A visual profile on Leica M6 Electronic Prototype rangefinder camera model in a hybrid design - MIR Image Library

LEICA M6 with an electronic shutter, 1981 prototype
Leica M6 'Electronic', 1981

Prototype M6 with electronic shutter, produced 1981 from a design of Peter Loseries, using the Minolta XD-7 main chassis including the Seiko-shutter, which was already used for the Leica R4. The mirror-reflex-housing and the penta prism was cut off, a M-rangefinder was built in. The result was a M-Leica with TTL meter and automatic exposure control. The camera could be used with data back and R4 motor drives. The so-called "M6 electronic" was finished by late 1981 and only four complete prototypes were produced.
   
None of these remained at Leica company and only two of them are known to exist. The M6 which finally went to production in 1984 was completely different from this first concept. The offered prototype is engraved with prototype number 12345678. It comes with prototype motor winder no. 000008 and a very unusual prototype Elmarit-M 2.8/28mm. This lens with prototype no. 5001632 has a very compact design and a built-in square hood. It was constructed by Rolf Crema - only two of these lenses were assembled. It never went in production. The outfit is in excellent condition and was never offered at an auction before. (no. 12345678, 1981). Overall, this hybrid LEICA camera has a mix of features of M6 (marking), R4 (electornic) but the exterior was more leaning towards the LEICA M5 appearance.
   
Front view of LEICA M6 electronic with ELMARIT-M 1:2.8/28mm lens incoporrated with an electronic shutter, 1981 prototype model
   
LEICA M4-style design in a LEICA M6 Prototype camera, 1981
   
Emarit-M 1:2.8/28mm mounted on a LEICA M6 prototype camera in 1981
   
Base plate, LEICA M6 prototype body with electronic shutter, 1981
This "hybrid" looking LEICA M6 Prototype was first surfaced in a Leicashop® moderated Live Auction a couple of years back and deeply nested in a the archive. It was quite fortunate that be able to find this exrremely rare camera. Sumilarly, the rarity of this M6 has an astonishing Auction start price of EURO 40,000-00 while the hammer price was quoted at EURO 60,000-00 !*

* NOTE;- Indicative price(s) herein is/are based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop ®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. All Images Copyright © 2008 belongs to respective contributors. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographers.

Cross Reference: LEICA M7 Prototype w/M6 body chassis in 2002

Part 1 - Leica M6 / Hedri Cartier-Bresson, 1998 | Part 2 - Leica M6 TTL William Klein, 2001 | Part 3 - Discussions & Speical S/N of M6
Part 4 - Leica M6 electronic prototype camera, 1981 | Part 5 - Early LEICA M6 Technical Application camera ETH.Z, 1987
Part 6 - Leica M7 Prototype w/M6 chassis, 2002 | Part 7 - Leica M6 TTL Vaclav Havel Presentation kit, 2000 (info only)
Part 8
- Leica M6 TTL Martin Luther King Jr., 2001 (info only)
Others:- a) M6 TTL NOMI Baumgartl / charity kit

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Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop ®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. All Images Copyright © 2008 belongs to respective contributors. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographers.