M6 rangefinder out of adjustment...how long/complicated to fix?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sergio_ortega, Jul 28, 2000.

  1. During a recent trip I found that my M6's rangefinder focussing patch was/is out of alignment/adjustment. I did not bump it or drop it, it just seems to have gone out of alignment. Perhaps it was all the vibration from the car/plane trip.

    <p>

    The split image lines up correctly on the horizontal axis, all the way out to infinity, but not on the vertical axis. It did not affect my images and accurate focus is still possible, but it bothers me to see an out-of-alignment image in the viewfinder.

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    This one is my newest M6 (non TTL), still under the Leica Passport warranty. I've never had this problem with any of my other Leica bodies. Any idea how complicated a repair/adjustment this is? And how long does Leica usually take to repair these things under warranty?

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    Thanks for the advice/help. Sergio.
     
  2. Since it is under warranty, I'd just send it in and have them fix
    it. I believe the up down allignment adjustments are under the top
    of the camera, so it needs a descent amoint of work to get to it.
    The infinity focus can be reached from inside the lens mount area,
    and ia an easier adjustment. You just spend a bundle on the camera,
    so it doesn't make sense to me to use it as it is.
     
  3. Sergio,

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    Back in 1994, Popular Photography did a full tear down report along
    the lines of "Leica M6... how good is it?" They had one of their
    cheif camera technicians open and fully disassemble both the M6 and
    an M2... side by side. One of the negative comments, (and there were
    several), was that the vertical alignment of the rangefinder on the
    older M2 had precise adjustability via screws on the mount, while the
    M6 had fixed vertical alignment... which was slightly off on the test
    camera issued to Pop photo by Leica. My 1988 M6 has been a very tiny
    bit off since I got it... Focusing is still 100% accurate but point
    light sources can be seen twice on the patch.

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    Looking through some of the Leica user group inputs, it seems that
    this is common. A couple of the people reported long waits, only to
    have some mis-alignment after they finally get their camera back from
    Leica USA.

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    This is particularly depressing for a camera of both the cost and
    pedigree of Leica. I'd agree with Andrew and utilize the warranty.
    Let us know how it goes.

    <p>

    Just as an aside... not to brag, my 1966 M2 is perfectly aligned...
    both horizonal and vertical. Those were the days!

    <p>


    Good Luck, Al
     
  4. It is a very simple adjustment that takes less than a half an hour
    to do. The adjustment is made, using a special tool, through the
    access hole behind the red Leica shield on the front of the
    camera. Unfortunately Leica USA does not seem to have such a
    quick turn-around time. I had a similar problem and overnight
    aired it to Leica Canada and they had it back the next business
    day after they received it. I was impressed!
     
  5. John,

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    I know that the horizonal adjustment is made through the front... on
    my M2 and M3'2, I simply removed the cover screw and did it myself
    with jeweler's screw drivers... But does this work for the vertical
    adjustment?

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    Based on the reference material that I've seen, it requires the total
    removal of the top plate on the older M series cameras. The M6 may
    be different, but according to that Pop Photo article, it is not so
    easy. The magazine asserts that adjustment is not so precise due to
    the RF prism being more fixed in the M6.
     
  6. No, John's right: horizontal adjustment on all M models is on the big
    roller at the top of the lens mount opening. Vertical adjustment is
    either via the big screw between the windows, or behind the red dot,
    depending on the precise model. Horizontal is easy to do at home;
    vertical takes small screwdrivers on the earlier models, and a special
    tool on the red dot models. I wrote something about earlier models
    which you'll find somewhere down below on the earlier posts.

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    On the screw mount cameras the big screw on the front hides the
    horizontal adjustment, and the vertical is made by rotating the glass
    in the RF window near the shutter speed after removing the knurled
    ring.
     
  7. Thanks to all for the information provided. I'll be sending it to
    Leica for warranty repair/adjustment in the next few days. I will
    post the results of this when the work is completed. Sergio.
     
  8. Sergio,

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    Good luck! While you are waiting for the return of your camera, you
    might want to do some reading... and see that you are not alone. Go
    to the site: http://mejac.palo-alto.ca.us/leica-users/ And type
    in "rangefinder alignment" in the search window. You can see how
    confusing and frustrating this is.

    <p>

    Al
     
  9. Sergio, I had exactly the same problem a few months ago, and
    mentioned it in photo.net.

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    Very often, with the M4 and later Leicas, is not an actual
    misalignment, but rather that the viewfinder patches appear in
    alignment only if your eye is centered exactly on the exit pupil of
    the viewfinder. Moving your eye around slightly causes various
    degrees of seeming misalignment.

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    The M3 finder, which has a different optical design, does not suffer
    from this "defect".

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    So, make sure that this is not the problem, before you send the
    camera out for repairs. I did not, and the camera repairman was kind
    enough to point it out to me and save me some bucks.
     
  10. To add, this is not a complicated adjustment, and any competent
    camera repairman who has Leica experience can do it for you with a
    same-day turnaround, assuming no backlogs on his part. I don't know
    how quick Leica is.

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    If you are in New York City, take it in to Ken Hansen, they used to
    have an in-house guy who would take care of the small stuff on the
    spot.
     
  11. I agree with Mani: be sure to experiment with where your eye rests on
    the viewfinder before sending your M6 off for repair. I've found
    that my new M6 (.72 TTL) appears to be ever so slightly misaligned on
    the vertical plane, but that the misalignment disappears as I adjust
    the position of my eye in the finder.

    <p>

    Dan
     
  12. Thanks to all who took their time to respond to my problem/question.

    <p>

    As suggested, I tried moving my eye around the viewfinder a bit. The
    vertical alignment of the image does seem to improve somewhat as I
    drop my line of sight to the bottom of the viewfinder port. But, as I
    move too far down, I lose the patch's split image effect altogether.
    However, the vertical alignment is still off, no matter where my eye
    is placed.

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    It's also off at varying degrees at certain focussing distances.
    Strangely, the closer I focus, the less pronounced it becomes. And,
    even more perplexing, at infinity distances, it's not very noticeable
    either. It seems to be most apparent in the middle distances. Maybe
    my eyes are playing tricks on me!

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    I'll re-post when I resolve this with Leica. Thanks again, Sergio.
     

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