The new M6 TTL

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by rowlett, Jul 21, 1999.

  1. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Looking for stories/experiences on using the new TTL version of the M6. Anything about the shutter speed dial, extra lights in the viewfinder, etc. Not going to write a check tomorrow, but ya never know.
     
  2. I have used an M6 TTL .85 since April this year. Previously I had
    used an M6 (.72 viewfinder) for about 5 years.

    <p>

    Observations, minor and major (actually only minor).

    <p>

    Ergonomics: My hands are small, and I swear that I can tell the
    difference of 2mm in the height of the camera. It feels and handles
    differently, gripped in my right hand. On balance (ha ha), it feels
    more secure in my grip than the older body. I tend to carry around my
    camera in my right hand rather than have it around my neck, and the
    old camera would cause my palm to cramp after a while. The bigger
    body seems to be more comfortable to hold. YMMV.

    <p>

    Viewfinder: I could swear, initially, that the viewfinder was darker.
    This may be a peripheral vision thing, as the new camera is black,
    and my old one was chrome, and the old camera probably reflected some
    peripheral highlights into my viewing eye causing an impression of
    brightness. I speculate. More likely, it is the increased
    magnification of the new finder. LUGers have reported the same
    phenomenon, and debated it, inconclusively, as they usually do :)

    <p>


    Focusing light/dot. The new camera has a bright red spot between the
    two familiar old arrow leds.

    <p>

    I was very skeptical of this addition before getting the camera, but
    it is a great improvement, in practice. The old system was less
    positive, as you sought to balance the meter out, judging relative
    brightness of the two opposed triangles. The new meter is much more
    positive. Exposure just 'snaps' in, when the red dot lights up, and
    this is a time saver. The overall picture taking routine is speeded
    up and is more fluid.

    <p>

    I'm not a flash user, so I can't comment on the TTL, save to say that
    it seems that

    <p>

    1) partial spot metering is not best suited for flash exposure
    2) 1/50 synch limits of course, daylight synch.
    3) Basically this feature is designed to add a low light fill-flash
    capability, or so it seems.
     
  3. I don't own an M6 TTL, but I've tried one out. FWIW here's my
    impressions:

    <p>

    It looks and feels larger than the M6. This is a step in the WRONG
    DIRECTION. I'm still always tempted to grab my IIIf instead of my M6
    because of its size. It seems silly to have made the M cameras larger,
    just for the sake of adding an obsolete flash technology.

    <p>

    The shutter speed dial is backward from every other camera I own, and
    every other camera that I've ever used. Because of this, I found the
    M6 TTL to be confusing, and slower to use. Maybe some folks will find
    this to be and improvement, but I think its silly.

    <p>

    I couldn't find anything about the M6 TTL that would make me want to
    upgrade. In fact, if I had to replace my M6 for some reason, I would
    most likely get another M6 (non-TTL), or maybe an M4.
     
  4. Oh yes, the shutter speed dial. Its easier to grip and turn, and
    offers less resistance. But the fact that it revolves the other way
    is no intuitive use with the meter, especially not if you are using
    an older M6 body as well. You are always going the wrong way on one
    or the other body. They should have left it as it was, but I vote yes
    for the larger size.

    <p>

    I agree with Joe, the M6, new or old is too large; quite a bit bigger
    than old manual compact SLRs such as the Nikon FM/FM2 or Olympus OMs,
    as measured from baseplate to top plate. The screwmount Leicas are
    more grippable for the same reason.

    <p>

    On balance, I agree with Joe on the TTL feature as well. Who really
    needed it?
     
  5. Oops, that should read "I vote yes for the larger sized shutter speed
    dial".
     
  6. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    I've gotten quite adept at turning the shutter dial of my M6 classic
    (and older M bodies) in the proper original direction. I'm afraid the
    new dial would only confuse me.
     
  7. I have been using the M6 TTL for the last three months and have found
    it to be very notional to use. I did not have the earlier version of
    the M6 so I do not have the problem with the shutter speed dial
    turning in the other direction. I did borrow the earlier version for
    a test and have found the new readout of the exposure in the view
    finder much easier to use with the dot in the center. The "off"
    position on the dial is a god send since I know I would have the
    problem of running the battery down. Currently the only lens I am
    using with it is the new 35mm f/2 ASPH Summicron and I can not say
    enough about how happy I am with it. The contrast is the traditional
    Summicron look and the lens is tack sharp. I would trade the body
    for an earlier m6 long before I would let go of this lens!
     
  8. The "Off" position isn't really much of a godsend. The M6 and M6 TTL
    are pretty much identical when it comes to turning off the meter. On
    both, the meter turns off when you release the shutter. On those rare
    occasions when you put the camera away with the shutter tensioned, you
    can set the shutter speed to "B" which, appropriately, turns off the
    meter.

    <p>

    So, what's the point of the "Off" position? I suppose it makes some
    potential buyers feel better. After all, a Hexar has an "Off"
    position, a G1/G2 has an "Off" position, automatic SLRs have an "Off"
    position.

    <p>

    It will also probably mislead a lot of people into thinking they need
    to turn the camera "off" every time that they put it away. This will
    make the M6 TTL slower to use.
     
  9. I have drained the battery once by putting my M6 back side down in the
    camera bag. The shutter release was pressed (but not released) by the
    camera bag insert and the shutter tensioned and not in 'B'.

    <p>

    A Lock is more desired to lock the shutter and meter and not using the
    'B' or 'OFF' to just turn off the meter. I consider this is the
    desgin flaw in Leica M6.
     
  10. Just a small additional note to say that on the TTL the "B"
    position does not turn off the meter. It turns off the display but the
    meter is still powered. I am afraid I cannot say why this is so just
    that it is so.
     
  11. I have a TTL .85x and I'm very pleased with it. However it was not my
    first choice. I tried to get a M6 HM but couldn't find one.
    Apparently Leica only made about 5,000 or so. I could of purchased a
    brand new M6 non TTL for $200 less than the newer model but in the
    end decided to go with the M6 TTL. I find the appearance of the non
    TTL M6 slightly more seductive but hey at the end of the day it's how
    the camera performs that counts. In this regard the newer TTL has
    some advantages as far as I can see. The exposure metering apparently
    is more senstive than the non TTL and I like the extra dot in the
    middle of the two triangles, which reduces reduces to just the dot
    when the exposure is right. The larger speed dial and the more
    logical way it turns are an improvement in my opinion. However I
    never used an older M6 'classic' for any length of time and I have
    sympathy for those that after many years of turning a shuuter speed
    dial one way would have to get used to turning it the other way.
    The dial and aperture ring now just turn in the direction of the
    pointed part of the triangle which points to the center of the
    screen, i.e. if the right triangle is glowing then the shutter speed
    and aperture ring are turned to the left. Sounds like no big deal,
    but it is very easy to use.
    I don't have any problems with the extra 2mm of height in the new
    body and my hands are very small, about the size of an average female.
    Mind you 2mm is not very much but it is noticeable appearance wise
    and the TTL model definately looks more square at the top than the
    M6 'classic'. I don't know whether I made the right the right choice
    as regards the 0.85x viewfinder but that's another issue.
    There is an excellent review on the new TTL at www.lhsa.org/ located
    in the Viewfinder section under 'featured articles from Viewfinder,
    volume 32 No.1, 1999' entitled "M6TTL-User Report by Tom Abrahams".
    Would I buy another TTL in preference to a non TTL version? The
    answer would have to be 'yes'.
     
  12. John, thanks for clarifying what "B" does on the M6 TTL. It makes
    sense, because the TTL flash still needs to work on the "B" setting,
    so the meter has to be on.

    <p>

    That still doesn't make the "Off" position a "feature". Its
    just something that the designers were forced to add, because they had
    to modify how "B" worked.

    <p>

    As a point of curiosity, what shutter speed fires when the dial is set
    to "Off"? Is is "B"?
     
  13. Yes Joe, the TTL fires 'Off' the same as 'B' i.e. the shutter stays
    open as long as the shutter release is depressed.
     
  14. This seems to be the oldest Leica M post in this site, just wanted to
    look back in prespective, how this place has been developed, in my
    own opinion this site is one of the best and most complete Leica
    encyclopedia ever.Cheers Tony.
     
  15. Hello Tony.

    <p>

    out of curiosity I also went to the oldest LEICA M site. This forum
    has soon reached post no. 1.000.

    <p>

    Nice record and thanks to you for your neverending effords with these
    strange creatures called Leicaphiles (or so).

    <p>

    Best wishes and good shooting
     
  16. Hi Tony! Good question. I have a TTL since a year and a half ago and
    am very happy about it. I like the dial direction and the fact that
    to turn it off I just have to think of closing the lid on my bottle of
    Tequila. I don't hate the OFF (as most non-TTL-classicists do) and I
    usually never turn to OFF anyways (except when I shove it into the
    bag). Don't know if I could ever get used to having to deal with two
    different dial directions on two different Ms. I've spent a lot of
    time looking at everything that all M2s, M3s, and M4s have. I like the
    fact that some of these have a self-timer. If I buy a second M, I'm
    getting more and more sure that it will be a second TTL (this time in
    chrome instead of black). That's all.

    <p>

    If you spend as long to find out what you will always love -- as I do
    -- then you'll end up being as happy as I am (I think).
     

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