Dan Tamarkin Stands on a Leica M6

by Johnny Martyr

In a feat of classic salesmanship, Dan Tamarkin, owner of Tamarkin Camera in Chicago, posted a video of himself standing on top of a Leica M6 on the business’s Instagram feed last week.

The Leica M6 35mm rangefinder camera was built between 1984 and 2002. It has been in headlines recently because it was recently re-released by the eccentric German camera manufacturer at a time when no other company is selling new, interchangeable lens 35mm film cameras.

Mr. Tamarkin grew up shooting Leica cameras and inherited his father’s camera retail business, which has specialized in selling them since 1971.

During the brief video, Mr. Tamarkin goes over the differences between the two main versions of the Leica M6; the M6 and M6 TTL. He urges that if you’re interested, now is the time to buy a used M6 because Leica will not have new M6 cameras widely available for another year.

Tamarkin’s quip “If you want a camera that’s working and warrantied and we’ll stand behind… and in fact, we’ll even stand on” is followed by a wide shot of Mr. Tamarkin placing an M6 camera on the hardwood floor of his shop and standing atop the camera’s perfectly flat, and apparently very solid top plate for a moment, before completing his pitch.

In an email conversation about his performance, Tamarkin joked “This falls under the ‘Don’t try this at home, kiddies’ category.”

According to Mr. Tamarkin, the M6 that he stood on in the video was 100% functional before and after he stood on it. “Only had to wipe off my dusty footprint” he clarified.

I also asked him if he minded sharing his weight. “On a good day, 165” he replied.

Tamarkin went on to tell me “Maybe I’m showing my age: back in the day, Leica salesmen would sometimes stand on an M camera… to show how robust they are.”

Tamarkin continued “I grew up seeing this. My mentor Eric Bohmann was the guy I learned it from. I began standing on cameras when I got my first M camera and never really stopped.”

Tamarkin added “It is an attention-getter! Some people gasp and some people just shake their heads (I get this reaction a lot in life, frankly). Any M camera will work for this little stunt, and it’s not limited to the M6… my first underfoot foray was with my own M2. I stand on the digitals, too!”

With used M6 prices starting at just over $3k and new ones over $5k, it might be wise to heed Mr. Tamarkin’s warning not to try this at home. Leave all the Leica standing to him.

Thanks for reading, happy shooting!

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