Leica prices seem to be rising, so it makes sense to hang onto those red dotted light-tight joy boxes, but finances (truthfully: other purchases) have forced my hand. I’ve just said farewell to two Leica Ms. Since getting my mitts on an MP, I haven’t put any film through either of these, so it seemed to make sense to let them go. I sold them to a nice chap over coffee. He’s already an M6 user with a 50 cron and a 28/2.8 asph, looking to try the two-body approach. Or perhaps he just saw a good price?
The M6 I owned for about six years. It was a wonderful servant. Such an honest camera, it proved itself time and time again. No way I would have sold this if I didn’t have an MP, and was sorely tempted to keep it anyway, such was the great story behind it.
The series of dents you can see on the top plate date from when the original owner dropped it from the back of this motorbike 20 years ago. Some kind person sent the camera Leica in Germany, who fixed it up and tracked down the original owner from the serial number. That original owner also happened to be an army medical officer, and this camera went with him to the top of K2. You can’t imagine stories like that with the Fuji X100in 20 years, can you?
I will always associate certain cameras with certain locales, as most of my concentrated photography happens when travelling. This M6 will forever be Lisbon in 2005, and Paris in 2006, with a 35mm Summilux out front and Tri-X in the film hole.
The M3 is a more recent purchase, 15 months maybe. It is of the dual-stroke, Buddha ears, self timer, lever rewind variety. Shooting this with and a 50 is as pure a Leica experience as exists – most enjoyable. It’s a bit rough. The finder patch is a little less contrasty than the M6, but it more than makes up for that with that generous magnification and uncluttered frameline. The reason I never bonded with this as I did the M6? Occasionally the shutter would fail to cock on wind. That is, it would take two dual-strokes – that’s a total of four strokes for the arithmetically challenged – to cock the shutter, and you would lose a frame of film.
The M3, less glamourously, will forever be London Wall and the Barbican high walks.