A Visual Profile on Leica M6 Classic LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Special Edition Kit with 3 Summicron-M lenses for MIR Image Library


LEICA AG, in conjunction with LHSA (Leica Historical Society of America ) had released a limited edition of a LEICA M6 with 3 lenses in 1996. The limited edition which was issued in 151 set only and was offered as kit to mark the 25th Anniversary establishment of the this Leica user's group. From observation for the last 10 years and tracking activities of LHSA, I guess the society can be easily ranked as the most influential among all Leica user groups existed today. Technically, LHSA has around 2,000 subscribed members, although that not exactly very big in number but over the years, LHSA has been working rather closely with Leica AG and had resulted in the releasing of a series of special edition LEICA bodies. I am not sure if ever LHSA had any form of influences over eventual decision in a Leica photographic product BUT one thing is for sure, Leica AG has actually benefited from specific request on some of those LHSA special editions because LHSA actually represents how a LEICA user would have in mind what to expect from a collector's point of view in a LEICA that other than equal in quality and performance as a photographic tool, as well as added value to its collectible appeal . Well, I do know Leica don't just live with collectible special editions all these years, but in many ways I felt LHSA special edition models were often very well configured camera(s)/lens(es) and they usually came with good collectible elements in their releases.

I am not a LHSA member but from I can gather LHSA had their first attempt of a special edition in a LEICA M6 back in 1988. That was to commemorate their 20th Anniversary of successful establishment. The unit has a black body LEICA M6 as the basis and has a small LHSA emblem engraved and painted in white on the back with the year 1968~1988 printed at each side of the small emblem. I don't have one to show (but I'd love to
offer a specific featured M6 LHSA 1968~1988 site - if you have one) . James L Lager An Illustrated History of Leica cameras Vol. . 1 page 260 has a tiny picture. It illustrates the camera with an encoded number 20-21. Could that be indicating there are only 21 set/unit being produced in that first LHSA-M6 series? Anyway, in 1983, exactly five years later and coincided with LHSA's 25th Anniversary, the society again had released another limited edition LEICA M6 to commemorate the sentimental occasion. This time around, LHSA committee member(s) who might have involved in the project were much better prepared and thoughtfully configured the release along with three companion lenses - covering the most frequently used focal lengths in rangefinder system of 35mm, 50mmm & 90mm. The entire package of this special M6 edition had a traveler kit kind of theme; even a relatively new LEICA rangefinder camera user can easily find all the basic needs to startup with a LEICA rangefinder camera system.

Red emblem of LHSA logo with engraving of 1968~1993 on a Leica M6 Classic LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Special Edition camera model
At left, shown the revised design of the engraved LHSA emblem with the corresponding year 1968~1993 located at the top left hand section of the chrome bodied LEICA M6. To add a little attention to this special release, the engraved emblem and numbers were painted in red.

One way or another, I couldn't recall what has happened during that time, somehow this LHSA edition was not exactly being released in the exacting anniversary year 1993 as I got an offer by someone in US where he asked if I am interested in a new, special release of a LEICA limited edition body with three lenses back in 1995/6. I thought the emailed given spec sheet was interesting and had committed - not one but TWO of these sets. The two purchased kit was meant for personal while another as a gift to my business partner. I can remember exactly how much I paid, somewhere around the region of USD6,000-00~7,000-00 per set.

Leica M6 Classic LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Special Edition Kit w/ display box and three Leica M-bayonet mount lenses
When I took the pictures of this camera for this site, I was trying to recall what actually has prompted to buy this kit during that time. The LEICA M6 LHSA 1968~1993 kit featured here actually was my third LEICA, after the Leica M4 Black enamel and the LEICA M6 COLOMBO '92 (also had bought two units of that). The M4 I had came with a Leitz Canada Noctilux-M 1:1/50mm Prototype lens; while the M6 Colombo '92 has a matching 1:2/50mm Colombo edition lens.

The metal plate engraved with LHSA logo

So, I was actually a LEICA owner who has not other lens to use because the mentioned optic was not-so-nice to be used for general photography (you probably know what I mean..). So, this kit with three lenses actually fits my requirement during that time where I initially thought I can have a "normal" LEICA set for day to day photographic use. Well, when the consignment eventually arrived, suddenly I felt a little stupid - with the "SPECIAL EDITION OF 151 CAMERAS for LHSA 25th ANNIVERSARY.." engraved at the rear, I realized this couldn't be a camera that I can simply chuck under my car seat everyday.
I guess most LEICA enthusiasts may be having the same kind of mental block when it relates to a special edition camera series. Most of the time we just let the "potential appreciation in value for well preserved condition" element to override our basic logical thinking. I wasn't too mature that time but somehow I have decided to acquired a LEICA M6/T for day to day use. Yes, for a bout 5 years, it was placed along with my SLR, a Nikon F3/T and two lenses hiding under my car seat in the intense tropical heat. Today, the M6/T was placed right behind my seat in the office as display, while the LEICA M6 LHSA 1968~1993 was all along placed in my living room as display set for the last 10+ years. Sinful, huh ? barely few years later, I had adjusted my thinking and seldom concluded with any new purchases with "special editions" again.

The bronze lock button with new mechanism on a Leica Display case on M6 LHSA model Leica sticker on M6 LHSA 25th anniver. model
The LEICA M6 LHSA 1968~1993 Special Edition includes a wooden display case. Red velvet covered internally with 4 slots to house the camera and the three lenses. There wasn't any wood carving externally except for a tiny Leica sticker at th front and a plated metal piece that has LHSA emblem and 1968~1993 engraving, and red painted in showing the outlines. The wooden display case has an uncommon push-and-lock mechanicm, a much improved design from other simpler lock mechanism found on other M6 collectible wooden case.

Leica M6 Classic LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Special Edition w/Matching Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0 LHSA Edition
Shown above was a LEICA SUMMICRON-M 1:2 f=50mm lens attached onto a LEICA LHSA 1968~1993 Special 25th Anniversary kit camera body. The 3 SUMMCRON f/2.0 lenses each can be regarded as the companion lens to the edition share identical lens features with standard issues in silver chrome finishes to match the silver chrome body. No known black body was issued with this special edition. The related lenses as illustrated with the 2/50 above has one thing that separates them from normal production optic, i.e. the lens data ring was engraving of "LHSA 25TH ANNIVERSARY" and followed with an encoding with this special release.
The special edition serial number of M6 LHSA Serial Number of MH LHSA appears on the M-lens edition
Each component in the kit has a unique serial number on its own. I am not too sure how the S/N coding works and if it ends in XX-151 that is easier to explained but it appears on all the three 35, 50 & 90mm. So, the 25-050 is not referring to the focal length after all. This is not particularly an important issue but just brought the matter up in search for input by others to satisfy curiosity and/or broaden my knowledge with Leica.

<<<--- The serial code for this special edition engraved on one side on the camera's accessory shoe which matches with the S/N s appeared on all the three lenses while a normal LEICA production serial number is engraved at the other end of the accessory shoe.

From a logical point of view, the LEICA M6 1968~1993 LHSA 25TH ANNIVERSARY edition has carefully being configured in this area. Although this was not the first time in such an attempt in a LEICA-M e.g.
Leica M3 Olive/Olive-green Bundeseigentum outfit issued in 1957 with various matching lenses and system accessories. " 'Bundeseigentu' can mean Federal/Governmental property and/or 'Military'). But definitely camera with provision of lenses as a kit can be easily ranked among the earliest with a LEICA M6 series model. I don't conclude it is innovative but rather as a very thoughtful defined spec for wider appeal esp. for people who intends to look for a valued package in entering the Leica rangefinder system as well as serving desire for a complete setup of a collectible piece. Why ? firstly, I can't imagine a LEICA fanatic couldn't had camera without any optic attached to his built-up system. The accompanied lenses that offered along with this special edition are easily the most frequently used focal lengths and could minimize such a possibility. Perhaps, what it has in the setup partially was aiming to satisfy Leica photographers who may be having an inner desire to own a collectible with all these basic offerings from the usual system he uses for day to day photography. Besides, any original idea is always having its own appeal to people who thinks it deserving a look as investment and simply for personal usage.

Regardless, what I am doing here was just to provide an introduction in featuring a LEICA M6 Special Edition camera that was issued during the '90.

previous | Next | 1/4 Outline its basic features on this Leica M6 Classic special edition camera body by LHSA.

Part 1 - Introduction | Part 2 - camera body LHSA 1968~1993 Edition
Lenses: Part 3
Summicron-M 35/50mm 1:2 LHSA edition | Part 4 - Summicron-M 90mm 1:2 LHSA edition / other issues

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 Leica M6 LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Edition Kit
Instruction Manuals:-
Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) also applicable for this Leica M6 Leica M6 LHSA 1968~1993 25th Anniversary Edition by Niels H. S. Nielsen

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