World’s most beautiful Leica M6 Part II {does it takes pictures?}

leica m6 portraits
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M6 Dragon Y2000 Black Paint

Read Part 1 here

We have to ask ourselves whenever we try to justify our purchases. Especially one that comes from the red-dot company (cough*). The left brain begets us to explain, to sanitise our conscience through logic. The big question is “Why did you buy this camera, will you even use it?”. There is a thin line between a gear head, a collector and an actual enthusiast user that appreciates using the tool.


leica zeiss ultimate m6 camera
Leica M6 dragon with 35mm f2 Biogon

When i bought the Dragon M6 limited edition, i was clearly stunned by its built and quality. I even blogged about this earlier . It has been weeks since i had the camera. All the early shouting and self afflicted propaganda to keep buyer’s remorse have subsided. I couldn’t allow myself to keep the camera in the box to just appreciate its aesthetic values, my views of collectors are pretty low in respect and using that same measurement on myself would make me a complete hypocrite.

A beautiful tool such as the Dragon M6 have to prove its worth and a camera is useless if it isn’t used to create images. So i took it out for a whole day shoot when my model friend and internet idol Stephy Yi Wen told me that she would be going to Korea for studies. I got myself some rolls of Fuji Superia 200 and Fuji Venus 800. I knew that i would be using the 35mm Zeiss Biogon wide open but in a room with only dimly available natural light coming in, the ISO 800 film would be handy.


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The Dragon 2000

If you happened to be travelling to South East Asia and passing by Malaysia, do get your films replenish and develop in Bang Bang Geng in Publika. With the pathetic level of Malaysian currency today, you could get a Superia 200 for USD 4 and scanning with development for USD 4.5.

Now back to shooting session. I noticed that there are indeed some improvement that M7 does have over even this Dragon M6. One of them being the iso dials you see behind the body, the M7’s iso dial is clearly easier to use and felt more robust. The other is the shutter dials. The Dragon’s shutter dial are more polished and looks great but turning the knob at each stop felt better on the M7. The M7 is after all a much newer camera.


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Immaculate finishing

The rewind knob is used slightly differently than how i imagined it would be. The Dragon’s knob needs to be lifted up while the 2 dots remains submerged to do the rewinding. I found myself winding for 5 minutes and getting nowhere initially before i realized that the knob needs to be lifted.

There are several aspect of the camera that made it a very inspiration tool for use. First, the body is slightly lighter than the M7, i would say almost nobody would buy an M7 or M6 without using it on a holster or case. The Dragon just felt perfect while the M7 felt a bit on the heavier side. This is of course a purely personal evaluation. The other advantage is that the Dragon only uses 1 battery as opposed to 2 on the M7, the mechanism of replacing the battery on the M6 is definitely built better than the M7s.  The 0.85 finder, delicious.

Enough about the camera, how did it do, i will leave some images here for you own evaluation.

recommended leica m6 for today
beautiful stephy. M6 dragon. venus 800


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Enlightenment. M6 Dragon, venus 800.


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Alluring. M6 Dragon, venus 800.


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Stephy @ Sekeping Jugra. M6 Dragon. Superia 200


limited edition 2000 dragon leica
“There”. M6 Dragon. Superia 200.

Could i have gotten better or similar results from the Leica M7? Of course i could, don’t be silly :-). The Dragon M6 might be the most beautiful Leica M6 that warrants it as a collector item but it should by all means be used. The 0.85 works really well with the 35mm frame lines. What was you weekend shoot, did you try film? Do share some of your thoughts here.

Bicycles, Pretties and Vintage Cameras

Fujifilm Superia 200, 1/500s f2 Kodak RetinaII (type 011)
Fujifilm Superia 200, 1/500 f2 Kodak RetinaII

Using the old kodak camera, i noticed most of my photos are over cropped at the bottom, this is one example of accommodation that you need to get used and mentally fix it during composition.
Its bound to happen, putting bicycles and babes together given that society nowadays are more health conscious and going green than ever. I went to this event to show support for a fellow model friend and brought along just One (1) fujifilm superia 200.

Fujifilm Superia 200, 1/500s f2 Kodak RetinaII (type 011)

Focusing a moving object is not easy at all, but fun and a great way to master the rangefinders. Due to the limitation of the shutter speed on this vintage camera, the maximum i had is 1/500 on the iso 200 film (ouch). I was kinda surprised that film held so well in overexposure.

I must admit, shooting film slows down “tremendously” my style and speed. If the Leica folks thinks that using an digital M slows down the process and is a good thing, they should seriously consider film, probably comes out from 100 session with some cash savings than splurging on the digital bodies.

I currently have in my possession the Mamiya 645E Rapid camera. If that sounds like greek to you, its just a Medium Format camera for film. Digital MF costs around USD 10k for the cheapest one in town (Pentax 645z), film ones cost you a fraction of that. In my first two(2) attempt to use it however, i kinda screw up the roll. I am quite baffled by the following facts that i encountered while using it :
1. Tons of videos on how to “load”, but nearly zero on how to “unload” film from it.
2. Almost none mentioned that you need to crank up the film until “1” after loading the 120 film (120 film is the format for Medium Format 645)
3. The saying that “you will always screw up the first roll” is true.
4. Mr.Khoon of Bang Bang Geng in Publika is actually quite a nice and helpful person. This shop btw is where is sent my negatives for processing in KL,Malaysia.


There it goes, my first roll of film on an event. As i wrap up this post, my thoughts goes to Lee Lit Min’s parents and family, he is my best friend during my early days of school in both primary and secondary in St.John, an avid Nikon photographer and true genius. I will always remember u, dear friend.