After I published the post called "The Leica as Teacher" on May 28th, followed by "Why It Has To Be a Leica" the next day, a number of people contacted me to say that they'd been inspired to try the "one Leica, one lens, one year" experiment that I was suggesting. (Good going and good luck to one and all, by the way!)
My old friend Nick Hartmann did that very experiment—one lens, one Leica—but he did it for almost a decade. He contacted me last week wanting to know how he might de-accession his old trusty Leica and 50mm Summicron while at the same time helping it to get into the hands of someone who might want to use it for its intended purpose.
So: one Leica, one lens for Sale. Cosmetically it's what would be called a "good user"—it has a few scars, and some scratches on the baseplate. Probably the worst thing appearance-wise is that Nick blacked out the engraved camera name and the "red dot" with a sharpie, and, when that didn't quite work, covered them with black electrician's tape. He's removed the tape, but the engraving and the red dot don't look so hot.
However, it's been treated well and scrupulously maintained since new. Nick bought it in September of 1996 and used it "almost daily" until April of 2005. During that time he logged 500 rolls of film (you can see some of his work online), which means the camera has seen about 20,000 shutter actuations. The M6 shutter will go to about 100,000 shots before needing service, and has been known to last for as many as 400,000. So there's a lot of life left in this one.
The lens is also somewhat "experienced," but the rear element has been protected by being on the camera since new, and the front element has always had a protective filter on it.
Nick shot one of the best photo archives I have—for years when we'd see one another I'd drag Zander along to whatever restaurant we met at, and Nick would take pictures of us, then send prints to me. I have them all in an archival box, and the set as a whole is a lovely record of me and my son over the years of my adventure in single parenthood. Most of those pictures, of course, were shot with this very camera and lens.
Anyway, if you're one of those who are thinking of trying the "Leica year" experiment, here's a camera you can use. Nick would like to get $1475 for the camera and lens, which seems a fair going price. He'll stand behind the sale, as will I: in June, a year from now, if you'd like to re-sell the Hartmann Leica again (assuming of course you haven't done anything grievous to it in the meantime), I'll advertise it again here on TOP and you can pass it along to someone else who wants to try it.
Anyway, if you're interested, leave a comment to that effect and I'll pass your email address along to Nick. (In order, if there is more than one.)
BONUS: In the spirit of passing useful things along, the buyer of the Leica can also do a favor for another (perhaps young, perhaps impecunious) photographer he or she knows: Nick will send a "good user" Canon EOS Rebel XT DSLR and an EF 50mm ƒ/1.8II lens to a photographer of your choice, for free. Just let him know the name and address of the person you want the DSLR to go to when you make the arrangements for the M6.
UPDATE: About ten people have expressed interest now, in the comments and via email (it's about 6 p.m. here in the Midwest). Nick won't be in his office until Monday morning, but he'll get in touch with people then, in order. If it doesn't go to #1, then it will go to #2, and so on...in any event I think we can safely say it's sold now. Thanks to everybody who expressed interested, and if you just missed it, sorry about that.