Jump to content

Vertical RF Alignment Tool


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

The official vertical alignment tool for the rangefinder of the M9, M8, M7 and M6 is quite expensive and hard to get. There is a much cheaper imitation on the net, still quite expensive. So I thought it would be a good idea to make it myself. It appeared not too difficult. The most difficult part was finding the right dimensions, so I think it may be useful to show them with the tool that actually fits and works, to save people some time in case they decide to also make it themselves.

 

The tool was made from a stainless steel part of a picture frame suspension system (but can really be any peace of stainless steel pin), having a hook at the end and having a diameter of 3 mm. I cut off a section of about 90 mm and started to work the end with a very fine hand file with a square shape. Using a diamond coated small file for the final work.

 

I made a thin part at the end and a thin part close to the handle, leaving an eccentric cylinder in between.

 

 

 

The dimensions I found to fit the hole behind the red dot, into the anchor hole of the vertical adjustment and actuating the sliding plate of the vertical adjustment are as follows:

 

end cyclinder

 

length 0.6 mm

diameter 1.3 mm

 

eccentric cylinder

 

length 1.5 mm

diameter 2.2 mm

 

connecting cylinder

 

length 6.5 mm

diameter 1.3 mm

 

handle

 

length 85 mm

diameter 3 mm

 

Note that the eccentric cylinder is flush at one of its sides with the tiny end cylinder which sinks into the anchor hole of the mechanism. The connecting and end cylinders share the same line through their centers.

 

As is explained elsewhere on this forum, the red dot can be removed without damage using toothpicks or hand carved chopsticks. Just push at the raised "Leica" letters in order to rotate the dot. Warming with your hand helps to soften the glue. After some time the glue gives way and you can remove the dot. Remove the glue from camera and red dot.

 

Take an old lenscap that fits over a torch and make a tiny hole in the cap with a needle so you get a tiny light dot. Place the torch at some distance (like 3 meter), to check the vertical alignment.

 

Put some acetone or nail polish remover applied with a wooden toothpick, using a really tiny bit by touching the shiny black covering (the glue) on one side of the plate with the slot around the anchor hole of the rangefinder mechanism.

 

Wait a minute or so and apply the newly filed out tool. The tool is good if you can feel the resistance in both directions of the sliding plate. If accurately made, the plate should be actuated by the tool. Either you use trial and error for the vertical alignment, or you put the camera on a tripod and look through the finder to make the two dots of the torch align by turning the tool. This is really a tiny amount for the right effect. Within a few minutes you can get it right.

 

Leave the camera hole open for the acetone or nail polish remover to evaporate and make the black glue harden again.

 

After that reapply the red dot with just a drop of silicon based glue. That type of glue remains soft, yet keeps the dot in place.

 

The horizontal alignment may have to be adjusted a tiny bit after this operation, so do this with the familiar trial and error method using a trusted lens and using a 2 mm hex tool applied at the roller of the mechanism, an/or the object at infinity method as described elsewhere.

 

It's really nice to have perfect vertical alignment, since the contrast method of focussing works better with it: your are in focus when the image in the rangefinder window pops into higher contrast and crisp resolution.

Edited by Lindolfi
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ecar and Mark.

 

Presently there is an imitation tool available on ebay for $ 65 plus $ 18 shipping abroad. So indeed that is another option, but does not buy you the pleasure of making it yourself.

 

Mark, what are the dimensions of the tool you bought, the way I listed them?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I agree there's pleasure in making it yourself but quite time consuming. In our throw-away society, there is less and less opportunity to use your skills to make something. I did not mean in anyway to disparage your efforts, and the shape - pin to locate into the rangefinder with offset cam is spot on.

 

I'll dig out my calipers later and let you have the dimensions.

 

The Chinese vendor of the tool was accepting best offers at the time I bought and mine was $30 including postage which he accepted. Might not do so now! $18 shipping is clearly absurd.

 

[Edit: Oversold my negotiation skills, I checked my Paypal account and paid $45 for it, about £30, including shipping!]

Edited by marknorton
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

Hi everybody...

 

i take off my red dot (m8), and looks like the lever has a drop of glue to prevent misalignment. could be this possible? or maybe its only a little bit of oil or grease. I've tried moving the adjuster with a metal pointer but it seems somehow fixed

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

There are many threads on the subject. Put a miniscule drop of acetone on the glue to soften it; don't get the acetone elsewhere and don't drown it., wait for a few minutes to soften it, adjust by the special tool, looking through the viewfinder at a distant object, replace dot and use five minutes later. Don' break or remove the glue, it is essential for fixation.

The adjustement is done by inserting the point into the anchor hole and using the tool as a fulcrum.

Edited by jaapv
Link to post
Share on other sites
There are many threads on the subject. Put a miniscule drop of acetone on the glue to soften it; don't get the acetone elsewhere and don't drown it., wait for a few minutes to soften it, adjust by the special tool, looking through the viewfinder at a distant object, replace dot and use five minutes later. Don' break or remove the glue, it is essential for fixation.

The adjustement is done by inserting the point into the anchor hole and using the tool as a fulcrum.

 

Thank you very much for the advice ... acetone worked great. Finally i've tried successfully this afternoon. Initially the RF turned worse but after several attempts I got it perfect. I made myself a copy of the tool based on dremel and a lot of patience

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought one online, took off the dot - the tool fit perfectly in my M-E.

 

But I didn't have the courage to use it

!!

 

A few focus tests allayed my concerns - the very slight misalignment doesn't effect my results, even wide open - typically Summi 50mm 2.0 ver IV - spot on.

 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I did however, take the opportunity to fit a black dot, nice look on the M-E

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...