LHSA M-6 TTL Black Paint Bodies

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by david_rosenthal|1, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Greetings to All!
    I have both a .72 and a .85 LHSA M-6 TTL. I'm considering doing the viewfinder upgrade to the M-7 or MP configuration. Two questions: 1. Would doing so interfere with the collector status of the bodies? 2. Which company would you recommend to do the work, i.e. Leica, DAG, Sherry K., etc. and what about the turn-around times and cost?
    Also would be interested in current value. Both bodies are users, in E+ condition or better.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. This is a rather sticky question. A century from now your upgrade might diminish the value of the cameras as a pure antiques. Today, all but the most stringent collectors would consider the upgrades value-enhancing, because it betters the performance of the cameras. It might even raise their value. Importantly, you are not making any surface changes.
    No one can see the upgrade itself, the addition of a condenser that used to be in Leicas until the latter run of M4-2s.
    Who should do it? Leica DAG and Sherry Krauter are all very good. Enquire to see who can spare the time.
  3. Hi Dave,
    I'm not a collector, but once purchased an M4-P (mainly because it was produced in Midland Ontario at a Leitz plant I respected) from a collector's estate and wrestled with using it or not for a year before deciding I was not a collector and it should be used. As your cameras are in Ex + shape or better and you use them, I don't think it would matter from a collector point of view whether they are modified or not. If this was the case of a collector "shelf camera" in LN condition, then I would think it would be best not to modify. Only question I would personally ask, though, is whether the modifications would significantly help in actual picture-making. I make no worse pix with my IIIf with squinty viewfinder than I do with the M4-P or M8, but then, in humility, maybe this is me (!).
  4. The modification will make no difference to the value, as it's below the surface.
  5. I doubt it would affect the value of the cameras at all (unless the camera is scratched/marred during the modification).
    As far as the value of a LHSA m6 ttl is concerned - I have seen them SELLING for between $1400 to $1900 for used models in excellent condition (notice the emphasis on "selling" - you often see them for sale for $2000+ but those rarely sell). As an example, I sold an excellent condition LHSA M6ttl w/ a .58x viewfinder several months ago for $1700 and I was thrilled to get that much (and the .58x is pretty rare). The problem from a collectible standpoint is: 1) they seem to have made a LOT of them, 2)The M6ttl is not a popular model amongst collectors, 3) As far as I know Leica never kept track of serial numbers for this model. So...if you are looking for a big return I wouldn't trip over myself trying to stock up on LHSA M6ttl leicas. On the other hand they are great bargains in the sense that for under $2000 you can buy a factory black paint leica.
  6. Now, if you had a black paint M6 Classic .58, then you would be talking. That would capture a nice bundle.
  7. Thanks everyone for your answers! I probably will do the modification at some point, but I'll only do one body at a time. Does anybody have an idea as to the cost?
    Arthur, I too don't buy things to leave them up on a shelf or in a sealed plastic wrapper.
    Dana, I only wished to have known of you prior to this...I could be in the market for the .58 in black paint, to complete the trilogy! You wouldn't be sitting on another one, eh?
    Having only ever used the TTL's, and not interested in the AE M-7 which is totally (almost) battery dependant, I actually like the lay-out of the big shutter speed wheel and since I use the meter, I feel that everything else is backwards, and the M-6 TTL got it right! Say what you want about the MP, but I don't like the rewind or the high price tag. I do like to use the black paint Leicavit on the black paint TTL's though!
    Keep the comments coming & thanks again!
  8. I sent mine to DAG. I don't remember how much it was so you'll have to ask him but I recall it was less than half of what Leica quoted me. As far as collector value, these LHSA bodies only sell for about five hundred dollars more than plain jane M6TTL's. I now use MPs' due to the brilliant finder. Getting the MP finder upgrade for your M6 doesn't get you the MP finder. The upgrade is just the addition of a condensor(?) and while there is a worthwhile improvement you are not getting the same finder that is in the MP. Again it is worth doing.
  9. If they're users to you, it won't make a big difference; the brassing will matter more. Personally, if they are users I would do it for the reduced flare. My M4-2 flares a bit but I like the uncluttered VF lines so no upgrade has been planned.
    If they're collector's items, there's no reason to upgrade as they're in the dark most of their lives.
  10. From a collector's point of view, any time you modify a camera, it changes the value, downward.

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