M2 phantom "light leak"

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by trevor_o'connor, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Picked up my m2 a couple months ago, finally got a lens for it and put a couple rolls of film through it to find a triangular "light leak", for lack of a better term, in a good number of the photos. Some googling led me to believe it could be a pinhole in my shutter. So, I shone a flashlight through the front and eventually found a tiny tiny hole, but in the lower part of the second (right from back view) curtain, which doesn't seem to correspond with where the "leak" is when you consider the flipped image in the camera.
    Anyway, I patched that hole with a tiny bit of liquid electrical tape and ran a roll of film through the next day and didn't have any problems. So I was thinking problem solved, but I put another roll through, which was in the camera for a considerably longer time (a week or two) and the triangle returned. It doesn't seem as strong, but I also would have had the lens cap on more often and haven't been in a whole lot of bright light situations which could be the deciding factor.
    I went back to the trusty flashlight method, but after an hour of squinting and moving the shutter through its cocking cycle, not so much as the tiniest sliver of light showed itself, the patch seems to have worked perfectly. That leaves me where I am now. Frustrated with no clue what to do next. I have considered sending it to Kindermann, but I would rather avoid a costly repair if possible, and also was hoping to use the camera over the holidays when I travel to BC, and I don't know if the turnaround time would allow that.
    The leak is in the left side of the frame near the bottom, is triangular in shape, continues outside of the frame, and sometimes into the right side of the next image. If anyone has any idea what's causing this, or how to fix this it would be greatly appreciated.


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevoroconnor/22683009674/in/dateposted-public/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevoroconnor/22683054134/in/dateposted-public/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevoroconnor/22684318463/in/dateposted-public/
     
  2. This looks like a problem with the shutter curtain. If not a hole, perhaps the curtains are not aligned properly or in sync.
    It's possible that the light leak is in the rear door, but unlikely unless there is severe physical damage.
     
  3. Does this have a little flip up door in the back. If so you might check its light seal .
     
  4. I thought about the back door, but
    would that leave an exact shape in the
    same spot on all affected photos?
    Would it not cause more general and
    unpredictable fogging? I suppose I
    could look anyway. Is there a best way
    to check using the flashlight method?

    Thanks for the responses
     
  5. I would check the strap lugs.
    Best,
    Knut
    00dbYy-559396884.jpg
     
  6. There should be a strip of black felt on each side of the door opening. This may be little more than a cushion for the
    labyrinth light seal. There's no felt on the bottom edge.
     
  7. Leaks at a light seal tend to appear opposite the leak itself, with a sharp edge near the edge of the film trailing off toward the center, much as seen in you photos. The sharp edge is the shadow of the leak, projected on the film (q.v., Hasselblad light seal problems).
    The Leica light seals are labyrinth with darkened surfaces, and (obviously) will not depend on whether the lens cap is in place. The body itself is a single casting. There are no other seams to leak unless the body itself is cracked. The strap lugs are very high on the body, well above the cavity which holds the film, and would have to be noticeably loose to cause a light leak.
    A process of elimination leads to a shutter problems (in the absence of major physical damage). The front shutter is completely obscured from the rear, before and after firing, with no part of its metal border showing. Take a close look at it from the front of the camera when you wind it, to see if there is a tear or gap.
     
  8. Leaks at a light seal tend to appear opposite the leak itself, with a sharp edge near the edge of the film trailing off toward the center, much as seen in you photos. The sharp edge is the shadow of the leak, projected on the film (q.v., Hasselblad light seal problems).
    The Leica light seals are labyrinth with darkened surfaces, and (obviously) will not depend on whether the lens cap is in place. The body itself is a single casting. There are no other seams to leak unless the body itself is cracked. The strap lugs are very high on the body, well above the cavity which holds the film, and would have to be noticeably loose to cause a light leak. You might also look for unusual reflections through the rear of the lens, especially with a bright light just off axis. (The high cost of Leica repairs leads to a lot of self-help.)
    A process of elimination leads to a shutter problems (in the absence of major physical damage). The front shutter is completely obscured from the rear, before and after firing, with no part of its metal border showing. Take a close look at it from the front of the camera when you wind it, to see if there is a tear or gap.
     
  9. I would send the M2 to a good repair shop. If you are in the USA send it to Don @ DAG or Sherry @ Golden Touch.
    It's well worth the cost of an overhaul.
     
  10. SCL

    SCL

    Two others on the USA list are Youxin Ye and PN member Gus Lazzari.
     
  11. Can't tell if is the curtain, could be the back door, or even the bottom plate. I've had a leak there that looked similar to the left side leaks you show. But yes a competent repair person should easily suss it out.
     
  12. coming in late to this thread but I have exactly the same light leak in an M3. Was the source ever identified? It has me and repair services baffled.
    Thanks
     

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