Focusing problem

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by craig_shearman|1, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Just got my first Leica, an M3 with collapsible 5cm Summican f/2. With the lens pulled out and turned to lock in place, I focus on an object about 4-5 feet the focusing scale shows maybe 1 to 1.5 feet. I also got a Nikkor 10.5 cm that seems to focus fine. I've used rangefinders before (Canon GIII QL17) so I'm used to the basic idea of focusing with a rangefinder. So is there some secret adjustment or setting that's not obvious or is there likely something that needs to be fixed on the camera or lens?
  2. You almost certainly have a lens for the Euripean market with a metric focusing scale, calibrated in meters. There will be an "m" after the infinity mark. No collapsible Sumicron would focus to 1 foot anyways, so the the scale goes down to 1, it's in meters. (I'm sure you're about to whack yourself on the forehead!)
    This will, of course, have no functional effect on focusing. The distance scale is just a bunch of numbers engraved on the lens.
    All of my Leica LTM lenses have distance scales in meters. My IIIa started with an Elmar in meters, and I just stuck with buying Leica lenses with meter distance scales.
  3. Shoot some film first. If the photographs are in focus, don't worry about the focusing numbers and enjoy the camera.
  4. I just sent in a 75 Sumicron lens for focus adjustment. I was sure there was something wrong somewhere with the focus. Here is how you can test it (I did this): On a large white paper draw many many vertical parallel lines about 1 to 2 inches apart. Mark the central line with an arrow. Put this on a wall set up your camera on a tripod about 5 to 10 feet away pointing at angle of 45 degrees to the image. Focus on the specially marked central line. Take the shot, or several, with the lens wide open. Make a print. If the central line you focused on is not in focus but one of the other lines either closer or farther is in focus then the lens focus is bad. It turns out not to be a unique problem. I was afraid it might be the camera too but was told it was likely the lens itself. I don't quite understand the mechanics of it, but the lens has been sent in to the NewJersy Leica repair place. A tech. bench tested it and found that it needs adjusting. I hope that is all -- it's my favorite lens. I don't think my other lenses have a problem, but they would be harder to test. Luckily I have not noticed any problems with images made with them.
  5. Thanks, John. Looked and it is in fact meters. Big duh and slap on the head! That had briefly gone through my head but I hadn't looked close enough. Will try shooting some film over the holiday and confirm that everything else is working properly.
  6. Er, Craig, would you please call the lens a Summicron rather than a Summican.
  7. Mukul--sorry, that was a typo as I was posting the message late at night the other night and being interrupted by my kids. My day job is as a writer, so I am always embarrassed by typos.

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