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marknorton

Adjusting the Shutter Release Feel

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Guest Walt

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Mark,

 

Well done and thanks. I'll have a look at doing this.

 

Since you've really opened the can of worms here, let me tell you what I did and my reasoning and see what you think.

 

I had thought the problem was the detents in the rods, but in examining the inside of the shutter button, I found interference between the button and the cable release plunger. My impression of the construction (looking from the outside, inside the shutter button, with a microscope) is that the cable release plunger runs through a hole in the bottom of the release button. In the one camera I have worked on, the roughness of the shutter seems to be entirely a result of interference there. So, with a watchmaker's lubrication syringe, I placed a very small amount of oil-based teflon lubricant (a micro drop) under the head of cable release plunger where it contacts the bottom of the shutter release button. I know that teflon is an insulator and that it might migrate, but I'm not sure to what inside the switch. I would add that the spring loaded ball bearings are placing sideloads on the mechanism and that, as Carsten points out, these "rods" are not well aligned in the swtich. The parts are also not well polished.

 

I gather that you have not disassembled the switch itself, but does this description of the construction of the shutter and cable releases sound correct to you?

 

Walt

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Well Facom is quite known in France

. My grandfather was already refusing to work with any other tools...

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That's interesting, because I've witnessed Leica's workers removing the top-plate of M8s to sort frameline issues and they do none of the above.

 

That said, I'm certainly happy that the shutter release on my M8 is perfectly smooth (as has been every other one I've ever tried, such a lucky bloke am I:rolleyes: ) and I won't be needing to tear-apart a nearly-$6000 in-warranty camera to effect an adjustment that, were it needed, I would most surely admonish Leica to do at my behest.

 

Vinay, I was simply quoting best practice, and if some people chose not to follow it, that's fine.

 

I'm really pleased your shutter release is working fine, one less thing for you to carp about from the sidelines!

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Carsten, you might want to try Farnell / Electronic Component Distributors / Suppliers / Electronics, Electrical Parts, Electrical Components and Wholesale Electronics., it looks like they have a German web-site. You can buy a set of Facom micro screwdrivers (search on AE.J1) and also individual ones from Wiha and CK. The Facom ones have interchangeable blades which is great because the small blades tend to break and the P000 tend to wear; that said, I can't find the spare blades listed any more and I'm trying to find out what happened to them. I've used Facom products for years and find the quality very reliable.

 

As for buying British, sadly we have built our economy on flipping hamburgers and selling each other dubious financial products instead of making things, so I think you'd search long and hard to find a British manufacturer of such things. I am sure we make 12 pound club hammers which is the tool of choice of most British "engineers".

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I gather that you have not disassembled the switch itself, but does this description of the construction of the shutter and cable releases sound correct to you?

 

Yes it does and you are correct, I have not dismantled the switch itself. It looks like it is is a profile spring loaded plunger. The side contacts will contribute very little force, the tiny gold springs are there just to press the gold balls against the plunger.

 

To help you understand the construction, here are the various pieces of the shutter release:

 

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Guest Walt

Mark-

 

Thank you. I'll take it apart. I am accustomed to polishing very small wristwatch parts, so I'll see what skill I can bring to this unfortunately necessary project. Judging from this image, the lubricant I am adding is far from the electrical contacts

 

I must say that I am baffled by the number of people who actually find the release acceptable (though I haven't heard anyone say they like it). Perhaps this is a variation in certain parts and their finish. Leica would have been much better off, I think, in leaving out this traditional approach to a cable release unless they were willing to do it carefully. Judging from the very dramatic effect of lubrication between the shutter button and cable release rod, this is 80% of the problem in my case.

 

Walt

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Guest tummydoc

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Vinay, I was simply quoting best practice, and if some people chose not to follow it, that's fine.

 

I'm sure the technical staff at Leica will be relieved to know that you've given them your tacit approval.

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Thank you. I'll take it apart.

 

Walt, great, I'll be interested in what you find.

 

You'll need a flex clamp on the finger rest ring and the shutter release knob and cable release plunger are secured by a set screw on the side. I recommend you don't remove the 4 contact springs and gold balls, they are tiny, and keep an eye out for the plastic disc.

 

I think you'll find the "grittiness" comes from the switch module itself.

 

Here's another view:

 

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I'm sure the technical staff at Leica will be relieved to know that you've given them your tacit approval.

 

Yes, I'm sure they will sleep easy at night...

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Walt, I think that there aren't a lot of great switches out there to compare with. My 5D had a little plastic piece which wobbled in its slot, and felt cheap. The entire Canon SLR range has the same switch, as far as I can tell (although I haven't tried the Mark III cameras). Nikons are similar, if a tad better. The older Leica M cameras had nicer switches, but actually, now that I have adjusted my M8, the switch feels very similar to the M6, both its strengths and its weaknesses. Much better than the M8 as it shipped, but then, these were tough months for our little company, so I am prepared to forgive some things, even if I hope they will be corrected with time and in future models.

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I used to work on a farm with a seasoned farm hand who many times a day fixed the tractor with a six inch nail and a lump hammer - in many ways he was quite brilliant. I fear that the clever options for tweaking the shutter release outlined here would, in the wrong hands, have an equivalence of the lump hammer/six inch nail attack but without brilliance.

 

Whilst not the complete solution, Leica can give us a 'half solution ' for free if they so wished. If we had the option of an instant release setting for the timed delay release we would have a very sweet electronic release option on the M8. If working in manual metering, a first exposure would need to be determined whilst set to 'single' or 'continuous' exposure mode, thereafter switching the mode to time delay [which of course would now be set at zero seconds delay]. I would love this option.To get a feel of this; set your timed delay to two seconds and practise the deft touch possible for firing the camera.

 

For those of us with lump hammer skills, a zero delay option might be less of a gamble to gain a sweeter release from the M8 than operating on it. If I had the skills of some here though, I would follow the thread's technique to improve my M8 shutter release - I think it is poor.

 

............... Chris

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I'm sure the technical staff at Leica will be relieved to know that you've given them your tacit approval.

 

ever the contrarian- this guy is a real tool. I think I've figured it out. Hes just here to market his gastroenterology practice. everytime I read his post i feel like i need to see a tummydoc....Brad

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Guest tummydoc

Don't you have anything better to do than stalk me on this forum wasting bandwidth with your infantile commentary on every one of my posts?

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im gonna leave it alone-i've just stated what everyone is thinking at the risk of being banned from this forum. i've seen your crap on the other forums and wish you would either contribute constructively or go away. do you even use an m8? do you even make photographs at all? quite pathetic.....b

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Guest Walt
I used to work on a farm with a seasoned farm hand who many times a day fixed the tractor with a six inch nail and a lump hammer - in many ways he was quite brilliant. I fear that the clever options for tweaking the shutter release outlined here would, in the wrong hands, have an equivalence of the lump hammer/six inch nail attack but without brilliance.

 

Whilst not the complete solution, Leica can give us a 'half solution ' for free if they so wished. If we had the option of an instant release setting for the timed delay release we would have a very sweet electronic release option on the M8. If working in manual metering, a first exposure would need to be determined whilst set to 'single' or 'continuous' exposure mode, thereafter switching the mode to time delay [which of course would now be set at zero seconds delay]. I would love this option.To get a feel of this; set your timed delay to two seconds and practise the deft touch possible for firing the camera.

 

For those of us with lump hammer skills, a zero delay option might be less of a gamble to gain a sweeter release from the M8 than operating on it. If I had the skills of some here though, I would follow the thread's technique to improve my M8 shutter release - I think it is poor.

 

............... Chris

Chris-

 

Yes, I think the "electronic release" option is a good idea and the hardware and software to implement it seems to already be in place. They need to provide one additional parameter, "0 seconds." I wonder if they even consider such suggestions or if they throw them in the trash and go have a beer--this one has been made before and is on one of "Guy's wishlists." It's also occurred to me that the camera may not be fast enough to calculate an exposure in A mode with such an arrangement. It's already possible to occassionally screw up exposure with the current mechanical release if you fire too quickly.

 

Walt

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..the camera may not be fast enough to calculate an exposure in A mode with such an arrangement....t

 

Walt - That may be the case. But giving the option to at least have the use of electronic release in manual mode would be a very positive move. I gave up on auto exposure long ago anyway.

 

................ Chris

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Mark

 

You also mentioned fixing your Jura coffee machine. I also have a M8 and a Jura. My M8 has been rather unreliable and so has my Jura. Perhaps frustration with my M8 drove me to over-use the coffee machine.

 

Regards

Philip

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Mark-

 

Leica would have been much better off, I think, in leaving out this traditional approach to a cable release unless they were willing to do it carefully. Judging from the very dramatic effect of lubrication between the shutter button and cable release rod, this is 80% of the problem in my case.

 

Walt

Walt the actual button you push with your finger only moves the center button, IE the same one a cable release moves. Not sure the lub you put in that hole has anything to do with that. It more then likely migrated down around the center button and lubed what the center button rides in. And if as you say is far away from the electronics of the switch it should matter. I might even try that myself.

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