Leica 3F rangefinder not working
Old 08-24-2018   #1
mugs250
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Leica 3F rangefinder not working

Hi all,

Recently got a Leica 3F (black dial) and was pretty disappointed to find out the ranger finder isn稚 working, whenever I try to focus with my lens the patch doesn稚 move at all when I look through the ranger finder window.

Does anyone have an idea what痴 going on?

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2018   #2
Gregm61
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The lens cam in the back near the mount, mates with the RF cam/device inside the body mount and in front of the shutter curtains at the top. Those two moving together are what drives the rangefinder.

What lens are you using? Assuming those two "link up" the system should work. Otherwise, there may be something internal that needs servicing and there are people who work on those bodies, such as...

http://www.yyecamera.com/price_list.html#
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Old 08-24-2018   #3
Timmyjoe
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Can you see the patch clearly? I had a iiif once that the patch was so faint you couldn't see it move until I put an orange gel over the rangefinder window.

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-Tim
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Old 08-25-2018   #4
mugs250
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I’m using the Elmar 50mm f3.5 the weird thing is the little RF device in the camera is loose and moves back and fourth. Is that suppose to be the case?

I know on my Zorki 4K the RF device is firmly in place but I don’t know if the device in the Leica is supposed to be loose or not!

Also, I can see the patch but it is a little faint! What kind of gel did you use Tim?
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Old 08-25-2018   #5
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugs250 View Post
I知 using the Elmar 50mm f3.5 the weird thing is the little RF device in the camera is loose and moves back and fourth. Is that suppose to be the case?

I know on my Zorki 4K the RF device is firmly in place but I don稚 know if the device in the Leica is supposed to be loose or not!

Also, I can see the patch but it is a little faint! What kind of gel did you use Tim?
What exactly to you mean by "loose"? Obviously it has to move back and forth against the spring but is it flopping up and down or is there no spring loading?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-29-2018   #6
mugs250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
What exactly to you mean by "loose"? Obviously it has to move back and forth against the spring but is it flopping up and down or is there no spring loading?

Cheers,

R.
It's like a little arm that the little circular thing is attached to. It's definitely flopping around. If there's supposed to be any kind of tension there's none.
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Old 08-29-2018   #7
hwsthl
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There certainly should be spring tension there, it should spring outwards if you press it in. My guess would be a loose connection between that arm and the square shaft it connects to, possibly caused by a loose screw. It could also be a weak leaf spring but that seems less likely.
A photo or video of how it's behaving would help diagnose the issue if that's possible.
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Old 08-29-2018   #8
hwsthl
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leicaproblem.jpg
My guess would be something in this area is loose/broken.
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Old 08-29-2018   #9
rfaspen
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I hate to say it, but it sounds like the camera will need to visit the camera doctor. The RF arm should not flop around loosely. It should only move when you press on it.

If the RF mechanism has become undone, I wonder if anything else in the camera has worked loose. I also wonder just what happened to this camera to cause the problem in the first place. Sometimes we don't know much, if anything, about the history of our cameras. This poor guy could have been dropped or slammed against a hard object. Or it could have been strapped tightly to the back of a motorcycle and taken on a cross-country trip (certain death for a camera).

What I'm getting at: it might be more efficient and wise to send the camera to a competent technician for a good checkup -- the ubiquitous "CLA" -- to address the RF issue and whatever else might be lurking inside.
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Old 09-01-2018   #10
mugs250
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Originally Posted by hwsthl View Post
There certainly should be spring tension there, it should spring outwards if you press it in. My guess would be a loose connection between that arm and the square shaft it connects to, possibly caused by a loose screw. It could also be a weak leaf spring but that seems less likely.
A photo or video of how it's behaving would help diagnose the issue if that's possible.
I値l take some photos and videos as soon as I get the chance!
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Old 09-01-2018   #11
mugs250
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Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
I hate to say it, but it sounds like the camera will need to visit the camera doctor. The RF arm should not flop around loosely. It should only move when you press on it.

If the RF mechanism has become undone, I wonder if anything else in the camera has worked loose. I also wonder just what happened to this camera to cause the problem in the first place. Sometimes we don't know much, if anything, about the history of our cameras. This poor guy could have been dropped or slammed against a hard object. Or it could have been strapped tightly to the back of a motorcycle and taken on a cross-country trip (certain death for a camera).

What I'm getting at: it might be more efficient and wise to send the camera to a competent technician for a good checkup -- the ubiquitous "CLA" -- to address the RF issue and whatever else might be lurking inside.
It痴 a hard thing to think about for sure! The seller told me it was in good condition before he sent it to me and he was located in the states and I知 in Canada so I知 guessing (if the seller is honest) it happened during shipping? I have been having some issues with the slower shutter speeds as well.. the 1/60th shutter speed gets jammed frequently.. I値l take some videos and post them just to show you all.

I知 going to a camera repair shop tomorrow to get an estimate and hopefully get it fixed within the week.. I知 absolutely dying to shoot this beautiful camera but patience comes first I guess lol.

Do you have any recommendations of a good technician around? I値l see how much it will cost me locally but if I can save a few bucks a I値l go with that route.
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Old 09-01-2018   #12
mugs250
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Originally Posted by hwsthl View Post
Attachment 107659
My guess would be something in this area is loose/broken.
Thanks for the photo! I値l show it to the repair guy tomorrow!
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Old 09-01-2018   #13
rfaspen
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Well, sometimes sellers are honest and simply don't know what "good condition" is. Sometimes sellers are not so honest. I have seen plenty of both situations.

Its clear that the camera needs to be serviced to be brought back to good condition. The good news is if you can send it to a competent technician, it will become a fantastic little camera that should be robust and reliable for decades to come (30-50 years). The LTM Leicas are truly built to such standards -- a concept long abandoned.

There are good repair technicians in Canada. I just can't remember any right now. I personally try to send most of my Leica (and related) to Don Goldberg (aka DAG Camera Repair) in Wisconsin, USA. In my opinion he is the best there is, but not cheap. In the US, you will hear about Youxin Ye in Massachusetts (I believe). He does good work on "simple" repairs, such as a standard CLA, and he is not very expensive. I don't know if the fact he's in the US, and you're in Canada, has much impact. Regardless, I recommend looking at Youxin's website and checking out the prices for his standard services. That will give you an idea of lower end of costs.
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Old 09-01-2018   #14
mugs250
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Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
Well, sometimes sellers are honest and simply don't know what "good condition" is. Sometimes sellers are not so honest. I have seen plenty of both situations.

Its clear that the camera needs to be serviced to be brought back to good condition. The good news is if you can send it to a competent technician, it will become a fantastic little camera that should be robust and reliable for decades to come (30-50 years). The LTM Leicas are truly built to such standards -- a concept long abandoned.

There are good repair technicians in Canada. I just can't remember any right now. I personally try to send most of my Leica (and related) to Don Goldberg (aka DAG Camera Repair) in Wisconsin, USA. In my opinion he is the best there is, but not cheap. In the US, you will hear about Youxin Ye in Massachusetts (I believe). He does good work on "simple" repairs, such as a standard CLA, and he is not very expensive. I don't know if the fact he's in the US, and you're in Canada, has much impact. Regardless, I recommend looking at Youxin's website and checking out the prices for his standard services. That will give you an idea of lower end of costs.
Thank you so much, I値l check them both out.

I知 really new to the whole LTM world of cameras and I知 glad that there痴 a place that I can get all my questions answers by people who know much more than I do. I知 very excited to get the 3F up and running!

Cheers,
-Mugs
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Old 09-01-2018   #15
Dan Daniel
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Oh, if you do send the camera to the US, look into proper customs declarations to indicate that it is a service repair, not a new (to you) purchase. USPS is best for shipping back to Canada, not UPS or Fed Ex.



The 3f is a very well-known camera by most older repairmen. I know people who were trained specifically on that camera for large chunks of their training. So very likely any competent repairman comfortable with mechanical cameras can help you. I know this goes against the general wisdom here that there are only one or two people in the world who can do the work, but 20-30 years ago most any repairman could do basic work on a 3f.
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