The Leica M6 Jubilee {M6J}

May 12, 2017  By William Royce

Figure 1

Figure 2

Recently, I was fortunate enough (at a very reasonable price) to acquire an M6J, serial number 1976-13, complete with a 50mm f2.8 collapsible Elmar lens (with matching serial number to the camera body), leather case, original box, manual and warranty card. Produced in 1994, it somehow survived 22+ years on a shelf somewhere, with only minor issues. After nervously opening the box and presentation case, I found the lens was perfect, with no haze or fungus. Both focusing and aperture controls are smooth. I needed to add a new friction liner to the lens cap, as the

original one was hardened by storage, preventing easy installation and removal. I also needed to brush off a minor haze on the leather case. Lastly, I discovered that the rubber non-slip shoulder pad for the leather neck strap was cracked from age. I have no plan to replace it. I have shot three rolls of film thus far. Based on the results, the lens, shutter, rangefinder and light meter

work flawlessly. This was the first film ever shot by this camera.

Figure 3






I have long admired this limited edition of the M6 due to its combination of the beautiful M3 design with the advantages of M6 features including the internal light meter, film loading and angled rewind knob.

A few more facts about the M6J:

  • 1,640 examples were made in commemoration of 40 years of Leica M production, 40 for each year. This may very well be the largest batch of commemorative special editions produced by Leica. I can only assume the extra 40 in the batch are for the year of introduction, 1994, since the math does not add up.
  • The .85 viewfinder is very uncluttered and only displays 35 + 135mm, 50mm and 90mm frame lines.
  • Like on the M6, the ISO control on the back of the camera must be set for the meter to work properly.
  • The M6J is capable of TTL flash control and has a hot shoe.
  • The 50mm Elmar-M f2.8 collapsible lens nicely matches the serial number and finish of the camera body. It differs from the “standard” 50mm Elmar by virtue of its focusing ring, which has a tab resembling infinity-lock types, and the “classic”-style base that includes the depth-of-field scale.

On the opposite page is a visual comparison to the M3, with a standard 50mm Elmar, showing a striking similarity in the bodies and the differences in the lenses. The tops of the bodies nearly match. Note the hot shoe on the M6J. (Figures 1 & 2)

Figure 4

The following content is accessible for members only, please sign in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Story
Testing the Leica M10 It’s always exciting when a new camera is announced, especially when it’s the signature camera from a legendary camera...