The Leica MP-6
The Leica MP was the pinnacle of Leica’s production capabilities and back in 2003 the classic camera was re-released for the discerning Leica photographer. A few special models were made and the MP-6 was one of them. And now I have one.
In 2003 Leica made the decision to bring back the classic Leica MP. The original MP was made in very limited numbers and now command incredibly high prices, making them way out of the range of anyone other than serious collectors. There are also plenty of fakes out there. But what about the regular people who want to shoot a beautifully made Leica camera but don’t want to sell their children into slavery? Well this is where the new version of the MP came in.
Beautifully made with either black paint or chrome versions they had an upgraded finder with a brighter rangefinder patch and a beautiful finish. A lot of the basic design of the camera harks back to the classic Leica’s of the past. The basic version of the camera comes with a ‘shark skin’ vulcanite and a simple Leica script on the top plate. But this is not a basic Mp, oh no, this one is the MP-6.
The MP-6 was made for the Japanese market only. It was basically the same as a regular MP, but it comes with the classic vulcanite leather found on the older Leica cameras, a Leica Camera AG Germany engraving on the top plate and on some of the later models an M6 iso selector. Although 400 were supposed to be made, poor demand meant that only around 250 made it out onto the market. I have hear rumours that there were about 10 of these made in chrome, but I have never seen one and I don’t know anyone who has.
These simple cosmetic differences may not sounds like much, but they really make a difference and are instantly noticeable. They set the camera apart from the regular MP.
There is no doubt that this is a stunningly beautiful camera, but it is still a camera. This is not one of my sale cameras, I actually bought this as my personal camera. Now now, I know I said that the M6 is the best camera that Leica made, and I still stand by that. The M6 is an outstanding camera for the money and gives entry level access to the world of Leica. But, I feel it is my duty as JapanCameraHunter to showcase what I can get, and I had the opportunity to have one of these incredible cameras, so I took it.
I have also come in for a bit of flak from people asking me why I am using this camera and not putting it in a box where it belongs. This is a camera and it needs to be used. I know it is a collectors item to some, but there are others out there that can be used for that. I want to use mine and use it for years. I want it to wear and brass, gain some character and show that it really belongs to me. It is a personal extension of my eye and I will use it until I can no longer use it.
I love this camera, it is extraordinarily capable and very easy to use, and it also looks stunning. It feels like I have a precision instrument in my hand and that makes me happy. I love the grip, the shape and the colour of the camera.
There are other MP-6’s out there and I know where a few of them are. If you would like one then let me know and I will find one for you, but be warned, they are not cheap, not at all. But then, a piece of Leica history wouldn’t be, would it?