Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/07/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] M6 .56 viewfinder and wide-angle lenses
From: Béatrice Mousli <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 19:43:52 +0100

>I understand there is now a 0.56 M6 TTL available.  Does this model allow
>use of
>focal lengths below 28mm without an external viewfinder (i.e., with built-in
>frame lines), or is the external finder still required for very wide-angle
>lenses?  Since I like wide-angle shots with my rangefinder I'm thinking of
>putting the 0.56 on my long-term wish list, but I'm curious as to whether it
>eliminates the need for an external finder.  I'm not sure that I want to go to
>the trouble of an external finder if that is still necessary (if it is, I
>just be satisfied with a 28mm lens on my wish list).

Actually, it's a 0.58 finder and - unfortunately - no, it doesn't have
framelines for anything wider than a 28. The idea is that at the lower
magnification of the VF, the 28 framelines, which were already available,
are simply more visible to those of us who, like myself, wear glasses.

I've got one of these and the 28 framelines are about as visible to me as
the 35s are on my 0.72 M6 - that is, not very. The 35 brightlines, on the
other hand, are quite visible and uncluttered, since the lines for the 135
have been eliminated due to the lower magnification of the VF.

You will still need to use an external VF for anything wider than a 28, and
in terms of Leica lenses, that means the 24 and 21 Elmarits. But now, you
have a choice in Leica external VFs: the "original" 24 and 21 VFs in black
plastic, or the new metal vario-finder with 21, 24 and 28 framelines. I've
seen one of these recently and they are quite beautiful, but B-I-G, like
the one on Dennis Stock's IIIf in Andreas Feininger's "Photojournalist"

Though I like the idea of an all metal finder, I doubt I'd ever buy one
since they are considerably bigger and more expensive than the plastic
ones. Plus, for the price ($375.?), it wouldn't make much sense if one
didn't have all three focal lengths - and who does?