Help! New M6 TTL Questions

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by eric_reid, Sep 20, 2001.

  1. I've been following this forum for a few weeks and it helped convince me to lighten my bank account by purchasing a new M6 TTL with a 35/f2. Previously, I rented an M6 classic and borrowed a friend's M6 TTL for a test drive before making the leap. Now, I've got the new baby in my hot little hands and, of course, I'm concerned about a few things that may or may not be peculiar to the body and lens I bought. Heretowith, my own type-A list of questions for the experts on this board. Please go get your Leicas and sit with me for a few moments of contemplation and hand-holding through this difficult time...

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    1. Rangefinder focus patch flare. Yes, I know they all do it and I've read all the posts. Putting aside the fact that my $2000 camera body has this inherent ridiculous problem, my question is -- do all of you who have M6 TTLs have flare severe enough to make focusing extremely difficult (particularly interiors or low light)? I'm concerned that I simply won't get many shots because I can't focus the damn thing. Have you tried more than one M6 TTL body to determine whether all flare about the same amount? (I tried a few bodies at the store before I was embarassed about being so anal that I took the seemingly best one, paid and left.)

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    2. Camera back. The camera back that hinges open has slight side-to-side play when closed on my body. Normal?

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    3. Film Loading. Yes, I know it can be tricky when you first get a Leica; however, I had no loading problems on the 6 or 7 rolls I ran through the M6 I rented, and none on my friend's M6 TTL. Now, as soon as I put the cash on the table for my very own puppy, Mr. Murphy stepped in and it took 3 or 4 tries to load the very first roll! I know how to do it -- question is, if you've been doing it fine before, is it a sign that there could be problem with the particular body I bought?

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    4. Lens. My 35 Summicron has a faintly gritty sound/feel in the middle third of its focus range when turning the focus ring. Anyone else experience this on their lens, whether when new only or at all times?

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    5. Shutter sound. While all other Leica's I've looked at have a noticably different sound around 1/15 sec. (at 1/15, you start to hear the spring wind-down just following the click of the shutter). On mine, you hear the spring wind-down sound at 1/30th -- anyone else?

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    I know, I know, I should probably just use it and love it. However, I haven't noticed these things on the other Leica's I tried and I wanted to know if anyone else has before I start to run film through it, etc. and it becomes difficult to exchange for another body.

    <p>

    I appreciate your help. You all unknowingly talked me into this thing - now help me make sure it'll be ok for the lifetime use that I hope to make out of it!

    <p>

    Eric Reid
     
  2. Eric 1. Yea the flare is normal with the m-6, You get used to it
    and can work around it and for most of the time if its to bad to
    focus I have a finger print on the rangefinder window.
    Other wise I normaly just see through the flare . There are after
    market solutions ,that I have never felt need to try

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    aside . my M2 is less bright in the rangefiner but flares less and
    my M4p on the other hand is brighter and bit has a more flare.

    <p>

    Just smile when it happens , and know its not ending up on the
    film because of the wonderful lens
    2. Totaly normal, Now you really have been playing with camera
    a lot . I have had Ms for years and never noticed that one.
    3. You will just get used to film loading and it will become
    second nature .
    4.Might just be a bit of uneven lube job or bit of settling of the
    lubrication , but hard to say with out feeling , but my my new lens
    came out of the box feeling perfect if not up to snuff take back to
    the dealer and trade out for another lens , and be glad you
    bought at a dealer and not mail order .
    5.totaly normal ,if you don't hear the sound time for CLA.

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    Hope this helps a bit can understand the anxiety you are going
    through did it my self with the up grade to new lens.
    Hope you enjoy your new camera sure you will, and by the way
    what is the next lens focal length going to be .
    Chuck
     
  3. Hi, I have just get a M6TTL as well. My first Leica. The loading is
    fine. But it would be better if the camera can give back some
    confirmation. My Leica also starts the wind sound at 1/30 as yours.
    Actually, I have one frustration -- there is simply no shutter lock.
    I have been using Nikon FM2. The winder serves as the on/off switch
    and shutter lock. You can simply leave the speed dial there and lock
    the winder when not shooting -- saving from both accidental metering
    and shutter fire. But in Leica, NO. There is no shutter lock. You
    can accidentally fire it anyway. And the on/off witch is on the dial!
    I don't know why Leica uses this design? Should not be difficult to
    put a switch and lock to the winder, shouldn't?
     
  4. Eric, I solved the rangefinder flare problem: I take the exposure
    reading with the M6 and the picture with the M2. ;<)
     
  5. I have M4-2 and M4P, but as we know, very little has changed in 40 years in Leica M.
    1. Finder flare: M4-2 has almost none but has a dimmer finder overall. M4-P is brighter but does flare a little more. Seem to be MOST likely to occur with bright light source (e.g. table lamp) off to left of finder. I either avoid that particular set-up or cover the ridged (middle) illumination window with a finger while focusing.
    2. Both my backs have some play. Unlees it's causing a meter problem by misaligning the ISO contacts, or fogging film (try leaving the loaded body with the back (NOT THE LENS) facing the sun for 15 minutes or so to see if it's light-tight) it's probably not a problem.
    3. Some people claim one of the film rails was redesigned recently and is more likely to catch the 'top' edge of film as you slide the leader in from the bottom, and prevent it from moving the last silly mm into position. Check out this link to be sure you're using the best possible loading technique - I almost gave up on the M's before I found Andrew Nemeth's site. Now I have a misload about once in 30 rolls.
    It's the real deal - espcially the part about NEVER starting to wind with the bottom off and back open. It's a temptation, but it almost always guarantees a misload.
    4. no useful comment on gritty lens.
    5. my 1/30th (both bodies) has a very subtle quick "di-dit" sound at the end, but the 'bouncing ball bearing' sound shouldn't really show up until 1/15th.
     
  6. Re the flare probelm I think Lutz sells somehing that attempts to
    resolve this, some sort of polarising or grey filter. Check out
    previous threads.
     
  7. Eric

    Here's the link to flare-problems-going-bye-bye. Hundreds sold, enthusiastic responses.

    Enjoy your baby.
     
  8. The gritty feeling is normal in some new lenses. This goes away
    after continuous use. Film loading is second nature once you get
    used to it and that will take about 50 tries. These days I am
    getting used to loading the IIIf without trimming the leader so the
    M6 to me is a piece of cake!
     
  9. I followed Andrew Nemeth's suggestion on film loading and have had no
    problems at all. Even works with the M winder!

    try his site <azn@nemeng.com>
     
  10. Eric,

    <p>

    I have a new (7/2001) M6TTL and the 35/2 lens. Comparing your
    experiences with mine:

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    1. Rangefinder focus patch flare – It’s a problem, generally minor
    for me even in low light. Occasionally it can be severe and I’ve
    found changing my eye-point helps (keep the camera steady, move your
    eye a tiny bit left.)

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    2. Camera back – ditto, about .5mm play. Never noticed it before.
    Doesn’t affect my results. No light leaks.

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    3. Film Loading – Andrew Nemeth’s procedure works for me. However,
    the film does not align perfectly on the 1st or 2nd frame. The film
    is skewed slightly down (the image slightly up). This is more
    noticeable on pliant films like Portra than stiffer films like Supra,
    Royal Gold etc. By the 3rd frame the film has usually aligned itself.
    The grey-beards will say this is due to a defect in my loading
    technique, but I don’t think so. The cassette is seated as deep as it
    can go (every time - yeah I fiddle the rewind crank, thanks for
    asking), the leader is in the take-up “tulip”(every time), the back
    is closed (every time), the bottom plate installed and latched (every
    time). Since I print, I can correct minor crookedness.

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    4. Lens – My 35/2 focus helical is very smooth from limit to limit.
    However, my 50 Summilux binds up at near focus. I’m hoping this
    will “break in” and I think it has somewhat.

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    5. Shutter sound – ditto your camera, the sound at 1/30th “bounces”.
    I like this as it lets me know when I’m shooting in the “slow” range
    without having to look at the dial.

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    I don’t blame you for expecting your camera to be perfect, or at
    least within new-product tolerances. I waited a long time to get a
    Leica and I too paid a princely sum. I’m kinda disappointed that
    Leica USA or the German parent don’t take a more active interest in
    their customers’ experiences. Good thing we have this forum, is all
    I can say.

    <p>

    Cheers,
     
  11. Eric:

    <p>

    1) Flare is a problem in M6's, but I have not had the problem in low-
    light situations, unless the rf windows are covered with
    fingerprints -- which somehow mine seem to always be no matter how
    careful I am to avoid it. So I clean them regularly with a micro-
    fiber cloth.

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    2) Normal.

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    3) No problem with your body here. More likely different film than
    what you were using when you borrowed your friends Leica... I find
    that the thicker emulsions resist the initial sprocket engagement
    more so than thin emulsions. Try gently pressing the film over the
    sprockets as you perform a slight initial wind before closing the
    back - this generally ensures film engagement.

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    4) My new 21 asph did the same thing. I eliminated the problem by
    continually operating the focus ring for about 15 minutes (while
    watching a sit-com on the tv). I also pressed in and pulled out on
    the focus ring slightly as I did this. I figure this was equivalent
    to several rolls of film worth of break-in focusing. The problem is
    very close helicoid tolerances, and lttle room for the lubricant to
    do its job. A little of the above exercizing will solve the problem -
    and if you want, actually look through the viewfinder as you're doing
    this - it has the added bennefit of improving focus skills with the
    M.

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    5) Can't answer this one. My body(s) has the noticeable double spring
    sound at 1/15th, but I have not noticed it at 1/30th. Getting the
    shutter checked for accuracy is a fairly simple task, and many of the
    larger camera stores have a shutter-checking machine in house. If it
    were me, I'd get it checked for accuracy.
     
  12. Flare: I've had M6's for more than 10 years, have yet to figure out
    what people are talking about.

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    Camera Back: slight play is normal.

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    Film Loading: The only trick is making sure the film sets into the
    top track. The loading system was never designed for the film to be
    seated into the track from below, it was designed for it to be fed
    from the cassette side. When the loading system was designed the
    film leaders were long enough to get the leader tip into the takeup
    spool while the full-width portion was still left of the gate.
    Unless you feel the film into the track or pre-trim the leaders
    there's always the chance of a hang-up, though it doesn't always
    happen.

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    Lens: Try working it in. If it doesn't clear up, return it for an
    exchange.

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    Shutter sound: 1/30 has an additional sound not present on the faster
    speeds, but noticeably different from 1/15. If they sound exactly
    alike, have the shutter checked if you can, or return the camera.

    <p>

    I've heard advice to just "shut up and enjoy the camera" on other
    forums, thankfully the atmosphere here is more realistic rather than
    apologistic. QC faults are inexcusable and intolterable in a camera
    whose stratospheric price is largely based the promise of precision
    and quality.
     
  13. Thanks to all who took the time to break out their Leica's and
    compare notes. From your responses, my sense is that most of you
    share some or all of these, well... "characteristics" of the camera.
    Since I bought it locally (Samy's in LA) just last week, I think I'll
    bring it and the lens back in and compare them with a few more bodies
    and lenses. They'll think I'm insane of course, but no more so than
    I already believe I am for spending this much time posting and
    analyzing responses to my hypersensitive questions (other than the
    flare, that's not hypersensitive. Or the gritty lens. Well, the
    play in the camera back bothers me too...). I do think the QC ought
    to be better since one part of what we're buying is a group of well-
    machined parts interfacing with tight tolerances. Oh well, maybe the
    Leica gods are punishing me for not spending enough at the shop --
    better start looking at the 90/f2.8 and a bunch of accessories. I
    think the most valuable contribution clearly came from Bob
    Fleischman; except my version will be to meter with the M6 then shoot
    with my Contax T2. Heck, isn't its 38mm Zeiss lens better than those
    soft gritty Leicas' anyway? :)
     
  14. I just got a M6 TTL O.58 (Black, Japan market) and love it. So far
    flare hasn't been the problem I expected it to be. This is all
    subjective, of course, but I sense that flare is less of a problem
    than on my M6 classic (c. 1985). I wonder if this is my imagination
    or if the 0.58 is less prone to flare.

    <p>

    I've also had no problems loading my new TTL, which I've had with
    my classic. Probably good luck. What I do these days is bend the
    film leader slightly (toward the bend) before inserting. This gets
    the leader in the right slot.

    <p>

    Also sense that the TTL is a little lighter than the classic--is it?

    <p>

    Another thing--the spot metering seems a lot tighter than on the
    classic.

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    Run all the film you want through your new TTL. If you have a
    standard guarantee repairs will be on Leica for the next few years
    no matter how much film you use.
     
  15. Flare in the M6 .72x RF is much greater than that in the M4-P, but
    you just learn how to hold your eye and work around it. I don't find
    it bothersome. A way to reduce it: Put a little swatch of black tape
    in the center of the illuminator window. Don't cover the whole
    thing, all you need is a little bit about the size of the small RF
    window. I find this really cuts down the flare by a tremendous
    amount.

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    A little looseness in the back is normal.

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    Film winding: You're just nervous with your first purchase of the
    camera. Relax and it will be just fine. Remember that your
    Passport warranty will take care of anything wrong for quite a
    while to come...

    <p>

    Go Take Pictures! :)
     
  16. Mmm.. The back door on my M4 has absolutly no play. I just had it
    CLA'd by Leica -guess they screwed up. Should I return it to have the
    back loosened? ;-)
     
  17. Jack,
    Thankyou for making me feel better.
    I am so careful avoiding fingerprints on my M6 windows yet there
    they are, sometimes overnight and sometimes not 5 minutes after I
    have cleaned them off. I swear they are not mine!
     

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