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M6 TTL Millennium - is a camera too nice to use?


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23 hours ago, Brooktaw said:

I had one.

I sold it.

I felt that somehow the aesthetics overshadowed the functionality and that I had too much money tied up in it, even though I didn't need the money when I sold it..

I sometimes think I could have made a financially better deal on it but I got my expenditure back and I don't think of cameras as investments.

I feel much happier shooting with my M2.

Looks just like the one I sold!

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58 minutes ago, madNbad said:

Looks just like the one I sold!

Series number 109 I think. Nice modifications that you specified, definitely an improvement on the stock version and part of the reason I was so attracted to it when it came up for sale. Surprisingly mint condition given the extent that you used it t. I sold it to a dealer in London so who knows where it is now.

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The one I owned was 1630. It spent most of its life in the bottom half of a Leica never ready case. Put it on consignment in 2018 at Pro Photo Supply in Portland, Oregon. It was sold minutes after the doors opened the first day it was available.

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1 hour ago, andrew01 said:

Looks like an M Monochrom is thrown in for free! Great deal:)

Ha yes, I also have an advert for the Monochrom and somehow the site has mixed the Monochrom photos in with the M6..... its pretty obvious though.

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The market value for second-hand Leica M6s (which is to include TTLs) has increased substantially over the last few years. 

I know this first hand from having first entered the world of Leica rangefinders just 4 years ago. I was gifted a Leica M6 TTL (I know - my gratefulness continues to this day). The camera was purchased from a well-known UK Leica dealer, not eBay. It is in almost MINT condition (I use this thing every week and while I take care of my gear I certainly don't treat it with kid gloves). It cost £1600.00. At the time, I remember regularly seeing 'Classics' going on eBay in excellent condition for £1200-£1400. Today, you're lucky to find an M6 ('Classic' or TTL) in the same condition for under £2000 from a dealer or from eBay. 

That's a hefty increase, year on year. Numerous reasons are, of course, responsible for this. The increased interest in film in younger generations, the continual publicity of the M6 by YouTubers and bloggers, and (from my own observation) the slightly fewer number of M6s in excellent condition cropping up in the market. The price increase over a relatively short period of time does seem insane - tulip-mania, anyone? Somehow, though, I think the M6 will retain its current market value. While it might not increase, I am hesitant to agree that the TTL Millennium is a bad or depreciative investment. I would hedge my bets and say that I would not be surprised if your TTL Millennium accrues another £200 in addition to the resale value 12 months hence. 

As for aesthetics, I love the TTL and actually prefer it over the 'Classic'. You might call bias given my gratitude. However, I've also used a 'Classic' and genuinely prefer the added height on the TTL and, most of all, the larger shutter speed selector dial (and its direction of movement) which I find much, much more intuitive to use - I do not have a clue why this was not retained on the MP or MA. 

In summary, no, it's not too nice to use. To the contrary, it's too nice not to use! BUT - if you want to keep it as an investment, why not decide whether to keep it year-on-year? Get it out of its box occasionally to fire a few shots and breathe some life into the light meter every now and again. Re-box and reassess its status as an investment piece. 

Best

J

Edited by john_talber
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  • 9 months later...
On 3/30/2021 at 12:17 AM, Brooktaw said:

Series number 109 I think. Nice modifications that you specified, definitely an improvement on the stock version and part of the reason I was so attracted to it when it came up for sale. Surprisingly mint condition given the extent that you used it t. I sold it to a dealer in London so who knows where it is now.

 

On 3/30/2021 at 12:17 AM, Brooktaw said:

Series number 109 I think. Nice modifications that you specified, definitely an improvement on the stock version and part of the reason I was so attracted to it when it came up for sale. Surprisingly mint condition given the extent that you used it t. I sold it to a dealer in London so who knows where it is now.

Funnily enough I know just where it is now.. after I bought it from Aperture. 

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Excellent, I hope you will put it to good use. Imho, but I'm very biased, it's the best metered M camera of all. Sure there can be viewfinder whiteout but it can easily be fixed. And some will object Oh but why should you have to fix something on a camera, shouldn't it just work? But I've had whiteout on both M3 and M4 bodies which supposedly have 'better' viewfinders. No matter, the Millennium is a fantastic camera. I've used mine for a decade now and it never fails. I often read about the scare of electronics and lack of spare parts with respect to film cameras. The same is said (but with much less fervour, a Leica thing probably) regarding the other brand I use, Hasselblad. If it turns out that the circuit board can't be repaired my camera will still be a very special unmetered camera. No biggie. There are thousand upon thousand MPs out there. Nothing special about them at all. There are only 2000 of these on the planet, that's it, and they were made for a particular, beautiful reason, the new Millennium with all the hopes and wishes that that brought with it. There's no dragon on it, no camera society symbol, no bridge, nothing. And one of these beauties is mine forever.

So be very pleased with yourself that you got one, welcome to the club.

Philip

 

1 hour ago, lucid said:

 

Funnily enough I know just where it is now.. after I bought it from Aperture. 

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I had one, was my forever camera. Its super soft black paint brassed super fast.

In 1 year of use it looked like my MP after 10 years of use, both handled equally.

 

In the end I sold it because of 3 things.

1- I really disliked its feminine appearance. The speed dial, the Leica roundel logo, the leatherette.. it all summed up to feminine. 

2- the top plate is higher than the traditional Leicas by a few mms. Back in the day, there weren’t any M8, M9, MMM240M10M19P... There was only M1 to MP, and this M6 had a higher top plate (such as all the ZINC M6TTL) and my the Leica purist in me disliked it profoundly. it was too tall. It held no candle next to my M2BP, M4BP, MP...

3- the speed dial turns the opposite side VS any proper Leica. Shooting this alongside any other of my Leicas was not a nice experience.

I liked it, loved it even, but in the end I sold it for a MO. Never regreted it, MP is a MP, more manly, smaller by a few mms (believe me, it’s noticeable).

Should have sold it today, not in 2011.
 

 

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Meant to be used, that's my vote.  Hard to believe, but these BP cameras and lenses sat on the shelves where introduced , at least in my country.  I purchased one with the matching BP 35/2 and 50/1.4, once Leica threw in a rebate for the stuff.  Still have the invoices somewhere.  For me, BP is cool to look at, especially the old ones with a lot of history, but in my hands in the field, it means nothing.  Eventually I sold it to some chap overseas.  That was near twenty years ago now.  Ha, ha, the prices have appreciated significantly since then.  Jokes on me, it would've been a good investment.  

Edited by TheBestSLIsALeicaflex
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It's interesting that people can have such diametrically opposite views. Though I generally oppose using such adjectives to describe objects I actually find the Millennium, and TTL bodies generally, much more "masculine" than my original M4 black paint because it is 2mm taller and has a bigger dial. But compared to classic SLR cameras I find all Leica M bodies "feminine" to be honest. It's about how you hold it as much as the design. An SLR is like a rifle. An M body is, well, not. All my opinion of course.

Years ago I made a comparison of the black paint on the three bodies I own, the Millennium, the M4 and a Leica II. It's somewhere here in the archive. The ancient Leica II has by far the softest paint. The Millennium easily has the hardest paint. It took a few years of very regular use as my main camera to get brass to show. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Leica encountered difficulties when they designed the Millennium and that some of the earlier copies had softer paint. The M4 is somewhere in-between the other two, but the paint is definitely softer than the TTL.

The shutter speed dial's design is I think a stroke of genius. The big size is ergonomically much better than the smaller dial of other M cameras both due to its size and placement on the top plate and due to the grippy pattern that surrounds it. That it's spinning the same way as the aperture ring on almost all modern M lenses and the arrows in the viewfinder is what truly elevates the user experience though. It becomes a truly seamless experience. I never have a problem when I use both my M4 and the TTL – somehow my brain accepts each camera for what it is – but the TTL is objectively a better design in this respect.

Too bad you didn't hold on to yours and sold it today. But it's great that you did because it meant that people like I could buy it for considerably less than the run of the mill MP cost.

Philip

12 hours ago, Capuccino-Muffin said:

I had one, was my forever camera. Its super soft black paint brassed super fast.

In 1 year of use it looked like my MP after 10 years of use, both handled equally.

 

In the end I sold it because of 3 things.

1- I really disliked its feminine appearance. The speed dial, the Leica roundel logo, the leatherette.. it all summed up to feminine. 

2- the top plate is higher than the traditional Leicas by a few mms. Back in the day, there weren’t any M8, M9, MMM240M10M19P... There was only M1 to MP, and this M6 had a higher top plate (such as all the ZINC M6TTL) and my the Leica purist in me disliked it profoundly. it was too tall. It held no candle next to my M2BP, M4BP, MP...

3- the speed dial turns the opposite side VS any proper Leica. Shooting this alongside any other of my Leicas was not a nice experience.

I liked it, loved it even, but in the end I sold it for a MO. Never regreted it, MP is a MP, more manly, smaller by a few mms (believe me, it’s noticeable).

Should have sold it today, not in 2011.
 

 

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38 minutes ago, philipus said:

It's interesting that people can have such diametrically opposite views. Though I generally oppose using such adjectives to describe objects I actually find the Millennium, and TTL bodies generally, much more "masculine" than my original M4 black paint because it is 2mm taller and has a bigger dial. But compared to classic SLR cameras I find all Leica M bodies "feminine" to be honest. It's about how you hold it as much as the design. An SLR is like a rifle. An M body is, well, not. All my opinion of course.

Years ago I made a comparison of the black paint on the three bodies I own, the Millennium, the M4 and a Leica II. It's somewhere here in the archive. The ancient Leica II has by far the softest paint. The Millennium easily has the hardest paint. It took a few years of very regular use as my main camera to get brass to show. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Leica encountered difficulties when they designed the Millennium and that some of the earlier copies had softer paint. The M4 is somewhere in-between the other two, but the paint is definitely softer than the TTL.

The shutter speed dial's design is I think a stroke of genius. The big size is ergonomically much better than the smaller dial of other M cameras both due to its size and placement on the top plate and due to the grippy pattern that surrounds it. That it's spinning the same way as the aperture ring on almost all modern M lenses and the arrows in the viewfinder is what truly elevates the user experience though. It becomes a truly seamless experience. I never have a problem when I use both my M4 and the TTL – somehow my brain accepts each camera for what it is – but the TTL is objectively a better design in this respect.

Too bad you didn't hold on to yours and sold it today. But it's great that you did because it meant that people like I could buy it for considerably less than the run of the mill MP cost.

Philip

The money made from the sale went into a pile from which served to buy a MP, original M2BP and M4BP. Where exactly each dollar went exactly is irrelevant when these 3 cameras could be had for roughly the same price. The real drama is in not buying more M2 and M4 black paint back then.

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3 hours ago, ianman said:

I have to say that describing a camera body as feminine is one of the strangest things I've read on this forum. Surparssed only by not using a camera because it looks feminine, as if it's a bad thing.

It’s strange but indeed that’s how I felt about it every time I used it. Probably a mix of shiny body, red dot, big speed selector and that leatherette. 
 

What I really liked, though, were the black lugs and that black exposure counter. I dislike the silver lugs and white exposure counter on the regular MP. 

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18 hours ago, Capuccino-Muffin said:

I had one, was my forever camera. Its super soft black paint brassed super fast.

In 1 year of use it looked like my MP after 10 years of use, both handled equally.

 

In the end I sold it because of 3 things.

1- I really disliked its feminine appearance. The speed dial, the Leica roundel logo, the leatherette.. it all summed up to feminine. 

2- the top plate is higher than the traditional Leicas by a few mms. Back in the day, there weren’t any M8, M9, MMM240M10M19P... There was only M1 to MP, and this M6 had a higher top plate (such as all the ZINC M6TTL) and my the Leica purist in me disliked it profoundly. it was too tall. It held no candle next to my M2BP, M4BP, MP...

3- the speed dial turns the opposite side VS any proper Leica. Shooting this alongside any other of my Leicas was not a nice experience.

I liked it, loved it even, but in the end I sold it for a MO. Never regreted it, MP is a MP, more manly, smaller by a few mms (believe me, it’s noticeable).

Should have sold it today, not in 2011.
 

 

You rekindled an old thought to mine.  My first M was an M6 TTL 0.58 bought new in about 1999.  I remember being disappointed when I first removed it from the box and saw the silk-screened sticker on the shutter speed dial, instead of proper vintage Leica with engraved and enamel filled numbers.

Am I the only one who ever felt that?

Edited by Danner
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8 minutes ago, Danner said:

You rekindled an old thought to mine.  My first M was an TTL 0.58 bought new in about 1999.  I remember being disappointed when I first removed it from the box and saw the silk-screened sticker on the shutter speed dial, instead of proper vintage Leica engraved enamel.

Am I the only one who ever felt that?

Of course. The whole shutter speed dial is wrong, they could have done so much better. And that little hole, reminding you that it’s a click-on top

 

edit: typos

Edited by Capuccino-Muffin
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Let's distinguish between apples and oranges. The Millennium's dial is engraved. I guess I'm just not that picky about the fact that the top of the dial can be removed but everyone's different 🤷🏼‍♂️

 

On 1/20/2022 at 7:25 PM, Danner said:

My first M was an M6 TTL 0.58 bought new in about 1999.

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