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Leica M6 Rangefinder Film Camera Review and User Report
 
Leica M6 Black Chrome (Made in Solms 1995). Photo by Tom Knier.
   
 
     
   

Leica M6 Rangefinder Film Camera

 

"The best 35mm film camera ever made"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. September 30, 2022.

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From a photojournalistic point of view, the Leica M6 is the best 35mm film camera ever made. There are historic Leica cameras, more charming Leica cameras, more expensive and rare models … but no Leica film camera has seen more action in war and peace than the Leica M6 in the hands of photojournalists. It’s a mean machine that takes pictures and continues to take pictures.

Amongst the alternatives to being the best 35mm film cameras, there's the Nikon F3HP, Canon A1 and other professional cameras. And if we open the scope for hobby 35mm film cameras, the Olympus MJU, Minolta X, Minox 35, Rollei 35, Nikon 28/35Ti, Contax G1 and others come to mind. But nothing beats the Leica M6 in size, realibility and the smile it brings to the face of the owner.


Anne Leibowitz with the Leica M6 she used mainly for personal projects.
Anne Leibowitz with the Leica M6 she used mainly for personal projects.

 

New to Leica M6? Beginners can start here:

The Leica M6 Classic was produced from 1984 - 1998, then it was TTL from 1998 - 2002. The first Leica M6 cameras had Leitz logo (made in Wetzlar), and when the production moved to Solms, the logo was changed to Leica.

The Leica M6 "Classic" is 1984-1998 models, and then the Leica M6 "TTL" is the more 'userfriendly' version 1998-2002, recognized by the larger shutter speed dial.

 

"Classic" 1984-1988
Made in Wetzlar
  "Classic" 1988-1998
Made in Solms
  "TTL" 1998-2002
Made in Solms
  2022
Made in Wetzlar
"Classic" 1984-1988
Made in Wetzlar   "Classic" 1988-1998
Made in Solms   "TTL" 1998-2002
Made in Solms   Leica M6 2022
Made in Wetzlar
Leitz logo   Leica logo   Leica logo   Leitz logo
             
Small shutter speed dial.
"Classic" 1984-1988
Made in Wetzlar.   Small shutter speed dial.
"Classic" 1988-1998
Made in Solms.   Large shutter speed dial.
"TTL" 1998-2002
Made in Solms.   Small shutter speed dial.
"Reissue" 2022
Made in Wetzlar.
Small shutter speed dial.
"Classic" 1984-1988
Made in Wetzlar.
  Small shutter speed dial.
"Classic" 1988-1998
Made in Solms.
  Large shutter speed dial.
"TTL" 1998-2002
Made in Solms.
  Small shutter speed dial.
"Reissue" 2022
Made in Wetzlar.
             

 

The Leica M6 model 10557 is the 2022 version "Made in Wetzlar". © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica M6 model 10557 is the 2022 version "Made in Wetzlar". © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

And yes, all Leica M6 models have TTL metering:

Fundamentally, all Leica M6 cameras have TTL (Through The Lens) light metering. Yes, that is confusing, but it's just a name thing, or marketing. You can read further down the article how the light meter works exactly. The light comes through the lens, and an eye inside the camera reads the amount of light that reflects off the white spot. The meter in early Leica M6 Classic turns off automatically after 9 seconds, in the later TTL verion it turns off after 11 seconds.

         
The TTL white spot on the shutter curtain (has a 12mm diameter).   Leica M6 Classic 1984-1998.   Leica M6 TTL 1998-2002.
The TTL white spot on the shutter curtain (has a 12mm diameter).   Leica M6 Classic 1984-1998.   Leica M6 TTL 1998-2002.

 


"Woman of Bosnia" photographed with Leica M6 in 1995 by British photojournalist Tom Stoddart (1953-2021).
"Woman of Bosnia" photographed with Leica M6 in 1995 by British photojournalist Tom Stoddart (1953-2021).

 

New to film photography? Start here:

Film stock:

The basic words are CineStill 35mm film for tungsten (which is the new hype ) or 400 ISO CineStill daylight film, and the classic Kodak Portra 400 for portraits and beautiful skin tones. The cornerstone of it all would be the all-time classic Kodak 400TX (same as Kodak Tri-X in the old days) and the ILFORD XP.

Get the film developed and scanned:

The film has to be developed and either scanned or printed in a darkroom. In the US, Picturehouse/The Small Darkroom in New York is a good place to develop and scan. Prices of developing and scanning in 30MP is in the range of $30 per film roll. In London, the Aperture offer a good deal for £15 per film development with scanning. You could consider buying a scanner yoruself, for example a used Imacon, a simple lightbox film scanner, or a modern lightrom film scanner (but it's a lot of work scanning yourself).

(Don't) build a darkroom:

  My neighbour is building this state-of-the-art darkroom in 2022.

You can also find a perfectly workable Leitz Focomat enlarger and make your own darkroom, and Freestyle in Los Angeles is a good one-stoppe shop for darkroom paper, chemicals and all (film too). Some still build their dream darkroom, like my neighbour (photo to the right), but most of us probably prefer to shoot film and send it to a lab for developing/scanning so it is ready for online use and/or inkjet print.

Take a film class:

Consider to enroll in the Joe Greer online class where he shoots film with Leica M6. You may also find this The Film 101 Photography Online Class with Joel Greer and three other film photographers useful (with Joe Greer, Matt Day, Beatriz Valim and Mike Gray using Leica M6, Sinar, Mamiya RZ67, Pentax 67, etc.).

Consider to enroll in the Joe Greer online class where he shoots film with Leica M6 and xx. You may also find this The Film 101 Photography Online Class with Joel Greer and three other film photographers useful (with Joe Greer, Matt Day, Beatriz Valim and Mike Gray using Leica M6, Sinar, Mamiya RZ67, Pentax 67 and more).
Consider to enroll in the Joe Greer online class where he shoots film with Leica M6 and medium format. You may also find this The Film 101 Photography Online Class with Joel Greer and three other film photographers useful (with Joe Greer, Matt Day, Beatriz Valim and Mike Gray using Leica M6, Sinar, Mamiya RZ67, Pentax 67 and more).

 

Leica M6: The quintessential formula for a rangefinder camera

  CEO Dr. Werner Simon with Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1988, presenting him with a Leica M6 Classic.
  CEO Dr. Werner Simon with Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1988, presenting him with a Leica M6 Classic.
  Jim Marshall with a few of his Leica M cameras.
  Jim Marshall with a few of his Leica M cameras.
   

In 1984 Leica hit gold with the Leica M6, a mechanical based camera so well made that is continued to be in production for 18 years. It's design is the quintessential formula for rangefinders, so right on that holding a digital Leica M models since the Leica M8 (2006) and forward, very much feels like holding a Leica M6.

The Leica M6 packs all functions that are needed for serious and creative photography in a body with dimensions of roughly 14cm x 8 cm x 4cm, a design that has known to be so ideal nothing really can be added or changed.

The Leica M6’s (1984) striking design shape and cleanly drawn lines gives impression of solid functionality, mechanical integrity and engineering precision, a the design can be recognized in the first full-frame digital camera, the Leica M9 (2009).

The Leica M6 is a fully mechanical masterpiece allowing the user to shoot at any shutter speed from 1/1000 of a second to one second, or bulb mode, all without batteries. The two LR44 batteries hidden beneath a circular cap on the camera's front are only there to power the internal light meter.

A less debatable "downgrade" from predecessors is the M6's ISO dial on the back. While older Leica’s like the M3 and M4 were equipped with a beautiful metal plate, newer cameras have a much simpler plastic dial. Though the M6's ISO dial – which is coupled with the internal light meter – goes all the way up to 6400, there is something about the little sun and light bulb painted on the back of older models.

 


In 1990 Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) photographed "The Smoking Girl" with her Leica M6. The girl is Amanda Marie Ellison, 9 (and Amy Minton Velasquez, 8 sitting) in the "Sin City" disctict of Valdese, N.C. for LIFE magazine abotu a school for "problem children" .
In 1990 Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) photographed "The Smoking Girl" with her Leica M6. The girl is Amanda Marie Ellison, 9 (and Amy Minton Velasquez, 8 sitting) in the "Sin City" disctict of Valdese, N.C. for LIFE magazine abotu a school for "problem children" .

 

Why is it called a "35mm" camera?

   
 
   

The name 35mm is a film format in rolls where the film is 35mm high and usually 36 pictures long. The pictures on the film are 24x36mm, which is also known as "full frame" in modern digital camera terminology. On the 35mm level, 24mm of the film is the pictures, and the rest is left for perforated holes, to hold the film in place. The space between the frame and the film edge also contains the frame numbers.

 

 

       
 

Leica M6 variations through history

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

As new Leica M6 models and limited editions over the years

If you look for a Leica M6 for practical photography, any silver or black Leica M6 will do. But here below in this article is all the Leica M6 limited editions presented through 1984-2003.

A film camera so successful it could be in production for 18 years, from 1984 to 2002. The Leitz engineers had waited for years industrial developments and innovations that allowed them to integrate electrical and electronic components for exposure automation into the confined space of first the M4-P body (1980) that was already packed with mechanical parts.

The Leica M5 (1971) was the step up from the original Leica M4 (1966) and had many of those parts. The Leica M5 is known as the Frankenstein camera, because it bulges out left, right and center with light meter and other electronics, ruining the else perfect form factor and design of the Leica M.

At the end of the 1970s, the Leitz engineers (Peter Loseries and Otto Domes) experimented with parts and components of the Leica R4 camera with the goal to create a platform from which the SLR and rangefinder cameras could be derived by combining the main body and shutter mechanism.

 

1981: "Leica M6 Electronic" (prototype)

Before the Leica M6 was introduced, the prototype of the production version Leica M6 was made, and this of course is a collectors item now rather than a camera for use. Fully electronic Seiko shutter which was already used in the R4 (with some modification because of light leaks that didn't matter in an SLR, but did in a mirrorless Leica M6), Also was added TTL-metering and automatic exposure control (as in the later M7).

The M4-P was the last of the classical full-mechanical rangefinder cameras made by Leitz. The next model, the Leica M6 incorporated a TTL-exposure meter and some of the electronics. The M4-P could be fitted with the external clip-on exposure meter, made by Metrawatt. This meter coupled with the shutter dial and could be used as an incident lightmeter.

     
Leica M4-P w/external clip-on meter   Leica M6
Leica M4-P w/external clip-on meter.   Leica M6.

 

Imam praying on Balkan 1999 by Jan Grarup (World Press Photo winner, 2004). "I have taken thousands of pictures with the Leica M6. Many of my most iconic photographs are made with the Leica M6 or Leica M4-P". Jan Grarup (born 1968) tells. Most of his Leica M6 and Leica M4-P were shot on Ilford XP2 plus, a BW film developed in C-41 process.
Imam praying on Balkan 1999 by Jan Grarup (World Press Photo winner, 2004). "I have taken thousands of pictures with the Leica M6. Many of my most iconic photographs are made with the Leica M6 or Leica M4-P". Jan Grarup (born 1968) tells. Most of his Leica M6 and Leica M4-P were shot on Ilford XP2 plus, a BW film developed in C-41 process.

 

1984 – The Leica M6 Classic - Made in Wetzlar

The first production version of the Leica M6. Starting with serial number 1657251. Retail price was $1,695.00 on introduction, and it was only made in black (approximately $4,000 in 2022 value).

While it is called classic, yes it has TTL (Through The Lens light metering, even later versions are called Leica M6 TTL. Don't be confused, they all have TTL metering). This version can be recognized with not having plastic above the strap lugs (to protect the body from scratches from the strap rings). This version has ERNST LEITZ WETZLAR GMBH engraved on the top plate and ”Leitz” red dot on front. (Later versions will be the ones made in Solms and has a "Leica" red dot).Model no. 10 404 Black Body 0.72.

1984 – The Leica M6 Classic - Made in Wetzlar

The very first Leica M6 Classic models can further be recognized by these small nerdy things:

1) Film plane indicator on top plate beneath advance lever (a white engraved line showing where the film plane is).
2) Rewind knob on tip of lever machined metal.
3) Small lighting thunder/flash sync symbol on shutter speed dial.
4) The back of the eyepiece is made of metal.
5) "Leica M6" is fairly hallow engraving.
6) No rubber strap Inserts.
7) Back door appear almost identical to later versions, but slightly different screws.
8) Body Embossed "Made in Germany" on the leather, on the back to right of back door.
9) The ISO / ASA dials appear identical.

1986 – Leica M6 Classic in Black and Chrome

From 1986 the Leica M6 have plastic coverings on the body above the strap lugs to protect the body from scratches from the strap's metal rings. Model no 10 404 (black 0.72) and 10 414 (chrome 0.72).

Leica M6 Classic Model no 10 404 (black 0.72)   Leica M6 Classic Model 10 414 (chrome 0.72)
Model no 10 404 (black 0.72)   Model 10 414 (chrome 0.72)
     

 

1987 - Leica M6 Classic with "M6" and no LEICA engraved on the front

Also known as "big logo", these cameras has only a large M6 angraved on the front, and no LEICA engraved above it on the front. Very much the same engraving as on later Leica M9 and so on, Else identical to the 1986 Leica M6 version mechanically and all.

1987 - Leica M6 with "M6" and no LEICA engraved on the front
The Leica M6 with "M6" and no LEICA engraved on the front (1987).

 

1987 – Leica M6 G (gold logo)

A limited edition made for a Swiss dealer. 100 cameras in black, chrome and titanium finish witht the Leitz logo in gold. heh made for a Swiss dealer. The Leitz logo in gold and the top plate engraved with a . The topplate engraved with a cross-section diagram of the 50mm Elmar. I have tried hard to find a phtoo of this, but came up emptyhanded.

 

1988 – Leica M6 Classic LHSA 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

A limited edition of only 43 cameras for the LHSA (Leica Historical Society of America). With a "1968 LHSA 1988" engraving on the top plate. Serial numbers 20-01 to 20-43.

One of the editions that never leave the plastic wrapping. A collectors item that only exist in 43 copies. Here the Leica M6 Classic serial no 20-02.
One of the editions that never leaves the plastic wrapping. A collectors item that only exist in 43 copies. Here the Leica M6 Classic serial no 20-02.


1988 – Leica M6 Classic "Made in Germany" (Made in Solms)

From 1988, the Leica M6 production moved to Solms a few kilometers from the Wetzlar headquarter. This was part of splitting up the Leica brand in three. The company producting microscopes kept the headquarter in Wetzlar, and the camera division (making cameras, binoculars and hunting scopes) moved to a new facrory in Solms.

The Leitz headquarter in Wetzlar   The new factory in Solms (1988)
The Leitz headquarter in Wetzlar   The new factory in Solms (1988)
     

Hence the Leica M6 became "Made in Solms Germany" and the top plate from now has the engraving "LEICA GMBH GERMANY" and LEICA M6 engraved on front of the topplate. The bigger news was that the red dot on the front now displays "Leica" instead of "Leitz". The move was rather depressing in retroperspective, but if you read my story "The New Leica Factory in Wetzlar" you can see how Leica moved back to a brand new facotry in Wetzlar in 2014.

Leica M6 Black Chrome with Leica logo on the front. "Made in Solms" 1988-1998. Photo by Tom Knier.

Leica M6 Black Chrome with Leica logo on the front. "Made in Solms" 1988-1998. Photo by Tom Knier.

 

1989 – Leica M6 Classic Platin
"150 Years of Photography - 75 Years of Leica Photography"

A limited edition of 1,250 cameras and lenses were made to celebrate the 150th anniversary of photography and the 75th anniversary of Leica. Each with a letter of the word LEICA and a serial number from the series 1-250. Large engraving on top. With Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4. Model no 10 450

Leica M6 Classic in Platinium.
Leica M6 Classic in Platinium.

 

1990 – Leica M6 Siber Hegner Japan

Limited edition of 125 cameras made for the distributor in Japan with in chromed with a small special SHJ emblem on the top plate. This edition sells for around $5,000 in 2022.

Leica M6 Siver Hegner Japan (1990)
Leica M6 Siver Hegner Japan (1990)

 

1990 – Leica M6 Classic "Panda"

A slightly different version on the outside. A silver chrome Leica M6 Classic with black winding lever, shutter release, shutter speed dial, rewind lever, rewind crank and knob and frame selector. All in black. Model numbers the same as regular production version. In production 1990-1993.

Leica M6 Classic "Panda" named beuase many knobs and wheels are black painted on this model that was in production from 1990 to 1993.
Leica M6 Classic "Panda" named beuase many knobs and wheels are black painted on this model that was in production from 1990 to 1993.

 

1992 – Leica M6 Classic "Columbus"

A limited edition of 200 issued by the Italian Leica agent Polyphoto to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. Engraved 1492-1992 and with a chrome Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens. Model no: 10 414 (body) and 11 825 (lens). Sells for around $6,000 in 2022.



Leia M6 Classic "Colombo".

 

1992 – Leica M6 Classic "Year of the Rooster"

A limited edition of 300 cameras (or some say 267) issued by the Schmidt Group (the agent for Leica in Hong Kong). Rooster engraved in red on top plate. With matching chrome Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens.

Leics M6 Classic "Year of the Rooster"
Leics M6 Classic "Year of the Rooster"

 

1992 – Leica M6 Classic Gold "Sultan of Brunei"

A limited series of 350 Leica M6 gold-plated camera and matching 50mm Summilux-M f1.4 lens and wooden presentaion box. 1.4/50mm in wooden presentation box. Engraving of two emblems on top. Serial numbers  HB 001 – HB 350. Model no 10 412 (set).

Leica M6 "Sultan of Brunei" 1992 version.
Leica M6 "Sultan of Brunei" 1992 version.

 

1992 – Leica M6 Classic Titan

A new model (not limited edition) made in titanium of the Leica M6 Classic, this model was in production 1992 to 1998. The topplate is made from brass instead of the usual zinc casting. Model no: 10412 with 0.72 viewfinder.

Leica M6 Classic Titan (in production from 1992 to 1998). These sell for around $4,000 in year 2022.
Leica M6 Classic Titan (in production from 1992 to 1998). These sell for around $4,000 in year 2022.

 

1993 – Leica M6 Classic - LHSA 25th Anniversary

Limited edition of 151 cameras, Leica M6 Classic in chrome.With a matching chrome 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0, Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 and Leica 90mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens. Wooden presentaion box. Sells for $30,000 and above as complete set.

Leica M6 Classic - LHSA 25th Anniversary

1993 – Leica M6 Classic "Royal Foto"

A limited edition of 101 cameras commissioned to the Austrian Royal Foto company for their 25th anniversary. A black and a chrome version with red covering and engraving on top plate "ROYAL-FOTO AUSTRALIA". Also, a special chrome Leica 35mm Summicron-M f./2.0 was available and engraved as well. Other lenses with special engravings may be as well. Model no: 10 404 (black body) and 10 414 (chrome body).

Leica M6 Classic "Royal Foto"
Leica M6 Classic "Royal Foto"

 

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1994 – Leica M6 Classic Schnittmodell (Cut-Through Camera)

Well, this is not really a camera, as you can see. It is a advertising kit produced in very small numbers with product code 942005. Was made in chrome (most rare) and black.

Leica M6 Classic cut-through camera. Here with the Tri-Emar, which is a marvel to study becuase it is three-in-one lens where the modules change inside as you change it from one to another.
Leica M6 Classic cut-through camera. Here with the Tri-Emar, which is a marvel to study becuase it is three-in-one lens where the modules change inside as you change it from one to another.

1994 – Leica M6 Classic Titan "Foto Ganz, Zürich"

A limited run of 20 titanium Leica M6 ocameras for the 150th anniversary of Foto Ganz in Zürich (1844-1994), a titanium finished Summilux-M 1.4/35mm was available as well. Model no 10412 (body) and 11860 (lens).

 

1994 – Leica M6 Classic "Traveller Set"

A limited run of 500 chrome Leica M6 cameras and matching Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 lens - and a calfskin attache case and calfskin camera bag.

Leica M6 Classic "Traveller Set"
Leica M6 Classic "Traveller Set"

 

1994 – Leica M6 Classic "Royal Photographic Society"

A limited edition of 100 cameras in "Panda" style for the 100th anniversary (1894 – 1994) of The Royal Photographic Society. With a black 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens.

1994 – Leica M6 Classic "Royal Photographic Society"

 

1994 – Leica M6J (The Leica M3 of Leica M6 models)

1194 was the year of a 3-in-1 anniversary and a very, very special Leica M6J limited edition: In 1994, Leica could celebrate three anniversaries (80 years of Leica, 40 years of Leica M and 10 years of Leica M6. They decided to celebrate it with a special edition, the Leica M6J that has a body shape of the Leica M3 and the finder frames of the Leica M4, and viewfinder magnification of 0.85 (as well as frame lines for 35, 50, 90 and 135mm lenses). This 0.85 viewfinder magnification is as close as possible to the famous viewfinder of the M3 (which was 0.92).

Leica M6J looks like a Leica M3, with the mechanics of the Leica M6 Classic, and the viewfinder framelines of the Leica M4. Photo from Coeln Cameras Vienna.
Leica M6J looks like a Leica M3, with the mechanics of the Leica M6 Classic, and the viewfinder framelines of the Leica M4. Photo from Coeln Cameras Vienna.

 

This special Leica M6J was made in 1640 units with serial numbers (1954-xx) for every year (40 x 40 cameras). Overall, the Leica M6J fits between serial number 2000999 and 2001000. The camera in the photo is serieal number 1972-14.

The Leica M6J features a silvrer chromed top plate made of brass, with the Leica logo, serial number and "40 Jahre LEICA M 1954-1994" engraved. Winding lever, rewind lever and frame selector are in design as the original Leica M3.

A matching collapsible chrome Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8, with matching serial number and a brown leather case to have camera with lens in, around the neck.

 

The real Leica M3 (1954) with a Leica 50mm Summicron-M Rigid f/2.0.
The real Leica M3 (1954) with a Leica 50mm Summicron-M Rigid f/2.0.

 

The Leica M3 or the Leica M6..?

Now is the time to ask yourself, is the Leica M3 or the Leica M6 Classic the film rangefinder of them all?

It is worth noticing that the very popular Leica M6 was in production during the tough years of Leica. Actually, it went into production before the tought years of demotion (1987-1988), and the production ended the year Dr. Andreas Kaufmann boguth into Leica Camera AG and basically saved the brand from bankrupcy. The Leica M6, ironically, is the bridge between former glory and new glory.

In 1988, the Leica camera facotry moved from the historic and glorious headquarter in Wetzlar, to a not very impressive factory building in the smaller nearby city Solms (a 7 minutes drive by car). Leica had taken a slow but certain slide from being the number one camera brand in the world to becoming a bit of a footnote in the arms race of photography.

Leica first missed the boat when SLR cameras took inmarch into the ranks of professional photojournalists, then frantically tried to cooperate with Minolta on a new cheaper Leica CL/Minolta CLE (1973) and an electronic SLR (Leica R3 in 1973), and when that didn't really save the day, the Leitz family a few years later had to sell their last shares in the company in 1986-87.

Despite being excellent in making lenses, binoculars and hunting scopes that could see far, seeing into the future wasn't one of the strong sides of Leica then. They misjudged the entire scene for many years, relying on their past successes.

On the other hand, to be fair, Leica's ability to hold onto the past would later save the entire brand, because if one examine the recent years successes from 2006 til 2022, the back catalog of simplicity, unmatched optical qualtiy and unique knowhow and heritage – all implemented to a large degree in every modern products like the Leica Q2, Leica SL2, Leica M10-R and Leica S – is what sets aside Leica from any other camera brand.

 

 
 

 

 

 

But back in 1988, the photographic activities (and binoculars) moved out of the Leica headquarter in Wetzlar (that made and still makes Leica microscopes) and moved into a small building in Solms.

Throughout all this, the Leica M6 sold somewhat 175,000 units from 1984-2002 (10,000 units a year). In comparison, the most successful Leica M was the Leica M3 that sold 220,000 units from 1954-1966 (18,000 units a year).

Leica was on the brink of bankruptcy in the beginning of the 2000’s, and only because Dr. Andreas Kaufmann didn’t know better, he ended up with an unhealthy amount of stocks; and then bought some more and threw in some money and pushed new products through. Him and his brothers had already bought the company in 2002 that produced the metal parts of Leica, so they were alredy in it to live or die in the attempt.

As we can see now, it worked. Leica flourished and made money, went through what appears as a miracle turnaround, and moved back to Wetzlar in a new headquarter in 2014, and made a record year in the most recent year 2021. Read my story, "Inside the Leica Factory in Wetzlar” for a view into the Solms days vs the new Wetzlar days.

The new Leica Camera AG factory they moved into in 2014 and thus returned to Wetzlar and the past glory.. It is worth visiting the Leica campus in Wrtzlar that has a Leitz hotel, a Leitz cafe, museum, Leica Store, customer service (for repairs and adjustments), and occasional factory tours. Read my story, "Inside the Leica Factory in Wetzlar”. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The new Leica Camera AG factory they moved into in 2014 and thus returned to Wetzlar and the past glory.. It is worth visiting the Leica campus in Wrtzlar that has a Leitz hotel, a Leitz cafe, museum, Leica Store, customer service (for repairs and adjustments), and occasional factory tours. Read my story, "Inside the Leica Factory in Wetzlar”.
© Thorsten Overgaard.

 

All this to arrive at a comparison of the Leica M3 and the Leica M6, the secret pastime activity of many Leica fans. The Leica M6 is a superb, but not perfect creation in comparison to the Leica M3: the rangefinder construction of the Leica M6 is not as robust as the one in the Leica M3 and there is some visible flarein the rangefinder patch of the Leiac M6. A few parts have been made of plastics instead of metal, and the addition of electronics (while extremely reliable) add some risk to the entire construction.

But, it should be noted that the Leica M6 have been able to withstand 22 years as the tool for many professional photographers in war and fashion (two sides of the same coin if you ask me).

Operationally, the Leica M3 is very silent and incredibly smooth. The Leica M3 has more mechanical adjustment options than the M6. The main point however, is that a different manufacturing technique lies behind. In the days of the Leica M3, the machinery of parts had a wider tolerance, and this gap was rectified at the stage of assembly. Many more adjustment possibilities were required, and offered, in the Leica M3 construction and assembly.

In the days of the Leica M6, the machines could work with tighter tolerances, and adjustments during assembly was therefore less required. From an engineering standpoint, one can say that the Leica M6 is a better product than the Leica M3 ... but maybe accept that the Leica M6 lack that mythical aspect of finesse that the M3 user takes for granted.

 

Stefan Daniel (16) decided to sign on with Leitz in 1984 as an apprentice in precision mechanics. Here he is working on a Leica M6. Today Stefan Daniel is international product manager at Leica Camera AG and has thus experienced the entire turn-around of Leica, as well as the product development from the Leica M6 to today's Leica M11.
Stefan Daniel (16) decided to sign on with Leitz in 1984 as an apprentice in precision mechanics. Here he is working on a Leica M6. Today Stefan Daniel is international product manager at Leica Camera AG and has thus experienced the entire turn-around of Leica, as well as the product development from the Leica M6 to today's Leica M11.

 

Moving forward to today’s Leica M11 (2022), Leica SL2 (2020) and Leica Q2 (2020), the tolerances of parts are now so tight that it requires much less – almost none – individual adjustment in assembling. It could in theory be done by robots. They are all the same, whereas each Leica in the beginning 100 years ago was the unique work of hand. Technology has slowly made the tolerances tighter and tighter, and thus also made assembly uniform.

When comparing the pressure of the shutter release that is extremely gentle in the M3, one has to realize that in the Leica M6 the release has to cope with more interation because of the activation of the exposure meter.

During the 22 years of production of the Leica M6 body no important changes or improvements were made, partly reflecting the fact that the camera had the right design, partly reflecting the fact that the Leica engineers had preciously little financial possibilities for fundamental research.

The Leica M3 and Leica M6 laid the foundation for today's digital rangefinder cameras, the Leica M8 (2006), Leica M9 (2009), Leica M240 (2012), Leica M10 (2017) and Leica M11 (2022).

So, the Leica M6 or the Leica M3? It is still and open question, and then maybe Leica M6J is the answer.

Or a Leica M11J, one could hope (a Leica M11 in the shell of a Leica M3).

 

The World Press Photo Award winner 2008 that was taken by Anthony Suau with his Leica M6 TTL and 28mm.
The World Press Photo Award winner 2008 that was taken by Anthony Suau with his Leica M6 TTL and 28mm.

 

1995 – Leica M6 Classic "Leica Historica 1975-1995"

For the 20th anniversary of Leica Historica (the German Leica collectors society), 150 Leica M6 Classic in silver chrome and blue leather was produced as a limit series. With a matching Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens. Model no. 10 448 (set). These sell for $6,000 - $30,000 in 2022. Model no. 10 421 (body) and 11 836 (lens).


Leica M6 Classic Historica 1975-1995 limited edition with lens.
Leica M6 Classic Historica 1975-1995 limited edition with lens.

 

1995 – Leica M6 Classic "Polyphoto Demo Unit"

A limited run of 20 (or some think 90) Leica M6 Classic cameras for the Italian Leica distributor, with an outline map of Italy engraved on the top plate, and the inscription "DEMO UNIT FOR POLYPOHOTO S.p.A.).

The Leica M6 Classic "Demo Unit for Polyphoto A.p.A." 1995.
The Leica M6 Classic "Demo Unit for Polyphoto S.p.A." 1995.

 

1995 – Leica M6 Classic "Gold Dragon"

A limited editon of 300 sets chrome Leica M6 Classic with matching Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lenses commissioned by the Malaysian dealer and Schmidt Marketing in Hong Kong. A golden Dragon forming "China" engraved on the top plate, body warapped in karung skin (sea snake). Model no. 11 834.

1995 – Leica M6 Classic "Royal Danish Wedding"

   
 
  Joachim and Alexandra

The wedding in 1995 of the Danish Prince Joachim with Alexandra from Hong Kong had Leica make a limited edition of 200 Leica M6 with accompanying Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens. The likely reason for this limited edition, I think, is that Alexandra has roots in Hong Kong and this likely made an intersting collectors market amongst Hong Kong fans. (When the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark married Mary from Tasmania in 2004 there was no special editions made).
Model no. 10 444 (set of lens and camera), model no, 10 423 (body only) and model no. 11 838 (lens).

Leica M6 Royal Danish Wedding model 1995.
Leica M6 Royal Danish Wedding model 1995.

 

1995 – Leica M6 Gold 'King Bhumibol of Thailand'

A limited edition of 700 24-carat gold-plated Leica M6 in red covering, and with accompanying Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 lens to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (who happened to be a big photo enthusiast and even appeared on postage stamps wearing a camera). There is a YouTube video on this camera here.

1995 – Leica M6 Gold 'King Bhumibol of Thailand'
Leica M6 Gold Thailand (1995).

 

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1995 – Leica M6 Platin "Sultan of Brunei"

A limited edition of 250 cameras in platinum for the Sultan of Brunei with Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.41.4 with built-in lens hood. Another batch of platinum plated cameras exist as well, with a diamond on the top plate of the camera (above the Leica red dot) and with a matching Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 lens. An engraving ont he back of the camera says, "15th July 1996. In Commemoration of the 50th Birthday of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan Dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalamea".

Leica M6 Planinum 1995 "Stultan of Brunei" with matching Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4.
Leica M6 Planinum 1995 "Stultan of Brunei" with matching Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4.

 

1996 – Leica M6 Classic "Partner-Aktion Deutschland"

A limited edition of 70 cameras as demonstration cameras for German dealers (and also some Leica R7 bodies have been made with this engraving).

Leica M6 Classic "Partner-Aktion Deutchland 1996".
Leica M6 Classic "Partner-Aktion Deutchland 1996".

 

1996 – Leica M6 Classic "Benelux"

A series of 94 chrome Leica M6 Classic cameras delivered as demo cameras to dealers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. These sell for around $3,500 second-hand in 2022.

Leica M6 Classic "Benelux" for dealers in 1996.
Leica M6 Classic "Benelux" for dealers in 1996.

 

1996 – Leica M6 "Ein Stück Leica"

A limited edition of 996 sets produced to mark the Leica stock market flotation. With matching 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4. Body with cowhide covering with the Leica script all over it. Model no. 10 496 (set).

Leica M6 Classic "Ein Stuck Leica"
Leica M6 Classic "Ein Stuck Leica"

 

1996 – Leica M6 Gold Sultan of Brunei / Platinum

A fine and rare gold plated and diamond-set Leica M6 in a limited edition of 125 sets to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Sultan of Brunei on July 15, 1996. This comes with a Leica 50mm SummicronM f/2.0 gold-plated lens with the end-cap decorated with sultan of brunei emblem. Another order to celebrate the birthday was 250 in platinum finish (125 of them with diamond as well). The platinum cameras were covered in grey snakeskin and all cameras were engraved with the Sultan's emblem.

Leica M6 in gold with diamond. Price in 2022 is around $125,000.
Leica M6 in gold with diamond. Price in 2022 is around $125,000.

 

1996 – Leica M6 Classic Platin "Schmidt Group 100 Years"

Limited edition of 150 sets with collapsible Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 lens to celebrate Schmidt Marketing's 100 year anniversary. Schmidt Marketing was the Leica distributor for many years in Hong Kong and Asia. The serial numbers were up to special number 188 (as Schmidt was omitting all numbers containing 4, which is considered unlycky number).

Leica M6 Classic in platinum, "Scmidt Group 100 Years).
Leica M6 Classic in platinum, "Scmidt Group 100 Years).

 

1997 – Leica M6 Classic Platin "Anton Bruckner"

Limited edition of 200 cameras, blue iguana (lizard skin) on platinum with collapsible 50mm Summicron-M f/2.8 in honor of Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer. Sells for around $8,000 in 2022. Model no. 10 454 (set). Set
Model no. 10 425 B(body) and 11 839 (lens).

Leica M6 Cassic in Platinum, "Anton Bruckner Edition" for Leica Austria.
Leica M6 Cassic in Platinum, "Anton Bruckner Edition" for Leica Austria.

 

1998 – Leica M6 Classic with 0.85 viewfinder magnification

A 0.85 viewfinder version was available 1998-199 of the Leica M6 Classic. With 0.85 written in the silver band on the front of the viewfinder. rame lines for 35, 50, 75, 90 and 135mm lenses. Model no. 10 413 (black).

1998 – Leica M6 TTL (second generation Leica M6)

Here it comes, the second version of the Leica M6, the "TTL" model which was produced from 1998 to 2002.
0.72 viewfinder: Model no. 10 433 (black) and 10 434 (chrome),
0.85 viewfinder: Model no. 10 436 (black) and 10 466 (chrome).
0.58 viewfinder: Model no. 10 475 (black) and 10 474 (chrome) (2000 – 2002)

Leica M6 TTL, the last version of the Leica M6 camera (1998-2002), recignized by the larger shutter speed dial.
Leica M6 TTL, the last version of the Leica M6 camera (1998-2002), recignized by the larger shutter speed dial.

 

 

 

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1998 – Leica M6 Classic "Jaguar XK50"

A very limited and exclusive version of the Leica M6 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar XK (1948-1998). Chrome Leica M6 body with British Racing Green conolly leather. Matching Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible lens with the engraving on the front "JAGUAR XK50 00/50". Presentation box of elm-burr veneer like the Jaguar's dashboard. Model no. 10 469 (set). The set sells for $15,000 and above in 2022.


Leica M6 Classic "Jaguar XK50" edition.
Leica M6 Classic "Jaguar XK50" edition.

 

 

1999 – Leica M6 Classic Platin "150 Jahre Optik"

A limite dedition of 150 cameras to celebrate the 150th year of the foundation of Carl Kellner's Optical Institute in July 1849. Each camera is engraved with one of the years from 1849 to 1999 along with the name and optical diagram of the matching lens. Each 30 years group of cameras was supplied with a different lens. The set sells for $12,000 and above in 2022. Model no. 10 484 - Elmar 2.8/50mm (1849-1879). Model no. 10 483 - Summicron-M 2/50mm (1880-1909). Model no. 10 482 - Summilux-M 1.4/50mm (1910-1939). Model no. 10 481 - Summicron-M 2/35mm (1940-1969). Model no. 10 480 - Summilux-M 1.4/35mm (1970-1999).

1999 – Leica M6 Classic Platin "150 Jahre Optik"
Leica M6 Classic "150 Jahre Optik".

 

 

A photo with Kodak Tri-X high speed film and Leica M6 by Robert McNeely. Title: “Bill Clinton in the Oval Office” from the book "The Clinton Years." Up till President Obama most presidential photographers in the White House have been using Leica M cameras.
A photo with Kodak Tri-X high speed film and Leica M6 by Robert McNeely. Title: “Bill Clinton in the Oval Office” from the book "The Clinton Years."
 Up till President Obama most presidential photographers in the White House have been using Leica M cameras.

 

1999 – Leica M6 TTL "Kanto" ICS

The well-renoved and highly loved Japanese repair shop Kanto Camera ordered 100 cameras with 0.72 magnification and Summicron-M 2/50mm lenses. ICS wasn engraved on the back of the camera. Kanto Camrea does a lot of custom paint jobs of Leica cameras and lenses.

Leica M6 TTL "Kanto"
Leica M6 TTL "Kanto"

 

1999 – Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Millenium"

A series of 2,000 Leica M6 TTL in black paint with matching black paint 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 and 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 . The Rewind know shaped as on the M3/M2/M1. Model no. 10 442. The kit sells for $20,000-$25,000 in 2022.

Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Millenium"
Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Millenium"

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL Safari Green

After Leica announced their black paint Millenium M6, a special order was placed by a Hong Kong dealer for 300 green paint cameras. The Rewind know shaped as on the M3/M2/M1.
Model no: 10 478 Body
Only 300 pieces were made comparing to the 2,000 pieces of the M6 TTL Black Paint Millennium.


Leica M6 TTL Safari Green.
Leica M6 TTL Safari Green.

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL "NSH"

The Japanese Leica distributor NSH (formerly Siber Hegner) commissioned 400 of their own version of the black paint Leica M6 TTL with 0.85 viewfinder. The Rewind know shaped as on the M3/M2/M1. Model no. 10 477 Body. These sell above $10,000 in 2022.

Leica M6 TTL "NSH" edition.
Leica M6 TTL "NSH" edition.

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL "Test the Best"

Swiss demonstration camera with 0.72 magnification. Only 40 pieces have been made. The camera is engraved with an outline map of Switzerland.

Leica M6 TTL "Test the Best" (Sqitzerland 2000).
Leica M6 TTL "Test the Best" (Sqitzerland 2000).

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL Black Paint LHSA

A limited edition of 650 cameras with 0.72 and 500 cameras with 0.85 viewfinder for LHSA (Leica Historical Society of America). 60 of the 0.85 cameras have been converted to 0.58 viewfinder cameras. Black Leica dot and "LHSA SPECIAL EDITION" engraved on the back. Model no. 10 443 (body 0.72) and Model no. 10 479 (body 0.85).

Leica M6 TTL Black Paint LHSA 2000. Here seen with the 50mm APO-Summicron-M black paint LHSA limited edition 2019.
Leica M6 TTL Black Paint LHSA 2000. Here seen with the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M black paint (LHSA limited edition 2018).

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Øresundsbroen"

A limited edition of 150 cameras with 0.85 viewfinder magnification was commissioned by Nordisk Foto Import A/S in Denmark (Scandinavian distributor of Leica) to commemorate the opening of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, the then longest bridge in the world. The bridge engraved on the back as well as "ØRESUNDSBROEN 2000". 50 cameras were sold as body only, 25 with a special 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 black paint, and 75 with a special 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4/ black paint. Model no. 10 492 (body).

Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Øresundsbroen"
Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Øresundsbroen".

 

2000 – Leica M6 TTL Black Paint "Dragon 2000"

Limited edition of 500 Black Paint versions with 0.85 viewfinder for the chinese market. No "Leica M6" engraving on the front, and a chinese symbol and 2000 engaved on the back, along with the serial number xxx-500. Leica logo engraved on top with "LEICA CAMERA AG GERMANY". These sell for around $10,000 in 2022.

Leica M6 TTL Black Paint Dragon 2000.
Leica M6 TTL Black Paint Dragon 2000.

 

2001 – Leica M6 TTL "Hansa"

Japanese Hansa commissioned 100 cameras with 0.72 viewfinder in chrome, with matching 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 lenses to celebrate their 80th anniversary. No engraving on the front, Leica logo engraved on top plate along with "LEICA CAMERA AG GERMANY". Model no. 10 493.

Leica M6 Hansa edition of 100 cameras with matching lenses.
Leica M6 Hansa edition of 100 cameras with matching lenses. These sell for $3,500 - 10,000 in 2022.

 

2001 – Leica M6 TTL Sheikh Saud Bin Mohd. Al Thani 0.85

A very limited edition of only 16 cameras with orange leather covering and engraved top plate with "Sheikh Saud Bin Mohd. Al-Thani", and with matching Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 for presentation to the winners of the Sheikh Saud Photography Competition Qatar in the period 2002-2017.

Leica M6 TTL Al-Thani with 50mm Summilux. Here is the 2014 edition, serial no. 2752415 (2002-2017 editions exists). This one was sold on auction for $45,000 in 2014 and only two of the 16 cameras sofar has been offered on auctions.
Leica M6 TTL Al-Thani with 50mm Summilux. Here is the 2014 edition, serial no. 2752415 (2002-2017 editions exists). This one was sold on auction for $45,000 in 2014 and only two of the 16 cameras sofar have been offered on auctions.

 

2002 – Leica M6 TTL Titanium

A limited editon of 1,000 titanium-plated Leica M6 TTL cameras with 0.72 viewfinder and buffalo leather covering. At the same time, a limited edition of 500 titanium-plated Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lenses and 500 titanium-plated Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0 lenses.

Model no. 10 435 Titanium Body 0.72

Leica M6 TTL Titan with buffalo leather.
Leica M6 TTL Titan with buffalo leather.

 

2002 – Leica M6A (Leica M7 prototype)

Not a model for sale or one put in production. This was the name of the prototype of the next model, the Leica M7 with exposure automatic.

Leica M7
The next model, the Leica M7 (2002).

 

2003 – Leica M6 TTL "Die letzten 999 Leica M6"

In January 2003, 18 years after the release of the Leica M6, Leica announced the end of their production line of the Leica M6, making a series of 999 cameras to end it with a bang. These are semi-collector items and sell in the range of $7,000 in year 2022.
Model no. 10 542 Black Body 0.58 and no. 105 43 Chrome Body 0.58.
Model no. 10 544 Black Body 0.85 and no 10 545 Chrome Body 0.85.

Leica M6 last edition of 999. Here it is model 10 542 black with 0.58 viewfinder.
Leica M6 last edition of 999. Here it is model 10 542 black with 0.58 viewfinder.

 

2022 – Leica M6 "Reissue"

On October 20, 2022, Leica Camera AG reissued the Leica M6 with "Leitz" red dot logo and small shutter speed dial. The viewfinder has been updated to have a battery indicator LED lamp (is on as the only LED light if battery is low), next to the exposure tow with arrow left/right.
The battery compartment fits two silver oxide button cell batteries (PX76/SR44) or one lithium battery like the one that comes with the camera (DL1/3N)

The Leica M6 "Reissue" model no 10557 in 2022. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica M6 "Reissue" model no 10557 in 2022. © Thorsten Overgaard.


The Leica M6 (Model 10557 in 2022) has engraving on the top plate, "Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Germany" and serial number engraved on the hotshoe.
The Leica M6 (Model 10557 in 2022) has engraving on the top plate, "Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Germany" and serial number engraved on the hotshoe.

 

 

             
 

Leica M models chronological overview

 
  By Thorsten Overgaard          
             
  Further resources          
  Leica Camera Compendium by Thorsten Overgaard      
  Leica Lens Compendium by Thorsten Overgaard      
  Leica History by Thorsten Overgaard      
   
 

Film cameras
Leica screw mount

 

Film cameras
Leica M mount

 

Digital cameras
Leica M mount

 
  Leica I (1925-1952)          
  Leica II (1932-1951)          
  Leica Standard (1932-1950)          
  Leica 250 (1933-1943)          
  Leica III (1933-1939)          
  Leica IIIa (1935-1948)          
  Leica IIIb (1938-1941)          
  Leica IIIc (1940-1951)          
  Leica IIId (1940-1947)          
  Leica IIIf (1950-1957)          
  Leica IIIg (1957-1960)          
  Leica Ig (1957-1963)          
      Leica M3 (1954-1966)      
      Leica MP (1956-1957)      
      Leica M2 (1958-1967)      
      Leica M1 (1959-1964)      
      Leica MD (1963-1966)      
      Leica MDA (1966-1976)      
      Leica M4 (1966-1975)      
      Leica M5 (1971-1975)      
      Leica CL/Minolta CLE (1973-1976)      
      Leica M4-2 (1977-1980)      
      Leica M4-P (1980-1986)      
      Leica M6 "Classic" (1984-1998)
     
      Leica M6J (1994)      
      Leica M6 "TTL" (1998-2002)
     
      Leica M7 (2002-2018)      
      Leica MP (2003-)      
          Leica M8 (2006-2009)  
          Leica M9 (2009-2012)  
          Leica M9-P (211-2014)  
          Leica Monochrom (2012-2015)  
          Leica M 240 (2014-2015)  
          Leica M-E (2012-2016)  
      Leica M-A (2014 -   Leica M-P 240 (2014-2017)  
          Leica M246 (2015-2019)  
          Leica M-D 262 (2016-2017)  
          Leica M10 (2017-2022)  
          Leica M10-P (2018-2021)  
          Leica M10-D(2018-2022)  
          Leica M10 Monochrom (2020-)  
          Leica M10-R (2020-2022)  
      Leica M6 "Reissue" (2022)   Leica M11 (2022 -)  
             
             

 

The Leica M family tree

The Leica M family tree bu Thorsten Overgaard
The Leica M family tree from 1954 to 2002.

 

How to buy a second-hand Leica M6

When in the market for a used Leica M6 for practical use, pick a standard M6 in silver or black. If you just want a grat historic film camera, no reason to get fancy and make it complicated.

  1. First, look for cosmetics. How does the camera look?  If there are heavy bangs, it shows accidents or abuse. Rewind crank should be parallel with the body (when you look at the camera from the back). Check inside the film department if it is showing brass or is damaged. It if looks good, there is a good chance it is a good sample.
  2. Check the mechanics. Check the slow speeds if they seem accurate. Those are the most delicate, and if they are ok, the faster speeds 1/125, 1/500 are likely ok too. If not, it needs adjustment.
  3. Check that the shutter works and looks to work all right. Listen to it, and look through the camera as you fire it. The shutter should be a moving light stripe. If not right, it needs CLA.
  4. Frame selector: When you move it, it should work with clicks and you should see the frames change inside the viewfinder change with the clicks. If sticky or not changing, it needs CLA.
  5. Check the frame counter. Make sure it moves forward when you take photo, and then reset it and check it goes back to zero. If not, it needs CLA.
  6. Check the viewfinder. Use a flashlight  or smartphone flashlight to see the horrifying details that show when you put that much light through. Don’t be alarmed by dust, but look for coating errors (brown spots) which is a no-no. Also, if there are signs of fungus it’s a no-np, you don’t want fungus anywhere near your other equipment.
  7. Check the electronics. Open the battery department and check for corrosion. Small amounts can be cleaned out fairly easily. Then check that the light meter is within ½ stop of accuracy. Not that easy, but use a grey card in front of the camera lens, and use an external light meter to measure the light falling onto the grey card as well. Should match.

 

How to service or repair a Leica M6

Any camera is doing better after a CLA (Cleaning, Lubrication, Adjustment), and a classic and widely used camera as the Leica M6 can be serviced many places. Here is an incomplete list, feel free to send me more names and I will include them:

International:
Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, email cs@leica-camera.com

USA:
Gus Lazarri at TLC Camera Repair in NC. https://tlccamerarepair.com
Don Goldberg at DAG camera in WI. https://www.dagcamera.com
Sherry Krauter at Golden Touch Camera in NY. http://www.sherrykrauter.com
Youxin Yue at YYE Camera in MA http://www.yyecamera.com

Hong Kong:
Mr. Lo Kwok Wah, room 1303, Lee Wai Commercial Building, 1-3A Hart Avenue, Tsmi Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Australia:
Camera Electronics, Perth.

Japan:
Leica Store Ginza, Tokyo.

Mr. Lo Kwok Wah has his repair shop in room 1303, Lee Wai Commercial Building, 1-3A Hart Avenue, Tsmi Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Mr. Lo Kwok Wah has his repair shop in room 1303, Lee Wai Commercial Building, 1-3A Hart Avenue, Tsmi Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

 

 

The light meter of the original Leica M6

   
  The 12mm white dot on the shutter curtain.
  The 12mm white dot on the shutter curtain.

The light meter’s photo cell reads light coming through the lens that is reflected off of the 12mm diameter circular white patch on the shutter curtain.

According to Leica, the M6's meter is based on a spot in the center of the viewfinder covering between 23% and 66% of the field of view of your lens. These diagrams from the M6 manual put that into perspective:

Leica M6 light meter coverage from Leica M6 manual.

 

       
 

Leica M6 TTL User Manual as PDF

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  Furhter resources:    
  Leica Camera Compendium by Thorsten Overgaard    
  Leica Lens Compendium by Thorsten Overgaard    
  Leica History by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

Link to the Leica M6 TTL manual as PDF from overgard.dk

 


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Three Small Words

The three small words that means the most in photography

It's all about light and there are just 3 controls for you to take control of so the picture looks right.
It's all about light and there are just 3 controls for you to take control of so the picture looks right.

 

Shutter

The razor-thin metal curtain that separates the dark and the light is named after the shutters in front of windows that keep the sun out.

Shutter speed is how long the curtain is up and the sensor is exposed to the light that goes through the lens.

The rest of the time, the curtain is down and the sensor rests in the darkness.

In the beginning of photography, the photographer's hand in front of the lens acted as the shutter to keep it all in the darkness.

 

Aperture

The aperture is a Latin word meaning “to open”. If you change the aperture ring, the ring inside the lens (made of metal blades) narrows the lens opening from wide open to small. When the aperture is wide open at 100% the maximum amount of light passes, and when “stopped down” the amount of light becomes as small as 2%. You can see the aperture blades inside the lens on the photo above.

 

ISO

ISO is a strange word because it is short for International Standard Organization. It's simply a measurement for how sensitive to light, something is (like film or digital sensor.)

See more in my “Leica and Photography Definitions”.

 
     

 

Leica M10: Another camera borrow from the past

The Leica M10 (2017) digital rangefinder camera with 24MP sensor was the first Leica diigital rangefinder that got slimmed down to a thickness like the Leica M6 and Leica M4.

The Leica M10 is the size of the traditional film Leica M rangefinder cameras. Here comparted to the Leica M4.
The Leica M10 is the size of the traditional film Leica M rangefinder cameras. Here comparted to the Leica M4.

 

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

 

 

 

       
 

Leica filters

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
       

 

Using ND filters to photograph in sunshine

As the Leica M6's fastest shutters speed is 1/1000 and the lenses offered are often f/1.4, there can be too much light to use the lens wide open.

Then one can turn to using ND filters, which are Neutral Density filters that works like "sunglasses for a lens". A 4-stop ND filter will for example make an f/1.4 lens into a f/5.6 lens: It reduces the light 4 stops, and thus you can use the lens at f/1.4 even in sunshine.

 

Leica ND filters

Leica Camera AG makes ND filters that are all 4-stop, which is good for Leica M6. Here is a list of their filters:

Leica Neutral Density filters:

Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E39, black 13054
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E46, black 13055
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E55, black 13056
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E60, black 13057
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E72, black 13058
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E82, black 13059
Leica Filter ND 16x (4 stop), E95, black 13060

 

Other brand ND filters:

Some of my ND-filters for different lenses.
Some of my ND-filters for different lenses. I find that the brand does not matter much.

Stops: The many names for the same ND-filters: Light reduced to:
1-stop ND 0.3 ND 2X ND2 1-STOP / 1-BL 50%
2-stop ND 0.6  ND 4X ND4 2-STOP / 2-BL 25%
3-stop ND 0.9 ND 8X ND8

3-STOP / 3-BL

12.5%
4-stop ND 1.2 ND 12X ND12 4-STOP / 4-BL 6.25%
6-stop ND 1.8 ND 64X ND64 6-STOP / 6-BL 1.56%
  ND 2.0 ND 100X ND100   1%
10-stop ND 3.0  ND 1000X ND1000 10-STOP/10-BL 0.1%
1-6 stop variable ND 0.3 - 1.8 ND 2X - 64X ND0.3 - 1.8 1 - 6 BL 50% - 1.56%

 

 

Leica color filters for black and white photography:

Leica also make color filters for black and white film. The prices are in the area of $125 per filter. Some are not produced anymore, and some are still in production/stock. But then there is also a lot of filters available from vintage outlets like Coeln Cameras and similar.

Leica Filter Orange, E46, black 13064
Leica Filter Orange, E39, black 13061
Leica Filter Green, E46, black 13066
Leica Filter Green, E39, black 13063
Leica Filter Yellow, E46, black 13065
Leica Filter Yellow, E39, black 13062

Leica color filters and Neutral Density filters. See more on the Leica website.

How does color filters affect black and white images?

Here is an article by Jon Sienkiewicz on Shutterbug on what different color filters do for the monochrome image: "Getting Black and White From Color: How To Use Color Filters To Create Monochrome Images" which aplies to both photographing film and digital.

 

 

             
 

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Leica M6 Defnitions

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  Furhter resources:    
  Leica and Photography Definitions by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
   

1: = Basically means 1 divided with. On the lens to the right, it means that the diameter of the hole throught he lens is 25mm.
We would normall call it a 50mm f/2.0 lens. The writing of 1:2/50 is a tradition from the 1800's of specifying a lens, which reveals quite a bit about the construction:
Focal length 50mm simply means that the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 50mm, and the aperture of f/2 or 1:2 means that the diameter of the hole the light comes throught is 25mm (50mm divided with 2 = 25mm).
In traditional lens design, one could usually tell from looking at the length of a lens if it was a 400mm, 100mm or 35mm. Newer designs with mirrors (in tele lenses) and more corrections (in wide lenses) can make the size of the lenses shorter or longer, but the distance from center of focus to sensor in a modern 50mm lens will still be 50mm for a 50mm and 400mm for a 400mm, and so on.
See Focal length and Aperture further down for more.

 

35mm

a) 35mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 63°vertically, 54° horizontally and 38° vertically within a 35mm film frame or "full-frame" 24x36mm digital format. See Focal length further down.
b) 35mm focal length: the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 35mm.

  35mm film format (also known as full-frame) © Thorsten Overgaard
  35mm film format (also known as full-frame)
   

c) 35mm film format (also known as full-frame in digital sensors) was a standard film format that came about in 1892 where the width of the film roll was 35mm, and it's been the most used format ever since. Only a format of 24 x 36mm is used for the photo on the film roll.
35mm film format was first used in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison for moving pictures with frames of 24 x 18mm, using film supplied by George Eastman (Kodak), and this became the international standard for motion picture negative film in 1909. Later other motion picture formats came about, such as Academy Ratio (22 x 16 mm), Widescreen (21.95 x 18.6 mm), Super 35 (24.89 x 18.66 mm) and Techiscope (22 x 9.47 mm).
The inventor of the Leica camera, Oskar Barnack, built his prototype Ur-Leica in 1913 as a device to test film stock and\ motion picture lenses and had it patented. Putting 35mm film format into a small camera gave him the idea "small negative, large print" and he decided to increase the size of each frame on the 35mm film to 24x36mm (for more detail and sharpness), and then invented an enlarger to make large prints from the small negative. The length of a film, 36 pictures, is said to have become the standard because that was how far Oskar Barnack could stretch his arms (when cutting film from larger rolls to put them into film rolls for the Leica camera).
d) 35mm equivalent is often given as a standard when talking about lenses in small compact-cameras or large format cameras with other sensor/film format than the 24 x 36mm frame. Example: A camera with a 12 x 18 mm sensor has a 14mm lens on it, and even the lens is actually a 14mm, it is specified as a 28mm lens because the viewing angle that ends up on the sensor is equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm of full-frame camera.

 

  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M 
ASPH f/2.0 lens
  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M
ASPH f/2.0 lens
   

50mm

a) 50mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 47° vertically, 40° horizontally and 27° vertically within a 35mm film frame.
b) 50mm means there is 50mm from the center of focus inside the lens to the focal plane (sensor or film).
c) 50mm lens is often compared to the human eye. Not because of viewing angle (how wide it sees) but because of size ratio (how it sees). The 50mm lens is the lens that comes closest to the size that the human eye see things. Whereas the human eye has a much wider angle of view [120-200°] than the 50mm lens [47°].

 

 

 

AOV - angle of view = Is the angle a lens 'see'. A 35mm lens has a 54° angle of view horizontally. Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120-200° angle of viewn ags.

Aperture = The same function as the iris and pupil has in the eye. The pupil in the eye is the dark circular opening in the center of the iris of the eye, varying in size to regulate the amount of light reaching the retina (the sensor area inside the eye).
Aperture on a camera is the f/ stop on the camera that regulates how much light passes through the lens by increasing or decreasing the hole through the lens. On a f/2.0 lens the lens is fully open" at f/2.0. At f/2.8 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/2.0 passes through. For each f/-stop (4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16) you halve the light. The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter).
Besides regulating the amount of light (so as to match the correct exposure), the aperture also affects the dept of field: , which is how deep the sharpness is. To get the sough-after photos with narrow depth of field where the background is blurry, the lens has to be wide open at f/2.0 or so. Stopping the lens down to f/8 or f/16 will result on more depth of field, meaning the background will start becoming in focus. To maintain narrow depth of field, one can use the ISO sensitivity and/or the shutter speed to match the correct exposure (as aperture is only one of three ways to control the exposure; the correct amount of light).
ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole.
© Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode = When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica M camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

 

APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.
APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.

APO = in lens terminology stands for "apochromatically corrected". In most lenses, optical design concentrates the focus of blue light and green light into a single plane, but red light falls slightly into another plane of focus. In APO lenses, the design and expense has been put in to making red light focus on the same plane as blue and green. Under a microscope you would see that all light subject is now in focus, creating a sharper image overall. Many manufacturers offer APO designs, but in most of these only the very center of the lens is APO corrected. Leica prides itself on making most of the frame APO corrected.
APo-correction has traditionally been used for long tele lenses (and periscopes), but in recent years APO-correction has been applied to 50mm and wide angle lenses as well. One will notice that the colors are really bright and alive, almost more real than to the eye, in lenses like the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 and 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
Apochromat; ORIGIN early 20th century, made of the two words; apo (Greek origin, away from) and chromatic (Latin origin, meaing relating to color).

Archive =  The place where one store historical documents and records, and they are organized and kept safe so you can find them again when you need them. For modern digital photography it is usually a hard drive, organized in folders and with keywords, and with a mirrored set of backup hard drives in case somethign happens to the original archive. In classic film photography, the negatives are stored in pockets or envelopes with notes on them to when, where and who, and prints of the pictures are stored in another archive based on year, location, who's in the photos or other system that make sense and make it easy to find things again. The product of being organized is freedom. One could also call the archive for a library (originally from the word 'books', now meaning a collection of films, prints, recorded music, etc., organized systematically and kept for research, sale, printring or borrowing). Another word, in photography, could be stock (as in stock photo; the picture files or prints kept on the premises of a business or warehouse and available for sale or distribution). In the 1990's one would find Image libraries which was a business that kept stock of prints and photos from various photographers one could request for magazine use or advertising. You would simply call them and say you need a sunset with a bench, and they would find what might be usefull and send it off to you, and you would pay for the usage of the photo(s) that ended up in final print).

Film archive: Envelopes with numbers, date and description of each set. Image number 15_012 written on the protective foil of the negative and marketd with a V that it has been scanned. The digital scanning has the same number in the hard drive archive.
Film archive: Envelopes with numbers, date and description of each set. Image number 15_012 written on the protective foil of the negative and marked with a V that it has been scanned. The digital scanning has the same number in the hard drive archive.

     
Digital hard drive archive of digital images (above).
Digital hard drive archive of digital images (above). The picture folders on the hard drive (right)
  The picture folders on the hard drive
     

 

  spherical (ball)
spherical (ball)
  a-spherical (non-ball)
a-spherical (non-ball)
   

ASPH = (Aspherical lens) stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses (a-spherical, meaning non-spherical), however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version.

There is another Aspherical lens manufacture technique: an uneven coating layer is applied to a spherical lens. The coating is thicker on the edges (or on the center, depending). Canon "Lens Work II" calls these "simulated" aspherical lenses. Simulated and Glass-Molded (GMo) asphericals show up in non-L Canon lenses, while the L lenses have actual ground aspheric elements.

A- means non, or without. From Latin, ex.
Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

 

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

Max Berek (1886-1949) was lens designer who joined Ernst Leitz Optische Werke in 1912 and became the head of the microscope development where he also designed the first lenses for the company's new adventure into photography, the Leica introduced in 1925. In particular, he calculated the Elmax 50mm f/3.5 lens for the so-called Ur-Leica.

  Barrie Gledden
  Bokeh of a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. British composer and producer Barrie Gledden.
© 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp, which is why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

 

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Burning = Expose one area of a photos more (in the development in the darkroom by exposing more light from the negative onto the light-senisitive paper by shading for all other areas than one with two hands forming a hole, or a piece of metal or paper with a hole in it). In modern digital post processing (using editing software liek Lightroom or Capture One Pro), a digital tool "burn" a selected area and makes it darker digitally. (Also see "Dodging").

Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.
Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

 

CL = Compact Leicafilm camera (or Compact Light measuring). Used to be the name of the Leica CL "Mini M" that Leica Camera AG and Minolta made together in the 1980's. The name CL was used again for the digital Leica CL (2017), which is a digital camera that takes Leica L lenses (made for Leica TL and Leica SL). See my article Compact Leica Cameras for more.

The Leica CL 35mm film camera was made as Leica CL and Minolta CL and shared technology. It also introduced three CL lenses together with it, as a compact and economical alternative to the Leica M camera.
The Leica CL 35mm film camera was made as Leica CL and Minolta CL and shared technology. It also introduced three CL lenses together with it, as a compact and economical alternative to the Leica M camera. See more on the original Leica CL here.

The digital Leica CL 2018 with 18mm Elmarit-TL f/2.8. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The digital Leica CL 2018 with 18mm Elmarit-TL f/2.8. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

CLA
An acronym for "(C)lean, (L)ubricate & (A)djust", whereby the item is merely re-lubricated, fine-adjusted and calibrated rather than repaired. "I just got my equipment back from CLA at Leica"

Collapsible - Usually refers to a collapsible lens such as the Leica 50mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 Collapsible, or Leica 90mm Macro Elmar-M f4.0 Collapsible, etc. A collapsible lens is one that can collaps into a compact lens when not in use.

The Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 Collapsible on a Leica M10-P Safari. Here extruded for use; it can collapse into the camera so as to be more compact when not in use. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 Collapsible on a Leica M10-P Safari. Here extruded for use; it can collapse into the camera so as to be more compact when not in use. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Compact Camera - A camera that is compact, usually the same as a point-and-shoot or beginners camera. See my article Leica Compact Cameras.

Compur
Leica I Compur camera (1926-1941) and Leitz Compur 50mm f/3.5 (1938) and Leica Summicron (II) Compur 50mm f2.0 lens (1959). Marketed as the Leica B, collectors have taken to calling it the Compur. It was fitted with a Compur leaf shutter. The Compur is a long-lived series of leaf shutters that were made by the German company F. Deckel AG, based in München.


Leitz Compur (Model B) camera designed by Oskar Barnack, lens designed by Oskar Barnack, with the Compur leaf shutte from Bruns & Deckel in Munich. (Size L x H x W - 133 x 65 x 30 mm / 5.24 x 2.60 x 1.54 in). Approx 1651 of these were made from 1926-1941.
Leitz Compur (Model Leica B) camera designed by Oskar Barnack, lens designed by Oskar Barnack, with the Compur leaf shutte from Bruns & Deckel in Munich. (Size L x H x W - 133 x 65 x 30 mm / 5.24 x 2.60 x 1.54 in). Approx 1651 of these were made from 1926-1941.

 

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

 
Normal to low contrast   High contrast
     

Daguerreotype = Daguerreo pint. The first type of photography camera and photography technique (1939) on metal plates, named after Mr. Daguerreo, and -type means to print (from Greek tupos ‘impressionfiguretype’).
To make the Daguerreotype image, a daguerrotypist would polish a sheet of silver-plated copper to a mirror finish, treat it with chemicals that made its surface light sensitive. After exposure in the camera, one would wash off the light-sensitive chemicals and add a layer of glass to the metal plate. The photo taken was the original, there was no printing of copies, enlarging or anything (a concept re-invented by Polaroid instant film in 1943).

 
  Daugerre self portrait 1848

The artist, scene-painter and physicist Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) and Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce never had exclusive rights to the process they invented. Instead Daguerre and Niépce received a pension from the French state, which declared photography a gift to the world.

 

Daguerreotype camrea by Louis Daguerre from 1939. Nobody knows how many there was made, this sample is the only existing and they didn't use serial numbers. It was sold to Westlicht for 732,000 Euro in 2010 by a private owner who didn't know what it was. He had received it as a gift in the 1970s from his father after receiving his diploma as an optician. © Thorsten Overgaard.Daguerreotype camrea by Louis Daguerre from 1939. Nobody knows how many there was made, this sample is the only existing and they didn't use serial numbers. It was sold to Westlicht for 732,000 Euro in 2010 by a private owner who didn't know what it was. He had received it as a gift in the 1970s from his father after receiving his diploma as an optician. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Daguerreo-type by Louis Daguerre of Boulevard du Temple, Paris 1839.
Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre of Boulevard du Temple, Paris 1839.

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

Digital rangefinders = The Leica M camera originates from 1925 and have been existing as film camera in many models. From 2006, the first Leica M digital rangefinder was launched, Leica M8. The Leica M7 (2002) is a film camera, so the new mode was Leia M8 and the main difference was that it had a crop digital sensor. The Next Leica M9 had a full-frame 24x36mm sensor. The Leica M240 had many features supposedly requested by users, the most noticeable was live view via a CMOS sensor, electronic viewfinder and video recording. Leica M10 was a return to the original Leica simplicity, including being a smaller body resembling the film cameras, and video and other features and buttons had been removed, a simplified menu created, and most noticeable an ISO dial to set the ISO on a wheel on the top left of the camera, very similar to the similar looking dial on older Leica film cameras where this dial was a rewind function for the film. Leica M11 (2022) was simplified even further, with a new sensor design that was designed to resemble classic color photography closer (Kodachrome and Leica M9 colors), yet featuring new technology such as triple-resolution sensor (where the sensor as a fourth function is also used as light meter), digital shutter and a new design where the battery is part of the bottom plate (no battery door, and no more bottom plate). was the rentwas simply digiral .

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

Dodging = Expose one area of a photos less (in the development in the darkroom by exposing less light from the negative onto the light-senisitive paper by shading for an area with a hand or piece of metal of paper). In modern digital post processing (using editing software liek Lightroom or Capture One Pro), a digital tool "dodge" a selected area and makes it lighter digitally. Also see "Burning")

Dodging in the darkroom using a piece of metal or paper to shade so a portion of the light-sensitive paper gets less light. Photo: richardpickup.
Dodging in the darkroom using a piece of metal or paper to shade so a portion of the light-sensitive paper gets less light. Photo: richardpickup.

 

Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry, reduced to an atmosphere. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4.   50mm f/1.4 lens at f/5.6
     

 

  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/16, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
   

DOF = Depth of Field (or Depth of Focus), an expression for how deep the focus is, or (more often use to express) how narrow the area of focus is. This is how much of the image, measured in depth or ditance, will be in focus or "acceptable sharp".

The appearance of the DOF is determined by:
1) aperture (the smaller the aperture hole is, the deeper is the depth of field, and opposite, the wider open a lens you se, the more narrow will the DOF be) and
2) distance to the subject (the farther away, the larger area is sharp; the closer the subject in focus is, the more narrow the DOF gets)..
The DOF scale measurement on top of the Leica lenses shows lines for each f-stop that indicates from which distance to which distance the image will be sharp. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance, like f/1.4 and f/0.95 lenses, which can be used to do selective focus; making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).
in modern cameras like the Leica SL2, the camera has a DOF scale inside the viewfinder. As DOF is the same for all lens brands and designs, only depending on focal length, distance and aperture f-stop, the camera can calculate it and show a 'digital DOF scale" in the viewfinder.

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.


Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leitz Summicron DR (Dual Range) f/2.0 (order no SOOIC-MN). Leitz Summicron DR (Dual Range) f/2.0 (order no SOOIC-MN).

DR = Dual Range lens. This is a type of Leitz/Leica lens that works as macro (near focus range) and normal lens, and comes with googles/"Eyes" for the macro function. The 50/2 Dual Range Summicron was made from 1956 to 1968, only in chrome, with a near-focusing range as close to 478mm.

You mount the googles/"Eyes" to focus at close range. If you use the lens in normal range, you can take off the googles/"Eyes"

The googles/"Eyes" can be critical for which camera the lens fits on. the Leica M6 TTL requires that the plastic tab onthe eyes is removed; and other Leica M models likewise. It fits on the Leica MP, M2, M3 and oterh models. .


Leica M2 with Dual Range Summicron-M f2.0. © Dave Dunne.
Leica M2 with Dual Range Summicron-M f2.0. © Dave Dunne.

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

E - Diameter in Leica filters and screw diameter, as in E46 which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens. In general language, one would see Ø46 used, as Ø is the general symbol for diameter.

Elcan-M is the name of lenses for M lenses that fits the Leica M system Leica M, as the U.S. Navy High Resolution Small Format Camera System during the Vietnam war.

The Leitz ELCAN-M 90mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 model C164 on a Leica KE-7 film camera made for the U.S. Navy.
The Leitz ELCAN-M 90mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 model C164 on a Leica KE-7 film camera made for the U.S. Navy.

Elmar = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f3.5 . Historically derived from the original 1925 50mm f3.5 Elmax lens, which was an acronym of (E)rnst (L)ieca and Professor (Max) Berek, designer of the original lenses. Later that year the 50mm f3.5 Elmar superceded the Elmax, which was discontinued due to its complexity and high cost of manufacture.

Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses). Vario-Elmarit (and Vario-Summicron, etc) is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses.

Elmax
Elmax lens named after = Ernst Leitz + Max Berak. Ernst Leitz was the founder of Ernst Leitz Optical Industry which later became Leica. Professor Dr. Max Berak was employed at Leica in 1912 and was the architech of the first Leica lens which Ernst Leitz asked him to design for the "Barnack's camera" (the 1913-prototype named after Oscar Barnack who invented it). The lens was a f/3.5 50mm and was known as the Leitz Anstigmat and later the Elmax.

Elmax (Ernst Leitz Max Berek) by Marco Cavina 2010
The Leitz Elmax 50mm f/3,5 (1925-1961) on the Leica A camera (1925) camera. Photo by Marco Cavina.

f/ (f-stop, also known as aperture).

f- (focal length). Often given in mm, for example 90mm. In the past they were often given in cm or inch, for example 9.5 cm or 3.2 inch.

f/1.25 is the size of the "hole through" the lens, the aperture. f/1.25 means focal length divided with 1.25. In the Leica 75mm NoctiluxM ASPH f/1.25, the "hole through" the lens at f/1.25 is 60mm in diameter. At f/1.4 the "the hole through" is 53.5mm in diameter. At f/4 the "hole through" is 18.75mm in diameter.
Each step smaller from f/1.4 to f/2.0 to f/2.8 to f/4.0 and son on is a reduction ofthe light to half for each step. The Noctilux f/1.25 therefore lets 50% more light in through the lens than a 75/1.4 Summilux.

f-stop = the ratio of the focal length (for example 50mm) of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot. (E.g., f/8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter of the aperture hole: 50mm/8 = 6,25 mm); or the other way around, the hole is the focal length divided with 8).
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
One f-stop is a doubling or halving of the light going through the lens to the film, by adjusting the aperture riing. Adjusting the f-setting from f 1.4 to f.2.0 is halving the light that goes through the lens. Most Leica lenses has half f-stops to enable the photographer to adjust the light more precicely.

Filters = Glass filters you put in front of the lens. A much used filter is the claer UV filter that is supposed to protects the front of the lens. Other filters are color filters that add effects to black and white photography by changing the color balance. Other filters are ND (Neutral Density) filters that reduce the amount of light coming through (used for for example video recordings as video is usuallu filmed at 1/50th second shutter speed and thus most lenses are too bright wide open. Or they are used for long exposure photography in order to record for example stars movements over the sky. Other filters are filters that create star effects, or blur the view, and almost any effect you can think of.

A traditional Yellow filter slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.
A traditional Yellow filter in 49mm diameter to screw onto the front of the lens. The yellow filter is used for black and white photography where it slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating (fairly supressed) flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image of a modern lens.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.

Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.

Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).
Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).

Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)
Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)

Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 
Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 

FLE = See "Floating Elements"

 
  Floating elements (a group of lenses or can also be s aingle lens element). .

Floating Elements (FLE) = Near focus correction in a lens by having a single lens or a group of lenses floating independently of the other lenses. Most lenses are born with poor performance at their closest focusing distance. Center sharpness may be good, but aberrations and corner softness increase when you’re shooting closeups. Floating elements are lens elements outside of the primary focus group that change position when the lens is focused on a close object, correcting aberrations and improving close up performance. 
Floating Elements originally was coined by Canon in the 1960's and quickly became the general term for this feature. Other brands came up with new names for the same thing, Minolta called it Floating Focusing, Nikon used the term Close-Range Correction (CRC), Leica call it FLE/Floating Elements.
Floating elements are for close-focus improvement of image quality and not for reducing "focus shift". Floating elements by themselves cannot reduce focus shift, but by reducing the impact of focus distance on performance, they give the designers more freedom in other areas - which could include minimising focus shift.
(As a side-note, when a lens "rattler when moved, it is not the floating elements "floating around" but can be the IS (Image Stabilization) elements for elense that has that, AF elements for auto focus lenses, or the aperture cage that rattles (as in the case of the Leica 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 FLE - if you stop down the Summilux to f/16, the sound is usually not there).

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = Originally focal length referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens (28mm, 50mm, 400mm, etc). Today one call it effective focal length (EFL) as a 400mm lens is not nessesarily 400mm long due to optical constructions that can make it shorter. The 35-420mm zoom on the Leica V-Lux 1 is for example only ca. 135 mm long. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focus only in the center.

Leitz Focomat = Darkroom enlargers made by Leica from 1937 to 1958. As you may recall, the concept of the Leica was "small camera, large print". The enlarger is the key to make the small negative into a large print.

Model Year  Format Baseboard
Head Focusing AF
Focomat Ia  1937-1949           
Focomat Ib  1946-1950 40x40mm n/a Single condenser  Bellows Yes
Focomat Ic,
Ic Color 
1950-1977 35mm 16x21" Single condenser  Helical  Yes
Focomat IIa,
IIa Color 
Late 1940s  2-¼ x 3-½" 20-½ x 27"  Double condenser  Bellows Yes
Focomat IIc 1974-1983 2-¼ x 3-½" 20-½ x 27" Double condenser  Bellows Yes
Focomat V35  1979 35mm 21-¼ x 27-½" Diffusion unknown Yes
Valoy II  1958 35mm 15-½ x 17-¾" Single condenser  Helical No


A fully restored Leitz Focomat II at the factory in Wetzlar, Germany 2021. It was in production 1956 - 1983 and is widely considered the most cool enlarger. This one with Focotar 60mm f/4.5 for small format and a V-Elmar 100mm f/4.5 for medium format. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A fully restored Leitz Focomat II at the factory in Wetzlar, Germany 2021. It was in production 1956 - 1983 and is widely considered the most cool enlarger. This one with Focotar 60mm f/4.5 for small format and a V-Elmar 100mm f/4.5 for medium format. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

Focus shift = That the focus of a lens shifts as the aperture changes. For example, if one focus a 50mm lens at f/2.0 and then stop the aperture down to f/8, the focus may change, especially noticeable in close focusing. Modern lenses with floating elements (FLE) where the floating elements adjust for image quality in close-focusing may also help avoid focus shift.

Frame lines = the lines inside a viwfinder that indicates the edger of the frame. In a Leica M, the viewfinder always is as wide view as 24-28mm. A mechanical contach on the lens (triggers the camreas frame selector) so the viewfinder shows the frame line of that lens. In the Leica M, the frame lines comes in sets, so there are alwaus twop sets of frame lines shown at any time (see illustration below).
(This is different than in most cameras where you only see what the lens captures: SLR cameras was the evolution in 1940's where the image from the lens was displayed directly onto a matte screen inside the camera via a mirror. Later mirrorless cameras, the viewfinder shows the exact picture that the sensor sees through the lens).

Frame lines of the Leica M, here showing the set of 35mm and 90mm framelines.
Frame lines of the Leica M, here showing the set of 35mm and 90mm framelines.

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame. The "full frame" technically deifinition thouhg is a sensor that camtures the full frame in one go (as the early sensors as in Leica S1 scanned the image/senor over a period of time).
The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

 



A small area of Fungus in the edge of a 50mm Canon f/0.95 lens. While it doesn't affect the image in that edge-position, having it around can spread the fungus to (cameras and) other lenses.

Fungus - Is a living organism that attacks and eat glass in lenses. Usually humid and dark conditions can cultivate it. Lenses and camreas are therefore often kept in dryboxes in Hong Kong, Philippines and similar place, whereas the hot and humid climate of Florida in USA doesn't seem to creaate fungus. Lenses kept in a leather camera bag in a humid attic or wet basement for years, that's also a place that can cultivate fungus. I have occasionally warned against keeping Leica lenses in the leather pouches that are supplied with the lenses. I might be right or not, but I wouldn't keep them in those. Not that I think fungus will develop in normal conditions, but if wetness enters for some reason, the lens is in perfect conditions for cultivating fungus.
When you send a lens to Leica Customer Service at the factory in Wetzlar, they inspect for fungus and doesn't allow lenses with fungus inside the repair department. Sometimes they offer to send the lens to a facility in Hamburg that can kill the fungus, but that is for lenes with very little signs of fungus.
The fungus "eats" the glass, so once it starts, it create lines, and it continue to spread across the lens surfaces. In short, don't buy lenses with fungus, if you live in areas where fungus is normal to occur, store your equipment in dry box. And if youalready own a lens and discover fungus, see what you might be able to do with experts in the matter.
When you use Leica lenses, you use lenses that have no eexpiry for use. Lenses from 1930's are still being sold and used. So any Leica lens has the potential to be used for many years, which is a good reason to make sure you don't get fungus in them. There is an article here at PetaPixel on do-it-yourself fungus removal.

Ghosting (light) = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

 

  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
   

Hektor - Refers to the maximum lens aperture - usually f2.5 (whihc at the time of development in the 1930's was considered very light-strong lenses). The name was apparently taken from the name of lens designer, Professor Max Berek's dog, Hektor. He also had another favorite dog, Rex, which may have inspired the lens name Summarex.
But ... there is also another possibility, which is that Hektor (the lens and/or the dog) was inspired by Hektor, the oldest son of the Trojan king Priamos, who is listed in the history books as being the most couragerous defender of his home city, Troy. (Max Berek knew of this because Greek history had been required during his high school education).
In any case, the first 50mm Hektor f/2.5 was designed by Max Berek in 1931 for the Leica I Model A, and the - for that time - extremely light-strong 73mm Hektor f/1.9 was designed in 1930-1931 in preparation of the modular Leica system.

 

Incident light meter = A light meter that measures the reflections off of something. Incident means “falling on something”, from Latin incidere ‘to fall’ and in- ‘upon’. Most cameras have an incident light meter, and what is does is that it measures how much light reflects off a white, dark red, or mixed landscape; and then adjust it to be midddle tone. Thus, if you photograph snow, the images will usually be under-esposed as the meter wants the white snow to be middle tone (50% black), and if you photograph in a dark restaurant, the image will be overexposed because the light meter wants the scene to be middle tone (50% black). For a normal scene in a city with whites, blue sky, people, cars and all, the ligth meter usually gets it right. Thus, as a user of the camera you have to be aware that the light meter doesn't know what you are photographing, so you must do the adjustments in those instances where the scene is not a mix of tones making up middle tone. This is also the portrait of a person with lots of light behind the person, her you must adjust the exposure so the face is corectly exposed and not the overall frame of bright light from behind and the face 'in shadow'.

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica TL2 sensor is around 100-150 which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make the same picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).


6400 ISO indoor photo. With modern cameras the ISO can go to 3200, 6400, 12,800 and even higher without loss of dynamic range and without digital noise. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion. The Leica name and logo is owned by Leica Microsystems GmbH.

Leicaflex was Leica's first single lens reflex (SLR) camera, released in 1964. It is a very solid, fully manual SLR with an exceptionally bright viewfinder. The Leicaflex SL and Leicaflex SL2 and Leicafles MOT (enabling attachment of motor winder) came after, and then Leica went onto Leica R3 that it developed with Minolta, then Leica R4, Leica R5, Leica R6.2, Leica R7, Leica R8, Leica R9.

My Leitz Leicaflex SL in black, here with 50 mm Summicron-R f/2.0 from Canada.
My Leitz Leicaflex SL (1973) film camera in black, here with 50 mm Summicron-R f/2.0 from Canada.

 

The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.
The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.

Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic) that has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.
A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.

Lens hood = (also called a Lens shade or Ventilated Shade). A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. In the past where lenses were not coated to prevent internal reflections inside the lens, the lens hood was often essential. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves just as much as decoration and protection (bumper) as well.
ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.
Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.

Lens names of Leica distinguish which widest aperture the lens has:

Noctilux f/0.95 - f/1.25
Nocticron f/ 1.2 (Leica-designed Panasonic lens)
Summilux f/ 1.4 - f/1.7
Summicron f/2.0
Summarit f/2.4 - 2.5
Hektor f/1.9 - f/6.3 (used 1930-1960 for screw mount lenses only)
Elmarit f/2.8
Elmar f/2.8 - f/4.5
Elmax f/3.5 (only used 1921-1925 for the 50mm Elmax f/3.5)
Telyt f/2.8 - f/6.8 (used for tele lenses)

 

  Bubble Level Gauge to mount onto the flash shoe.
  Bubble Level Gauge to mount onto the flash shoe.
   

Level Gauge = This is a tool in the viewfinder to see if you hold the camera 100% horizontal and/or vertical. You can turn it on in the Menu > Photo Live View Setup > Level Gauge > On.
Before level gauge was integrated as a digitized feature in modern digital camers, it was a Bubble Level Gauge / Spirit Level you put on top of the camera.
The idea is to be able to get 100% vertical and horizontal lines (because if you tilt the camera slightly, the horizon will not be horizontal, and of you tilt the camera forward or backwards, the lines of for example vertical buildings will not be vertical.

Digitized level gauger in a Leica M10-P. You tilt the camera up and down (front/back and left/right) till the level is completely straight.Digitized level gauge in a Leica M10-P. You tilt the camera up and down (front/back and left/right) till the level is completely straight.

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

LMT - Leica Thread-Mount: Also known as M39, is the screw mounted lenses for Leica cameras. It’s a simple as that; you screw on the lens, and back in 1932, the possibility to change the lens was the big news hwen introduced by Leica on the Leica III. The M39 system was updated with the M Bayonet from 1954 for the Leica M3. The M bayonet is a quick way to change lenses and is the current mount for Leica M digital rangefinders.

M (as in "M3", "M6", "M7" etc.)
A) The M originally stands for "Messsucher", which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder". The "3" in M3 was chosen because of the three bright line finders for the 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses. Later the numbers of the M cameras were more or less chosen to follow each other.
M-body evolution in chronologic order:
M3 - MP - M2 - M1 - MD - MDA - M4 - M5 - CL - MD-2 - M4-2 - M4-P - M6 - M6 TTL - M7 - MP - M8 - M8.2 - M9 - M9-P - MM (black and white sensor) - ME (Type 220) - Leica M (Type 240) - Leica M-P 240 - Leica M 246 Monochrom - Leica M-A (type 127, film camera) - Leica M 262 - Leica M-D 262 (without a screen) - Leica M10 - Leica M10-P, Leica M10-D, Leica M10 Monochrom, Leica M10-R, Leica M11.
B) M also refer to M-mount as the M bayonet that couple the Leica M lenses to the Leica M camera. Before the M bayonet the coupling between the camera and lens was screwmount.
C) M nowadays refer to the Leica M line of cameras rather than the "Messsucher". (

The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.
The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.

M-mount: The Leica M-mount is a bayonet that was introduced with the Leica M3 camera in 1954 and has been used on all subsequent Leica M cameras, as well as on the Epson R-D1, Konica Hexar RF, Minolta CLE, Ricoh GXR, Rollei 35RF, Voigtländer Bessa, and Zeiss Ikon cameras (2019).
Compared to the previous screw mount (M39), the M mount requires a quick turn of the lens, and ithe lens is mounted. The patent for the M-bayonet ("Bajonettvorrichtung für die lösbare Verbindung zweier Kamerateile") was registered by Ernst Leitz GmbH 10 February 1950 (patent number DE853384). Hugo Wehrenfennig was credited with the invention.
 
 
M3= The Leica M3 model introduced in 1954, the first camera with a Messsucher and 3 set of framelines in the viewfinder. It was the first M model, and once you know why it was called M3, it make sense that the Leiac M2 and M1 was introduced after this brakthrough camera.
 
 
M9 = Leica M9 is a model name for the Leica M9 that was introduced on September 9, 2009 (as the first full-frame digital Leica M). It was to be the latest model designation using the M and a number. From their next model, Leica Camera AG introduced a new model system so each camera would simply be a Leica M but then with a model designation like Typ 240, Typ 246, Typ M-D 262 and so on. The idea was inspired from Apple who name their computers for example MacBook Pro and then it has a sub- model number designation which model it is (and which would define speed of processor, etc). They later changed their mind, and the next cameras were the Leica M10 (2017) and the Leica M11 (2022).


Leica M9 digital rangefinder (2009). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M9 digital rangefinder (2009). © Thorsten Overgaard.

Mandler, Dr. Walter (1922 - 2005)
Legendary Leica lens designer and CEO of Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN) 1952-1985. Read more in Leica History.

Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.
Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.

 

Meßsucher = (rangefinder or distance finder) = Mess = range, sucher = finder. It is always correctly written with the "ß". There are technically not three "s", rather the "ß" and one "s" because it is a word constructed by the combining of two precise words. Correctly, the Messsucher is not a distance finder, but a distance finder integrated in a viewfinder. This started with the Leica M3 (1954) as the first Leica camera where the distance finder and the viewfinder was not two separate oculars on the camera. The Leica M3 was named M3 becuse it was Messsucher and had 3 frame lines inside the viewfinder. The previous models had a separate viewfinder (called a Entfernungsmesser, a range finder). As we can tell, the German words cover more precisely these concepts, whereas the English translation of both "Messsucher" and "Entfernungsmesser", ends up being "rangefinder" camera.

The Messsucher mechanism in a Leica M above. The viewfinder is the large window to the right that you see through, and prisms and mirrors reflect the same image via the small window to the left onto the viewfinder so you can adjust the focus.
The Messsucher mechanism in a Leica M above. The viewfinder is the large window to the right that you see through, and prisms and mirrors reflect the same image via the small window to the left onto the viewfinder so you can adjust the focus.

 

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
(Leica and others made lenses for a while with either meter scale or feet scale; but then eventually started including meter and feet on all the lenses (two scales, usually distinguished with different colors). However, the lens' focal length remained always 50mm, 75mm and so on).
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor surface) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

MP
a) Stands for Mechanical Perfection, as in the Leica M-P.
b) Megapixels (millions of pixels).
c) Megaphotosites (millions of photosites).

ND = Neutral Density filters are gray filters, they function as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/0.95 or f/2.0 in sunshine.
If a camera is set to 200 ISO and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4.000, this will usually result that the lens has to be at f/2.8 or smaller aperture in sunshine. Else the image will over-exposed. So in order til stay within the maximum shutter speed of 1/4.000 and still use a lightstrong lens wide open, one mount a ND-filter that reduce the light with 3 stops (8X) or 6 stops (64x).
For video ND-filters are used quite a lot (as the shutter speed for video is 1/60), and ND-filters are also used to reduce the light for really long multi-exposures at night (stop-motion video and stills).

  Graduated ND filter
  Graduated ND filter

ND-filters also exist as variable ND-filters so one can adjust the amount of light going through from for example 1 stop (2X) to 6 stops (64X).

ND-filters also exist as graduated ND-filters where the top of the filter is dark and then gradually tone over in no filter (so as to reduce the skylight in a landscape for example).

The ND filters are called Neutral because it is a neutral filter. It doesn't change colors, only the amount of light.

 

Some of my ND-filters for different lenses.
Some of my ND-filters for different lenses. I find that the brand does not matter much.

Stops: The many names for the same ND-filters: Light reduced to:
1-stop ND 0.3 ND 2X ND2 1-STOP / 1-BL 50%
2-stop ND 0.6  ND 4X ND4 2-STOP / 2-BL 25%
3-stop ND 0.9 ND 8X ND8

3-STOP / 3-BL

12.5%
4-stop ND 1.2 ND 12X ND12 4-STOP / 4-BL 6.25%
6-stop ND 1.8 ND 64X ND64 6-STOP / 6-BL 1.56%
  ND 2.0 ND 100X ND100   1%
10-stop ND 3.0  ND 1000X ND1000 10-STOP/10-BL 0.1%
1-6 stop variable ND 0.3 - 1.8 ND 2X - 64X ND0.3 - 1.8 1 - 6 BL 50% - 1.56%

 

"Niner"
The nick-name for the 90mm f/2.5 Leica lens in the 30's when it first came out.

Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Leica Noctilux - King of the Night"

The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the 0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black, the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.
The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the f/0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black), the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.

No.
Number, on this site Leica catalog numbers or order numbers. Some the numbers changed depending on the number of cams in the lens: The Elmarit-R f2.8/135mm started life as No. 11 111, however when fitted with 2 cams for the SL became No. 11 211, yet another No. for the 3 cams lens and a fourth number for 3 cam only at the end of its life. Number changes also applied to M lenses depending on whether they were screw-thread, bayonet or for M3 with “spectacles”. Thus the No. in the Thorsten Overgaard Leica Lens Compendium list is a guideline but not a comlete list of existing catalog numbers.

"Open Box" = See "U" (Leica Type "U" further down, which is is a term used by Leica Camera and Leica dealers (internally) that means "lightly used" or "used and refurbished". Usually sold with 10-15% discount of new prices,a nd with one year warranty only.

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

Perspective = The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle "widens" the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye; and objects closer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will "flatten" the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than close objects than they are in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

The word Perspective comes from the latin word for optics (perspicereper- ‘through’ + specere ‘to look’), and so-called Renaissance painting is simply painting done within the framework of optics and the linear perspective it presents.

 

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
  Vanishing points are the points where lines meet. This is how you make perspective in paintings and drawings (and some times make movie sets or theatre stages appear more three-dimensional than they are)
   

Painters works with vanishing points, which is where the lines meet, so as to create an illusion of perspective and three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.

The human eye corrects for perspective to an extreme degree. We always see vertical lines vertical and horisontal lines horisontal: The eye has a angle of view equivalent to an 8mm wide angle lens, a size ratio equivalent to a 50mm lens and we focus on relatively small area of the viewing field - one at the time. Three things happens that are worth paying attention to:

1) We compile areas of our view that we focus on, to one conceptual image that "we see". Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer pointed out that a large camera used for landscape photography capture every detail in focus and sharp so you can view it in detail after; but the eye does not see everything in focus when you try to compose the landscape photography, the eye scans only one part at a time and stitch the idea together. This makes composing or prevision of a landscape photography challenging.

2) We compile areas of our view that we individually adjust the exposure of. A camera adjust the exposure of the whole image frame to one exposure. That's why what looks like a nice picture to the eye of houses in sunshine with a blue sky above, becomes a photograph of darker buildings with a bright white sky: The camera simply can't take one picture that compare to what we "compiled" with our eyes, adjusting for each type of light.

3) Objects (on a table, for example) in the bottom of our viewing field will appear 100% perspective corrected - to a degree that it is impossible to correct in optics, with or without software correction. A wide angle lens, even with little distortion, will exaggerate the proportions of the closet part so it - to the eye - looks wrong.

 

Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).

Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.  Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).
Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Picasso painting with light in a photogtraph from 1949.
Picasso painting with light in a photogtraph from 1949.

Photography - "Writing with light" in that photo is light, graphy is writing. Also often said as "Painting with light".

Photogenic - That you are able to look good in photos, or said about someone that they do well in photos. Comes from "eminating light".

R - Reflex: The Leica R cameras (2009) is the SLR cameras from Leica. The first Leicaflex (1964) feels like a Leica M, built as a tank, and with reflex and fits Leica R lenses. Over the production time of the Leica R system, a number of magic lenses from fisheye to 800mm were made for this system (as well as a made-to-order 1600mm lens for a prince in Qatar). Also a number of zoom lenses was made for the Leica R system. Many of the lenses are being used for cinema in their next life, especially the wide angle and the 50/1.4, but also the 280mm APO f/2.8 tele lens was retrofitted with a PL mount and used for the Joker movie in 2019.
The Leicaflex series (1964 - 1976) was modernized with the Leica R3 (1976) that was made together with Minolta , and then Leica went on with Leica R4, Leica R5, Leica 6.2, Leica R7, Leica R8 and Leica R9. The latter two models got a digital 10MP back made as an accessory in 2004 (CCD-sensor made with Imacon and Kodak). You simply took off the film back and mounted a digital back (and could change back to film if you wanted to). See my Leica DMR article. The Leica R system was retired in 2009 when the production of new lenses stopped. Leica Camera AG said then that the plans fot the R10 camera had been retired as it was not feasible to maintain an SLR system. Though, in 2016 Leica opresented the Leica SL system which is a SLR camera without reflex and instead is mirrorless cameras, and with a new series of L-mount lenses. The Leica SL (and Leica M) can use Leica R lenses via adapter.

Leica R8 with DMR digital back and 35-70/2.8 zoom, and Leica R9 with film winder and 35-70/4.0 zoom. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica R8 with DMR digital back and 35-70/2.8 zoom, and Leica R9 with film winder and 35-70/4.0 zoom. © Thorsten Overgaard.

"Rattle" = Noise from something moving around inside a lens when moved or shaken, as if something is loose: When a lens "rattle" when moved, it is not the floating elements "floating around" but can be the IS (Image Stabilization) elements for elense that has that, AF elements for auto focus lenses, or the aperture cage that rattles (as in the case of the Leica 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 FLE - if you stop down the Summilux to f/16, the sound is usually not there).

Rigid - Refers usually to the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "Rigid" of 1956. 
It is called "Rigid" because, unlike the 50mm Collapsible, this one is not able to be changed. 
Rigid means stiff, uable to be forced out of shape. Not able to be changed. From Latin rigere, "be stiff".
The name is a little confusion nowadays as all or most lenses are rigid today, but back in 1925-1956, many lenses were collapsible so the camera was compact when not in use. Just like compact cameras today often has a lens that extrudes when the camera is turned on, and collaps into the camera body when the camera is turned off.

Rigid - Refers usually to the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "Rigid" of 1956.
It is called "Rigid" because, unlike the 50mm Collapsible, this one is not able to be changed.
Rigid means stiff, uable to be forced out of shape. Not able to be changed. From Latin rigere, "be stiff".
The name is a little confusion nowadays as all or most lenses are rigid today, but back in 1925-1956, many lenses were collapsible so the camera was compact when not in use. Just like compact cameras today often has a lens that extrudes when the camera is turned on, and collaps into the camera body when the camera is turned off.

RF
(R)ange (F)inder - the mechano-optical mechanism which allows M Leicas to focus.
Alternative meaning - RF is also shorthand for Hexar RF , Konica's motorised "M-lens-compatible" rangefinder camera released in 2000.

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, de-saturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full de-saturation would make it into a black and white photo.

A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

The number on the dial refers to the shutter speeds. "4000" is 1/4000th of a second (one second divided with 4,000).

Shutter speed dial set to A (Aperture priority where the camera automatically suggest an shutter speed based on the aperture of the lens). The other settings are manual shutter time settings. "B" is short for Bulb where the shutter is open for as long as the shutter release is pressed (max 60 minutes in the Leica M11). The little "thunder symbol" between number 250 and 135 is a symbol indicating that this is the flash synchronizing setting (1/180th of s a second).
Shutter speed dial set to A (Aperture priority where the camera automatically suggest an shutter speed based on the aperture of the lens). The other settings are manual shutter time settings. "B" is short for Bulb where the shutter is open for as long as the shutter release is pressed (max 60 minutes in the Leica M11). The little "thunder symbol" between number 250 and 135 is a symbol indicating that this is the flash synchronizing setting (1/180th of s a second).

Slide - Short for slide film, also known as a transparency or a dia-positive (or a lantern slide as they were called in the 1800's). A transparent film in positive, and mostly in color, that can be projected onto a wall or screen in large size by putting the slide into a slide projector ("magic lantern" as they were called back in the day) that sends light through the film and projects it to a wall or screen via a lens.
In the 1930's and 1940's Walther Benser traveled the world with a slideshow of pictures made with the Leica. In the period long before the television he managed to fill large theatres with hundres and often thousands of people who were amazed by the large pictures from the "small camera" as the Leica was also known as back then.

Slide projector - Also known as "magic lantern" back in the day. Leica came out with their first projectors in the 1930's (see a list of projectors and acessories here). It's a device with a strong lamp behind a transparent picture (slide) that is projected to a wall or screen via a lens. Today we use LCD projectors which is simply a digital image on a small screen inside the projector house that is projected to a wall or screen by a lens. Early models of LCD projectors had three lenses so as to projet each channel of red, green and blue onto the wall or screen.

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. Newer camera models has aen EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) that displays in the viewfinder what the sensor sees in real-time.

  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm
  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm f/4.5 lens anno 1910 might be the first lens carrying the name Summar.

Summar - (or a story of name development)
The 1933 lens 50mm f2.0 Summar: It started out as Summar(f2.0), then the Summitar (f2.0 in 1939), then the Summarex(f1.5 in 1948), then the Summaron(35mm f.2.8 in 1948, then later f2.0, f3.5 and f5.6 lenses), then the Summarit (f1.5 in 1949 and used again for the 40mm f2.4 on the Leica Minilux in 1995, then again for the 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm Summarit f2.5 in 2007) then the Summicron(f2.0 in 1953 for the collabsible 50mm) and finally the Summilux(50mm f1.4 in 1959).
ORIGIN of Summar is unknown.

Summarex
The great thing about being a lens designer is that you get to name the lens. Dr. Max Berek who worked for Leitz from 1912 till his death in 1949 named lenses after his two favorite dogs. One was Sumamrex named after his dog Rex, the other Hektor named after his dog Hektor.

Summarit
Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.5.

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933). Vario-Summicron, Vario-Elmarit is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses, for example the Vario-Summicron f/2.0 as the one that is on the Leica Digilux 2.

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens.

Thambar
Leitz Thambar 90mm f.2.2. At most about 3000 were made, originally, probably in eight batches, starting with 226xxx (built in 1934) and going through 283xxx, 311xxx, 375xxx, 416xxx, 472xxx, 511xxx, and 540xxx (about 1939/1940).

But then the Thambar was re-launched in 2018, exactly the same lens, and is now available from Leica Stores for $7,195.00, which is int he same range as an original second-hand 1930's model in good condition.
Today the original versions are staggeringly rare and can be extremely expensive for a perfect condition Thambar with all accessories (center spot filter, shade, cap and box). The lens has been rumored to be slightly radioactive due to the process of producing the glass.

Known to be a legendary soft-focus portrait lens that 'make a woman look 10 years younger.' A glass filter with a black spot in the middle, about 13mm (1/2”) in diameter cuts out the central (sharpest) part of the image and makes everything even softer.

Here are some advice from a Thambar user, Theodor Heinrichsohn, who have used it mainly for portraits using an Leica M5 and Leica M6:
1. The results are more or less unpredictable. Best practice is to shoot many times and pick the one you like best.
2. Shots against the light are generally more effective than with the light behind you.
3. The most pleasing results to my taste were with center filter at medium apertures. With luck portraits took on the "dreamy" look that the lens is famous for.
4. I never used the Thambar for anything except portraits.

Read my article "How to get the Leica Thambar to work - feat. Milan Swolfs."

Origin of the name is currently unknown. Suggestions has been made that the name Thambar was derived from Greek, meaning “something that inspires wonder”. Also close to the English word Tamper (with) which is to meddle, damaging or altering something.

 

Leica Thambar 90mm
A complete set of a Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2 consist of the original red box, lens cap, lens shade and the special soft focus filter with a black dot in the middle. They exist in both a Meter and a Feet edition (the focusing scale). Only 3,500 or less were made from 1934-1940, from serial number 226001 to 540500. Read my article on Leica 90mm lenses.

New Thambar 90mm f/2.2 with Leica M Monochrom. © 2018 Milan Swolfs.
New Thambar 90mm f/2.2 with Leica M Monochrom. © 2018 Milan Swolfs.

Thick / Thin
The first 90mm Elmar that came out in 1930 was called "Thick" of "Fat" When the smaller Elmar came out in January 1933 it was called "Thin".

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

TTL
(T)hrough (T)he (L)ens light metering, usually WRT the flash metering capabilities built into the R6.2, R8, R9, M7 and M6TTL cameras.

"U" = Leica Type "U" is a term used by Leica Camera and Leica dealers (internally) that means "lightly used" or "used and refurbished". Usually sold with 10-15% discount of new prices and only one year warranty. This is a lens or camera where the box has been opened, and whoever opened it didn't intent to keep using it. So that can be demo in store, a customer returned it after opening it, or a brand new camera that had to go back to Leica for correcting something mechanical or firmware - and now it is put back in circulation as "Type U". It can have phsycal marks, or it can be as brand new. In many ways the same as "Open Box" which is a softer term implying that the box was opened but the lens or camera wasn't used.

 

Ventilated shade on a 35mm of Elliott Erwitt's Leica MP camera.
Ventilated shade on a 35mm of Elliott Erwitt's Leica MP camera.

 

Ventilated Shade - A shade is a hood in front of a lens that provides shade from light going straight onto the lens from outside what you are photographing, which could cause internal reflections like flare, which would make the picture less contrasty.
The ventilated shade has holes so it doesn't obstructs the view from the viewfinder. In many of today’s mirrorless cameras where there is no viewfinder looking ver the lens, so there is no actual need for a ventilated shade; but they are considered classic or vintage looking and are still in high demand. It makes no difference for the purpose of the shade (to create shadow) if it is ventilated or not.

 

The "2814 OUS "ventilated shade designed by Thorsten Overgaard on the Leica 28mm Summiluix-M f/1.4 and Leica M6 film camera. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The "2814 OUS "ventilated shade designed by Thorsten Overgaard on the Leica 28mm Summiluix-M f/1.4 and Leica M6 film camera. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Viewfinder a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses vider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.
5) A Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that shows what the sensor sees "live".

Visoflex
A device mounted between the Leica M camera and a lens, containing a mirror mechanism like in a SLR camera, thus allowing the M user to 'preview' a picture using a tele lens larger than 135mm which is the maximum covered by the framelines in the Leica viewfinder. In 2012 Leica made the electronic Visoflex for the Leica M240, which is an electronic viewfinder (see EVF in this list).

Leica Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder
  The Leitz VisoFlex came out in 1951 as a way to implement a mirror ona Leica M. The first version exist for screw mount lenses and M mount lenses.
Leica Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder.
You can also use the Olympus VF-2 which essentially is the same.

 

 

The Leitz VisoFlex came out in 1951 as a way to implement a mirror on a Leica M. The first version exist for screw mount lenses and M mount lenses.

Vulcanite
The black rubberized, textured material used to cover Leica camera bodies prior to the 1980s. It actually was made of vulcanised rubber (hence the name) and was and remains much loved by professionals because of its solid, sure grip.

Zone Focusing = Working with the expectancy that a zone will be within acceptable focus so doesn't have to focus precisely before aiming and taking the photo. In smaller cameras one would see different symbols to select from: A mountain, a tree, a person, because the camera had to be set to infinity focusing, not-that-far-away, and close focusing in the near area. This is possible because a lens has a depth-of-focus determined by the f-stop. In such a simple camera, if for example a 40mm lens with widest aperture of f/5.6, then a large area will be in acceptable focus, why the focus mechanism can be reduced to three possible steps.
In street photography zone focusing can be used with any lens in that one can see the depth-of-field scale on the lens and from that determine that if one sets the lens to for example f/8.0, a certain area (zone) in front of the lens will be in acceptable focus. A 50mm f/1.4 lens set to f/8.0 and a distance of 3 meters focal distance, the zone from m to 2.5 meter to 4 meter will be within acceptable focus. In street photography the idea is that one then can react fast, without having to focus, and doesn't even have to lift the camera to the eye, as long as the main subject in inside the zone of 1.5 meter acceptable focus.

Zone System -A system of 11 greytones. Ansel Adams worked out the Zone System in the 1940's with Fred Archer. It may look as simply a grey scale (and it is) but it's the use that has troubled many. If you use a normal external light meter, it will give you the exact amount of light and you can expose your photograph based on that and it will be correct. The Zone System by Ansel Adams

What Ansel Adams basically did was that he studied (by measuring with a spot meter), what the exact grey tones were of the sky, the clouds, the sand, the water, the skin and so on at different times of the day.
You could say that he built up a conceptual understanding of how different materials of different colors and reflective surface would look in black and white at different times of day (or different light conditions). He also realized that a tone changes for the human eye depending on it's size and in which context of other tones it is seen. 

In short, you could say that the Zone System is know how something would look in black and white when looking at a scenery. Some who have struggled with the Zone System have done so because they think it is a rule. It is not.

How Ansel Adams made New Mexico look:   How most people see New Mexico:
 
The artistic use of the Zone System.

Ansel Adams developed the Zone System to understand light for himself, but also as a fundament for teaching the light, exposure and making the final photograph. How will it look if you do the usual, and what will it look like if you manipulate it. But most interstingly; how do you work with light, cameras and photographic materials to achieve the look you envision. 

The Zone System is meant as a basis on which to create your own aesthetic style and communication.  Photography is painting with light. The greyscale is our palette. Ideally we should have a conceptual understanding of the tones and be able to use them intuitive. That was his vision for us all.

Thorsten Overgaard in New York, explaining the Zone System in his "Street Photography Masterclass"
Thorsten Overgaard in New York, explaining the Zone System in his "Street Photography Masterclass".

Ø - Diameter. As in Ø49 for example which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens (or if a filter is Ø49, it is 49mm in diameter and fits that Ø49 lens). Leica uses E to express their filters sizes, as in E49 for a 49mm filter size.

 

/Thorsten Overgaard. Latest update September 30, 2022. Job #2169-0922

© Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
M9 Mono 20 21 22 23 24 25      

                     
M 246 Mono 26 27 28 29
30
31      

                     
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44            
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                        
Leica M10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                         Video
Leica M11 1 2 3                                    
Leica SL / SL2 1   3   5 6 7                              
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 / Q2M 1                                          
Leica TL2 1 2                                        
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books

 

 

   
   

 

– Thorsten Overgaard
#2169-0922

   


Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital cameras:   Leica L digital cameras:
Leica M11   Leica SL
Leica M10   Leica SL2
Leica M10-P   Leica SL2-S
Leica M10-R   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E   Leica L-Mount lenses
Leica M9-P   Leica R digital cameras:
Leica M9 Monochrom   Leica R8/R9/DMR
Leica M240   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica M246 Monochrom   Leica D-Lux
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Leica C-Lux
    Leica V-Lux
Leica M film cameras:   Leica Q2 / Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica M6   Leica Q
Leica M4   Leica Digilux 3
    Leica Digilux 2
Leica M lenses:   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4    
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
Leica Cine lenses from Leitz Cine Wetzlar    
    Leica S digital medium format:
History and overview:   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica History   Leica S2
Leica Definitions   Leica S
Leica Lens Compendium    
Leica Camera Compendium   "Magic of Light" 4K Television Channel
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Quality of Light   Capture One Software
Lightmeters   Capture One Survival Kit
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love   "Composition in Photography" eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
X-Rite   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
    "Why do I Photograph?"
     
Leica Photographers:    
Ralph Gibson   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier   Jan Grarup
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
More than 250 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
Leica Forums and Blogs:   Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Leica M11 / M240 / M10 User Forum on Facebook   Leica Q2 Masterclass (video course)
Jono Slack   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog   Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
I-Shot-It photo competition   The Photoraphers Workflow Masterclass
    Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit 11
    Capture One Survival Kit 22
     
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Connect with Thorsten Overgaard:   Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses
Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram   Overgaard One-on-One Training
Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List   Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing
Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook   Commision Thorsten Overgaard
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Ventilated Shades "Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Camera Straps "Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
The Von M Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
The Von L Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
The Von Mini Messenger Walkabout Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Desk Blotters 'Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Sterling Silver Necklace   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Signed Thorsten Overgaard Gallery Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Computer Shade for MacBook Pro   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
    Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade for Leica Q and Leica Q2
 

 

Above: Leica M6 Black Chrome (Made in Solms 1995). Photo by Tom Knier.

 

Leica reviews by Thorsten Overgaard. LEICA = LEItz CAmera. Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany. Leica logo in photo by Thorsten Overgaard

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M11
Leica M10-R
Leica M10 Monochrom
Leica M10
Leica M-D 262
M 246 Mono
Leica M 240
M9 Mono
Leica M9
Leica SL2
Leica SL
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica TL2
Leica CL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorsten Overgard in Qatar by Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani
Photo: Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani.

Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Street Photography Masterclass Video
Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit 11
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Capture One Software download
Capture One Survival Kit 22

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard

Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Calfskin Camera Pouches
Leather Writing Pads
Sterling Silver Camera Necklace

Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0

Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
7artisans 75mm f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux f/1.5
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
Leica L lenses

Leica M6

Leica M11
Leica M10
Leica M10-P

Leica M10-R
Leica M10-D
Leica M10 Monochrom
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M9 Monochrom
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262

Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Leica SL2-S

Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Leica D-Lux

Leica C-Lux

Leica V-Lux

Leica Digilux

Leica Digilux 1

Leica Digilux 2
Leica Digilux Zoom

Leica Digilux 4.3

Leica Digilux 3

Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

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  · © Copyright 1996-2022 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

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