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Image is very close to bottom sprockets M6


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Hello,

 

I got my first roll of Tri-X back from my M6 and I noticed that the distance between the sprockets and the negative are not even. The image seems to sit closer to the bottom sprockets, I know this is a common issue with Pre M Leicas, but there is not much out there on this being an issue for the M6. The only thing I could find on this issue was this link.

 

Leica Front-Focus Problem Solved

 

I am not sure if it was human error on my part loading the film, or if something needs to be slightly adjusted. Thanks for any help or advice in advance!

 

Greg

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I got my first roll of Tri-X back from my M6 and I noticed that the distance between the sprockets and the negative are not even. The image seems to sit closer to the bottom sprockets, I know this is a common issue with Pre M Leicas, but there is not much out there on this being an issue for the M6.

 

I snipped the link, but have you tried making a micro-shim as the author, Bill Schneider did? Are you using bulk load cassettes?

 

By the way, if you want to look at the film's alignment on the rails, the rear door removes in an instant for a better view. There is (or should be) a pin on one side of the door that slides to unlock the hinges.

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Thanks for the response!

 

I am not bulk loading film. The next roll I load this afternoon I will pop the back door off and look. I Have a few more being processed now, so we will see if it is a chronic problem.

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Just for the record - the lens being used can be a factor in images getting close to the sprocket holes. Specifically, wideangle (28mm or less) lenses from pre-1980.

 

Reason being how close these lenses are to the film. Their image can "peek around" the edges of the film gate/shutter opening and produce a BIGGER negative, than, say, a 50 or 90. Really easy to get images with the old 21 Super-Angulons that overlapped the sprocket holes, even with a camera with generally good film alignment.

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Ok, so I just got quite a few rolls back today and it is a consistent pattern on all of the film. I am strictly using a 50mm Summicron, so although I know it's possible that my 28mm might do that I think it is something else. Any other thoughts on the issue? Is this something that can be fixed with an adjustment?

 

Thanks,

Greg

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With the film cassette in properly and both the upper and lower sprockets engaging the film it should be drawn straight across during winding. Perhaps something is blocking the cassette from seating properly or perhaps moving it during the winding action. Might be worth wasting a roll to nail down the problem.

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Just for the sake of clarity, when you say the image (correct way up) is closer to the bottom sprockets, this does take into consideration the image is upside down in the camera doesn't it?

 

I imagine the first thing to do would be measure, or at least eyeball, if the teeth of the sprockets are equidistant from the two closest chrome rails adjacent to the film edge. If they are, and there is no slop in the gear shaft, then something else is forcing the film up or down, or allowing it to drop down. I think one way to force the film into being out of position with the quick load system is to put too many winds into it before closing the back, it tightens prematurely and can't gently settle into position against the spring and the tulip in the base plate.

 

Steve

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I think one way to force the film into being out of position with the quick load system is to put too many winds into it before closing the back, it tightens prematurely and can't gently settle into position against the spring and the tulip in the base plate.

 

Thanks for that. I had entirely forgotten that in the beginning (long ago) I was skeptical of its design and over-wrapped the tulip. Others - it really does work, otherwise it would have been redesigned decades ago.

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Don't wind a M6/M7/MP/M-A, … when loading the film with the camera open.

 

Load like:

- open camera, remove old film and release shutter

- drop in ~halfway the film canister while still holding the film leader

- pull the film leader, leading the film through the film gate until the tip of the film leader almost touches the camera housing on the take up spool (tulip) side

- place the leader just through in the center of the tulip, as pictured on the print on the bottom housing of the open camera

- push the film canister all the way into it's proper position while using your thumb place the film properly in the correct position between the rails

- watch for anything misplaced and if all is fine simply close the camera

- wind on two frames and release the shutter (watch if the rewind shaft is turned by the dispensed film)

- use the film rewind knob/crank to tighten the film inside the camera

 

- if at this point you feel the film's left the take up spool and is pulling back into the canister go back to start and repeat (never happened to me with a Leica M)

 

 

This all sounds very complicated but in actual practice you simply open the camera, throw the film in, close the camera, wind on and shoot - no fuss, never re-load or fiddle again, no leader fiddling through slots, no precise positioning needed.

 

…*and don't you ever fold over the film leader in a quick load M.

 

The Leica M with quick load take up spool is the fastest film camera to load.

 

If followed properly there is absolutely nothing that can go wrong.

 

I would not worry if the image is not EXACTLY centered.

Greg, do you have a picture showing the amount of de-centering?

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Here are a few attached frames, let me know what you think.

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And have you eyeballed the sprocket teeth to see if they are equidistant from the guide rails? Have you seen my post about pushing the film too far into the camera and winding on too many times before closing the back?

 

Steve

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I think you guys might be right, I crank a few times before I close the back. I will check the gears for any "Slop" and I will try the proper loading method. Just odd I never had this issue with my M4.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, 

 

So after loading it exactly as described above the issue persists (that is if you consider it an issue). I am still unsure what to make of it, everything seems fairly normal, I guess unless I want to spend a lot getting it serviced at Leica it will just have to stay this way unless someone else has any other ideas as to what the issue could be?

 

Thanks again,

Greg

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  • 3 years later...

There is another string of postings on the same subject. Answers mostly involve slightly different height cassettes and introducing a spacer at the bottom.

meanwhile enjoy having the same image/sprocket holes overlap that shows in some  Cartier Bresson prints.

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