Shutter shading on IIIa

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by david_killick, May 12, 2002.

  1. My IIIa developed the following problem: pix fine at slower speeds,
    but at higher speeds either half or whole of image (slide film) is
    The problem, I gather, is something called "shutter shading" caused by
    the lubrication going dry.
    Anyway, I took it in to a friendly and ancient technician with a beard
    like Methusulah's who beamed with delight wlike a benevolent gnome
    when he saw my Leica. Seems he dealt with screwmount Leicas when they
    were new. Said he could fix it. Only problem was how long. His mate,
    who had an equally long beard, just roared with laughter and said when
    he bought HIS camera in he was clean shaven...Still, should get fixed
    OK. My question is: how common is this problem, how easy is it to fix,
    and how long can a newly serviced Leica screwmount shutter be expected
    to last?
  2. Had the same problem on my M2. With the higher speeds, the first
    curtain didn't make it all the way across the film gate before it got
    bumped by the second curtain. Sent it in for CLA and all's well now.
    I suspect this was the first it had received and this was in 1997.
  3. My IIIa had the same problem @ 1/1000th sec. when I bought it
    (for all of $25!) in 1960. Being a poor high school student I
    ignored it and happily used the camera at the other speeds until
    the early '70s. When I started using the camera again in 1999 it
    had the same problem at 1/500th as well. A CLA (by John
    Maddox in So. Carolina) solved the problem and the old beast
    has worked perfectly since.
  4. I love to hear stories about using vintage cameras, of whatever
    variety. Good shooting with the IIIa.
  5. Been there - done that. The IIIc I had in college in the 70s did the
    same (1/250 and up).


    One of the headaches to the screw-mounts is there's not even a swing-
    open door like the Ms, so you can't check for this except by exposing
    (or NOT exposing) film.


    The shutter itself will 'last' quite a long time unless you sunburn it.
    But it will need adjusting now and then, and that depends on how much
    use it gets. The more it's used the better shape it stays in, usually.
    Some folks recommend clean/lubricate/adjustments (CLAs) every 10 years,
    others every 20, others only when a problem shows up.
  6. When it sounds like it's grinding when you take a picture, you can be very sure it's time for a CLA. I'm working over my IIIa at present. Previous repairman did a less than stellar curtain replacement job...

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