Leica M6 Classic vs. TTL
Old 05-23-2019   #1
jrose125
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Leica M6 Classic vs. TTL

Good Morning Ladies and Gents!

I recently got it into my head after playing around with a friends camera that I absolutely needed to buy myself a Leica M6 TTL. I sold off my M3 along with a substantial Hasselblad kit to scrounge up the money when I realized that the slightly older M6 "classic" was quite a bit cheaper than the newer TTL model.

My question to the Leica guru's out there is this:

Is there any real reason to buy a TTL over a Classic?


I should say that either way the M6 is my endgame and I plan on keeping it long-term. I will say that I am leaning toward a TTL because of the larger, easier to use at eye-level shutter dial and also simply for the fact that the TTL is newer.

Can somebody convince me one way or another before I go crazy mulling over the details?
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Old 05-23-2019   #2
james.liam
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Are you planning on using a flash?
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Old 05-23-2019   #3
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Besides flash.... The TTL does have a bigger shutter speed dial... which the classic doesn't... Makes it easier to change shutter speeds with your index finger.... Wish I had gotten the TTL instead of the classic for that one reason...
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M6TTL vs M6
Old 05-23-2019   #4
Tom R
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M6TTL vs M6

From what I understand, the circuit boards for these meters are no longer manufactured by Leica. Moreover, I don't know how many strobes actually communicate with the M6TTL.

That being said, I have never seen any real advantage of TTL versus learning how to use a hand-held meter--which suggests that given these two options, I would choose the body that has the fewest mechanical challenges, if that could be determined.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 05-23-2019   #5
rolfe
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The TTL only does TTL flash with a small Leica flash or several compatible Metz models. It is a couple of mm taller, and the shutter speed dial turns "backwards" if you're used to the M2, M3, M4 and M6 dials.

So, the short answer is "no".

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Old 05-23-2019   #6
presspass
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I have both and use them interchangeably. The TTLs have had more recent CLAs than the classics so they are a bit quieter. The meter display is different. The classic has the two arrows; when both are lit, the meter says the exposure is correct. The TTL has two arrows and a center dot. When the dot is illuminated, the exposure is correct. It will also light the dot and either the underexposure or overexposure arrow; that indicates a half stop either over or under, so it is a bit more precise. In use, once you've become accustomed to the way the meter reads, there is no major difference. Both cameras will operate without batteries - only the meter fails to work - but the TTL will not fire any flash if the battery is exhausted. If for some reason you decide to use a Visoflex, only the III will work with the TTL - the body is just a bit taller than the 2, 3, 4, and 6. The Visoflex 11 will work with those models as well.
The TTL was also available with the .58, .72, and .85 viewfinders. The classic is typically a .72 viewfinder; there were .85 models made but they are rare and expensive.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-23-2019   #7
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TTL's shutter dial turns in direction that corresponds with the light meters LED.

That is all.
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Old 05-23-2019   #8
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I recommend the classic M6. I've got a black M6 from 1986, on which to quote Monty Python "even the white bits are black". It's a lovely smooth and quiet camera to use, even in comparison to my M2 and M3 previously owned, but sold. My other black Leica sneaked into the shot. John Mc
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Old 05-23-2019   #9
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One thing that is worth mentioning is the rangefinder patch glare. I have owned two M6 TTLs, both of which I had to have the MP optics installed on them due to the factory RF patch becoming unfocusable in certain lighting situations due to the glare. If someone can confirm M6 classic doesn't have this, this would be reason enough to go the classic route.
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Old 05-23-2019   #10
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My M6 classic (.72) does flare in some against-the-light situations, but I can work around it by moving my eye slightly. So, it doesn't lose the patch altogether. It serves as a warning to check that the front of the lens is shaded in that lighting. John Mc
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Old 05-23-2019   #11
Peter Wijninga
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My two cents...the TTL is younger than the Classic. My TTL was was made in 2000 and works like a charm.
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Old 05-23-2019   #12
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I own a TTL, but just because it had a 0.85x finder. I would buy a M6 classic otherwise.

The bigger front facing shutter wheel is a bonus because you can change speed easily with your index finger while looking at the light meter leds in viewfinder.
But it may be difficult to fix the electronics in future.
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Old 05-23-2019   #13
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I have had my TTL since new. I chose it because it was a little discounted at the time.

It has never been serviced, it always works, beyond that there is little to add.
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Old 05-23-2019   #14
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The TTL was the last "new" body I purchased. The early ones just ate batteries but that should have been corrected by now. And it was barely mentioned that the TTL is 2mm higher then the "classic". That is important if you want to use classic items like the visoflex and I believe the "googled" lenses-they will not fit.

I see the TTL demands higher prices probably because they are a couple years newer. Your choice but I would get the "classic".
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Old 05-23-2019   #15
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Owning a TTL, I would purchase a classic. Batteries and circuit board are required to operate the flash on the TTL -- unlike other cameras where it just shorts the hot shoe to fire the attached flash. I was out shooting, my strap broke and dropped my TTL about 10 feet onto concrete awhile back. It continued to shoot fine, but it was enough to destroy the circuit board and now the flash/meter no longer works. This would not have been the case with any other M camera. I'll be purchasing an M-A body in the near future since it does not have this design flaw and there is no reason to have a meter anyways in an era of phone-based spot meters or simple light meters that are more accurate in your pocket.
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Old 05-23-2019   #16
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The googled lenses do work on the TTL. I use a 135 2.8 on my TTLs regularly with no problem. I have never tried the dual range Summicron or the wide angles made for the M3, but I cannot see why they, too, wouldn't work.
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Old 05-23-2019   #17
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The rf patch flare on the M6 would make me choose the TTL.
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Old 05-23-2019   #18
mpaniagua
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They are both old by now so that wouldn't be an argument for me.

I would say matter of taste. I enjoy the Classic and it has never let me down, although I agree that speed dial is nicer on the TTL. If you change your shutter speed often it may worth it. TTL flash functionality is not worth paying for, IMHO.


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Old 05-23-2019   #19
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Can´t remember that I have ever used a flash on my M6.
So why pay more money for a bigger camera?
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Old 05-23-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckuwajima View Post
I own a TTL, but just because it had a 0.85x finder. I would buy a M6 classic otherwise.

The bigger front facing shutter wheel is a bonus because you can change speed easily with your index finger while looking at the light meter leds in viewfinder.
But it may be difficult to fix the electronics in future.
I have a Classic with 0.85 finder. I do not use flash with RF cameras. Therefore, I never looked to get a TTL version of the M6.
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Old 05-23-2019   #21
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If you use flash - TTL
Otherwise the Classic is the camera to get. The big speed dial of the TTL imo disturbs the design of the camera - it is a foreign body. Sorry.
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Old 05-23-2019   #22
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Pass on the M6s' and get the MP. It's basically an M6 Classic but has a flare free viewfinder, better shutter seals and a brass top plate. Having owned both the original M6 and two TTL's they are both fine cameras but the Classic's are between 25 and 35 years old and will probably need service. TTL production stopped in 2002 and even in pristine shape they will most likely need a CLA. Good luck with your search.
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Old 05-23-2019   #23
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In my experience M Leicas don‘t need periodical service. I‘d get the Classic from about 92‘ - no more Leitz and relatively recent.
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Old 05-23-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
The rf patch flare on the M6 would make me choose the TTL.
The TTL has the same viewfinder/rangefinder design and flares the same as the M6 classic. The MP upgrade can be installed in both and helps, but is nowhere near as good as an M4 or earlier vf/rf with the condensor lens.

The 0.85 viewfinders flare worse than the 0.72 and 0.58 viewfinders, too.

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Old 05-23-2019   #25
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Battery life on the original M6 is longer.
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Old 05-23-2019   #26
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The TTL circuit board is no longer manufactured and is very difficult if not impossible to repair when it fails.

The original M6 has a far simpler circuit board, most likely the same as the MP, and does not suffer from this type of terminal failure.

For my money, I would get the original M6. In fact if I didn’t already have an MP and wanted a metered M, the M6 would be my choice.

Good luck.

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Old 05-24-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrose125 View Post
Good Morning Ladies and Gents!

My question to the Leica guru's out there is this:

Is there any real reason to buy a TTL over a Classic?

The TTL is the cheapest way into a 0.58x finder M, which, if you are into shooting 35mm lenses on your Leica, is a significantly better shooting experience than any other finder.

Some of the concerns mentioned in this thread are legitimate concerns, like:
  • No flash when your batteries die
  • Rangefinder patch can flare more than an MP
  • Leica won't repair a broken TTL meter circuit board

But in the big picture these are not deal breakers, and if you shop around you will see the TTL still holds its value well because, it is a great camera.

Some things to keep in mind for the above concerns are:
  • Its easy to carry spare batteries
  • The 0.58x finder is the least flare prone of the M6 finders, and if you are worried about it you can have a technician install anti flare optics.
  • Take reasonable care of your camera by not dropping it, using it regularly, and if storing it, store it properly.
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Old 05-24-2019   #28
Peter Wijninga
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Well, at my age I find the large speed dial quite comforting.
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Old 05-24-2019   #29
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I like them both , but I went for the TTL , partly because when I bought it in 2000 , I couldn't find a new classic easily .I prefer the metering layout of the TTL and the fact that it turns the same way of the arrows of the meter . If you consider to pair with a digital M in the future, a TTL is a better choice (imo), because of the same direction of the wheel . If you pair it with an older M or a Nikon F series , a classic is better for the same reason .
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Old 05-24-2019   #30
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also : the meter is a bit more sensitive in low light.
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Old 05-24-2019   #31
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Mine is a 0.85 Classic, just returned from a CLA & RF optics upgrade with Leica NJ (5 week turnaround!!!).

No TTL? Dial going the other direction? Different LED layout? 2mm shorter?
Details that do not matter to most.

I'd rather spend the extra money on more Ektachrome or a better film scanner.
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Old 05-24-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrose125 View Post
Is there any real reason to buy a TTL over a Classic?
When I was looking for an M6, I did not really care about the minor differences between the TTL and the Classic. However, when I saw the Titanium version, which was only in the Classic version, I knew that was the one I wanted.


Leica M6 by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 05-24-2019   #33
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Metered M? Consider the M5.
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Old 05-24-2019   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
When I was looking for an M6, I did not really care about the minor differences between the TTL and the Classic. However, when I saw the Titanium version, which was only in the Classic version, I knew that was the one I wanted.


Leica M6 by Narsuitus, on Flickr

I'm with you on that.


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Old 05-24-2019   #35
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I found that using a flash with TTL was easily fooled, giving me the wrong exposure. Of course, with my business, I only used digital capture so I could see results right away. I used the histogram to determine proper exposure as the image on the LCD screen wasn’t accurate enough for me. I went to my old trusty method, camera in manual mode and flash in manual mode. I did use Quantum flashes off camera with Pocket Wizard devices to fire them. I had great control of light as I believe it’s one of the very important ingredients for photography.

With film you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s developed. As I recall when I was film based I usually kept the camera and flash at one setting with film latitude taking up most of the difference. I would adjest the fstop depending on distance and what is photographed.
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Old 05-24-2019   #36
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If memory serves me right, you can get the M6 ttl's with the o.58 and 0.85 viewfinders, which you can't get in the standard every day M6's.
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Old 05-24-2019   #37
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Quote:
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If memory serves me right, you can get the M6 ttl's with the o.58 and 0.85 viewfinders, which you can't get in the standard every day M6's.
Ten years after the introduction of the M6, it was offered in a 0.85x version (1994).
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Old 05-24-2019   #38
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Quote:
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also : the meter is a bit more sensitive in low light.
My experience as well - perhaps one to two additional stops.
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Old 05-24-2019   #39
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The TTL circuit board is no longer manufactured and is very difficult if not impossible to repair when it fails.

The original M6 has a far simpler circuit board, most likely the same as the MP, and does not suffer from this type of terminal failure.

For my money, I would get the original M6. In fact if I didn’t already have an MP and wanted a metered M, the M6 would be my choice.

Good luck.

Cheers,

J
Here is a thread referencing the issue with the TTL light meter circuit board.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic...ot-even-leica/
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Old 05-24-2019   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mute-on View Post
The TTL circuit board is no longer manufactured and is very difficult if not impossible to repair when it fails.

The original M6 has a far simpler circuit board, most likely the same as the MP, and does not suffer from this type of terminal failure.

For my money, I would get the original M6. In fact if I didn’t already have an MP and wanted a metered M, the M6 would be my choice.

Good luck.

Cheers,

J
Here is a thread referencing the issue with the TTL light meter circuit board.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic...ot-even-leica/
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