How to tell if a M6 is Wetzlar?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Frank Petronio, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    How do tell if a M6 Classic is a Wetzlar body or not?

    Is the serial number on the flash shoe? Isn't that a stupid place to put it, as it is a part that could be changed out?

    danke
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    The camera body will have Made in Germany so the camera must have been made in Wetzlar and the latest models in Solms.

    Hans
     
  3. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Frank,
    You want me to ask on photo.net for you? :smile:

    Won't it say "made in Germany" and have a "Leitz" instead of "Leica" on the red dot?
     
  4. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    The Solms-made M6's also say "Made In Germany".

    But the Solms M6's say "Leica Camera" or "Leica Camera GMBH" on the back along with the "Made In Germany". I presume the Wetzler cameras would have "Leitz" instead of "Leica".

    Serial number is on the accessory shoe for all.

    The shoe does seem like a dumb place to put it, now that you mention it.
     
  5. eric

    eric Member

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    Sorry, I'm Leica disadvantage. What's the difference between Weitzlar and made somewhere else?
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Not much. Some people think the Wetzler-built Leicas were better than those made in Canada and the later ones made in Solms. The Wetzler models might have more value to some collectors.

    Personally, I just like to use the silly things. As long as they work properly, I don't care where they're made.
     
  7. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Mine was made by Elves in the Black Forrest.
     
  8. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    I have a whole list of aliases for PN. Didn't you know that l was •[•Z and Jay at the same time???
     
  9. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I don't see what difference that this make unless you are a die-hard collector.
     
  10. skahde

    skahde Member

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    If it was made in Wetzlar it will have a promiment engraving on top "Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH" like in this picture http://i10.ebayimg.com/01/i/04/42/a5/81_1_b.JPG and the logo will say "Leitz". Solms-Leicas have plain tops and the logo will say "Leica". If I were you I would choose a Solms-M6 over a Wetzlar-M6 any time as the former have updated electronics which have some weakpoints eliminated and their reliability enhanced. Furthermore, the sensitivity is 2 stops higher than in the Wetzlar M6 further enhacing your available-darkness capabilities. It is said that some parts are made from lesser materials (die-cast non-adjustable instead of brass multi-part adjustable) but honestly, as a user, I don't care. I would suggest that collectors should stick to their M2s M3s, M4s and M5s and leave alone that humble, modern M6.
     
  11. Ben Z

    Ben Z Member

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    The last answer was the closest to being correct. The Wetzlar M6 is indeed clearly engraved as such on the top plate, near the back edge above the eyepiece. If it has never been serviced by Leica, it may also very well have a "Leitz" in the red logo. If it has been serviced, it will have a Leica dot. If it's very early, it may also have no strap rub guards and will have a metal eyepiece rim.

    The Wetzlar M6 had a different meter circuit, which had a shorter cut-off time and both red lights go out if the lenscap is left on. At some point (actually past the Wetzlar-engraved ones) the cut-off time was increased and one triangle made to blink as a warning if the cap was left on. According to Leica, Kinderman, and DAG it is not true that those early meters are failing more than the later ones. And it is definitely not true that the later ones are 2 stops more sensitive. That change occured with the M6TTL.

    There were changes made throughout the M6 Classic, generally attributed to cost-cutting. The most notorious is the plastic film counter. According to DAG, at some point Leica started putting in a reverse-threaded screw in the plastic counter which solves the resetting problem, and this is retrofitted to those which fail. Once done they are as reliable as the older type. IMO not all changes were for the worse. The early M6s have felt light traps around the shutter opening which can be more problematic than the folded mylar strips in later ones. Strap lugs of early M6s are set with a single rivet, which if the lug is twisted can come loose. Later ones are attached with 2 screws from inside, which prevents rotation. Other changes were mostly cosmetic.

    I have 2 M6 Classics. One is a Wetzlar, which came to me already overhauled by Leica. It has the later meter circuit, a Leica logo, and a new body covering (without the "Made In Germany" emboss). My other one is a very late (2,4xx,xxx) model, which some silly guy had blacked out all the white engravings on the front, and I had to remove the black marker and repaint the white engravings. Both cameras work flawlessly and each cost me less than $900 within the last year because of slight cosmetic imperfections. Finding the second one prompted me to sell my MP, which had begun to brass and which I had to seal up the eyepiece because there was a huge gap under it. I ended up with 2 M6 bodies and about $200 in change from the MP sale. And even if these M6s ever need a DAG overhaul, I could still break even if I sold them. And I don't have to concern myself with getting a few scratches on them because someone else already did it for me : )
     
  12. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    I'm quite happy with what turns out to be a Wetzlar M6, if it really matters at all, for $925. I got a VC 40/1.4 because it seems like a lot of lens for the money, but frankly, the lack of accurate framelines means that I will probably save up for a 35 Summilux for the future.

    It is good to be back in the "fold". I am probably going to sell the Hexar Stealth and Leica III and Elmar (black and nickel) shortly, as I need to rob Peter to pay Paul. I can get my AF jollies with my digital, and while the nickel Leica is a joy to hold, it simply doesn't allow me to shoot very effectively. I'll probably dump one of my D70 bodies too, so if anyone with a 35 'lux needs anything mentioned, get in touch. Cheers.
     
  13. skahde

    skahde Member

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    "And it is definitely not true that the later ones are 2 stops more sensitive. That change occured with the M6TTL."

    You got me on this one: It's a one stop difference not two stops. This information is from Leica-Literature picked up in a local store in 1988 and 1996 about the then current M6 and there is a 1-stop difference between the numbers given (EV 0-20 vs. -1-20).

    This is also confirmed in an older thread in the LUG-archives. Well, maybe coincidence... http://leica-users.org/leica-users/v26/msg05808.html

    If the circuits in your Wetzlar-M6 have been updated the sensitivity of both meters, Wetzlar or not, will be identical of course.

    best

    Stefan
     
  14. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Here's a longer thread on the Leica Forum that arose because of the change in meter sensitivity of the classic M6.

    Best,
    Helen
    PS Why on earth is EV used to describe the sensitivity of a working aperture TTL meter?