The Best Lenses to Use with the Beloved Leica M6

The Leica M6 is by far one of the most popular and revered Leica cameras of all time, and these are the lenses we recommend you pair with it.

Many of you know we’ve always had an affinity for film. It’s important that we don’t forget about this tool in photography. Film is something that helps unite passionate photographers everywhere, but more importantly, it’s also at the heart of the Leica M6. This camera is one of the most popular ever made by the company. Lots of folks love it. Choosing the right lens for it can be a bit tough, so we’re sharing our experiences with some of our favorites.

Leica 75mm f1.25 Noctilux (See in the Dark)

“…you buy a Leica M film camera because you want it. You shoot film because you want to. You go for rare and exotic lenses for their unique look and because you won’t settle for anything less. Those who laugh at you don’t understand. And in the age of the internet, less and less people understand interpersonal experiences despite the massive library of information that’s available at your fingertips. In a way, technology has made us dumber: which is a big theory in the world of communications and journalism. But the Leica 75mm f1.25 Noctilux pulls us back to an era where one really had to work for the shot.”

The Analog Take: This lens was used briefly with Kodak Ektachrome 100 in the Leica M6. And we found it to be incredible for portrait photography. We’re highly recommending it as the only portrait lens you’ll need for the system. It’s got a super shallow depth of field at f1.25, so be careful and line your shots up just right.

Pro Tip: Strive to shoot at a minimum of 1/125th. The reciprocal rule of shutter speeds recommends that for a stable shot. But of course, it’s also a Leica M6, and so there’s no shutter slap.

Sample Images with the Leica M6

Buy Now: $14,095

Leica Summaron-M 28mm f5.6 (Better Street Photography With the Leica M6)

“When the Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 first came in for review, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it. However, I’ve been making an effort to review more Leica lenses and I have to say this is one of my favorites by far. It’s at a decent price point and for that price point you’re getting a whole lot of adaptability,classic image quality, low profile and some solid build quality. I genuinely like the Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 and one day when it hits the used market, I’ll probably pick one up.”

The Analog Take: The special thing about the Leica Summaron-M 28mm f5.6 is the small size. You want to bring your Leica M6 everywhere with you. And this is the best lens to do that with. It’s affordable, compact, and has a beautiful quality to it. We’ve used it a lot with Kodak Tri-X. A film like that will make photos from this lens incredibly sharp. Alternatively, Kodak T-Max 400 is a favorite of ours too.

Pro Tip: Zone focus with this lens and go shooting in the streets. Focus out to five or six feet away and have fun with it!

Sample Images with the Leica M6

Buy Now: $2,595

Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH (The Everyday Lens)

“I’ll fully admit to this lens being very sharp; and for the type of work that demands critical sharpness you can expect great results from the Leica 35mm f2 ASPH Summicron. Just stop it down, focus and shoot.”

The Analog Take: The Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH was paired with our favorite general film: Fujifilm Superia. The two work together to deliver nostalgic colors that will remind you of the happiest of times. This lens specifically works well with the Leica M6 because of the size. If the 28mm isn’t your cup of tea, this surely will be!

Pro Tip: This is a fantastic general-purpose, everyday lens. Use it to document everyday life. Capture the decisive moment with it.

Sample Images with the Leica M6

Buy Now: $3,295

Editor’s Note: This special feature is presented by Leica.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.