An icon reborn: Leica M6 returns for film photographers

Lecia M6 2022
(Image credit: Leica)

Leica has announced the return of its iconic camera, the Leica M6, improving on this classic design with a better metering experience, full brass body, and 0.72x magnification rangefinder.

For more than 100 years, Leica has been synonymous with the best Leica cameras and lenses, with permanent values such as reliability, consistency, and quality. With analog photography experiencing a renaissance, this new Leica M6 represents Leica Camera’s continued commitment to these values. 

From 1984 to 2002, Leica handmade almost 175,000 units that served the best photographers as an instrument to capture their view of the world. This resulted in numerous captured moments that today represent a piece of contemporary history, cementing the M6’s special place in the world of analog photography. 

With the new edition of this legendary rangefinder camera, Leica is now fulfilling the wishes of younger target groups, who want to experience being an active part of the photographic creative process. Even today, the M6 still offers exactly the right equipment to focus on the essentials when taking pictures. 

 Stefan Daniel, Executive Vice President Technology and Operations, explained: 

“The Leica M6 is a milestone in the corporate history of Leica Camera AG. Since 1984, countless iconic pictures have been taken with it; it was a part of the product range for over 18 years and is still a fascinating camera with an extremely high utility value. Conscious analog photography as an antithesis to the flood of digital images is enjoying great popularity. Therefore, it was only logical for us to produce the Leica M6 again as one of the most popular representatives of this camera type. 

The Leica M6 from 2022 relies on a modern version of the Leica M rangefinder with a 0.72x magnification. It's also equipped with a battery warning indicator and the top cover has also been redesigned, now being milled from solid brass and enhanced with an abrasion-resistant lacquer, replacing to previous version’s die-cast zinc. All its optical surfaces have been coated and thus are less sensitive to stray light, and the light meter now shows the correct exposure via a red dot in addition to the two arrow symbols originally used. The exposure meter in the light of the M6 measures via a brightened area on the mechanically controlled cloth shutter and recent achievements such as the optimized rangefinder ensure even more functionality. 

(Image credit: Leica)

(Image credit: Lecia)

The M6 remains true to itself and preserves all other typical character traits such as the slanted rewind crank for the film and, like the original from 1984, the new edition is also adorned with the red Leitz logo. A logo that has made history, because it is the name of the visionary entrepreneur Ernst Leitz who not only shaped the fate of Leica but of an entire market when he founded the Leitz brand in 1869. 

The courageous decision in 1924 to produce the world’s first 35mm camera revolutionized photography and made it possible to capture the past 100 years in pictures.  Whether historic or new, the M6 concentrates on essential photographic functions. Handmade in Germany, it is an extremely reliable companion for all those who appreciate the lasting and contemplative nature of analog photography.  

This new Leica M6 is available globally from November 3, 2022. The retail price will be $5,295 / £4,500.

This will be one of those marmite moments, where half the Leica community will be joyful for a new Leica film body that just so happens to be a Leica M6 reborn (I kinda am too) but, there will be others (including me) questioning the price of this new M6 when its original counterpart can be had for half the price second-hand, with room money to spare on Leica glass - whichever side of the fence you are sitting on, or like me torn between the two, either way, it is wonderful to see Leica still making 35mm film cameras in the digital age, and I am sure it will bring more to the brand who want to shoot the best of the best on film. *Side note: Did anyone else notice that it's Joe Greer in the product shots? Kudos to you if you got it right!

You might also like to check out the best Leica M lenses if you want a lens to go with that M6! Meanwhile, these are the best film cameras.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.