Is the Leica M6 for you? Review

So come on well surprise surprise another video about Leica welcome to your 420th episode of the Leica m6 it shouldn’t surprise anybody by how renowned Leica is and the heavy price tag that it comes with I bought mine for a pretty high dollar amount and during covid, it has only skyrocketed from there because I guess people were bored with their gear and wanted to spend money.

let me tell you how I arrived at the point of owning one of the grails of the photography world 2010 I was 411 I had a buzz cut and some money in my frog wallet to buy my first camera I was searching through best buy for my first digital point and shoot and I stumbled across a camera called the Leica m9 it looks like a point and shoot but it cost more than the value of all the cars my family owned combined and I remember saying something along the lines of a damn who would pay that much for a point-and-shoot camera 2017 kai w the goat uploaded this video of the Leica m10 when it first came out and I remember seeing in that video kai w was at a Leica event and all these people look.

so snooty so uptight hoity toity and i just really didn’t like the crowd that was associated with the lekker brand in that video i barfed in my brain and i said damn who would ever want to be in that like a crowd fast forward to 2020 i’m doing youtube it’s popping off film photography digital photography one thing led to another and i ended up buying the leica m6 it is my second favorite camera of all time after a year of owning this camera though there are a lot of things that i love about it and a couple things i really freaking hate about it too the first thing that i really like about the m6 is the build quality and the simplicity of its design this thing is built like a tank and even though it’s not made of brass like the leica m3 which many leica purists hail as the best leica ever made it’s still super solid it’s incredibly small it’s the same length as my iphone 12 pro max or maybe even shorter the sleek and minimal design of the camera especially in all black is super non-distracting.

so that you’re more focused on the shooting rather than paying attention to the camera itself although it does look nice when sitting on your table and the camera is fully mechanical save for the light meter uh it kind of needs a battery but if the battery dies you could still use the camera unlike the voigtlander besa ra series one thing that’s great about fully mechanical film cameras is that it’s more easily repairable than ones with electronic counterparts like the contacts t2 or the mamiya rc67 it’s not impossible to fix those cameras but it is much harder to find someone who can the second thing that i really like about the camera is the very non-distracting feel to it it’s really hard to explain but once i tie my neck strap around my wrist and like i’m ready to go and i’m secured for either street photography or just carrying around in general it doesn’t really pull my attention away from walking around actually paying attention to the scene versus in slr where i’m always fidgeting with the settings and you know to each his or her own like preference or opinion about that that might not be the case for you but for me it’s again it’s really hard to explain but it just feels like a pure extension of me it doesn’t feel like i’m holding a camera even though i know it’s a camera.

so okay so there are many great things to owning one of these bad boys whether it’s the leica m2 all the way to the m10 or the sl series or the qs look they’re all great and all but there are some dark sides of owning one of these cameras one of the things that i really hate about the leica system is the repairs and the cost of it early in the year mid-january i had to get my m6 service because there were these obtrusive light leaks coming through and burning all my film and i didn’t even know that this camera was capable of having light leaks but i got a quote from leica and they said that the ballpark for fixing the light leak problem would be around 300 which is crazy expensive and don’t be an idiot like me don’t get your stuff serviced by leica themselves go to a third party repair shop like yye or dag they could take care of everything up until the point you have to repair something like the light meter if you have the m4 and below you don’t have to worry about that at all because those cameras don’t have light meters.

so I ended up sending my m6 back to Germany back to the motherland to have those light leaks fixed and I heard back three weeks later saying that hey you have other problems with your m6 as well and I said over the phone like oh is it okay if we can only like keep it to the light league repair like it’s already like 300 350 so like no we want to replace other things like the rewind knob the leatherette clean the viewfinder uh replace the circuit board of the light meter and like they just kept racking up all these things I’m like why do I need any of these things and I guess according to Leica if they receive one of their products they want all their products out there in the world to be up to like a code to the Leica standard.

so after they pretty much listed off the entire grocery list of repairs that I had to make the paul park price that they gave me was nine hundred dollars to a thousand dollars in repairs and that blew my mind and it pissed me off that I had to pay that much and they wouldn’t give my camera back unless I paid for it like I couldn’t just have the light leaks fixed they had to repair the entire thing or not and that’s just I guess how they run their own business not only was it super expensive but it cost a lot of time as well it took approximately six months to get my camera back and waiting that long was pretty excruciating because I love using the camera but they have to take their time it’s like a standard.

so they’re going to take their lack of time too that’s just german engineering for you like any german engineering that you have whether it’s cameras or cars is going to cost you for the maintenance the second thing that I dislike is not really about the product but the people who own the product or at least some of them there’s this unspoken tension in the film community let alone the Leica community that you have to be of this certain skill level or you have to have produced this amount of work or have this kind of look to own a Leica pretty much what I’m talking about are the gatekeepers this definitely doesn’t happen to everybody but personally speaking I experienced some form of gatekeeping where there was a lot of opposition for me purchasing the m6.

and I kept getting bombarded with other suggestions of other mountain cameras like the Voigtlander and the Zeiss cameras although they’re really good alternatives but if you know what you want and what you want is the Leica then go ahead and get it it doesn’t matter what kind of photographic background you have it’s just a camera at the end of the day it doesn’t make you better at all you don’t have to be this five-star photojournalist from new york you don’t have to be this all-star fashion photographer from London it’s just a camera and besides and as a film camera the body doesn’t even do anything for the image it comes down to the film stock the lens and the photographer behind the camera.

so to gatekeep a camera let alone an art form is hilarious it’s hilariously insecure I personally like to photograph a lot of things on this camera whether it’s hanging out with my friends in la or walking the streets of Chinatown or just taking photos of still life around neighborhoods surrounding me like all cameras it is just a tool and if the tool works for you and it’s non-distracting and inspires you to go out there and shoot and create some great photographs then, by all means, you should get that tool personally speaking I’m super trash at street photography I’m still a little bit scared my compositions are wack sometimes my zone focusing is super off but I’m getting better and this camera inspires me to get out there and shoot and to practice.


so that’s all I have for you guys in this video make sure you like this video subscribe and leave a comment down below about what you think about the Leica camera system would you ever want to buy one I think they’re super dope cameras but there are tons of alternatives out there that could be an even better tool for you or somebody else but if you want to Leica get it if you have the money and the scratch for it so that’s all I have for you guys in the video and I will see you guys in that next one.