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Leica M3: Yellowish RF-patch normal or not? Worth resilvering?
Old 11-10-2017   #1
Nitrofunk
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Leica M3: Yellowish RF-patch normal or not? Worth resilvering?

Hi Group!
Ive got a very clean Leica M3 (CLAed one Year ago, high s/n). The only thing that worries me about this camera is that its rangefinder patch has a slight but noticeable warmish tint. The camera was checked at Leica in Wetzlar a few days ago: They said everything is perfect, and the somewhat yellowish RF-patch is normal.
However: A few weeks ago I asked Peter from CCR Luton about the patch. He said that the yellowish patch is NOT normal and is a sign of deterioration. He said it needs to be resilvered (which he could do).
So now Im confused. Since the patch on my Leica MP is more contrasty than the M3's and shows no yellowing, I wonder if the resilvering is worth the money or not (and wether it inproves anything or not).
What do you think?
Thanks!
Peter
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Old 11-10-2017   #2
ruby.monkey
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A yellow-tinted R/F patch is normal for an M3 (the V/F itself has a blue tint). I think the M3's beamsplitter was gold- rather than silver-plated.
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Old 11-10-2017   #3
Robert Lai
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Yellowish RF patch is normal. The viewfinder is blue tinted, and so there is color contrast with the yellowish rangefinder patch. When you're in focus the image should be color neutral. The RF patch on the M2 M3 is gold plated.

The latest cameras use a silver rangefinder mirror, and they are color neutral. At least they are neutral on my M5, M4-2, M7.
MP, M7 finder show more contrast overall due to use of coated components in the viewfinder and rangefinder.
The M2 and M3 finders are uncoated. Up to the M6 the finders are uncoated, but still usable nevertheless.

I had a Leica IIIf that had a slightly yellow RF patch, and the stationary image was slightly blue. When you were in focus, the two colors complemented each other, and you had a neutral image.

Leotax S also has a similar yellow / blue combination.
Carena Computer II (made by Petri) from 1974 has a distinct yellow RF patch. There is a slight blue tint in the viewfinder.

On my Contax IIa, the two images are red and green tinted. When the images coincide, the color is neutral. In the case of the Contax, one image is made by silver coating, and the other by gold coating. I'm told that Zeiss stopped doing this due to cost restrictions on the post war Contax cameras, but on my 1955 IIa, it's there.

So, the use of color contrast to distinguish the rangefinder image is a time honored approach used by many manufacturers, including Leica.
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Old 11-10-2017   #4
Nitrofunk
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So would the resilvering be useless?
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Old 11-10-2017   #5
Hern
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrofunk View Post
So would the resilvering be useless?
I had mine done up by him. His service is well worth every cent imo. It serves me as the only camera I use for very low light focusing now.
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Old 11-10-2017   #6
Nitrofunk
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So is your RF-patch brighter/contrastier now?
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Old 11-10-2017   #7
Hern
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It returned to me brighter, as bright as a current M-A patch, while retaining its yellow tint. I suggest you find out more about the process from Peter, but I do trust his handiwork very much.
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Old 11-10-2017   #8
Beemermark
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Do you have any problem focusing with the RF? Why would you spend money if there isn’t a problem?
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Old 11-10-2017   #9
Mute-on
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^^^
What he said

Stop fretting and put the money towards a lens, or a pile of film.

Most importantly, go out and enjoy your M3!
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Old 11-10-2017   #10
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrofunk View Post
So would the resilvering be useless?
Not to Peter's wallet.

All kidding aside your Leica is fine. Just use it instead of worrying about a non existent problem.

I just checked both my M3s, and they both have delightful, bright, contrasty, yellow/gold tinted patches.
And have been like that as long as I can remember.
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Old 11-10-2017   #11
DanskDynamit
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if Leica said its normal, why to worry?

by the way, wasnt Peter out of business? not so long ago I remember his wife passed and he stopped receiving new work and he was even selling off his equipment.
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Old 11-11-2017   #12
Lux Optima
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I never realized that a working RF patch had a color that somehow could be described with an other word than "normal". I am aware of distortions or dirt or other visible problems but never thought of the color until now. Instantly checked my two M3. They all show the same shade of yellow...
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Old 11-24-2017   #13
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrofunk View Post
A few weeks ago I asked Peter from CCR Luton about the patch. He said that the yellowish patch is NOT normal and is a sign of deterioration. He said it needs to be resilvered (which he could do).
Apparently every single one us has M3s with defective rf-patches.
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