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derphilipp

Leica M6 Light Meter in cold temperatures

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During my last couple of trips in colder temperatures I've noticed that once temperatures get slightly cold the light meter of my M6 gets fairly unreliable. Meaning that the little arrows either don't show up at all, are barely visible or simply give me wrong meterings.

 

I'm assuming it has something to do with the cold draining the batteries. But the temperatures I was in weren't exactly "freezing" - mostly between 0 and 15 Celcius (32 and 59 Fahrenheit) - so I'm not sure.

 

Is this a common issue? Is there a simple fix? Maybe a battery thats more resistant to cold temperatures? 

 

Any help would be appreciated!

 

 

 

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Are those alcaline batteries ?

 

Silver oxyde or lithium batteries are more reliable, if you can choose from.

The best that I use with my M6 is lithium 3V battery that has two advantages: one contact less than two 1.5V and abrupt drop of voltage.

 

Take care also to clean contacts with every battery replacement.

 

Arnaud

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Hello Philipp,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Please keep in mind that as most types of batteries lose their charge they become less efficient as the temperatures get colder.

 

How fresh are your batteries?

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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A healthy M6 with fresh batteries (good quality Li batteries are best) should work perfectly reliable in cold temperatures. I have a '96 M6 classic - still with the "older" meter type and it works flawlessly in temperatures ~0º.

Try switching to a good set of batteries, if that doesn't help, have the meter of the M6 checked.

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I do not own an M6 but on my M7 never had problems in that range of temperature (I like snowshoes walking). Of course when planning to use it cold environment (down to -5 / -10 °C) always put fresh batteries in the camera.

robert

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A 3V lithium cell works well in the cold, or two 1.5V silver oxide cells. The MP has an "idiot light" that turns on when your batt is just about gone. It's a good idea for lithium batts, as they don't give much warning that they're out of juice; their discharge graphs show them putting out steady voltage, and then it just drops, like a marble rolling off a table. Alkalines (like the A76) will fade in even moderate temperatures.

Edited by Chuck Albertson

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When I shot my m6 in 0 to -20c temps, the meter would go out after 60 minutes or so (depending on temps), even with fresh batteries.  I found it better to keep it next to my body under a jacket and just pull the camera out when needed.  If you have problems above 5c or so, I would get a new battery, as others seem to have noted.

Edited by deardorff8x10

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Mamiya 7ii used to offer a remote battery holder for cold weather so you could keep the power supply inside your coat. I would try doing that with the Leica - another advantage of the m6 is that you can get it under your coat.

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Thanks everybody again. some solid advice

 

I'll remember to always use fresh batteries in such conditions from now on. I will probably also get a handheld lightmeter as a backup. I have one on my phone but its  really annying to use.

 

 

Any recommendations on affordable handhelds for that purpose?

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Gossen Digisix. The most used meter of my equipment. Precise, lightweight, small. Measuring of incident and reflected light possible.

Wide range from 0 - 18 EV, clock, timer, ...

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Thanks everybody again. some solid advice

 

I'll remember to always use fresh batteries in such conditions from now on. I will probably also get a handheld lightmeter as a backup. I have one on my phone but its  really annying to use.

 

 

Any recommendations on affordable handhelds for that purpose?

Sekonic L308

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