What's up with my Leica M6?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bms, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. bms

    bms

    I realize the answer to his question probably is "Send it to (insert name of repair person here)".
    I "upgraded" my M4 to a classic M6 - don't know when it was last CLA'd, if ever, but it is a flawless body, light meter checks out and shutter speeds sound accurate. Rangefinder is spot on. The first few frames on the first roll of film looked ok and then I started having problems (see below). Shots are underexposed (some more than others, slower shutter speeds seem to be more affected) and the left side of the image (right side if the negative) is dark, which seems unaffected by the shutter speed chosen. Same on the second roll I shot. So I took a closer look and noticed that when the dial is turned to "B", the shutter seems to doing more of a 1/1000 exposure. Everything else still sounds ok, the 1 s, to 1/8 s by gross examination (using my eye and ear) seem ok.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks
    Ben
    00WrLT-259785584.jpg
     
  2. bms

    bms

    Oh, BTW, the dark line on the left of the image is not on the negative, the scanner on the photo lab just did not scan that part and I had to expand the canvas size, which made it pitch black....
     
  3. You really "up"graded a M4 to a M6?
    That's news! So somebody dug out the selftimer to put the battery compartment, then building in the diodes, potentiometers, back door dial, gold contacts...
    Wasn't cheap, huh?
    Well, no more kiddin', but I don't see any problem in your sample, except typical color cast of city lights (sodium vapor, in this case, I bet)
    En serio, B sounds always as a 1/1000, because the shutter travel time is always the same.
    Now, if you give the trigger free again, it will sound again like a 1/1000, 'cause the second curtain is travelling as quick as the first...
    Other members might support more insights,
    Good luck!
     
  4. bms

    bms

    Thanks - note that I put the "upgraded" in quotes. Still have my M4, which has not failed me ever... :)
    The previous shot was taken at broad daylight and the left side of the image should be as bright as the right. Never mind the color cast, this is a scan from the lab. Here is another example.... maybe more obvious.
    And I realize the shutter in B will should open fast when triggered, and then close fast when released (admit that I never use it), but mine does both when triggered....
    00WrMv-259799584.jpg
     
  5. looks to me like one of the shutter curtains is dragging.
     
  6. Hi Ben,
    sorry, didn't mean to be that caustic...
    Sounded like an upgrade of one body itself!
    The M6 problem looks like a spring tension/shutter brakes issue.
    Probably debris/sticky lubricants.
    If it is the first or second curtain retarded or bouncing back into frame,
    only Gus could tell...
    Shouldn't be a big problem, I hope, maybe this camera was stored about 20 years without any use...
    Good light,
    Knut
     
  7. Curtain problem for sure. Get thee to a camera doctor.
    I know what you meant: upgrading from an M4 to an M6. But do be careful--them's fightin' words for some people :)

    I had DAG upgrade my M4 to take a Rapidwinder / Leicavit / Motorwinder. DAG also CLA's it.
     
  8. Looks like all your M6 needs is a CLA to be good as new. M6 is a fine camera.
     
  9. bms

    bms

    Thanks guys, I figured as much :)
     
  10. Hi Knut ! Thanks for the mention.
    I just sent a response to Ben's inquiry at my email address:
    "what your sample image shows is a classic 2nd curtain capping, caused by a different rate of fatigue between the barrel springs which is helped along by lubricant failure"​
    Yeah, it needs a CLA; then a 3 sensor shutter tester to calibrate the curtain travel times to the Leica specification.
     
  11. I've seen a similar problem when I bought an that was old but looked as new. That means it was seldom used and the lubricants were stiff. I operated the shutter at all speeds quite a few times and all was well again. It would still be a good idea to have it serviced. Get advice on where to send it though!
     
  12. bms

    bms

    Thanks again - it is on the way to The Camera Doctor now!
     
  13. FWIW; that happened to my M6 too. It's being doctored right now..
     
  14. bms

    bms

    Just got the camera back from Gus. Still waiting on the first roll but is feels and looks like reborn....
     
  15. Thanks Ben for the kind words.
    I just wanted for the record to indicate that I wasn't quite correct on the actual fault with Ben's particular M6. The first thing I diagnosed from the symptom was of course the most common issue of curtain's balance, but the symptom that I didn't account for was the "B" not working correctly. It ended up being a "levers pressure spring" failure. A tempered very high strung spring component.
    (See image provided of the actual part) After replacement, the CLA went very smooth.
    Anyway, a fairly rare malfunction...
    00WwmS-263697684.JPG
     

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