Loading a Leica M6

Before buying my Leica M6 I read quite a variety of forum posts/blog posts etc with regards to loading film. It appeared that many people struggle with loading even with the quick load system the M6 has.

Since owning mine I’ve had good and bad experience of loading film but on the whole it’s not too bad. Then I came across a post on a forum that linked back to an original manual Leica put out.

It’s actually quite a simple process and one which with a bit of trust in Leica works well enough.

Here are the following steps to loading a Leica M6 that work for me

Remove the base plate of the camera and open the rear flap. Half insert the roll of film into the camera body, pulling just enough film out to reach across and fit into the tulip shoulder.

I make sure I push the film roll all the way into the camera and across the tulip holder as per the diagram on the bottom of the camera before replacing the base plate and rear flap of the camera.

Once this is done I rewind the film gently until there is a slight tension felt on the rewind lever.

I click the shutter and wind on a couple of times ensuring the rewind lever is moving as the film is wound on. Once frame 1 comes up on the film counter I’m good to go!

And that’s it! I let the camera do the work, the tulip holder is there for a reason and works very well once the base plate is reattached to the camera.

I don’t try and line the film up with the sprocket wheels or jiggle the film about by pushing it up through the open rear door.

The base plate does it’s job as it should to line up the film in situ and I trust in Leica to give me a loading system that’s efficient and works as it should without my interference needed.