A Visual Library on Leica M6 Colombo 1992 Special 500th Anniversary Edition rangefinder camera - Part II/IV for MIR Image Library


Sectional view of a Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition collectible rangefinder camera showing the lens mount interior

You might ask why I had still chosen Colombo '92 and not reverted back for another attempt on the Platinum plated M6 ? As I said, my first attempt was the Platinum M6, this had shown my personal acknowledgment that the camera had its own flavor with good collectible elements in it, and that it wouldn't be an investment mistake, either. Seemingly the Colombo '92 has a slight edge in few areas, perhaps adding the fact it has a very appealing nature. Well, probably if the M6 Platinum had used raw material in its construction, I would not have hesitated at all and would have gotten the M6 Platinum edition. I guess this has a lot to do with personal preferences in terms of choice between available options. When you look back to the early '90, if you had an itch to acquire something as investment and/or to satisfy a personal desire for a quality photographic imaging tool, there were not too many options which can bridge modern photography nature. Perhaps, if I hadn't been too defensive and only centered on investment nature, probably getting an original Leica MP would have been a better decision, since the entry price was not as high as today and the yield of return on investment could be more rewarding. Anyway, I was in my late 30-ies then, and considerably raw into the collectible Leica market as well as maintaining hard-core thinking of "camera must be for photography but not a commodity" kind of thought. Anyway, these are personal issues and could be too sentimental to talk about.

Special Series Number codes on the Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition Matching Serial Number found on the Matching Colombo '92 edition Summicron-M 50mm lens
The M6 Colombo '92 total issued quantity is exactly 200 units only. It has a very interesting and unique way in its S/N control system. At the accessory shoe, you will find a code, with each number engraved with an alphabet at the front, each numbered from 1~40. The corresponding 5-alphabets started with I, T, A, L, Y. (Italy). 5 (alphabet) x 40 units =200 total quantity. On top of that, it has a Leica production S/N as well. Similarly, the SUMMICRON-M 1:2/50mm also has two S/Ns, one is matched with the camera. e.g. Mine is A 08, see the lens's A 08 as well ?
The specially produced wooden walnut display camera case for the Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition collectible rangefinder camera Close up view of the crafted emblem and description found on the Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition collectible rangefinder camera

NOTE: The color of the walnut display box above shows more to its original colour while the photo shown at the right is off beat - due to shooting in a strong backlight.

A typical setup of a Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition collectible rangefinder camera with Summicron-M 1:2/50mm Colombo Edition in display wooden box
Each of the cameras came with a beautifully crafted walnut wooden display case with an engraved "500th Colombo '92 emblem and marked with "1492~1992 500' SCOPERTA DELL 'AMERICA, ITALIA" as well as Leica logo at the bottom. In order to preserve its collectable value, don't acquire a Colombo without 3 key components - camera/lens; the display box and the solid all metal body cap - regardless of how bad their condition is. Mine was a little damaged with the fragile corrugated container paper box that holds the camera in display order. In an ideal situation, papers and documentation are also useful, but not as important as these companion accessories (in particularly, the Summicron-M lens). As both the camera/lens have its its own identifications and no one will be that stupid to replicate them just in order to cheat.

Credit: Image of this M6 Colombo Y-07 courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The special manufactured solid, robust metal body cap with italian engraving for the Leica M6 Colombo '1992 camera The robust inner section of the metal body cap for Leica M6 Colombo '1992 camera
One unusual accessory that appeared together with the Leica M6 was a solid, chrome-plated metal body cap. It has the same 500 COLOMBO' 92 emblem and type face as crafted on the walnut/wooden display case except that it is printed on, not engraved. Apparently, the body cap was diecast out from a single piece of solid metal block. It is quite heavy, the front section looks chrome plated but the rear section with the inner parts retains its original grinding trails. The body cap is an essential component and almost like a companion accessory for the M6 Colombo '92 model.

To be honest with you, if not for this site the Leica M6 Colombo '92 will probably be still sitting in the glass window in my living room. I have not been actively engaged in photography for some time. When I moved in my current residence 8 years ago, the interior designer who was commissioned to renovate my residence has created a number of glass panels which I had some headache during the early stage, they were supposedly to be used to host some decorative items. I felt why don't I just kept a few of my collection of cameras instead. I have a few favorites which comprise of Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Leica - SLRs and rangefinder bodies. They made a good display set. These photos were taken this morning, funny enough though wife and daughter were not out shopping/school, I couldn't find a piece of white paper as background, but I managed to locate a black chocolate box with good texture, as well as the wrapping paper inside, so - these photos with the "funny" background were essentially these materials. I shot them on my balcony, almost at noon (watched live telecast on European Championship matches and couldn't wake up, hehe ..).

Leica M6 Chrome Colombo '92 Special 500th Anniversary Edition collectible rangefinder camera with Summicron-M 1:2/50mm Colombo Edition front high rsolution, quality Jpeg view

The emblem of Christopher Columbus 500th anniversary engraving on the Leica M6 Colombo Edition, 1992 The rear section, top panel  showing engraved Italian Polyphoto on the Leica M6, 1992
The camera body itself has two engravings. One at the left section of the top plate with the same engraving on the special metal body cap while another is located at the usual position on any standard Leica M6 where LEICA Camera GMBH, Germany is usually engraved; M6 Colombo '92 has these additional engraved: "EDIZIONE LIMITATA PER and followed by the name of the Italian dealer, Polyphoto S.P.A, ITALIA.

The Leica M6 Colombo '92 you see here has not been used at all. Sometimes, at times - I thought it is so wasteful and sinful for not using it for its intended purpose. Anyway, citing the lovely appearance when I had it 10+ years ago, I had bought the Leica M6/T as the working camera and have left this one untouched. The M6 Colombo '92 has every feature of the late series of basic Leica M6. Although M6 was not the first in the M-series that offered built-in metering capability, it has been further improved from the previous M5. When a lens is not mounted, you will find a circular silvery-white resin coated area on the first shutter curtain.

The SPD/SPC metering cell for the Leica M6 cameras
The circular spot is where Leica metering circuit takes light measurements. It measures reflective light through a picture taking lens via a single SPD (Silicon Photo Diode) metering cell that resides at the top right hand corner to provide the metering guide for photographer. If you wish to take a look at the meter cell, flip open the film back, with the camera set at "B" setting on the shutter speed ring fire away with a blank exposure. The Bulb setting locks the camera 2nd shutter curtain, tilt the camera slightly upwards and take a peek (from the rear section) - there you are.

Oh .. forgot to mentioned this, the front view of the M6 Colombo '91 shown above was with a hand grip attached. I have bought a few of these grips, silver chrome plated and black anodized versions to match each of my Leica. Chrome for chrome Leica bodies and black to match the black paint Leica models. I have forgotten their names and the source. These grips are handy, as they provide a very positive, firm grip of the camera body. Besides, the hand grip also can serve to protect the base plate from scratch and knock. It is not full length at the base section, as it leaves some space at the other end of the base section for photographer to reach for the locking nut at base plate for normal film changing procedure. When it is mounted with a matching colour Leica body, other than providing some practical application it was designed for, it does enhance looks of a Leica, too, doesn't it ? Note: LEICA subsequently introduced their own Hand grip for the M-series body later but I have not bought any of those.

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Main Index Page - Leica M6-series models / Main Index Page - Leica-M Series Rangefinder camera Models

Nomenclature / Main Reference Map applicable to Leica M6 Colombo '92:- Leica M6 Standard Model(s) except for the engravings and special leatherette
Instruction Manuals applicable to the Leica M6 Colombo '92:-
Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb)

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