A visual library on Leica M6 Special Small Volume Edition rangefinder camera models - Index page


Leica & Photographers Leica had its root started from Optisches Institute in a German town of Wetzlar in 1849. Development of LEICA cameras, from Anastigmat Leica 1 in 1925, standardized screw mount period in 1931 and all the way to introduction of Leica Bayonet-M mount with debut of the Leica M3 during Cologne Photokina in 1954; compactness, quality and dependability has always been Leica's hallmark. During the early days, compact cameras indirectly had freed users from cumbersome setup for large format shootings, offered an absolute advantages like enabling photographers to take several pictures in a row without changing film, which broaden the scope of their subject matter considerably and quickly. The Leica camera was soon embraced by photographers around the world and greatly enhanced their ability to capture the world on film.

Powerful visual and
Memorable works of LEICA photographers:

Eddie Adams
, Police chief of Saigon shoots a suspected Vietcong, February 1968
Robert Capa/Magnum
, Death of a loyalist, Spain, 1936
Jevgeni Khaldej/Magnum
, Russian soldiers raise the Soviet flag
atop the Reichstag building in Berlin, 2 May 1945

Frieder Blickle/Bilderberg
, Fashion in Madrid by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, 1985

Download a copy of LEICA System Brochure (2 MB PDF File) which contains these POWERFUL images as well as many others in a very well designed print media layout.

For selected works of another Leica legend, Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum:-
Tastefully done youtube Video Presentations:
Part One | Part Two


Postwar Germany during the 1920s became the center of a new, dynamic style of photography due to availability of compact cameras. It was with its own strength in a Leica as well as less competitions faced before the WWII, Leica literally had the compact 35mm format camera market in total control. Further, the German optical Company had been blessed in its association with a long lists of photographic legends such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa (both were co-founders of the world's most celebrated picture agency, Magnum); Margaret Bourke White, Eugene Smith, Erich Salomon, Alfred Eiseinstaedt, Charles Lindberghm, Nick Ut ( AP), Elliott Erwit (Magnum) etc. who were all loyal Leica users. During the WWII, flexibility, mobility and reliability had Leica cameras being widely chosen by news photographers to cover major events and happenings during war. In a way, Leica partly had instrumental in the development of modern photojournalism. Probably with general belief quietness in operation in Leica rangefinder camera offers as a superior tool for photojournalism. As a matter of fact, all these years these had partly helped Leica to weather constant threat of single-lens reflex cameras as well as fencing fierce competitions arose from the orient. However, it was a wrong perception to relate LEICA only within famous icons in the medium, as quality and dependability had Leica spreading a wide acceptance to professional and amateur photographers as well as artists to choose Leica cameras as personal imaging tool. It has been behind in the capture of some of the 20th century's most memorable images.

NOTE: - This section is not all about Leica photographers, it is an integrated part of the LEICA M6 series rangefinder camera website. Over the years there were some special edition LEICA cameras that were being issued in very small quantity to either offered as corporate present or to commemorate a special event and/or simply issued with some purposeful background in their respective releases. However, as they were only being issued in very small quantity and it is hard to provide a dedicated section for each of them (as well as lack of resources in the said special issued camera body to begin a featured section). I do know the Network lacks many of these information and here I am just using my own way to acquire related information and complied them orderly for future references. As these special edition Leica bodies may be issued once for specific event and when it reaches the hands of collector(s), info seekers or new crop of Leica enthusiasts may not be having the chance to witness them as these could never be having a chance resurface again. Similarly, any news archive or reports in media house or publishers may also delete old archive to free rooms as storage for newer events, all these related information could be vanish forever from the Network. So, I think it is rightful to take advantage that they are still available and compiled them orderly for future researchers or whoever that may be having the same objective to have a proper route to trace or track all these Leica special edition models.

LEICA M6 Platinum,
Louis Vuitton / Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908~2004) 22-8-1908* , 1998

Henri Cartier-Bresson, co-founder of Magnum, who had long been a Leica user and probably can referred as the most famous Leica photographer among the pack. In 1932, at the age of twenty-four, he acquired a hand held Leica camera and had turned previously casual interest into passion. Years that followed, he had created some of the most original and influential bodies of work in modern days photography with his Leica. The new-found style in his photographic approach, often works around anonymous portraits of ordinary people has cast a long, influence in particular to photojournalism. Recalling the beginning of his career, in an introductory essay for his 1952 collection The Decisive Moment, Cartier-Bresson would recall: 'I worked with enjoyment. I had just discovered the Leica. It became the extension of my eye, and I have never been separated from it since I found it.' . The "decisive moment" -style he originated is best represented via his signature photograph which freezes a leaping man a millisecond before his foot splashes down in a huge puddle at a railroad track in Paris, 1932. Today, Henri Cartier-Bressonís works are in the collections of museums, private art collectors throughout the world.

Signatured Photo of Decision moement, Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo LINK to www.magnumphotos.com Kids, Siville, Spain, LINK to Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo www.magnumphotos.com Street & cyclist, Paris LINK to Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo www.magnumphotos.com
India, LINK to Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo www.magnumphotos.com Mad rush Q for gold, China, LINK to Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo www.magnumphotos.com

All Photos © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photo | H.C.B. Portfolio at MAGNUM Photos

In 1998, Leica AG in conjunction with Louis Vuitton Malletier, Paris had worked together tailored designed a very unique and distinctive LEICA M6 with presentation and carrying case in original Louis Vuitton style and design. The camera has its top. base plate and fittings Platinum plated and leather work was using calfskin leatherette and in a most unusual manner , had engraved facsimile signature of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The back has "LEICA CAMERA, LOUIS VUITTON & HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON" engraved; the with usual "LEICA CAMERA. MADE IN GERMANY" was engraved at the base plate. The matching lens used was a Leica platinum-plated barrel , collapsible Elmar-M f/2.8 50mm. lens with special issused Serial no. 22-8-1908*. It was supplied wit with front and rear caps, as well as a full leather presentation case (The case was a specially commissioned Louis Vuitton, Paris designed presentation case, the exterior of the case came with LV monogram fabric and brass fittings, the interior removable tray with applied leather panel stamped LEICA CAMERA, LOUIS VUITTON. HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON FOR "LES PETITS FRèRES DES PAUVRES", strap, brass keys and fob, removable fitted presentation camera tray and certificate of authenticity, the case in a black leather and fabric outer protective case, in a Leica box).

Leica M6 Cartier-Bresson 22-8-1908 w/LOUIS Vuitton outfit, auctioned by Christie's Auction
One unique highlight of this special edition is, for the first time Henri Cartier-Bresson, arguably the twentieth century's greatest photographer, and a leading Leica user, has agreed to endorse the camera and has allowed his signature to be engraved on a camera. One of the main reason is, the edition set is being offered at Christie's South Kensington auction with the proceeds being donated by Leica and Louis Vuitton to the French international charity les petits frères des Pauvres.

* Both camera and lens both carry the serial number 22-08-1908 which is the birth date of Cartier-Bresson. The special presentation case has been designed and made by craftsmen within Louis Vuitton's workshops. The one-off designed case by Loius Vuitton will display the camera for exhibition and protect it during transit. It also contains storage space for the key fob and certificate of authenticity.

Leica logo link to Leica AG
Christie's Auction corporate logo link to Christie's Website

Louis Vuitton logo link to Louis Vuitton site

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Christie's Auction ®, who runs a every popular Christie's Online Auction Services. (Actual Lot 8021) Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

According to the auction literature, its states" .. Leica, as a camera manufacturer since 1925, and Louis Vuitton, as a maker of fine custom-built luggage since 1854, have unsurpassed reputations for the quality of their products and this camera and case mark a high-point for both firms. The camera and case are unique and no further examples will be made - making this an exceptional opportunity to acquire the ultimate Leica collectable, while at the same time benefiting a charity that works in Europe and the Americas to combat the isolation and exclusion of the under-priviledged. The charity has used photography and its own Paris gallery to raise funds and the auction of this camera is an extension of this...".

This Christie's commissioned/Moderated auction has a realized highest bid:
£25,300-00 (approx.. $41,219-00 in 1998). NOTE: there were some online references that had quoted this LEICA M6 Platinum Hedri Cartier-Bresson/Louis Vuitton edition had issued in total quantity of 3 units, but various information channels, including Louis Vuitton that I wrote to had no information to multiple releases. IF any of you can provide clarification with more concrete evidence, please help to update content in this site. The shown picture above is in gray scale, no one seems to have a color photos of the camera/case as the auctioned event was held 10 years ago.

Recommended links: Wilkipedia on Henri Cartier-Bresson | Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson | Impact of his work to Photojournalism | His portfolio at Magnum Agency

In an old archive of Auction pictures conducted by famous German Auctioneer, PHOTOGRAPHIC-Auctioen-DE, it has shown with a LEICA M6 w/personal note of Hedri Cartier-Bresson. It came with a well sued SUMMICRON- Collapsible 1:2/50mm that has an engraving of H.C.B. Here is what the original set has shown: LEICA M6 Classic Black Nr.1691623 a special making up without 75 and 135 frame and Leica Summicron 2 / 50 mm engraving "HCB" together with an illustrated book. Dedication to Yves Maxence* who was given the camera, the lens and the illustrated book as a present by Henri Cartier Bresson . Letter of confirmation is enclosed. Starting price: EURO 5.000-00; Estimate: Price EURO 8200-00 ** This M6 Classic camera probably was the only unofficial issued M6 that has such configuration. * I am not so good in following events and heppenings in the photographic world, but can any knowledgeable Leica folks can point to me where I can refer or get any information that relates with this gentleman Yves Maxence so I can point the link to his site ?

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Photographic Auction, Germany ®, who often conducts popular Online Photographic Auctions. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. ** 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.

Leica M6 Classic Black with personal note enclosed by Henri Cartier-Bresson auctioned by Photographic Auction, Germany
Leica M6 Classic Black with personal note enclosed by Henri Cartier-Bresson auctioned by Photographic Auction, Germany

Other than this and just for record purposes, the Leica legend Henri-Cartier Bresson has been presented a Leica M3 with special S/N number 750,000 on the occasion of the Biennale de Photographie in Paris.

previous | NEXT | Another Special auction on One-Unit LEICA M6 TTL William Klein Edition, 2001

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

Other related LEICA M6 camera models issued in the same Platinum Finishing:-
Leica M6 Platinum Dummy Set, 1989 | Leica M6 PLATINUM '150/75 Jahre', 1989
M6 Platinum Sultan of Brunei Silver Jubilee Edition, 1992 | Leica M6 Sultan of Brunei Special 50th Birthday Edition, Platinum w/diamond, 1995
Leica M6 "Anton Bruckner" (1824~1996) Platinum Edition, 1996 | Leica M6 Schmidt Platinum Centenary (100 Years), 1996
Leica M6 Platinum Henri Cartier Bresson / Louis Vuitton One unit Special Edition, 1998
Leica M6 Platinum "150 jahre Optik" Wetzlar Optisches Institute Edition, 1999

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

Nomenclature / Main Reference Map for Leica M6 Standard Model(s) applicable for this H.C.B. Edition | Others:- Leica M6 TTL Model(s)
Instruction Manuals:-
Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) applicable to this for this H.C.B. Edition by Niels H. S. Nielsen; Others:- Leica M6 TTL 3.6 Mb PDF) by Joe Chan

MIR.com.my - link to Index Page

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about this site
Credit: Pictures and photo works of H.C.B. (Hedri Cartier-Bresson) used here are for introduction to this great mastery of Photography and visual copyrighted to respective rightful owner, collectors, museums, art centres and/or Estate. Image of the LEICA M6 Hedri Cartier-Bresson / Louis Vuitton Special Edition courtesy of Christie's Auction ®, who runs a every popular Christie's Online Auction Services. Image(s) of the LEICA M6 Classic Black with H.C.B. Engraving courtesy of Photographic Auction, Germany ®, who often conducts popular Online Photographical Auctions. All Images Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer/collectors.