Thursday, October 6, 2022

ELECTRONIC LEICA M6 PROTOTYPE WITH PROTOTYPE 28mm f/2.8 ELMAR


By Heinz Richter

It isn't very often that we have a chance to look at Leica prototype cameras, especially ones that are relatively recent.  When electronic controls in cameras became an important part of camera design, Leica was not to be left out.  After the Leica M4, the unfortunately not too successful Leica M5, and the resurrections of the M4, like the M4-2, it was time to come up with a new model, aptly labelled as the Leica M6.

The Leica M6 has come and gone, but it is interesting to see what Leica was considering prior to settling on the M6 as we know it.  This was the Leica M6 electronic, which never made it past the prototype stage.  It was a Leica rangefinder camera unlike any I have ever seen.

 
 Leica M6 Electronic Prototype.  The light meter on a swing arm clearly visible

It was designed by Peter Loseries and produced in 1981.  The camera was based on the Leica R4 body.  The pentaprism and the mirror box were removed and replaced by the Leica M rangefinder.  It also included the angled rewind knob of the Leica M4.  The camera maintained the shutter of the R4 as well as most of the electronics.  This resulted in an M Leica with TTL metering and automatic exposure control.  This was achieved by placing the sensor of the light meter on an arm which would swing out of the way prior to making any exposure, reminiscent of the Leica M5.  The camera would also accept the data back and the motor drives of the R4.  The so-called “M6 electronic” was finished in late 1981 and only four complete prototypes were ever produced.

None of these remained at Leica and only two of them are known to exist. The M6 which finally went to production in 1984 was completely different from this first concept.

Along with the camera, Leica also made a prototype Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 with a built-in square lens hood, designed by Rolf Crema.  Only two of these lenses were ever assembled and it never went into production.

Overall, this hybrid LEICA camera has a mix of features of M6 and the R4 with an exterior that is more reminiscent of the M5.  Would it have been a sales success?  We will never know, but considering the resistance to the M5, we should not be surprised that Leica took a more conservative approach with the actual, marketed version of the M6.

 
LEICA M6 electronic with ELMARIT-M 1:2.8/28mm prototype lens and Leica R4 motor drive

 
The styling clearly shows a mix of the Leica M4 and Leica M5 design

 
The prototype Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 mounted on the M6 Electronic with the Leica R4 motor attached

 
Base plate, LEICA M6 prototype body showing the R4 type motor drive connections.



Special thanks to Peter Coeln of WestLicht for giving permission to use his photographs of the “M6 electronic” on these pages.


For other articles on this blog please click on Blog Archive in the column to the right

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.

_______________________________________________________________________

EDDYCAM - the first and only ergonomic elk-skin camera strap     
 www.eddycam.com        

      


Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

LEICA EVENTS IN OKTOBER


Leica published a list of Events and specials they offer for the month of October.




The first Leica watch collection is the perfect combination of more than 150 years of Leica’s brand culture, visionary design and unmatched quality.

See the New Leica L1 & L2


Curious about the Leica SL-System? Book a test drive and discover the creative possibilities with this versatile mirrorless camera system. Terms & conditions apply.

Book Now


Leica M11 Black

The Leica M11 is completely reengineered  and well equipped to go beyond the known.



Leica Q2

The Leica Q2 features a brand new 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor with integrated weather sealing.



SL2 Video Workshop
An online workshop for current owners of the Leica SL Systems. Owners learn practical skills to enhance their SL experience with two professional Leica Akademie instructors.

Register Now



A Street Photography Intensive with Julia Dean

Leica Store and Gallery Los Angeles
Explore the Streets of Los Angeles with L.A. based photographer Julia Dean.


 

The Natural Light Portrait with Tutes Tutiven, Brooklyn, NY

Join the Leica Akademie and portrait and lifestyle photographer Jose “Tutes” Tutiven on a photographic exploration of natural light portraiture.

Register Now



All new Akademie classes in Spanish 

Online Courses for October 
October 16th - Photo Fundamentals  
October 22 - Q Owners 
October 23 - M10 Owners


Explore More 



Birdwatching Walk with Noah Strycker 

Leica Store Boston - Morning Birdwatching Walk with Leica Store Boston at Belle Isle Marsh with writer and birder, Noah Strycker. 


Click here to register


"A Photographic Journey" with Joe Greer 

Leica Gallery Boston: This body of work will showcase Greer's many facets and offer a glimpse into the adventurous and playful life of Joe Greer. 


Click here to register



For other articles on this blog please click on Blog Archive in the column to the right

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.

_______________________________________________________________________

EDDYCAM - the first and only ergonomic elk-skin camera strap     
 www.eddycam.com        

      


Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography