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Vertical Alignment--How easy to do it yourself with tool?

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I suspect that the vertical alignment of my M8's rangefinder is just slightly off. E.g. I can read the text in a newspaper through the viewfinder, but it always seems less crisp in the focusing patch. Anyhow, I'm wondering how difficult it is to adjust the vertical alignment and get it dead on. I understand that one needs a special tool to use once she removes the red dot on the front of the camera. That's fine, as I can get one of the adjustment tools.

 

However, what worries me is whether I'll be able to get the alignment right, as I'll just be using my eyes (with glasses) and no type of objective measurement. A question for people who have performed this adjustment themselves: How long did you have to adjust it? Do you feel like you got it dead-on perfectly aligned? Did you find it difficult? Thanks!

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It is not that difficult, but you will need the tool and some patience. The tool looks like a small cylinder with an excentric protrusion. The adjustment is behind the red dot. It is a little sliding fork with an small hole fiited in it. The fork is fixed by a kit. The kit must be weakened by a miniscule drop of acetone (take care not to get it anywhere else!!), you fit the tool in the hole, point the camera at some distant object with the lens at infinity and with the camera at your eye turn the tool until adjustment is perfect. Leave the acetone to evaporate and the kit to harden and replace the dot. However, the adjustment may have shifted due to other reasons. The metal ball bearings may have oxidized or a prism may have slipped. In that case you will never get it right by simple adjustment.

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Just slightly moisten the blob of glue, it varies where Leica puts it. If you take it to a qualified repairman, he will do this whilst you wait. It is basically not worth it doing this as DIY. The tool will be far more expensive that the adjustment.

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There's a guy selling Chinese copies of the tool on ebay - I think I paid $24 for mine and they work fine. Not sure what Jaap means by "Kit", possibly an odd translation from the Dutch...

 

The Epson R-D1 has this problem and we all got used to adjusting it after removing the hot shoe. It's quite easy to work out when it's right.

 

Here'a a picture of the slider. The tool fits in the hole and the cam on the tool moves the slider up or down.

 

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Hi

 

First step is to try the rangefinder on a planet as it gets dark.

 

If as you focus to infinity the image is only offset a little, I'd not bother. If the focus spot is less clear you can still use the outside of the spot with the inside of the spot. It may be the rangefinder optical path is fogged with outgassed lube.

 

If you get two isolated images that you can see are separate but they align at infinity, I'd be temped to leave it unless you can afford a pro repair.

 

It the rangefinder is off vertically it may be also off horizontally at infinity or close up, the finder has individual adjustments, for each.

 

Lastly try and lift the red dot without crinkling it.

 

Noel

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Thanks, everyone. I'm not worried about infinity focusing, more just having perfect coincidence at closer distances. I think I'll give this a try in a couple weeks.

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Thanks, everyone. I'm not worried about infinity focusing, more just having perfect coincidence at closer distances. I think I'll give this a try in a couple weeks.

 

Sorry my post was unclear - a planet is an easy test target, alternatively you need a bright light and a pinhole. Detecting the image is unclear is easy adjusting it to be exact is more difficult, - even if you have excellent eyesight.

 

The rangefinder is not just about coincidence of the image, the lens register, lens cam and body register all need to be within tolerance, as well as the rangefinder, not to speak of focus shift.

 

Noel

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I don't have any noticeable focus-shift. I just want the images to perfectly coincide when I focus, and I believe they're just slightly off vertically. Because the error is slight and it appears to only be on the horizontal plane, I'm still able to focus, just not as easily as I would hope to.

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Lastly try and lift the red dot without crinkling it.

 

Noel

That is the easiest part. Work it with your thumb, then with two toothpicks and after a few seconds it will slide off.

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I purchased the tool from EBay and was successful following these instructions. I also previously accomplished the horizontal alignment that was posted here as well. I can once again shoot my M8 with enjoyment!

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In the good `ol days a simple screwdriver was the fix.  

 

This is like you can slam the camera around carelessly and the glue holds things together.  Better?  I don`t know.

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