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Robclarke

Leica M3 new to me should I get it CLA'd?

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I have recently bought a Leica M3 and have run a couple of films through it and have thoroughly enjoyed using it. I have owned an M6ttl for a number of years.

 

As far as I can tell it all works great but I am not sure the film advance is as smooth as I have read about (but this could be a myth). Also there is a bit of dust or something in the viewfinder which is not really a problem in use. I would quite like to get it CLA'd just to know it is working as well as it can.

 

I was just wondering what the general opinion of getting a cla on a camera that is working ok, is it completely unnecessary?

 

I was thinking of using Aperture in London as I can get to them easily have used them in the past for Hasselblad repairs.

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CLA could be a good thing, if in your possession, the M3 has never been CLA.

 

Each time that an M came back from a CLA, I couldn't believe how joyful was the clean finder and the feeling of controls.

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I'm not a fan of a CLA unless there is an indication that it truly needs it. Having said that a couple of years ago I picked up a Canon P (LTM mount) which seemed in perfect shape, good shutter timings, viewfinder alignment,etc. except that the film advance lever was noisier than I thought it should be...so I took the plunge and had it CLA'd. The repairperson told me that the lube had completely dried out and when I got it back it was as smooth as my M and other LTM bodies. So you need to go with your gut feeling.

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Rob,

 

Generally speaking a CLA doesn't hurt, it gets everything checked, clean and more importantly lubricated. Often oil dries up and generate more friction among the components resulting in an increasing wear and tear. To the extent that you trust your repair shop andyou're confident that they will do a good job, I will do it. 

 

One reason for not doing it though is that the M3s have a Leica seal that would need to be broken in order to perform the CLA. If your M3 still has the original "L" seal and the camera seems ok, then I would perhaps not do a CLA for the sake of doing it because the seal proves that is in perfect original conditions. 

 

Cheers, 

Lorenzo 

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If it works leave it alone, in my opinion the fewer times a camera is messed with the better. What's the worst that can happen its stops working and you have to get it fixed. A couple of years ago I paid £130 for a shutter to repaired and a new base for an m4p probably the same price you will pay for a cla.

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If the "L" has been broken already, i would get a CLA. How do you know the shutter speeds are all accurate within tolerance? And that the RF mechanism is perfectly aligned? Or that the gears dont need lubricating?

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Get it CLAd by a known Leica expert, then use it as hard as you can for as long as film is readily available.

 

If you feel it should be smoother, you are probably right. It should feel smooooooth

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If the "L" has been broken already, i would get a CLA. How do you know the shutter speeds are all accurate within tolerance? And that the RF mechanism is perfectly aligned? Or that the gears dont need lubricating?

The OP has said he's shot a few rolls and everything's working fine.

 

If the shutter wasn't accurate resulting in poor exposures or the rangefinder was off resulting in out of focus images then I'd agree with having a CLA of course. But as it's working fine leave it alone.

 

To the OP - I'm sure the guy at Aperture would give you a 2nd opinion on the film advance if you drop by with the camera.

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There is no point getting it serviced if it works. It is a lot of money, the camera is away for a long time, and the OP may as well discover all the problems (if there are any) before sending it for proper repair, otherwise all it gets is a CLA.

 

A CLA alone will not address a myriad of potential faults, and the only way to know if you have those faults is to use the camera.

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I'm sure I am the most ignorant person on this thread (and probably also the biggest sucker), and for these reasons I would handsomely pay the $180 or so that it costs for someone to tell me that the shutters are accurate and the RF is in alignment. 

Other than trying all of the shutter speeds, having the film processed and then conducting controlled experiments (the effort and time needed is alone worth much more than $180), I would really never know whether any sub-optimal results are due to me or the camera or my meter (I would probably blame the camera or the meter).

 

As for the RF alignment, film is much more forgiving than digital and so any misalignment may not even be easily apparent, and one may not know for sure until the correction is made.

 

So I'm on the other end of the spectrum - when in doubt get it checked out!!

 

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Thanks again everyone. I did look at the seal and it seems to be a b rather than an l. I think I will talk to Aperture and see if they think it is worth getting a service and if they can improve the film advance smoothness and remove the viewfinder dust.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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