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The Great Dilema - chrome or black body?

This has been discussed ad-nauseum on the online forums. Here are links to a couple of threads:

  1. < #004qIv>
  2. < #005YLS>

Basically,… choose whichever you are most happy with!

Body weight difference?

Is there any difference in weight for the camera bodies? No. As Bob Fleischman pointed out:

The reason the back & chrome bodies weigh the same is that the black body is chrome--black chrome. A Leica first.

Lens weight difference?

There is however a difference in weight between black and chrome lenses. This is because black lenses are made from aluminium alloy which is then black anodised, whilst chrome lenses are made from (much heavier) brass, which is nickel plated prior to the final chrome plate. Leica have to do this as the silver-chrome adheres far more reliably to brass/nickel than aluminium.

Touching up black chrome

While we are talking about black chrome, Andrew Schank noted the following handy tip for touching up scuffed black bodies:

I use Marhyde automotive trim black for touching up a lot of black camera equipment (available at car paint stores). It's a satin finish and adheres well to just about anything. I spray some out into a cup and use a small brush. The black on the M6 is more of an anodized finish of some sort and not paint, but the Marhyde should work OK. You can always use what's left over on your car. Please don't touch it up with a black Sharpie marker - I hate when people do that!

Alternatively, Sam Smith has had good results with gun barrel touch-up paint:

If you have any silver showing through on your M6 black body top you can do a very good job of restoring the black color by using Birchwood-Casey Aluminium Black (available from most gun shops). If you follow the instructions on the bottle and use the solution very sparingly with a Q-Tip it works a treat. I haven't tried it on the base plate but it would probably work as long as the missing black is not down to the brass. Doesn't work on the re-wind knob unfortunately.
Ideal for adding dollars to that black M6 you may be selling or trading in as the restoration is virtually impossible to detect.

Finally, Microtools sells brass & aluminium black touch-up paint - may be worth a look. See the following URL:


A note about possible broken links

This FAQ has over 900 external links. Over time it is inevitable some of them will break. If you are bothered by this, see this detailed topic elsewhere in the FAQ.

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