September 03, 2017
Leica Die Letzten 999 M6 TTL — New in Used @ Michael’s
John Warkentin here from Michael’s Camera.
Today I’ve got Bill, the manager of our second-hand department, with us.
We’re going to do a little segment we like to call, New in Used.
We’ve got the legendary Leica M6 Range Finder on display here and this is about to go on sale!
So, Bill, take it away.
Yeah, this one is a bit more special than just your average M6. It’s actually the M6 TTL, Die Letzen 999 model which was a series that they brought out at the end of its production run.
And basically, it’s the last 999 cameras, M6 cameras that they produced.
[Leica M6 camera is focused on]
They made a specific run and they numbered them and made it a special edition model, and this is one of them.
So, it’s a truly collectable camera.
In a big way. And the M6 is one of those cameras that is going through a significant popularity upsurge. Over the last five or ten years, it’s extremely… it has a bit of cult following because it’s really the first M camera to have a light meter built in, based on the M design.
So, Leica experimented with a few models before this, but it was with the M6 that they really got it right.
Over the last five or ten years, we’ve seen a surge in the popularity of this camera.
And, being able to present the last of the production run of what was then the M6 TTL is an awesome honour to be able to do that. We were fortunate enough to get one in our midst.
So not just a collectable camera, a very modern camera that’s truly usable as well.
Well, yes, as far as film is concerned. Our Leica cameras are not known for their modern design; they’re a classic design camera.
But with metering, that was something that was not in the line in the old days at all.
Yes, it was something that was new to the system.
The M6 was produced from 1994 to 2002. You can sort of break them up into two categories: The classic series, which was produced up until 1998, and then they changed it in 1998, to the M6 TTL, which basically had a few refinements over the classic. Basic TTL metering, a more sensitive light meter, a new dial – the shutter speed dial and the off button on there.
[Top down view of the Leica M6 TTL 999 shows the simple layout]
Three LEDs in the viewfinder, which gave it the readout for the light meter; and also was slightly larger, so about 2 mm higher than the original M6. But looking at them like that, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two, unless you looked closely of course.
So now this specimen is in very good condition. How would you classify it?
I wouldn’t classify it as mint; I would classify it as excellent, or very good to excellent. There are some… I mean if you look at it like that [Turns Leica camera upside down] you will see some minor little…
It was a user camera, but it was used very little.
So you’ve given it a full service?
It has had a service.
And of course, it will be under full warranty from Michael’s?
Yes, you get the twelve-month warranty that you get for all our second-hand gear. But, it really is in pristine condition. There are no visible, or mainly visible, signs of wear on it at all. Maybe a little bit on the little lugs there.
The bottom has the protective plastic cover on it.
So it’s been well taken care of.
The camera is superb. It’s really, really… it has hardly been used since new.
The history of this is, it was purchased from the original owner, in Germany, by someone who brought it to Australia. The original owner bought it new and then had the viewfinder upgraded to the MP viewfinder, which gives it… it makes the finder less pronounced to flare and gives a slightly sharper, brighter image.
It’s also been converted to a .85 magnification, which is really good for those who want to just use it as opposed to just have it sitting in a display cabinet because it really is a beautiful camera for that sort of use.
So, now, it’s got all the original paperwork, and the presentation box, correct?
Yeah, when they released this model, it was the first camera to have the new silver box.
Which is very similar to what they’re in today.
Yeah, yeah. It’s exactly the same as what they have today.
Before this, they were all white. They had the Leica white boxes with the red writing.
This one had the silver box. It came with… it comes with a few extra bits and pieces for presentation purposes. It’s got all its original components. You get a wooden presentation box with the original plastic bag.
[Opens silver box and removes a beautiful wooden box]
Oh, that’s beautiful.
Which is quite nice. It also comes with the production certificate, which is signed by the head sheds of Leica in the day and it’s also got the number of its production, which is number 460 of the 999.
And you also get the usual warranty card, registration card and the instruction manual in English and German, written in there; and a strap, an unused strap, in its plastic.
Now, how often would something of this quality come in?
In terms of collector’s cameras, we don’t tend to get many of them coming in because a lot of them, people have them in their collections, so they’re not really willing to sell them off.
So this is a really good chance for someone to add this to their personal collection?
That’s right, it is quite unique. And you can sort of see the scroll work on the top of the camera there.
So it’s basically an M6 TTL, but what they’ve done is they’ve put the scrollwork on the top which gives you the date of production and also the number, which is 460 of 999. This one, being the last of the M6 TTLs, also had the brass top and bottom plates, so it had that as an advantage over the early ones which had magnesium alloy.
So, yeah, it’s the best of the M6s.
For anyone interested…
Well, this is going to go into our display window shortly!
It will go today in the display window.
So, if you’re familiar with Michael’s Camera, our legendary secondhand window on Lonsdale street will be featuring this beautiful Leica M6.
Probably within the hour!
Yes, I would say.
And it might not last long! A very desirable camera. And if it’s something you’re interested in, you might want to get in touch with Bill.
Usually cameras like these don’t tend to last; usually, one or two weeks and then they’re gone. It might be gone by the end of today, you just don’t know.
So, anyone interested can definitely contact the store.
Well, that’s a beautiful specimen and thank you so much, Bill, for giving us a little bit of history of the Leica M6.
Hopefully, you enjoyed our little New in Used section here, and of course, we’re going to have a lot more things to show you in the coming weeks and months, because at Michael’s Camera we’ve got a very, very active second-hand trade, which of course, Bill manages.
And our legendary window on Lonsdale street is where the real premium items are featured.
And of course, there’s always someone looking through that window; it’s part of the fabric of Melbourne life, actually, looking in the used window of Michael’s!
It is, it has been there since the fifties, sixties, probably even earlier, that part of Michael’s has had second-hand equipment.
Yeah, so we’re proud to be able to purchase your items if you’re looking for new; and of course, if you’re looking for something that’s collectable, we might very well have it in that window.
Anyway, take care and we’ll see you in the next video.
[The last view is of the Leica M6 TTL 999]
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