. I'm lucky since there is Ansel Adams' exhibition here in NYC so I will go and check it out over the weekend and definiately read the book. Thanks again,

Matt
 
C

Craig24

Dear Matt

I haven’t seen your site as yet, but shall look it up. You're lucky enough to be able to build on your photography with one of the best cameras ever made. I’ve taken M-series cameras on my bushwalking (wilderness hiking) trips for yonks now and found them much easier to carry and use than my SLRs.

A bit of research into exposure techniques so that you can get the most out of the M6 "Spot" meter and you will be pulling great shots in no time. Remember film is more important than food for the next few months.

Look at Ansel's images and see how he used foreground elements to add interest to his landscapes. Oh and enjoy the exhibition.

If you don't know how this can be done with the Leica contact me off Forum and I'll run you through it. A word of caution about Ansel's books, remember his writings are screwed more toward large format work. However, the principals are the same for all photography. So you will need to pick out the material, which is applicable to good 35mm practice and apply it to you way of working. Unfortunately there are no sure fire formulae (that’s formulas to you) that can be simply followed.

A mint chrome M6 and an Ansel Adams exhibition, life just doesn’t get much better than that. I came so close to buying a brand new chrome M6 when they first came out, but it meant trading the M3, which was, and still is, an impossibility. I still remember the day I stood in the shop holding it. Since then I’ve seen many M6s but they have all been black. For me the chrome ones seem so much nicer, so I understand your reticence to get it all scuffed up. It’s the bottom plate which tends to suffer most in general use, so the sticker that comes with it new, will help keep it clean looking.

good luck and best wishes, Craig.
 

mattj

Active Member
Dear Craig,

My entire "problem" with spot meter is that I know how to use it with my Nikons (now gone) for specific situations such as portrait or spot lights etc etc but I never used it all the time. I was much more comfortable with matrix and center weighted metering for every other scenario.

I don't mind burning film and bracket. I just want to get shadows in the right places which I hope that Adams book will give me tips.

My worries about the finish come from my experiences with my old Nikons that even after taking care of them still looked like hell after few trips. And my xpan that I mentioned in the original post. But you guys made me feel comfortable about my camera chrome finish so I just took off all the tape.

Matt Jachyra
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 
Top