What was wrong with my film loading with M6

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by kenny_chiu|8, Jul 5, 2000.

  1. It was the third times that I found out after I have 'finished' 36-exp film I could not rewind the film and of course the film did not transport at all when I tensioned the shutter in the first place.

    <p>

    Any thing wrong with my film loading or my M6 is abnormal?

    <p>

    It apperas that my M6 is working now.
     
  2. The official Leica line is to follow the picture printed on the
    baseplate, and don't worry. I always make sure the transport gear
    teeth are biting the holes in the film as they should be, before I
    close the back, and when I load I ALWAYS take up the slack in the
    rewind crank after I've wound and fired once, and make sure the crank
    moves when I wind the second blank shot before the first picture. If
    the crank doesn't move, I open the camera and try to figure out
    what's going wrong. Losing a shot at the beginning because you have
    to open the camera is a lot better than losing 36 in a row, right?
    :)
     
  3. Kenny,
    Couple of questions: 1. You said three times... out of how many
    rolls? Just asking to see if this was intermitten or three in a row.
    If it is in a row, there could have been a failure of something
    mechanical. Once in a while could indicate technique error when
    loading the film. 2. Does the film stop advancing at the end of the
    roll, or do you just stop at 36? If the film will not advance after
    36,37 or so... then it was in fact transporting. 3. does the film
    rewind lever automatically reset when you advance the film train
    after removing an old roll? if not, the camera will act as though
    you want to make multiple exposures... In this case 36 shots on frame
    one. Check that it is snapping back into its normal position, which
    allows all of the gearing to advance the film.

    <p>

    Aside from that, I concur with Michael... Check that the sprockets
    engage both the top and bottom of the film. Take up all tension in
    the rewind crank and ensure it spins while going to frame one. Good
    Luck. Al
     
  4. The loading may be the single most frequent gripe against the Leica M
    system. I follow the advice given
    by Michael and wind once before closing the back, but not actually for
    the same reason given by Michael. I found that by following the
    baseplate diagram, you are guaranteed to have a
    misalignment between the frame counter and the frame numbers exposed
    on the film, i.e. the counter is always one ahead. This nitpick
    drives me nuts. So by winding once before closing, the counter
    remains disengaged for the one frame causing the numbers to be better
    aligned. And the way I do it always places the frame numbers nearly
    centered beneath the frame (using Kodak film). This is cool because
    the number is then properly seen on the easel/baseboard as it
    is projected by the V35 enlarger through the small window for that
    purpose. If you forget what frame you're printing, you don't have to
    take the negative out of the carrier to read the frame number. This
    small feature is particularly nice with the 25x37 carrier (for black
    line surrounding image) because, depending on how much coffee you've
    had, it's tricky to get the negative perfectly centered to make the
    thickness of the lines relatively even. And once it's in there, by
    God you don't want to have to take it back out!
    <p>
    I'm not positive about this, but I think I read a comment once on the
    LUG that winding the M4 series or M6 without the baseplate attached
    can be potentially harmful to the spring in the takeup chamber. I
    don't know if this is true. Maybe somebody else can add a better
    educated comment on this.
    <p>
    Even though the M camera has a ratcheted winder, when you wind your
    camera, do it "smartly" and "positively" and not with any hesitation
    or undue caution. I'm not saying to be harsh, just to be done with it
    with one swift action. I think the mechanism actually works better
    when done this way, and it's certainly overengineered enough to
    withstand it. A while ago when I was being too cautious, my M6 #1
    jammed up tight - wouldn't wind, lever was stuck - heart throbbing its
    way up into my throat - sudden horror, you know, all that. I was
    unmistakably half way through my roll of film so I know it worked
    correctly until then. I still don't know what happened. Well, it
    happened one day with M6 #2. Same thing. I attributed it either to
    the way I loaded my film (weird), or the way I was winding. Ever
    since then, I've been winding both cameras "smartly" and it's never
    happened again.
     
  5. Thanks for your advice and tips. I use only about dozen films in
    last 8 months for this camera. The problem is intermitten and most
    likely the film was not engaged properly to the teeth of the film
    transport system. I cannot recall what was happened but I think I
    was not able to advance the film completely at 36/37 so I decided to
    rewind film but it was stuck also. So I did an ungraceful thing to
    apply excessive force to the film rewind crack then I heard the film
    was disengaged or broke (one time). The film rewind lever was in up
    position before I turn it side way to rewind but did not watch it
    after I took out the problem film.
     
  6. Another problem you might be having from your description, but might
    not have explained well is that if you wind film too far at the end
    sometimes the film is pulled loose from the spool in the cassette.
    I've never seen this with my eyes, but what it feels like has
    happened is that the film has come outside the cassette, but is still
    held by the tape. Trying to rewind finally breaks the tape, leaving
    the film stuck in the camera. Usually all that happens is that the
    sprocket holes strip out, but not everytime. The moment you feel that
    little tug at the end of the roll that says you're out of film, STOP,
    even if it's in the middle of a wind stroke. Don't try to wind the
    shutter the rest of the way--just rewind right then, and finish with
    the shutter later. But that doesn't really sound like your problem,
    since it sounds like you didn't get any pix at all.
     
  7. As someone else said on photo.net recently, these are the kinds of
    problems you should not have in a high end product after 50 years of
    development. Ditto the battery drain problem of the TTL and the loose
    battery cover problem of all M6s. Or the viewfinder flare problem.

    <p>

    Kenny, I agree with the post above that says wind the film to the
    first frame smartly, and not cautiously. That seems to solve most of
    my jamming problems.
     
  8. I can understand the Leica loading problem in context--they have had
    50 years to develop the camera, but it's only the last ten or so in
    which consumers have decided to abdicate ALL responsibility for blame
    when something goes wrong. I don't remember loading properly being
    all that big of an issue in the past, when people were willing to try
    to do their parts to make things work right.
     
  9. One thing that is ignored when talking about the loading system of
    the "M" is that no swing back camera is as structurally sound. The
    single piece body is extreamly durable and will take a lot more abuse
    before distorting. Any additional seam, hinge or variable mating
    surface is a potential for reduced integrity. I'll put up with the
    current system.
     
  10. This gripe comes up again and again! Just make sure that the sprocket
    teeth are engaged, close the back fit the baseplate and fire three
    frames in quick succession. That takes care of it.

    <p>

    It's possible that if you've only shot 12 films in 8 months you
    haven't yet got the hang of it, rather than that the camera is at
    fault.

    <p>

    I've always felt the M6/4 etc is the most positive load of any camera
    I've used, and I've never ever got it wrong.

    <p>

    Rob.
     
  11. I have to agree with Rob. It is the best and fastest manual load
    system I have ever used. However there is a little trick. Film that
    has been stored in its plastic cannister developes a kink in the
    leader. When you insert the film, its kinked edge can sometimes
    catch on the upper edge of the film gate. When you then attach
    the baseplate the film is jamed between the edge of the film gate
    and the plastic film locater wheel on the baseplate.
    To prevent this just load with the back flopped open and make
    sure the edge of the film is past the film gate before attaching the
    baseplate. Clear sailling after that. Cheers
     
  12. Ditto that reply from john collier the kink in the leader accounts
    for 99.99% of all the problems, the other .01% is useually prevented
    by drawing the leader out a little bit, youoften feel the little bit
    resistance. I think it is a throwback to the long leader days of
    35mm. film
     
  13. That explains why my film was trapped. As I remember these three
    films in problem were reloaded from films taken out from my Nikon
    camera and the film leaders are pretty curled at the time I reloaded
    them in my Leica M6
     

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