Leica has officially announced the Leica M6 reissue. It’s a relaunch of its popular M6 35mm film camera and the first new film camera that Leica has launched in over two decades. In fact, it’s been 20 years since Leica stopped making the original M6 back in 2002. It was initially launched in 1984 and Leica says they’ve handmade almost 175,000 Leica M6 cameras, serving photographers all over the world.
Leica says that the return of the legendary rangefinder “bring[s] back a cultural icon for a new generation to experience”. The new generation will be paying a lot more for those film and development costs than the last M6 generation did, of course, if you’ve got the money to splash out on a Leica, that’s probably not much of a concern.
Leica says that one of the reasons for the decision to bring back the Leica M6 was due to the resurgence of film and analogue photography as a whole over recent years, touting the Leica M6 “as one of the most popular representatives of this camera type”.
It’s had some updates since the original, of course. It has a more modern version of the Leica M rangefinder with 0.72x magnification. All of its optical surfaces are now coated and less sensitive to straight light and the light meter in the new M6 has also been refreshed to make it more obvious to see when you have correct exposure. There’s also a new warning light to let you know when the battery is getting low, too.
The top cover has also seen a redesign as well as new manufacturing techniques. The previous M6 featured a die-cast zing top cover while the new one is milled from solid brass and coated with abrasion-resistant black lacquer. Of course, many things remain much the same as the original, too, with the slanted rewind crank and that red Leitz logo and minimalist interface.
The Leica M6 will be available starting November 3rd at Leica Stores and the Leica Online Store for $5,295. Leica hasn’t made a statement one way or the other, but I expect it will be coming to all of the usual retailers shortly thereafter.