Visoflex III an focus issues

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by fernando de france, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Hello,
    I have been going nuts for a while with a Visoflex and Bellows I bought sometime ago. I probably am too silly to figure out what the problem is. I have tried the Visoflex on my MM and previously on an M9P with exactly the same issue. I can get a perfectly clear image on the mirror of the Visoflex, but when I see the picture I've taken it is totally out of focus, or rather, the image does not have anything whatsoever in focus. I have shot with a 40mm Summicron, and the 90 Elmarit, and I also have tried an R to M adapter on the Bellows so I could try some of the R lenses I own. Always the same problem. I have read a lot of posts in internet, and looked through manuals, but the use of the Visoflex seems really simple, I must be missing something.
    I would really appreciate any help or any light into this subject.
    Thanks a lot in advanve. Best wishes.
     
  2. The Visoflex must be out of calibration. The distance from the lens to the lens to the focusing screen must not be the same as the distance from the lens to the sensor.
    The stop for the mirror is probably mis-positioned. This is generally how fine adjustment of focusing in done on single-lens reflex cameras. Coarse adjustment is usually shims under the focusing screen.
    Best way to do it yourself would probably be to get access to an M Typ 240 (or newer) with "live view," and adjust the mirror stop so that live view and the focusing screen agree.
    Also, I presume you're not focusing on the "mirror" of the Visoflex, but instead on the ground glass on the top of it. (If your Visoflex is set up with a clear screen for "aerial image" focusing, that takes special technique.)
     
  3. Everything in the Visoflex 1, 2 or 3 is exact, so seems inexplicable. I assume the mirror is locked down properly?
    Otherwise, the ground glass screen is rather finely ground.
    If it has any oil on the ground glass surface underneath, it can become too clear and thus you could be focusing via an aerial image rather than on the ground glass. This can be cleaned with a lens cleaning solution, isopropyl alcohol, maybe.
    While I have occasionally been a little confused when focusing for this reason, this doesn't seem likely, so I hope someone else can help. Good luck
     
  4. Can you post a pic of the Visoflex? Are you sure you do not have an extension ring on the back of the Visoflex?
     
  5. I didn't think of a clear screen; thanks John.
     
  6. I am trying to post a couple of pictures of my Visoflex, but have no idea how to do it...
     
  7. I have been looking inside of it, all over. It seems perfectly clean, in great condition, the mirror stops in its place... really bizarre.
     
  8. SCL

    SCL

    Fernando - I believe your Visoflex isn't the standard Visoflex III, but rather the micro-Visoflex III which is configured with an interchangeable focusing screen. My picture, although a Viso II, shows how the front appears on the regular Viso II and III models where the screen is affixed to the body. As others mentioned, it sounds as though yours is out of adjustment, although what you are reporting seems pretty extreme. Since you can focus on the screen, I think the problem is either in the shimming of the screen or perhaps the interchangeable screen isn't properly/fully inserted. Another thought would be on the rear of the Visoflex - the M mount (which attaches to the camera body). There should be 3 adjustment screws on the bright chrome ring - which are usually used to properly vertically align the Visoflex on the camera body. You might check to see if that ring is properly mounted and adjusted, as it could throw off actual focus if not seated properly.
    00cura-552100384.jpg
     
  9. SCL

    SCL

    Just one other thought--- are you certain that the Visoflex is mounting directly on your camera body....no additional extension rings, etc. between the two?
     
  10. Hi Stephen, thanks a lot for your input. Let me try to answer your questions. The Visoflex is mounting directly onto the camera body, no extension rings or anything. You are right, my Visoflex has an interchangeable focusing screen, I did not know there was another type of Viso... I have checked a lot of pictures, and it is obvious in your picture, that my focussing screen is different, mine is totally transparent. However, since the image forms perfectly well on the prism, in sharp focus, it seems the problem should be on the mounting as you mention, but the Viso mounts well and I don't see any difference with other Visos, nor can I find the screws you mention. Here are some more pictures of my item.
     
  11. SCL

    SCL

    Fernando - a totally transparent focusing screen means that you are focusing on an aerial image. Did your Visoflex perhaps come with a frosted ground glass screen as well as the transparent one? While focusing on an aerial image gives a really bright image, it is quite different than how one focuses with a ground glass screen, and that may account for the unsharp image at the camera sensor. I wish I could be of more help to you, but it is beyond my range of experience. Another place you might look for answers (and I do know that there are some participants who are familiar with your particular model) is the camera forum previously operated by Leica, now a private venture http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/ .
     
  12. Hello Stephen, thanks a lot for your thoughts, I could be that you are absolutely right... My Visoflex did not have a frosted ground glass, it only had this one... I wish I could get one and test it, I am sure it is almost impossible to find one, and it has to be removable also... But I get your point. And thanks for the link, I will check it and see if I get lucky.
    Best wishes.
     
  13. SCL

    SCL

    I'm not sure where you live (although perhaps your registered name suggests France), but there are some Leica repair specialists who might be able to help out. A lot of folks in the UK mention
    CRR
    Luton UK
    Website
    Malcolm Taylor
    Herefordshire, UK
    Phone No 01568 770542
    and
    in the Netherlands
    Will van Manen Kamera-Service
    Dorpsstraat 81
    2712 AD ZOETERMEER NL
    Tel. +31 79 316 33 39
    www.kamera-service.info
    In the USA: Don Goldberg at DAG Camera, Sherrie Krauter at Golden Touch and Youxin Ye at YYe Camera. On PN Gus Lazzari is a knowledgable repair person, although I've never personally used him. I know there are a couple in Canada as well, but don't have them on my current list.
    Most of them respond to Emails and often stock repair parts, so once you are certain of the underlying issue you might give them a hail. Also, some of the forum participants at the forum I mentioned earlier, are an incredible resource in tracking down problems and repair persons specific to the problems based on their experience..
     
  14. Thank you very much, I will contact CRR first, since it seems to be the closest, or Will van Manen.
     
  15. To focus on an aerial image, you first focus the finder on the cross-hairs, which should be there in the middle. You then focus so that when you move your eye, the cross-hairs move the same amount as the subject. Very powerful for macro or microscope work. Close to useless for general photography.
    Rick Oleson sells a nice 6x6cm fresnel focusing screen with a split-image prism. Intended for upgrading TLR cameras, but probably could be cut down and used in this Visoflex.
     
  16. The only lenses which will give focused images with a Visoflex are those lenses in visoflex mount, such as the 65mm Elmar.
    The regular M lenses (40, 50, 90) are too far from the film to project a focused image. If it appears that they are in focus when you look at the mirror, it is because you are looking at an aerial image.
     
  17. A Visoflex II can be acquired for a variable amount of money
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Cameras-Photography-/625/i.html?_from=R40%7CR40&_nkw=Visoflex&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=625&LH_Sold=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=15&_stpos=&_sargn=-1%26saslc%3D1&_salic=3&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&LH_Complete=1
    but can be found very cheap. Much cheaper than having your Visoflex III modified. I'll happily sell you one of my Visoflex II examples!
     
  18. Thank you Bill, thanks John. I have read a lot about users that could and used their Visoflex with conventional M lenses without any problem, I thought it was possible. I actually have a 90 Elmarit that you can unscrew and screw onto the plate on the bellows, attached to the Visoflex, I also have tried that but again the same focus issue, so I really don't know what to do at this point. The first step seem to have a "frosted" screen to focus onto, but that seems impossible to find... Then try other lenses? Very confusing...
     
  19. SCL

    SCL

    It is not the lenses, so don't bother wasting time on that. You should have a copy of the Visoflex chart showing what focusing mounts, lenses, bellows, tubes and their proper configurations along with focusing ranges and exposure compensation to guide you. If you don't, there's a copy about halfway thru this thread http://www.photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00WNLW. The reason others don't have a problem with their Visoflexes is simply they have the normal ones which have a ground glass focusing screen, yours has a clear screen for aerial focusing - it takes a lot of practice to learn to properly aerial focus, and your best bet would be to either replace your current screen, of just get a regular Visoflex....they're pretty cheap these days, I think the one I got last year for doing some modifications was only $60. Since you already have the eyepiece you could probably find the base unit in that price range just by watching the big auction site for a few weeks.
     
  20. The Visoflex you have is quite collectable; don't alter it. Ordinary ones II or III are reasonably cheap as David says, and almost always no problem
     
  21. Hello again, thanks a lot to all of you for your help. So finally, if I am clear, the best thing to do would be to sell my Visoflex and buy another one with the normal focussing screen, or maybe buy a Visoflex II and adapt the screen to my Visoflex. And please confirm I can use any M lens on the Visoflex, and if I see the image in focus on the screen I will get it properly focussed on the sensor...?
    Thanks a lot, cheers.
     
  22. The Viso 2 pentaprism will not fit on any Leica after the classic M6. The pentaprism on Viso 3 allows for a higher camera body; M5, then M6 TTL and after. A viso2 with a Viso3 pentaprism works fine. The V3 does have some benefits outdoors, and with auto setting on M9. I prefer the simpler V2 for any set-up work, like copying or portraits or still life. Look it up, anyway
     
  23. SCL

    SCL

    Fernando - one point of clarification. Although most M lenses (and LTM lenses with an LTM->M mount adapter) may fit on the Visoflex, ones shorter than 65mm will NOT focus at longer distances. The Visoflex is not designed for use with shorter focal length lenses. If you look at Leica's chart which I referred you to, you can see that infinity focus on the Visoflex begins to be achieved with the 65mm Elmar. With shorter focal length lenses, the Visoflex acts as an extension tube, allowing only very close/macro type shots. Also, note that when lenses are used on the Visoflex, in order to properly focus, need a special focusing mount. The lens heads attach to the focusing mount, which then attaches to the Visoflex. The attached photo shows the lens head of a 90mm Elmarit unscrewed from its normal focusing mount, rescrewed into a black 16464 focusing mount, which is then and then attached to the Visoflex, providing a focusing range from infinity to about 17 inches, or even shorter with an additional 16471 extension tube.
    00cvat-552212084.jpg
     

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