“Unboxing” a 1985 Leica M6

The Leica M10 Box – It’s Elaborate For a Reason

Nuclear weapons may have given us the ability to destroy the entire planet, but it’s things like unboxing videos that will make you want to actually use them.  Unboxing videos are the post-human equivalent of a striptease act. They’re an early warning system, broadcasting the fact that the machines have finally won.  – C. Donlan


“Unboxing Videos” are an internet phenomenon I will never understand. Rank them up there with eating Tide Pods and finding  Kardashian women fascinating. Apparently, I’m in a minority, however. Since 2010, the number of YouTube clips with “unboxing” in the title has increased exponentially. There’s unboxing of every item you can think of, from blenders to live reptiles. If you can buy it, there’s probably a video of it being unboxed, as this attests.

Leicas make great subjects for unboxing videos. They’re expensive and desirable, things whose purchase we eagerly anticipate. Plus, they come in great boxes. Leica, like Apple, understands the symbolic significance of their cameras and the psychological and emotional aura that can be created or enhanced via a product’s presentation.

Recently I ran across an unboxing video of a Leica M6 posted by a Nelson Murray, interesting as a bit of historical documentation re: 1985 Leica presentation . Among other things, what strikes me is the relative simplicity of the packaging, completely utilitarian, functional.

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Compare it with the unboxing of an M10.

 

 

9 thoughts on ““Unboxing” a 1985 Leica M6

  1. TamaraK

    I am reminded of the hilarious packaging of the Hasselblad Lunar, a wooden chest with a clamshell top on piano hinges with a pair of pull-out drawers. In form it is much like the M10 packaging, but in its lacquered wood substance it’s even more of a tongue-bath for the ego of the purchaser.

    As a re-packaged NEX-7, I thought it was a dandy camera for $800 LNIB, but one would have needed a screw loose to buy it new. Hasselblad looked at Leica’s tarted-up Panasonics and said “Hold my beer…”

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  2. ScottP

    So, a little off-topic perhaps, but if you buy an NOS, never sold, never opened M6, is Leica obligated to honor the warranty?
    Maybe not, if it wasn’t sold by an Authorized Dealer. But it would be a slick PR move for them to do it anyway.

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  3. StephenJ

    That M6 has rather elaborate packaging when compared with my Leica M4 example, where the box is all.

    Lift the lid and a couple of plastic mouldings covered in red plush are holding the camera in position in its little plastic similarly plush moulded base. As the lid is lifted, the front of the box falls towards one and there is the camera.

    Beneath is a very small red booklet, and in my case, a hand written receipt from Messrs. R. G. Lewis of 125 Strand, London, WC2.

    Oh, it was sold to a man from Tottenham, along with a 50mm F/2 Summicron for £275.0.0.

    Accessories were a Leica-Meter MR £28-16-6 and a (N)Ever ready case for £10-9-1.

    With a bit of luck, he was given a “free” carrier bag to take it home.

    It never got better than that.

    It clearly was not comprehensive enough for me, because I have just hung up a roll of Acros to dry and noticed that I forgot to remove the lens cap for around six frames… Doh!

    Presumably the M6 has a light meter to protect users like me from their own folly.

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  4. Dogman

    So it took four and a half minutes to ever get the M6 box opened. I never got to the M10 unboxing.

    I’m reminded there is a reason I never watch these types of videos.

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  5. Rob Campbell

    Well, I never owned Leica for a number of reasons not, then, related to cost. That said, watching those two objects being revealed reminded of me of the spellbinding minutes during the Luminous Landscape trip to Germany where the M9 was revealed and discussed: I sat there looking at my monitor, unable to tear my eyes away. In both instances I could feel those damned things in my hands.

    Leica has nailed camera design, transforming it into art.

    I can think of no more beautiful cameras.

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  6. Louis A. Sousa

    My M240 came in a box that had several sub-boxes. It was cool to experience unfurling the layers. The attention to detail the brand gave to boxing this beautiful but quirky camera was impressive. Making a video of the unboxing never crossed my mind though. It would have been pointless. The joy of a Leica is from the shooting experience, not from taking it out of or putting it back into a box. The next time I use the box will be from sale of the camera.

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  7. Lee Rust

    I got my M6 in 1998 and didn’t waste much time in opening the box. Since it’s the only Leica that I ever bought new, I’m sure the original packaging is still around somewhere.

    The digital camera includes a strap, battery, charger and a bunch of wires, affording many more unboxing opportunities than the film M, so it’s interesting that the M6 video is still somewhat longer than the M10 version. The M6 buyer clearly understands the religious significance of the piercing of the ancient shrink wrap and he draws out his reverential reveal for maximum effect. By the way, he pronounces ‘Leitz’ as “LEETZ”. Is this correct? If so, why don’t we call our cameras “LEE-cas”? Perhaps it’s like the “NEE-kon”, “NY-kon”, “NICK-on” dilemma.

    Every time I come across the elaborate boxes that once contained our Apple laptops, I’m a little annoyed that I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Thirty-three years hence, it’s hard to imagine that the unboxing of a virgin 2015 MacBook Pro would attract many viewers.

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