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A little advice
Old 10-04-2015   #1
Tom_ewart
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A little advice

Hi guys,

i hope this is ok to post,

I was given an M3 with the elmar 50mm 1.2 lens recently in milan and on inspection the shutter curtain and the lens looked to be in fine working order so I went ahead and put a roll of Illford Hp5 in it and brapped off the roll around milan for a week.

on return these were the results:











I'm putting a lot of it down to learning curve and poor exposure (and focus!) judgement but is there any glaring issues you guys can see that might be camera related?

thanks!
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Old 10-04-2015   #2
icebear
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severe underexposure, slight horizontal scratches on the negatives, drying marks. If you plan to keep the camera have it fully serviced (CLA, i.e. cleaning lube adjustment). This will make sure all times are accurately working for the shutter. Otherwise you have no control over your exposure.

You can test the same subject, in same light by shooting at the same exposure value but different f-stop time combinations. E.g. f8, 1/125; f5.6, 1/250; f4, 1/500 etc. All exposures should come out the same. If not, the shutter is not working properly.
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Old 10-04-2015   #3
Richard G
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Welcome to RFF. Depending on your experience this camera might be fine. Generally it's all underexposure. Even out of focus that's a very nice dog. I rather like the shot. I agree with Klaus about some systematic testing of the shutter speeds. If the shutter looks to be behave correctly at 1/1000s and if 1s runs even and for not more than 1s then the camera might be fine.
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Old 10-04-2015   #4
13Promet
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If you need to CLA it, let me know by private message and - since we live in the same city - I will give you an advice for a cheap but very good lab to do it
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Old 10-04-2015   #5
mfogiel
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In Milan, there is Newoldcamera, which has very good repair service and some professional advice, in case you need it.
But what you need before that, is to check what's going on with:
- exposure determination: you preferably need a light meter, if not a smartphone meter or at worst shoot Tri X or XP2 at f 8.0 and 1/1000 when in full sun, 3 stops down if you enter the shade.
- development: either you learn how to develop properly, or shoot XP2 and drop it off at some serious lab
- scanning: there are numerous scanning threads on rff, look through them to determine which scanner to use and how to get the best out of it
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Old 10-04-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
In Milan, there is Newoldcamera, which has very good repair service and some professional advice, in case you need it.
You'd better go directly to the service centres where they bring the gear: same service and no markup
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Old 10-04-2015   #7
ferider
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Welcome.

Like the others said, there is an exposure problem. Could be the camera, you or whoever developed and scanned the film.

Except for the dog which is out of focus (I am guessing because you didn't extend the lens - don't worry, has happened to all of us), the focus seems to be OK on the other shots.

Before you send the camera for repair:

1) do a series of test shots to test the exposure, around noon, on 100 ASA, start with 1/1000 + f5.6, and go down, 1/500 + f8, 1/250 + f/11, 1/125 + f/16, and add an ND filter or shoot at a different day time to measure all camera speeds. 1/15 and down to 1 sec you can pretty much tell by sound if they are OK.
2) Check the lens for haze with a flashlight, and if the aperture closes properly.

Good luck,

Roland.
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Old 10-04-2015   #8
Tom_ewart
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thanks a lot guys i really appreciate and ill do a full exp. test on the next roll to be sure.

Im actually based in london but thanks for the nods towards good places in milan, I hear http://www.apertureuk.com is a good one in case i do need to take it in, anyone have experience with them?

cheers though guys

p.s do you think developing at snappy snaps is a no no?
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Old 10-05-2015   #9
David Hughes
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Hi,

"do you think developing at snappy snaps is a no no?"

I wouldn't know know but in your shoes I'd buy some cheap but reliable film. Then try all the others and see what happens.

But first I'd get the camera checked. There's a lot of repairers with the technician on the premises and they will often give you an estimate for a fee or even nothing. Leica will also do it but ask what the fee is first and sit down before they answer.

Or send it to the usual recommended repairers in the UK like Malcolm Taylor or Newton Ellis & Co; both highly recommended by yours truly.

For a cheap film, try Poundland. Labelled "Agfa Vista 200" but also "Made in Japan" and everyone's guess is Fuji...

Regards, David

PS If you were given it I'd guess it's not been used for a while, so a service would be about due as the lubricants will need sorting out and the grit and fluff stuck to them will need removing. The difference between any old Leica and the same camera after a service will amaze you and you'll realise the money was well spent. Well, that's what I'd do...
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Old 10-05-2015   #10
Richard G
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I like David's PS above. I have never regretted the expert service I got on my M2 after thirty years of ownership. Turns out the rewind knob adjustment and lubrication were never quite right all those years and now it is a dream, with a clutch mechanism built in. Lubricants have come a long way since the 1950s. If your lovely camera is not in constant use it is more likely to leap into action when called if it's been serviced and nicely cleaned and lubricated. Similarly if you do make it busy it is more likely to seize up inconveniently just before the shot of a lifetime if it's dried out and gunned up. And you might compound the damage. I took my M2 to the ski fields over other newer film cameras just because it was the most recently serviced. Enjoy it.

So that dog is in Italy and you're in the UK. We won't be seeing another shot of him any time soon then. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2015   #11
Tom_ewart
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sadly not its my girlfriends family dog, here is a little non leica picture to enjoy:

thanks for all your help again guys. taken into aperture here in London and they say the lower shutter speeds are off and sometimes misfiring which I'm told is normal if not used regular so after this colour roll I'm shooting ill take it in for a service.
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Old 10-06-2015   #12
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I don't see motion blur to a degree that could be due to using the lower speeds, so you probably weren't in that range. Leica shutter speeds tend to err towards the slow side, causing overexposure if the camera needs maintenance, so this is more likely to be user error. Did you meter at all? With a known good meter? Was the meter set for the right film speed? Time and aperture properly set? Is the film merely dirty, or was it also under-developed? Did you develop it yourself, or was it Snappy Snaps that screwed up that job?
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Old 10-06-2015   #13
Tom_ewart
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my hypothesis is this, I applied the sunny 16 rule much too strictly and tried to shoot nearly everything outdoors at f16 and 500 shutter. obviously way too underexposed plus snappy snaps either pulled the neg a little or pushed too much and blew what little I had way out I'm not sure. I only had a smartphone app for metering which I don't think is any good tbh.
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Old 10-08-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_ewart View Post
my hypothesis is this, I applied the sunny 16 rule much too strictly and tried to shoot nearly everything outdoors at f16 and 500 shutter. obviously way too underexposed plus snappy snaps either pulled the neg a little or pushed too much and blew what little I had way out I'm not sure. I only had a smartphone app for metering which I don't think is any good tbh.
I suspect the shutter speed on the camera is off. Or something about the curtains that is not letting enough light in.

There are pictures in that set that would had perfect exposure with f/16 and 1/500th shutter especially with a 400ASA film.
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Old 10-15-2015   #15
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Is your Elmar crystal-clear? Each of the four shots you posted are very low contrast... which could be from underexposure and/or processing, but it almost looks like you may have some fog between the lens elements?
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Old 10-21-2015   #16
Tom_ewart
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it has the expected dust but on visual inspection it looks clear and in fine condition to me?

I'm finishing a colour roll soon and will have develop elsewhere just to compare,
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