Being a self-called “Leica-beginner” finding the right M-Body might not be that easy. I recently switched from my M6 TTL to the M6 “classic”.
This “downgrade” might sound strange but let me tell you what exactly happened 😉 This is not meant to be a real comparison on the differences these two models offer. It all just comes down to my personal perspective on both of these high quality film-rangefinders!
As written in my introduction I’m not a hardcore experienced Leica-shooter, owner, collector, geek or whatever you want to call experienced leica rangefinder-shooters. But hey, everyone’s starting at some point, right?
Reading a lot about photography and filmphotography every day it was just a question of time till I’d come past all those Leica-content.
After checking those prices, reading how to shoot with Leica cameras I finally thought “okay, let’s just give it a try and experience this all mighty Leica-feel for yourself”.
How it started with the M6 TTL
I think this is a pretty big point: When you get used to a camera, you’ll be able to work with every aspect of your chosen device, even when the functions seem to be as simple as they could ever get.
My first choice was the Leica M6 TTL. Why? Well, I thought that the bigger shutterspeed-dial up on top would be a real effort compared to the M6 classic model: Nope, for me it isn’t! Yes, in some situations it might be super practical to switch your shutterspeed faster but I don’t really need this. Also I think every experienced classic-shooter is faster than a beginner like me with a bigger shutterspeed dial so just getting used to the camera-model will give you the same kind of speed switching your settings. I think this is a pretty big point: When you get used to a camera, you’ll be able to work with every aspect of your chosen device, even when the functions seem to be as simple as they could ever get.
The next big thing for me was the date this particular camera was build. Which retrospectively sounds pretty funny to me because hey, people are shooting Leicas from back to the 50s and do they struggle with any function of the camera when serviced and treated correctly? No! My thoughts where pretty much focussed on the electronics in the camera which are used just to power the light-meter within the camera. I’m not really able to reproduce my exact thoughts on the build-date and why it was important to me but I think it was just a non-experienced point. People are using these cameras many many years cause the build-quality seems to be that great that they simply not break. Again: When they are serviced and treated right 😉
What about TTL Flash-Sync.?
I can keep this section short: I just don’t need it as I don’t shoot flash and never wanted to do that with a Leica film-camera. I think some photographers do really nice stuff with flash but it’s not a part that I discovered so far that I would or could probably use it much so the TTL-Flash-effort on the TTL was not an effort to me.
How it finally all came to the “classic”
I just can’t justify shooting a pretty expensive camera-body when I’m not totally down with it and using it as a tool
Having all those things in my mind regarding features of the camera-body that I don’t really can make an effort of I looked at the condition of the body: Jeah, almost mint… This was a big blockage when using the camera. I don’t really wanted to scratch and really use it as this would all lead to a much lesser price-point when selling the TTL.
A camera like this, like any other, is build for shooting, shooting and shooting. And I just can’t justify shooting a pretty expensive camera-body when I’m not totally down with it and using it as a tool. Jeah, those Leicas are nice to look at but even nicer to shoot with 🙂
So I started a local ad and found a nice buyer who wanted a TTL body in good shape to give it a personal patina over some years of use. This got me some of the money back I invested in this nice body.
A few weeks later I bought my new old Leica M6 from a private dealer for of course lesser money than my TTL gave me back. I now have some money to burn on film, chemicals or a 50mm lens and finally shoot with a body I can use every feature on which feels great 🙂 On the photo below it might look pretty mint too but it is not so my blockage to use and maybe scratch it is blown away 😀
Oh and before you ask: It had nothing to do with the colour 😉 Both versions, the black and silver chrome simply look beautiful to me.
I hope you enjoyed my very personal perspective on those two cameras and why I made a switch! What are your experiences with either the TTL, classic or any other Leica M? Did you had a hard time chosing your perfect body or did you just nailed it with your first decision? 🙂 Let me know in the comments!