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Hey Guys,

 

maybe you can help me out? I bought an old M3 in very good (optical) condition.

After shooting and developing the film i saw this:

 

 

Do you have an idea why I have these stripes in the pictures? It can't be seen in every picture of the film. ;(

 

Thanks a lot!!!

 

Peter

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IMHO you have a light leak, most likely coming from somewhere in the rangefinder/viewfinder area inside the camera, or the rewind mechanism.

 

It will need a CLA - send it with a couple of photos showing the problem. There's a link on the forum of preferred repairers around the world.

 

If you bought the camera from a dealer I'd return it to him to sort out, or refund you.

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Hey earleygallery,

 

thank you for your quick answer. Unfortunately I did not buy the M3 from a dealer.

Well, so I will have to find out from where the light comes in. Or send it to service.

That's bad. I bought it for my NYC-Trip.

 

I'll keep you informed.

 

Peter

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An independent repairer can probably turn it around quickly for you, although sometimes light leaks are hard to track down.

 

Don't think of sending the camera to Leica. They'll charge you a fortune for the same job! Try one of these instead;

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-news/leica-repair-specialists/

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Don't think of sending the camera to Leica. They'll charge you a fortune for the same job!

 

Wise words - I would only add that, as a result of having paid a fortune, you will be especially disappointed if Solms do not do the job perfectly, as has indeed been my personal experience.

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Sorry to hear that Al. I hope I won't have the same experience. So far though I slightly disagree with James, fwiw. My TTL and M4 are both in Solms at the moment for various things, including general service. The service costs I have seen in the estimates sent to me are not that much different from other service points, at least here in NL. It may vary from service point to service point of course, but I thought I'd just share that in the interest of a balanced view.

 

Donkeyshots, is this seen on all photos? Your original post was a bit unclear. If it isn't then it need not mean a major problem. I have exactly this sometimes on films shot with my old Leica II. It's the odd frame on the odd roll. I think it is simply because the shutter travels a bit unevenly due to old age. Sure, my camera might need a service but since it happens very rarely and is not very obtrusive I haven't bothered.

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Hi Philip,

 

I'm sure that the problem shown isn't the shutter - the 'stripe' appears horizontally and of course the shutter curtains travel vertically. It may not appear on every frame simply because the light won't leak in every time - it will depend on ambient light, how/where the camera is held, time the frame is in the chamber etc.

 

As for Leica's repair costs, no doubt they do good work (usually!) but when I enquired a few years ago about a repair for my M2 they quoted a minimum of £400 + parts + VAT. I had the camera repaired locally for less than a 1/4 of that!

 

The problem with Leica (if you call it a problem) is that they usually insist on giving the camera a full strip down and replacing parts which are probably fine for many years yet. It's like sending your car in for a routine service or repair and the garage doing a full engine rebuild each time. IMHO of course.

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My 'rule' now is: it goes to Solms only if it cannot be fixed by a craftsman repairer locally (in the UK), especially with older equipment. I have been told, and given my experience with my IIIg have no problem believing, that in case of older equipment Solms does not have the expertise itself to fix, so sub-contracts, the repair to a third party.

 

So, Philip, I'm sure your M4 and TTL will be fine. I would tend to worry more about scewmounts, or even an M3 (as in the case of the OP).

 

For what it's worth, I am happy with what Solms did to my own TTL (replacement of a part, plus metering checkup), and M9 (screen upgrade). But the IIIg experience was fairly disastrous, especially with fungus and other dirt left inside the rangefinder, too much tension put on the shutter, oil left on the blades of the attached 50 Elmar 3.5, etc. In the end, it required double servicing in the UK.

 

My advice would be, roughly, if it ain't electronic, give it to a craftsman mechanic, who will do a better and cheaper job.

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...a bit unusual for the light leak - stripes at top and bottom are more dark, middle of the frame is lighter - this would suggest that light leak hits middle of the frame only, I cannot imagine how this could be. And secondly - stripes are too regular, stright lines. Light leaks look differently.I would look firstly to exclude all external possibilities, inspect negative with magnifying glass for existence of stripes, if you do not see them than it is either on print or scanner (whatever you use). If you will see the stripes I would suspect rather development (due to regularity of stripes). I know, you wrote you do not see them on all frames. I would check again, as well on the picture you are showing, the stripe is hardly noticable in the lower, left corner where the flowers are. If all these checks are negative than the light leak. And I would start with back door - after loadig the film you could use black insulation tape to cover the slots around back door.Btw - you seem to have pretty big grain on the picture shown - or it is only my impressionjerzy

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Hey guys!

 

Thanks a lot for these many answers. Well, it seems not to be on every frame of the film. But you can't be sure. I'm going to upload some more pictures, so you can see. I gonna develop my 2nd film an weekend. We will see if the stripes are still there.

 

Good idea with the tape. I will test every possible space for a lightleak with black-tape and make a documentation.

 

Peter

 

@jerzy: yeah, the grain is pretty big. it's the ilford HP5 400ASA or my devolpment

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I had similar problems with an M3 and an M4. Wasn't anything with the shutter, but most likely the seals in the front part of the camera had grown old. Will van Manen replaced them and I haven't had this problem again. Difficult to explain exactly where these are, but when you look in the body from the front, you understand that on all sides the light has to be sealed off.

Lex

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I had a similar problem, though not on the top and the bottom, certainly not on all the shots either. I did not see anything on the negatives, which led me to believe that it was a bad scan, maybe from a sloppy or dirty scanner? I haven't tested another roll yet but the curtains were replaced maybe 4 years ago by DAG, he inspected the rest of my M6ttl and was said to be fine. Sorry I can't say more.

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Hey,

 

I don't think it's the devolopment, because the effect looks always completly identical.

Today I gonna have some time to develop the 2nd film. This weekend was full of things to do ;(

I think I gonna give it to Paepke in Düsseldorf for a service. It's not so far away from my home.

 

Lex, I gonna look at the seals of the Camera. It makes sense!

Edited by donkeyshots
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Easy to tell if it's a development fault - can you see the light/dark strips extending beyond the exposed frame area, i.e. does it run continuously along the film, or is it only apparent on the area of the negative?

 

If it's a dev fault, you'll see the effect on the whole area of film.

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