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Help! Faulty M6 light meter

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I hope that you can give me some advice.

My Leica M6 classic's light meter is playing up. It is intermittently working.

I've put in fresh lithium batts. and when the meter does come up into view it is much brighter than previously, if it is showing at all.

Is this a connection issue or a problem with the light meter itself. Is there anything that I can try to remedy the problem?


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If you have an early M6 then the light meter does not show anything if there´s a lot of underexposure. There was an article on cameraquest iirc about early and late M6 differences. Hope that helps

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If you have an early M6 then the light meter does not show anything if there´s a lot of underexposure. There was an article on cameraquest iirc about early and late M6 differences. Hope that helps


The old battery was probably on last legs if the brightness changes, and the early M6 only show the LEDs when the exposure setting on lens and shutter speed is almost correct, and the lens cap is off.


Try removing the battery and cleaning the cameras contacts with a soft cloth (like tshirt) and open the back and wipe the gold contacts there carefully - same material. If the contacts have been damaged by battery corrosion then they may need to be replaced if the soft cloth does not work. Abrading them with eraser on end of pencil, is counter productive.



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If you have cleaned every thing and swept the shutter speed setting and the speed selector on the back through all the speeds, etc. and it is still intermittent, then


- fine a nice person with a M6 and swap back or

- sent to leica technician


swapping back allows you to localise the fault, and you might get replacement back cheap on e-bay, if you were very lucky, or save money on repair.


Some cameras need bits of the meter replaced, especially early M6s...



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You can effectively lose your lightmeter on any of those old circuited cameras. Sometimes its jsut a corroded screw or wire or something loose, that a service and clean will remedy, sometimes its the meter itself on the way out. Unless you have an electronics background or service the things theres not much you can do other than clean the contacts and shove in a new battery.

All those old front compartment battery and circuit designs seem to do it. My R6.2 went the way you describe, and you can throw a new battery in the thing and it will drain it in about thirty seconds. The meter is gone completely in less than two minutes.

My MP in inclement conditions will chew through batteries, and I might get a day, three days out of a set. In fine conditions then the battery lasts for ages.

The R9 with its protected compartment larger battery and electronic circuitry that has at least come into the twentieth century gets about twice the battery life mentioned in the manual.

The short answer is send it to someone reliable and pray its something minor in the wiring.


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