Using the M5 Light Meter

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by richard jepsen, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. I understand the M5 meter will not switch off if the camera is cocked. My shooting habit is to advance the film for the next shot. The meter would stay on if I did not change my habits. The older Pentax cameras also work like this.
    Can one just cover the lens and therefore reduce the battery drain to near zero?
    Is one technique to fire off the frame with the lens cap on and use the double exposure procedure to not waste the frame? Any other thoughts from M5 shooters on how to deal with the meter besides not using it in favor of a incident meter?
  2. Sorry folks, I asked this question awhile ago and the feedback was the battery drain is near zero.
  3. Battery drain should be the least of your concerns. For the sake of the Leica shutter, longevity and the ultimate accuracy, you've got to change your habit... Wind the advance when you know you need to meter just before firing. Or, just fire off the frame before putting it away for more than an hour.
    FYI: Even-though the shutter barrel springs are tensioned at rest, they increase tremendously (2 full turns at each barrel) upon being charged. Have the each curtain travel time (CTT balance) checked, and you'll see what I'm talking about. They must be the same 16ms each. From 250th to 1000th, this is very important for correct and even exposures. (Your habit has been known to have the rubberized silk curtain material pull itself away from the crimped metal rib)
    Besides, what good is your battery/meter if the exposures at the point of the shutter are off...
  4. Close-up photo of an 'M' shutter.
  5. Gus, I have not heard this before about the Leica shutter, or seen the injury you picture. You mentioned this same thing last week on the forum. I enclose a url of a discussion on this a few years ago. I always have my cameras cocked in the last 15 years, and in the first 15 years of my usage I only cocked them for the shot. My understanding is that it does not matter. I have not found that it matters. Leica apparently do not warn against it. (see Andrew Nemeth's site referred to in his post in the thread I am referencing. My M2 and M6 manuals do not give any advice on this.
  6. Richard, that old thread has so many erroneous comments in it, that it would take too much of my time to address & correct it all.

    If you consider that I've been commercially repairing Leica's since 1976, continually noting the habits of the camera owners verses this type of major failure, (by no means considered a rare occurrence) then maybe you can see the logic of the picture I provided.

    Keep in mind that my comments are directed towards horizontal traveling shutters not the more modern and completely different designed vertical units.
    For what it's worth; White Star Line said that the Titanic was unsinkable...
  7. Hi Sherry Kräuter's response to my query today on this subject was:

    "Camera should always be put away uncocked. All the mechanisms are at maximum tension cocked. It is simple logic."
  8. I am thinking of buying either a M4 or M5 to replace a MP for framing and financial reasons. Are the 35/50/90/135 frame lines displayed the same in both the M4 and M5? Does the M5 viewfinder mask provide more room vs other Ms to better view the meter display?
    The lack of meter is not an issue. The ability to focus is an issue. I considered a M3 with the higher mag but don't care for a lower contrast/blue tint viewfinder. One reason for my Leica purchase was the easier focusing in low light.

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