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MikkiT

Replacing the pressure plate on M6

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The pressure film started to scratch films so I decided to replace it. I ordered a piece on ebay and now I am wondering if I can do the work myself or rather go to the service.

 

I appreciate any tips and advises on the matter.

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I think yes, I am sure. The scratches are on the film back side and never on the emulsion side. I ran a part of an unexposed roll through the camera and rewinded. The scratches were there. The rest of the film that never touched the plate is clean.

 

I bought this camera used and there were some scratches on the pressure plate itself that not really bothered me until now. I beleive these scratches on the plate are causing film scratching, They have not showed on my pictures yet (neither on scans not enlarger prints), but on other hand they might show up on big prints.

Edited by MikkiT

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Before swapping pressure plates, I would try some fine emery cloth grade F or FF. It is used to polish very fine watch parts and will not take down the surface, and probably only effect the expression that is scratching the film.

 

Take your time. In my experience, it's a two-coffee time job.

 

Remove the back door first. Just open the camera. There is a tiny lever on the upper left of the door. Push it right and gently lift the back from the hinge.

 

DuquesneG mentioned a problem in a thread here about an issue with the early M6 pressure plates. I wonder if your 'new' (ebay) plate might be one of the rejected plates with the same problem.

 

Ah! Here's the thread: http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/61613-new-m6-scratches-film.html

Edited by pico

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If you do end up changing the pressure plate it is possible to do yourself but it is fiddly. Do it on a large white sheet so you don't lose the bits. I use a strong magnifier. I did one this afternoon on an M4p.

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Polish the plate with a jewelers rough cloth before you change it out. Or some MAAS metal polish which is much more agressive. The problem is you do not want to remove the blackening. Use some gun bluing to restore if you have to.

 

I removed a plate for a M camera and it simply slides one way and then the other. Start by pulling it up slightly so you can see how the spring forks hold it down,.

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Polish the plate with a jewelers rough cloth before you change it out. Or some MAAS metal polish which is much more agressive. The problem is you do not want to remove the blackening. Use some gun bluing to restore if you have to.

 

I removed a plate for a M camera and it simply slides one way and then the other. Start by pulling it up slightly so you can see how the spring forks hold it down,.

 

Slide? you'll end up bending the spring in both tension and form. Do it properly by taking it apart rather than using force.

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There were no screws to see on the one I did and I did not damage anything. I found a dealer sticker under it from previous decades and I doubt dealers would be using tools to place their stamp on it.

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There were no screws to see on the one I did and I did not damage anything. I found a dealer sticker under it from previous decades and I doubt dealers would be using tools to place their stamp on it.

 

The back door comprises of door, spring, 2x S shaped plates to hold the spring to the back door maintaining tension on the plate, film rail, hinge mech and asa dial plus contacts. The correct way to remove the plate is to unscrew the 2x screws in the retaining plates thereby releasing tension on the spring. These then come out sideways. The plate can then be moved sideways and removed WITHOUT any spring tension.

I've seen springs bent in more than a few directions in people's attempts to slide vertically and horizontally. If you pull the plate away from the door it will more than likely bend the tabs on the spring that are held by the retaining plates, and yes, I've seen this also more than once!

It's an expensive camera that deserves to be worked on properly.

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There were no screws to see on the one I did and I did not damage anything. I found a dealer sticker under it from previous decades and I doubt dealers would be using tools to place their stamp on it.

 

What model were you looking at? My only film cameras are Leicas are nine M4 to M7 (and M9 which has no such). I won't even bother to break out the M7s to see if they follow your description because the rest had the pressure plate well embraced by a block with two screws to secure the plate.

 

Were you looking at at a Nikon F or some other unscheduled brand?

 

.

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Thank you everybody for useful answers. I´ve been examining the back door, there are four screws holding the structure. It seems to me that it is better to unscrew them a bit so that the plate could be moved without a tension. Pretty much as nobbylon said.

 

I have been considering polishing the plate if I can get proper emery cloth here. I think I migt try it when the new piece arrives so that I have a backup in case I screw smth up.

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Thank you everybody for useful answers. I´ve been examining the back door, there are four screws holding the structure. It seems to me that it is better to unscrew them a bit so that the plate could be moved without a tension. Pretty much as nobbylon said.

 

I have been considering polishing the plate if I can get proper emery cloth here. I think I migt try it when the new piece arrives so that I have a backup in case I screw smth up.

 

Just take the damned pressure plate off along with the pivoting back as described earlier. It takes only a few seconds. Do not screw around removing the pressure plate! Then polish the pressure plate with the fine emery cloth mentioned. If you cannot find the cloth - well, I would be surprised, and I am sure someone here can send you some in a plain mail envelope.

 

It really is no big issue.

Edited by pico

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Personally I wouldnt take emery paper to it. Chances are that you will wear through the finish and end up with a botched job. Try selling an M with an emery papered pressure plate!

As Pico says, take the whole back door off by pulling in the pin at top left of the hinge and then you can work on the door without sticking any fingers or screwdrivers through the shutter curtains.

If you have a new pressure plate then I see no good reason not to fit it.

The 4 screws have to be removed to release the 2 brackets that hold the plate against tension. It's no good just loosening them.

Once tension is released the plate can be slid off one way then the other.

To refit, lay the door on a flat table with a cloth to both protect and catch any runaway screws. Refit the plate and then on one side of the plate using tweezers, slide the bracket UNDER the pressure plate but ABOVE the tabs on the spring. This can be fiddly as you have to maintain pressure on the plate against the spring. I don't, but you may find it of some help to place a small piece of cloth on the plate and using some decorators masking tape, tape the plate against tension by wrapping around the door. Once the bracket is in position, refit the screws on that side and then repeat on the other side. It may sound obvious and I apologise in advance if you are familiar but they are tiny screws so don't over tighten and do make sure the plate is the right way up!

Be patient as it is a pain but IMHO is worth doing properly.

If you have trouble with it and you are in EU I'll do it for you if you pay postage,

regards john

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Personally I wouldnt take emery paper to it. Chances are that you will wear through the finish and end up with a botched job. [...]

 

The emery paper I mentioned is used on watch parts and to polish jewelery. It is so fine that the first impression is that it can't possibly work. The paper might even feel slippery. If any paint is removed from the back, then it will be over the tiny expression causing the scratch because the expression is taller than the paint was thick. Regardless, just that tiny, pin-point size area lacking paint will not hurt anything. Film has an antihalation backing. (Well, there is, or was, a special film that has none and it was used for a special effect.)

 

The finish of the pressure plate is reflective, despite its being black. Remember, the early M3 had a glass pressure plate.

 

I would be comfortable using the very fine emery cloth.

Edited by pico

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The emery paper I mentioned is used on watch parts and to polish jewelery. It is so fine that the first impression is that it can't possibly work. The paper might even feel slippery. If any paint is removed from the back, then it will be over the tiny expression causing the scratch because the expression is taller than the paint was thick. Regardless, just that tiny, pin-point size area lacking paint will not hurt anything. Film has an antihalation backing. (Well, there is, or was, a special film that has none and it was used for a special effect.)

 

The finish of the pressure plate is reflective, despite its being black. Remember, the early M3 had a glass pressure plate.

 

I would be comfortable using the very fine emery cloth.

 

If it doesn't go through the finish then fine, emery away but I can't see it myself.

If he's got a new one then why not fit that?

If I went camera buying and opened the back door to find a plate that had been worked on I'd think twice about buying it. JMHO nothing more

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If it doesn't go through the finish then fine, emery away but I can't see it myself.

If he's got a new one then why not fit that?

If I went camera buying and opened the back door to find a plate that had been worked on I'd think twice about buying it. JMHO nothing more

 

Good question. I am not sure he is getting a flawless new pressure plate. He might be getting one with the same flaw. There are several posts here which suggest the scratching described occurred to a few M6 users. Here: http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/61613-new-m6-scratches-film.html#post638022

 

Yes, I agree I would be suspicious if I found pressure plate marked up.

 

Best,

Pico

Edited by pico

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Let's just see how it turns out. I've had numerous M6's and a lot of M2. 3 and 4 through my hands and never had a problem with pressure plates.

Without adding to internet folklore let's see what and if there is an actual problem.

To the original poster, please post some neg pics of the problem. Pressure plates don't all of a sudden wake up with a problem. Either it's been damaged by clumsy handling or it's been like that from new and that's highly unlikely.

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People take the time to answer questions but then the person with the problem has zero time to report the results after working on some solution

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Something you might want to consider .... About a year ago, I put in an order for a replacement pressure plate for an M4-P. Leica (New Jersey) replied that these items were out of production and that (at that time) were unavailable. I don't know if that situation persists to date. But, I'd be reluctant to try any procedure that might mar or otherwise degrade that piece of metal. Again ... just my 2 cents.

 

T

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7 hours ago, Yaakov said:

People take the time to answer questions but then the person with the problem has zero time to report the results after working on some solution

And then there are the people who take the time to necro an ancient thread.............

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