Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/27

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Subject: [Leica] New M6TTL
From: Jim Laurel <>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 23:06:46 -0700

I think the addition of TTL flash to the M6 is very valuable.  It's all very
nice to have the fantasy that it's easy to do everything manually, but it
really isn't in this case.

Take, for example, balanced fill flash.  In order to duplicate the
functionality of the M6TTL, you'd have to have a flash that supported manual
control of it's output, or happen to be lucky that one of the auto apertures
supported by your flash happens to coincide with the aperture you need to
properly expose for ambient light at 1/50th sec.

No manufacturer that I know of makes a truly compact flash unit that allows
manual control of flash output like a Vivitar 285.  When I say truly
compact, I'm talking about something like the Contax TLA 140 -- around 1/2
the size of a pack of cigarettes or less.  Even if you found something that
small with the manual control, it's a genuine hassle to compute the right
amount of fill when you're shooting in fast breaking situations or when your
subject is impatient.

Often, you don't have the luxury of picking your lighting conditions or the
time of day.  Expedition photography, in particular is like this.  You have
to move with the group and catch your shots when possible.  TTL flash can be
a very useful feature under these conditions.  Often enough, TTL fill flash
alone has been reason to tote along the EOS1n on shoots, when an M6TTL would
have been sufficient.

For me, the M6TTL is a very worthwhile product.  You can sign me up for one
as soon as they hit the shelves!  My only gripe is that Leica did not raise
the x synch speed for this model.  How on earth do they expect us to make
nice portraits using balanced fill flash hand-held with the 90mm lens?  You
need at least 1/125, IMO.

- --Jim Laurel
Seattle, WA