A brief introduction on Leica M6 HISTORICA e.V Edition, 1995 - MIR Image Library

I know whenever we relate Leica with user groups or association, Leica Historical Society of America ("LHSA") will immediately come into your mind. Basically, this has a lot to do with frequent activities LHSA held, in particularly with their own releases of very uniquely configured special editions of LEICA bodies/lenses. Further, LHSA has a 2,200-strong membership worldwide which acts as their backbone. LHSA had their first taste with a special issued of LEICA M6 in 1988 to commemorate their 20th Anniversary with a small quantity of black/chrome M6 LHSA 1968~1988 Edition. Towards the beginning of the '90 and all the way to discontinuation of the LEICA M6 Classic models in 1998, we have seen many variants and Special Releases of LEICA M6 for different purposes and/or events. But strictly speaking, special issuance of LEICA via photographic associations were rarer in numbers as compared to localized requests.
Leica M6 HISTORICA e.V Edition, 1995 for LEICA Historical Society of Germany 20th Anniversary

In 1994 and 1995 we have witnessed two consecutive special releases of LEICA M6 by another two major, influential photographic Associations in the photographic community, Royal Photographic Society "RPS" of Great Britain and followed by an edition issued by LEICA HISTORICA e.V, Deutschland (LHS Germany). The latter with their 1995's M6 release in a stunning color and presentation, is the subject of this site.

Site Progress Update
01.11.2008, 2nd. Draft w/ updated info by LEICA HISTORICA e.V.
LEICA HISTORICA e.V, Germany actually was founded back in 1975 at Wetzlar - once the homeland of Leica before moving its core operations to current premises at SOLMS; but their main centre of activities such as the biyearly regular meetings are held in Staufenberg. From the original 23 members when it was first founded, LEICA HISTORICA e.V currently has around 400+ active membership from throughout the globe. One of the publication, VIDOM is published b-annually. Annual new subscriptions of membership is growing primarily because it has opened up communications in multi-lingual via website, VIDOM and even some of their excellent internal publication LEICA HISTORICA magazine which started to incorporate English as supplementary medium.
Publication by  LEICA Historical Society of Germany 25 Jahre Leica HISTORICA LEICA HISTORICA e.V Germany publication

LEICA Historica e.V Publication

Publications by LEICA HISTORICA

* Geburtstage der Leitz Fotokonstruktionen ab 1927 by Wilhelm Albert

Hans-Günter Kisselbach

ERNST LEITZ WEGBEREITER DER LEICA Ein vorbildlicher Unternehmer und mutiger Demokrat; Herausgeber: Knut Kühn-Leitz

Deutsch/English, the rest are in German only.


Leica M6 HISTORICA e.V Edition, 1995 for LEICA Historical Society of Germany 20th Anniversary front view with Summicron-M 1:2/50mm  
Japanese publication with cover using the LEICA M6 HISTORICA Edition, 1995   Back in 1997, while I was in a local Japanese book store KINOKUNIYA @ KLCC / Twin Towers. I saw a Leica handbook with a very unusual LEICA M6 in blue leatherette and had bought it for reading reference as well as trying to find out its details.

Not knowing the cover featured camera has only a few short paragraph in its description written in Japanese and all the while I was still puzzled with its origin. That was my first encounter with this M6 Historica e.V Edition. This is exactly what I intend to convey - the M6 Historica e.V model has a very attractive exterior appearance and among the early LEICA M6 Special Editions released during the first quarter of '90, it was only comparable by the
LEICA M6 Colombo '92 which has a similar striking finishes.
LEICA HISTORICA e.V Germany (Leica Historical Society of Germany) pictures of M6 with two HISTORICA edition lenses
However, in terms of issued theme for this special M6 release, I would find the M6 Historica e.V carried a more meaningful purpose. In 1995, it was the 20th Anniversary in Establishment of the German Historical Society, one of the program to commemorate the event was a special edition of 150 units of LEICA M6 in a very distinctive fashion. The companion lens used was a LEICA SUMMICRON-M 1:2/50mm in silver chrome finish.

<<<--- There were some references that quoted the M6 Historical Edition was released with three lenses, SUMMICRON-M 1:2/35mm ASPH; SUMMICRON-M 1:2/50mm as well as APO-SUMMICRON-M 1:2/90mm ASPH each with special HISTORICA engraving. I seriously doubting existence of the 1995's original M6 HISTORICA edition camera which had such combination of optic as companion. The picture shown in LHS German site has two of these optic as you can see the engraving ends with year 2000+ (not clear but still be able to read the outlines). My basis for my remarks: Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 ASPH was first introduced in 1997; while the APO Summicron 90mm f/2.0 ASPH was first released in 1998. In 2005, the German Leica Historical Society was celebrating their 30th Anniversary, I am not sure if these marked lenses had anything to do with that special occasion.

I have written to LHS Germany to seek clarification on this specific topic and awaiting for more information and/reply.
LEICA HISTORICA e.V Germany had taken the liberty to provide a confirmation as followed:-

" .... Hello. Thank you very much for your email. We had Leica Company made:-  
150 units 1995 Special silver chrome Leica M6 model with turquoise leather in 1995, engraving "20 Jahre Leica Historica" on camera and lens. The lens was a Summicron-M 2/50 in silver chrome, with built-in sunshade.
75 units 2000 Special silver chrome TRI-Elmar-M 4/28-35-50 ASPH. in 2000, engraving "25 Jahre Leica Historica" on the lens.
40 units 2005 Special silver chrome LEICAVIT-M in 2005, engraving "30 Jahre Leica-Historica" on the front.

We have actually set our website bi-lingual (german and english) on all sub-pages. We thank you very much for your offer to set a link on your Leica site. Please kindly do send us the link to your site as soon as it will be online. We will have a look at it and then decide, if we will take advantage of your offer and permit a link to our site...".
kind regards
 L. Netopil, vice president
Leica Historica e.V. Web:-

The supplied information serves as an official guidence for all Leica collectors worldwide to refer to all the related special editions issued by LEICA HISTORICA e.V. Germany on THREE of their special occasions. i.e 20, 25 and 30 Jahre. Well, I may also have to update/correct some info appeared in this site.
Leica M6 HISTORICA e.V Edition, 1995 for LEICA Historical Society of Germany 20th Anniversary with wooden box and relevant documentations

Leica M6 HISTORICA e.V Edition logo (Leica Historical Society of Germany Logo)

Supplied with a lovely wood veneer presentation box, the cobalt blue (or turquoise) leatherette of the LEICA M6 HISTORICA e.V. Edition also has Special engraving at the top plate, each unit came w/S/N xxx-150 engraved at the top, center location. The 50mm 1:2 Summicron-M only has a silver chrome version and each lens has an additional matching serial number other than the Leica's own production S/N on both the camera as well as the 50/2. i.e. 37xxxxx-xxx-150. Other components with this edition include instruction booklet, warranty card, commemorative brochure and accessories, in maker's box

The Serial Number of the M6 HISTORICA Set was quite special, in order to match the serial number for each unit issued, the production Summicron-M has to jump in random sequence to match the code. I provided three known units that show: 1) Unit No. 049/150 body S/N 2175589 Lens: 3729049-049/150; 2) Unit No.118-150 Body LS/N: 2174922, Lens: 3729118-118/150; 3) Unit No. 136-150 LS/N 2175181, Lens: 3729136-136/150. The lens section were easier to understand (all started with 3729xxx) but when it come to the body serial number for each unit, then it is pretty difficult to get the right starting production number for this entire batch of 150 units.

Summicron-M 50mm with HISTORICAL 1975~1995 engraving f=provided by J-camera.korea
The silver chrome Summicron-M 1:2/50mm lens as stated above, came with matched serial codes. At the bottom section, it has additional special engraving of Leica (logo) with "HISTORICA 1975~1995".

Credit: Image courtesy of J-camera Korea®. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) applicable to this M6 Travelers Edition by Niels H. S. Nielsen

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Credit: Image 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.