M6 TTL Batteries Drain Fast?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by msitaraman, May 28, 2000.

  1. I'm reversing myself. In another thread a few months ago, I said that I did not particularly notice that the M6 TTL ran its batteries down particularly fast.

    <p>

    It does. I've kept track, and with light enthusiast usage I've been through 6 sets of batteries since February. This is about 3-5 times the rate in my non-TTL.

    <p>

    What gives?
     
  2. Try tripping the shutter before you store the camera. This supposedly
    cuts off battery drain. This bit of advice comes from the Leica Users
    Group (LUG).
     
  3. That would seem to work, but for me there is nothing more irritating
    than trying to photograph the moment with an untensioned
    shutter. My habit is to always to wind the shutter after
    every shot so that I am always ready for the next shot. I never store
    a camera if it has film. When it is not over my shoulder or being
    used, I always leave it lying around like car keys or sun glasses,
    ready to be immediately grabbed and put into action.<p>
    Mani, I think there is a defect in the electrical system for the
    battery to run down so fast. This is definitely not normal operation.
    I'd get it checked.
     
  4. Here are a couple of posts off the leica-users you may find
    interesting:
    -------
    I posted a while back about the problem I was having with the
    battery draining on my M6 TTL and I thought I would update you
    all on the success ( so far ) that I have had . First off , I sent in my
    original TTL after six months or so of repeated battery draining ,
    to New Jersey to see what the problem was . They sent
    the same camera back two weeks later supposedly fixed but
    with no explanation as to the cause of the drainage ( This goes
    with out saying, but I was and am storing it in a snug bag and
    yes, I am careful to shut it "off" ). That turned out to be a waist of
    time since it continued to devour batteries at the same rate!
    Back it went again. Two weeks later I received a new camera
    with the same problem . I got a hold of "Brenda" in N.J. , who
    said that the second camera should have been from the batch
    with the" new and improved" metering boards but they really had
    no way (even with the serial number) of telling! She had me send
    it back again and promised to thoroughly test a third body before
    sending one out, well so far so good ! It has been two months
    and I am still on the original battery! Could be
    a record from what I have read here ! If it is any help , here are
    the serial numbers of the three bodies: 1st-2471*** 2nd-2481***
    3rd-2495*** (M.P.)
    ------------
    You could have a problem with the checking circuit of the TTL.
    Unscrew the battery compartment lid and take out the batteries.
    Then take a pen or pencil and run it over the two silvery dots at
    the bottom of the battery chamber. If you can feel that these are
    above the level of the base of the battery chamber, lightly push
    on them so that they slide below the base. I improved upon that
    by taking a small piece of thin, electrical tape and punched out a
    small circle and stuck it over the two contacts. They are
    part of a circuit that the technicians use a probe on. They have no
    function for the metering circuit and if they are too "high" they
    draw current from the batteries and will drain them quickly. My
    TTL 0,85 used to through a set of batteries every week or so, but
    after the 'surgery" they have lasted for several months. I suspect
    that these contacts are only a push-fit into the base and
    vibrations from air-travel or cars can cause them to shift slightly
    and cause the drain. If the problem persists even after the
    adjustment it would indicate that there is something else wrong
    and the camera should
    probably go to an authorised Leica service for checking. There
    was a batch of TTL's that had what I suspect was a ground fault
    that would drain batteries far to quickly and Leica did fix these as
    they came in. (Tom A.)
     
  5. Here is another post from the Leica-users on battery TTL drain:

    <p>

    I have read many posts about the voracious battery appetite of
    the TTL; and, armed with a Fluke 88 Multimeter.......... I decided to
    find out for myself. The hapless victim is a chrome 0.72 M6TTL
    serial no. 2472064..............The results are as follows:

    <p>

    Camera's Observed State // Current Draw.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial set to "off", shutter wound or released and
    pressure on shutter release or not // 0.00 milli-amperes.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial at any position, meter not activated and
    shutter wound or released // 0.00 milli-amperes.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial at any position other than "B" and "off", meter
    activated and shutter wound // 15.68 milliamperes.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial at "B" position, meter activated (no display)
    and shutter wound // 14.48 milli-amperes.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial at any position but "off", shutter wound, and
    meter activated but allowed to time out // 0.00 milli-amperes.

    <p>

    Shutter speed dial at any position but "off", shutter released and
    pressure on shutter release // 16.48 milli-amperes.

    <p>

    Conclusions:

    <p>

    It is fine to leave the camera "on" as long as there is no pressure
    on the shutter release. If there is pressure on the shutter release
    and the camera is not "off", the battery will drain down regardless
    if the shutter is wound or released. If the camera is being carried
    in a case, it would be prudent to switch it to off; other than that, I
    would not worry too much. It is very simple to rig up the above
    tests and if you are having problems with battery consumption, I
    certainly would advise it before sending the camera back. Leica
    states that a new battery will give around eight hours of metering
    time so it would be easy to drain the battery overnight if there
    was pressure on the shutter release and the camera was not
    turned off.
     
  6. Thanks for all the answers, and special thanks to John for the
    diligent effort behind his answer(s).
     
  7. Same happened to me until I realised the shutter was being depressed
    in the bag I used to store it. It's those little red LEDs that drain
    the batteries. Now I always set my (old non-TTL) M6s to B and the
    problem has gone away. Presumably this is the reason for the
    introduction of the OFF switch. Apologies if this is old knowledge,
    but it has certainly worked for me.
     
  8. A late update.

    <p>

    I just noticed that while shooting, I often take up the slack in the
    shutter release, the better to react faster to capture the shot, and
    to reduce any camera movement due to inadvertant "jabbing". Often, I
    noticed this weekend, that means I keep the shutter release down for
    even a couple of minutes at a time as I dance around people or a
    scene.

    <p>

    This unconscious little habit probably accounts for battery drain,
    though that still does not explain why the new TTL drains much
    faster.

    <p>

    Many thanks again, for the other input.
     

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