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piblondin

50mm frame lines 0.72x M7 accurate?

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I love my M7, but I have been noticing that i consistently miss the framing on my photos because i find the 50mm frame lines to be inaccurate on the vertical plane. My photos are consistently framed higher than I think they will be when I'm looking through the viewfinder and taking the photos. (The result is that i often cut off people's feet when I intended to capture their entire bodies.) This is most common when I'm in the 8 to 25 feet range. I thought it might result from my eye not being aligned, but moving my eye around doesn't really change my view of the framing enough to suggest that it's the problem.

 

Does anyone else have this issue with the 50mm M7 frame lines?

 

The most accurate frame lines I use, oddly, are the 35mm lines with my 40mm Summicron on my original M8.

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Hello piblondin,

 

Do you frame before or after you focus?

 

To most accurately utilize your frame lines you should frame after you focus.

 

Frame lines give you somewhat more on the negative/sensor than what you see in the viewfinder except close up. As the subject gets further from the camera proportionately more of what is outside of the frame lines gets captured on the film/sensor. Remember to compose after focussing.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

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.....

 

As the subject gets further from the camera proportionately more of what is outside of the frame lines gets captured on the film/sensor........

 

Michael

 

The determining factor with regard to how much is captured (camera standpoint assumed to be unchanged) is not the subject-to-camera-distance but the distance to which the lens is set.

 

The inside of the frame lines approximate the picture area of a slide mount or 23x35mm when the lens is set at the closest focusing distance.

 

When you change the distance setting on the lens, the lens becomes shorter, and therefore the area covered becomes wider. In fact, about three framelines wider than the frames show when the lens is set to infinity.

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The 50mm framelines on the M4-2 or M4-p onwards are a little inaccurate. They're calibrated for the mfd of the lens, and designed for slide film where a bit of the negative is lost to the slide cartridge. At least, this is the official line. The real reason is that when leica put a 28mm frameline into the rangefinder they had to scrunch down the 50mm lines to make it all fit.

 

Having said that, they're not so inaccurate that you should be cutting people's feet off.

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How are you judging the framing after the fact? Are you looking at the negatives themselves - or at mounted slides - or at commercial prints?

 

As mentioned, in theory film M framelines are supposed to be conservative, giving you more on the film than the lines show, precisely to account for cropping by slide mounts or print labs (and avoid cutoff feet and heads).

 

Try this experiment - take off the lens, and look through the viewfinder while pressing in and out on the rangefinder coupling cam (little horizontal wheel inside the top of the camera's lens mount) with a fingertip. The frame lines should move diagonally up-left/down-right as the cam-wheel is moved in and out.

 

It is possible the mechanism that moves the frame lines to adjust framing for focus distance/parallax has gotten stuck (crud, or a broken return spring).

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In the same vein as Andy's response, is the camera actually coming up with the 50mm frame lines when the 50mm lens is mounted. The problem you're getting could be due to 35mm frame lines being shown. Also are you using an M mount lens or screw mount via an adaptor? The wrong or a faulty adaptor could also cause this problem.

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Are you looking at the negatives themselves - or at mounted slides - or at commercial prints?

 

This is a very relevant question. If you are judging via machine prints or similar these are often cropped awkwardly.

 

Assuming you are seeing the problem with the negs/slides I would pop along to your nearest Leica dealer and compare your camera with another film M. I suppose it might be possible that your frame line mask is not correctly positioned.

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This is a very relevant question. If you are judging via machine prints or similar these are often cropped awkwardly.

 

Assuming you are seeing the problem with the negs/slides I would pop along to your nearest Leica dealer and compare your camera with another film M. I suppose it might be possible that your frame line mask is not correctly positioned.

 

I entirely agree about machine prints. They crop the negative (it's presumably to give the operator some slack so they can be shoved through quickly without black edges on the print). The operator can slide the negative around, so you can choose whether to lose top or bottom and left or right, but I don't think you can get it to print the complete negative. (At least that's my experience with a Frontierlab machine. If anyone knows a work-around, please let me know so I can tell the people who do my processing!)

 

If you suspect this might be what is going on, take a picture of a couple of rulers, and compare where on their scales the edge of the image is (a) on the negative and (

on the print.

 

Just one more possibility to eliminate!

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Put some ground glass or matt acetate at the film plane and cover with dark cloth like a view camera. Now match the glass with the VF. Not there is a big difference at infinity, you get lots extra, and minimum focus is closer match.

 

The old BL finders are best. But there is always a mis between close and infinity.

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I entirely agree about machine prints. They crop the negative (it's presumably to give the operator some slack so they can be shoved through quickly without black edges on the print). The operator can slide the negative around, so you can choose whether to lose top or bottom and left or right, but I don't think you can get it to print the complete negative. (At least that's my experience with a Frontierlab machine. If anyone knows a work-around, please let me know so I can tell the people who do my processing!)

 

If you suspect this might be what is going on, take a picture of a couple of rulers, and compare where on their scales the edge of the image is (a) on the negative and (

on the print.

 

Just one more possibility to eliminate!

 

It's a mix of machine prints + my own scans + the lab's scans + my own darkroom prints. I'll see if I can isolate the issue better.

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M7 and MP lines simply suck. The last great, and I mean perfect, viewfinder is in a M4-P. Boy that was a good one.

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M7 and MP lines simply suck. The last great, and I mean perfect, viewfinder is in a M4-P. Boy that was a good one.

Just a question, is there an easy adjustment for vertical or lateral adjustment of the frame lines in the M4 to M6 (later or earlier as well) cameras? My M4P frame lines seem a little to the left.

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It is possible to get the frame lines moved in the set up of a rangefinder, but it entails moving several components inside the mechanism. It is really the finer detail best left to an experienced repair person using the factory equipment. Moving these parts out of sequence can cause a headache for the person who does the final set up.

 

Best,

 

normclarke.

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