mp vs m6

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bruce_erickson|1, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. I have a choice: To get a brand new Leica MP body only or get a mint-condition M6 body only (previously owned but apparently unused). Which is the better buy? I'll leave the meaning of "better" vague. What is the essential differences between these cameras? The MP body will cost a lot more of course. (I already own an M7 but it is has now been sent in for diagnosis and repair of a peculiar problem with the film advance lever). Please give me your considered advice. Thanks.
  2. Since you own an M7 I would also suggest considering an M6TTL. The shutter speed dial on these cameras are the same. On all the other cameras it rotates in the opposite direction.
    As for differences between the MP and M6, there are tons of threads on this site. I own an MP, it is great, but the M6 or M6TTL is a better buy (no instant depreciation).
  3. M6 is better value for money, it does everything an MP does, for a lot less. Having said that, if you have the money for an MP, it is more solid, has a better viewfinder, and a nicer feel to it. I have an MP, and would like an M6 as a second body.
    The direction the knob turns is a valid point, I would find it confusing to have two cameras which are pretty much the same, except for the shutter speed dial. Are you looking at an M6 'classic', or M6 TTL?
  4. I own a M6 0.72 classic, a M6 TTL 0.85 and a MP 0.72. I have only had the MP 2 months now. I have owned and used my M6 classic about 4 years. I do like a few things about my MP over my M6 classic, a direct comparison, and also over my M6 TTL.
    I find the MP's viewfinder a bit brighter than both my M6 and M6 TTL (with the 0.85 finder). This makes it easier and faster for me to focus. I have experience the flaring in my M6s viewfinder with direct lighting. So far I have not observed any flaring with my MP.
    I'm a left eyed shooter, so I find the shorter film advance lever of the MP easier to use. I also like its knurled tip compared to the plastic tip of my M6s. The MP's lever is easier for me to locate while looking at my subject compared to the M6s. I find the M6 levers lie flush with the hot shoe making it harder for me to extract it without looking.
    I find the knurled film rewind knob on the MP slower to use than the M6s but not difficult to use. Not that it really matters, but the film does not snap back into the roll with the MP compared to the M6s should you loose your grip while rewinding the film.
    The MP is supposed to have a quieter shutter than the M6s, but it sounds very close to my M6s to me. If anything, it seem to me that the shutter on my MP is slightly lower in pitch and just a wee bit quieter.
    You won't make a bad decision buying easier. The MP will just cost more (perhaps 3 to 4 times more). Good luck.
  5. I just noticed the other day the MP has the small shutter speed dial.... so I'm assuming the M6 ttl dial is actually easier to turn..
    At any rate, if you're looking at an M6, I'd get the ttl, not the earlier 'Classic.'
  6. Thanks guys. I did not know that there was a TTL vs Classic in the case of an M6 so I did not think to check. I only had a few minutes to examine the camera at the store. I do trust the salesman at this particular store. I am going back tomorrow and will make my decision then.l
  7. Buy the M6 and spend the remaining on a lens if possible. You cannot have too many lenses; unless of course you feel you have all you need at the moment then the MP is a good addition to your M7. I shot with my friend's MP and it feels only marginally more solid than any other M. The M3 and M4 is still my all time favorite; I prefer a simple frameline layout.
  8. What's the problem with the film advance lever? I had film advance problems two different times with my M7, just curious.
    M6 most cost effective, but the MP might be pretty cool. I never had any problem shifting between the different knobs. You adjust pretty quickly.
  9. I have an M6TTL plus a few lenses, and have hopes/aspirations to buy more lenses. The camera was bought s/hand, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Occasionally I muse that it would be good to have a new camera, either an M7 or MP, even though I can't really say what it would give me that the M6TTL doesn't. Then I look at the price of a new body and realise that it just doesn't make sense. If it came to a choice between, say, a new M7 and a new 24mm Elmarit (which are approximately the same money) I would take the lens.
    It seems to me that any decent-quality M body, new or s/hand, provides the essential 'M' experience. Yes, we discuss the relative advantages of one body against another but when we do so I think we magnify those differences beyond the reality. Get the M6 and use the money you've saved on a lens.
  10. I used to have an M2 with the old fashioned rewind knob like the MP. It was fine, but I'm just thinking right now for myself doing street most times I'm changing film I want to do it as fast as possible to get on to the next shot. In that respect the M6 is more practical.
  11. "I had film advance problems two different times with my M7, just curious."
    Barry, is that the Leica you took out into a sand storm?? :)
  12. The film advance becomes tighter and tighter as I get into the last half of a roll of (36 exposure) film. It is particularly noticable after frame 20. The expert at the camera store had not come across such a problem and couldn't explain it. So we sent the camera in for repair. Unfortunately the warranty expired a year ago. I have decided now to not get either an MP or an M6. (No, I'm not going digital.) Maybe I'll put a deposit on another M7 while it's still available. Despite the current problem with the film advance I really like the M7 and have no regrets.
  13. 'I shot with my friend's MP and it feels only marginally more solid than any other M.'
    Define solid.
    From the recently linked video of an M being made, most of the fine work done in Solms is related to the finder. The chassis is made in Portugal from shared parts, no doubt.
    My money would be directed toward an M6.
  14. With regards your M7, it sounds like the top of the camera has come loose, you can tell this by tapping the top plate, it should sound solid, but will sound a little hollow if loose, this eventually causes the tightening of the film advance lever as you progress through a film, it's just a matter of the repairer tightening the nut that holds the top plate down, I've had Leica uk do it while I waited, ten minutes max. One other consideration, if your going to have two bodies, having one with a different VF magnification, .58 or .85 is useful, this would mean either the MP or M6 TTL, it always seems like most users with a few different lenses with their M's tend to be weighted towards wider lenses rather than longer lenses, but it seems most people favour the .85 which I've never really understood. Anyway I've a .72 and a .58, if I had to keep just one it would be the .58, perfect for 21[at a push], 24, 35, works well with a 50, then you can attach the eye piece magnifier for 75 & 90.
  15. There are .58 M7's. Photo Village has it new. Not sure if what he has is new old stock, or if Leica is still making them.
  16. MP, MP, MP...I really love the MP. MP feels so solid, which I really like...
  17. Bruce -- FWIW I use an M7 and an M6TTL interchangeably -- by which I mean, I usually have to check to see what it says
    on the front. They are, to me, a damn near indistinguishable pair (if you exclude the M7's AE function, I mean).

    Maybe the differences between the M6TTL/M7 and the MP -- well rehearsed in this and endless other threads -- wouldn't
    bother you all that much, but on the other hand if you want to be able to work with two virtually indistinguishable cameras,
    then the M6TTL would be my choice. And again FWIW, both of my bodies are 0.58 finders.
  18. "The expert at the camera store had not come across such a problem and couldn't explain it."
    Anyone at Leica knows this problem, it is always a possibility on M4's, M6's and M7's - on any of the cameras with the offset rewind knobs. It may even be the reason why Leica went back to the slower, but more durable knurled knob of the MP - so food for thought for your next camera purchase.
    If the offset rewind knob gets knocked, and it can since it sticks out a little, it can bend the shaft that fits into the top of the film cassette. Depending on how much it has bent, it can cause the jamming you speak of, usually towards the end of the roll. It is a relatively expensive repair - over $500.
  19. I have a pair of M6TTLs (0.72 & 0.85) and a 52 year old Leica M3 Double Stroke. If I owned the M7 and was in the market for another M body, with the choice between a M6 and MP, and money really was not an issue, I would probably go for the MP. Having the 3 bodies I have, I do not feel like I’m missing anything by not having the MP, especially since my favorite is my M3, but if it wasn’t for the viewfinder flare of my 0.85 M6TTL, I would probably be putting it in front of the M3 DS. For some reason, my M6TTL, which I purchased as a demo model, is smoother and quieter than my M3 DS, and I had the M3 CLA’d about 2 years ago I reckon. The viewfinder flare, which is not that often, is the only thing that bothers me about using my M6. If you can swing the MP go for it, but the M6 is nothing to be embarrassed about owning.
  20. My cameras are for use, only wimps would not use their Leica's in a wind storm:) It's a solid camera, not a piece of jewlery. But no ill effects from that and I would do it again for the pics I got.
    No,when I 1st got the M7, the winder started gripping half-way into the roll, and then would lock up after almost seeming that the gears were stripped or something, and my top plate got loose. It was adjusted once, worked for about 3 rolls and started again. Took it back and the repair person said that when manufactored, one of the bearings was the "wrong one" in the advance mechinism. Ok, put the right bearing in, CLA'd and worked fine for a year, and then it happened again. So took it back and he had to repair the rewind, can't recall what the problem was, he said that the lube had worn out and that had worn the mechinism. Which is wierd since it was supposidly CLA'd a year or two before. but it's worked just fine since. For the past couple of years, and I think its solved. Is that what your problem sounded like?
  21. Have you not seen the reports torture is not needed to get pictures out of cameras? In fact studies have shown storing Leicas in China cabinets or jewelry drawers does not inhibit their functional capablities in any measurable way. I myself sleep with my Leica under my pillow.
    I must admit though that I once waterboarded a GRD. I sure do regret that day. Old Betsy never has been the same since.
  22. Sand storms are not torture as defined by legal opinions from Leica Attorney General E. Puts, if the camera is only exposed to sand in the lulls between blows. Its the threat and sensation of total sand blasting immersion that teases out the useful photographs.
  23. Besides, those wimpy GRD's will sing at even the thought of trouble.
  24. Bruce, check out the M6 TTL Millennium, a real favorite that truly has it all...
    Barry, sorry to say, but your tech should go back to selling used cars !
  25. I think I agree Gus..
  26. Using your left brain to determine which Leica is like analyzing who you should marry. You got to go with your gut instinct. Which one do you want at an emotional level? That's the one you should get. That's the one you'll use the most. If we were to be analytical about it, then none of us would probably shoot Leicas. If the MP is the way you go, look to the greys Tony Rose has out in california. They seem to be the best priced.
  27. Without an inkling of cost virtually impossible to tell the better deal. They're both good cameras with the M6 easier to rewind the film. also, M6 stretches from 1981 -1998 (or so), while the MP was offered in 2003 meaning the MP has far less mileage.
  28. Like Ray, I chose the M6 partly for the practicality of its transport mechanism. The admittedly more influential aspect was the price. I got it and a 35mm Cron v4 together for a great price. If I had tried putting together this combo separately I would've had to spend quite a bit more. I will eventually be getting an M3 and an M4 for sure and I also ponder the eventuality of an MP but I think that by the time I get around to buying one, there will be more of them on the used market and it will be a wiser (and more affordable) purchase.
    Like Tom Burke, if faced with a choice between another body or another lens, I'd almost certainly choose the lens. I don't think that the reported higher build quality of the MP nor its slightly brighter viewfinder is worth the approximate $2000 premium over a minty used body (with lens!). But that's just me at this point in time. Perhaps in a decade I will be able to afford a new Leica body (or two) without reservations.
    I also agree about listening to your gut, your visceral reaction to the tool you will be using. Many non-photogs have a hard time understanding why anyone would fret over such "small" differences in function and aesthetics but when you're out in the middle of shooting you want that proverbial extension of your body (and your mind) to respond instantly. This often has more to do with the human behind the camera and whether he/she truly accepts this tool, than with the tool itself. Happy shooting!
  29. "MP slightly brighter viewfinder"
    I would submit the MP finder IS slightly brighter AND less prone to flare. I shoot M7 (non-MP finder) and MP side by side, and I find the MP VF materially better. However, I wouldn't drop $200-250 to upgrade the M7. Works fine as it is.

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