The Leica MP-6


by Bellamy /

3 min read

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.

Updated *It now looks like this*

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?


17 comments on “The Leica MP-6”

    joe November 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm / Reply


    Martin November 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm / Reply

    Actually looks better than the regular MP…

    Andrew H November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm / Reply

    Yes, yes! Use the camera! Never mind the rarity, or the value, there are simply too many Leica lookers, when they should be users. It’s great that you are out there on the street with your beautiful M6-p, where it should be. Not in a display case…

    Jukka Watanen November 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm / Reply

    yes, use it. That´s the leica is made for. even the ORIGINAL MP, until some of the owners were too old to do that or were deceased. Then the MP just went astronomical. If I would still have mine, I would just do the same…

    Mike November 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm / Reply

    This camera is a beauty! The vulcanite leather fits perfectly and looks much better than the shark skin of the new mp.
    I would love to have one of these but I’m very happy with my M6 classic.
    Have a lot of fun with this masterpiece, jch! (@kashapero) November 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm / Reply

    Yes it is a beauty. Enjoy it, use it. brass it.

    ralph November 10, 2012 at 8:25 am / Reply

    beautiful camera! use it, it is what it is made for. Enjoy every moment

    ZDP-189 November 10, 2012 at 10:48 am / Reply

    Decide if you’re a photographer or a curator and use your cameras accordingly.

    Scott W November 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm / Reply

    Great camera! How can you tell a fake from a real Leica? Any tell tale signs to look out for?

    InFrame March 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm / Reply

    Nice choice Bellamy.. Great review too. :-)

    Eduardo October 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm / Reply

    Hi Bellamy, what hood is the one you use here with the 35/ 2 asph?



    Luocong November 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm / Reply

    A really beautiful camera! there is one on the way to me !Can’t waiting。。。

    hedreux December 5, 2016 at 5:01 am / Reply


    would like to have a hunt in the street with a MP-6 with exact same lens.
    could you find me the same pack ?


      Bellamy December 5, 2016 at 9:35 am /

      Yes, I can.
      Please send a request through the find me a camera page.

    Carlos August 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm / Reply

    Can you elaborate where the mechanical construction quality differences are between the different types of M? Not talking about features but material and architecture. I.e. brass, being nice coloured metal, is it really more reliable or just soft/smoother than steel, adjustable architecture versus fixed mounted architecture to a measured standard on built. ajustable better? why? Bronze better? why? What ages better and what keeps precision better? What model is not fully parts-serviceable anymore? Where would you go do CLA/Service on the older M (after warranty)? Leica? Selected Service people?

    I had my two M6 with Leica and they wanted to charge me their full market value for a service without having a defect, although the effective service would have costed 1/3 with Leica, but they wanted to do a full rebuilt-calibration test and adjustment the full program, as if it was getting full warranty for another few years (would not get it anyway), so I let them return it w/o service. Even my Leica-Gallery got upset with their handling of it.

    Now I want to understand the differences in the M series constructions to make an educated choice of staying or moving on.

    Leica even deemed my M240 as unrepairable after getting wet nearby (not under) an icelandic waterfall, collecting a lot of spray humidity (a weather-sealed camera! Well now I have proof, there’s no WS, WS is 99,9% marketing). Leica Gallery Service made them fix it to a considerable but reasonable cost.

    Result: Leica-Service = disconnected from reality, big company behaviour. Leica-Gallery-Service = very realistic, immensely supportive and engaged.

    Roberto Posa April 18, 2018 at 5:34 am / Reply

    could you still find one for me – I guess I can use my m-mount lenses from my m3 and m 240? looking very forward to hearing from you. BTW love your videos

    Jarrod June 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm / Reply

    In another article you state that the M6 is more reliable than the MP. Is that still the case or has Leica figured out how to match the reliability of their previous cameras? Have you had any problems with your beautiful MP-6?

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