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LeeHoggard

Leica R4 light meter issue

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Hi I've recently purchased an R4 fully aware of the electronic issues with them, the R4 I bought was in mint condition and rarely used. I've finally got round to loading some film and doing a shoot, it was working fine nothing out of the ordinary until the light meter suddenly stoped functioning completely, no lights or anything. I put it down to perhaps needing new batterys so I replaced them today but still nothing. If I look through the viewfinder whilst placing the batterys in theres a slight blip of light but nothing at all after that. If I press the button in to change the iso there is a red light on the top so obviously somethings working in.

 

I'm fully aware this is probably just a fault and I'm going to have to give up but I just wondered if there was perhaps a fix and if not what does everyone suggest?

 

Thanks

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Welcome to the forum, Lee.

 

In case you still like LEICA-R-photography and you can´t get

your R4 to listen to you again, it will certainly be more sensible

to buy a "new" s/h R5/ R7 or perhaps even an R8/9 as your next camera.

 

Costwise a repair of the R4 is nothing which should be recommended.

 

 

Best

GEORG

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Common problem with the R4 is poor contact in the "mode" switch. Watch in the finder as you push in the change button and move the mode switch between positions. Sometimes cycling the mode switch through its postions will clean it and make better contact. Removing the top and treating the contacts with a contact enhancer is best, if this is the problem.

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Probably contact and dust problems of the camera after many years of no use...

 

I had the same problem with the Leica RE. I switched all the buttons and 'mode switch' many times. After that my camera is functioning well again:)

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Does the shutter operate on manual correctly? If set on 1 second does it work?

 

Next, set on AE does the shutter work i.e. Does the speed vary if you change the aperture?

 

If yes it's just the LEDs that aren't working. You can always use it with a handheld meter if the electronic shutter is working.

 

An LED repair might not be too costly from an independent repairer.

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Hello, Lee.

Have you tried a thorough cleaning of the battery contacts in the camera? I've run into a similar problem where some electronics, work well while others are dead. If changing the batteries fails to resolve the trouble, I've found that cleaning the contacts first with a pencil eraser, followed by cotton swabs dampened with isopropyl alcohol often does the trick. Has worked on a few older flash units, as well.

I've owned or own several R bodies including an R4s and a few R4s MOD PS starting in 1985. I love these cameras.

The R4 reliability issues were limited to units with a serial number prior to 1,600,000. Generally speaking, failures were early on, so it is most likely this problem you're experiencing is not related to the original production failures.

Best of luck to you and your R, and welcome to the Forum.

Cheers!

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Thanks for the responses, I've tried all of them out but to no avail. Like I said there's just a slight flicker of lights when the battery's are placed in but other than that its completely dead, no shutter action no nothing. I know fairly little about Leicas with the R4 being my first but if I'm not able to revive her what does everyone think about the R6? am I right in saying it's fully mechanical?

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I have both R4 and R6. My only complaint on the R4 is the clumsy method of manual metering: having to read the set shutter speed in one place and the metered speed from an LED, and in some lighting conditions you can't see one or the other. I like the R4 in "spot" mode where you meter a neutral area, hold the reading and re-frame.

The R6 is mechanical, but not without issues at this age. I like the meter in the R6, as it is like the M6 meter readout, and easy to change between them: M6 for wideangle and R6 for tele.

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Hmmm sounds serious if the shutter isn't firing (it will fire on the flash sync speed and B, which are both mechanical, the rest are controlled electronically).

 

However, the camera WAS working when you got it, so I'd at least let a repairer look at it first - it just might be a simple fix.....

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Hmmm sounds serious if the shutter isn't firing (it will fire on the flash sync speed and B, which are both mechanical, the rest are controlled electronically).

 

However, the camera WAS working when you got it, so I'd at least let a repairer look at it first - it just might be a simple fix.....

 

Well I've just set it to B and fired the shutter and its all working again now! No idea what caused that then but thank you for inadvertently fixing my camera!

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I had the same issue with my R4 MOT Electronic that I purchased three years ago. The manual speeds of '100 and B worked but nothing else. I spun the shutter speed dial all the way around two or three times...it's worked fine ever since. Try that if it stops working again.

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