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I recently sourced Wein Cell batteries for my Leica M5. These give the correct 1.35 volt output and they replace the original, now no longer available, mercury oxide batteries. Here is a short review of my experience with the Wein Cell and also my thoughts on the handling of the M5.

 

http://macfilos.com/photo/2016/4/26/leica-m5-small-battery-company-wein-cell-battery-solutions

 

I would welcome views, particularly from other M5 users.

 

William

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I've found the Wein cells discharge very quickly, far quicker than I remember batteries dying. Perhaps a better solution would be an adapter to take the voltage down to 1.35v and use a modern 1.5v lithium cell. The adapters are expensive, about £30 last time I got one, but you can at least go to the local shop for a new battery when it does die.

 

Steve

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Nice review of the M5. I passed over the M5 when it first came out, partly due to the negative comments in the magazines about its size, and because I was happy with the M4 I bought in 1968. Instead I got an M6 when it was introduced. But after talking with users who loved the M5, and reading about how much development went into it by Leitz, I picked one up some years ago, and had it serviced by DAG. Even though I love small cameras, I really like using the M5.

The M5 concept closely parallels the Canon 7s, which also had more development time by Canon than any previous model. Both were designed to compete with the SLR onslaught, while both companies also developed their SLR models. As a result, both the M5 and 7s grew larger and boxier, and both were expected to be the last rangefinders made by their companies. While the 7s did not have a TTL meter, Canon did make a TTL 7 prototype before deciding to drop rangefinders.

I also found the release point of the shutter button too deep, which is understandable for the way it also lowers the meter cell gradually (probably to avoid a shock from snapping it down). The CL meter instead just releases and snaps down, so it's shutter action is better. I don't use a soft release button on any other camera, but found a tiny one for the M5 that really helps the feel and makes the release point what it should be:

That cured my only real complaint about the M5.

I did not have my M5 adjusted for 1.5V, but use either Wein cell or an adapter. I have the adapters that reduce a 1.5V cell voltage, and also cheaper ones that fit a hearing aid cell (like used in the Wein). They all work fine in the M5.

Edited by TomB_tx
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The Wein cells as far as I am concerned, as useless and wasteful, as they depelte too quickly.

There is a company in the UK that sells holders with built-in voltage adjusters and batteries, as I suppose TomB above is mentioning....

They work like a charm.

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Thanks Sumolux.  I believe the same company where I got the Wein Cell also provides the adaptor. I just wanted to try the original voltage. I have a CL and a Leicameter which will take the modern 1.5 volt batteries. I will report on the life span of the Wein Cell in the M5 in due course. If it is too short, I will go ahead with the adaptor. So far I am pleased with the results from the Wein Cell.

 

William

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Thanks Sumolux.  I believe the same company where I got the Wein Cell also provides the adaptor. I just wanted to try the original voltage. I have a CL and a Leicameter which will take the modern 1.5 volt batteries. I will report on the life span of the Wein Cell in the M5 in due course. If it is too short, I will go ahead with the adaptor. So far I am pleased with the results from the Wein Cell.

 

William

 

I find the Wein Cells do not last well. The adaptor is a far better bet.

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