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Brandon Bustard

Leica M6 Question

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I am new to shooting film on a Leica. I recently bought a Leica R3 and have been shooting on this for the last few months. The light meter is definitely off and I am struggling with lighting my photos more than previously. I want to shoot more of a street style but unless I bring my phone out as an external light meter I'm missing a lot of my shots. 

Not that switching cameras is the necessary solution but I have heard such great things about the M6 with such great film street photographers like Joe Greer using this camera. Now this camera has a built in light meter as well, would this be any different than the one on the R3? What causes the larger price difference? Cause it's a rangefinder, and does this make shooting with more controlled light easier?

I'm a big fan of the Leica lenses, and struggled a bit after switching from a Canon AT-1 so looking for any recommendations or thoughts!

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Exposure is an aquired art. In due course you will, with the aid of your exposure meter, learn to measure a basic setting and adjust to changing light by eye. The M6 is no different, in fact, the R3 has more measuring options. I suspect that you are using the wrong battery. The original cells are no longer available and you need either an adapter or have the camera adjusted.

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If you are having meter problems with an older camera, it would be good to invest in a hand held meter. I have had nothing but problems with light meter phone apps. The two apps I downloaded were both were 4 or 5 stops off, tremendous over exposure. Checked them out with my Gossen Luna Pro, which is about as big as an M Leica, so I don't like carrying both. I have a Gossen Scout III meter I carry, small light weight, not the best but I can understand it, the exposure is accurate. It is also cheap, an other option would be a Gossen Digisix, it has both analog and digital readouts, which is very nice. The other thing is be conscious of light, often if you are in similar circumstances the light doesn't change that much, but be aware. You may not have to take a reading if the subject is in the same light as your last image. 

Edited by tommonego@gmail.com

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On 1/24/2020 at 1:05 AM, jaapv said:

Exposure is an aquired art. In due course you will, with the aid of your exposure meter, learn to measure a basic setting and adjust to changing light by eye. The M6 is no different, in fact, the R3 has more measuring options. I suspect that you are using the wrong battery. The original cells are no longer available and you need either an adapter or have the camera adjusted.

The R3 uses 2 x SR44 batteries which are readily available, no adjustments needed!

Try new batteries but the R3 can suffer from faulty light meters and shutters. Check if your shutter opens when fired at 1/1000th. 

Also remember that there are two metering modes, centre weighted average and spot. Maybe you're metering on spot without realising it

Often if the meter fails the camera can still be used manually with an external meter, assuming the shutter is OK. 

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I would take in to have the wirings checked. I just bought a Leica M6 and can say that the Light Meter isnt the most easily read in comparison to the AE-1 (which I also still own and love!) but once you get used to the dual light reading its a treat. Have your camera checked and I agree with the battery check as well. Also an external lightmeter is also a worthwhile investment as they'll be more accurate than an internal one!

 

 

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As other have said, I'd check the meter of the R3. If you use LR44 instead of SR44, have in mind that the Lithium ones get their voltage slightly reduced as you use them.

If you want an M with light meter the M6 is probably the most convenient choice (together with the M7 if you like the A priority). They're not fancy matrix metering or something like that so you need to know what you want, but they're convenient for sure. An small light meter and adjust by eye is also a good option and not so hard as it sounds.

Augusto

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