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marknorton

Adjusting the Shutter Release Feel

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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

 

Yes, it's not just Leica who have firmware problems. This $2000 Jura coffee machine says it's made 23000 cups of coffee and 57000 steam cycles (that's a lot of frothed milk) in a little under 2 years. No wonder my hand can't stop shaking, LOL.

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Guest 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.

Ed-

 

I haven't taken this apart (yet), so I'm not completely sure of the construction. But there is relative movement between the shutter button and the cable release plunger and the latter extends through a hole in the bottom of the former. I cannot only see that relative movement, I also discovered that a lot of the variability in the shutter feel is because the two change position relative to each other.

 

That said, I'm not sure where the lubrication is going or what it is actually doing, so you may be right. I used a very tiny amount, a micro drop from a very fine syringe right where the cable release plunger head rests on the bottom of the shutter release button. The transformation of the camera is absolutely remarkable. Had it been like this from the factory I would never have noticed much about the release except that it was fine. So we'll see how long it lasts and whether it contaminates any contacts. Maybe ten days out now, it fine--if anything, improving a bit. While shooting, I've just forgotten about the whole issue, which is what I wanted from the beginning.

 

Walt

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Well Walt I'm trying the oil. I placed a small, very small drop of oil on the head of a small punch and place that drop on the rod in the cable release hole. We'll see what happens.

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Guest Walt
Well Walt I'm trying the oil. I placed a small, very small drop of oil on the head of a small punch and place that drop on the rod in the cable release hole. We'll see what happens.

Let me know. There aren't many magical cures in life, but this seems to be one--unless it backfires in some way.

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Inspired by this thread, yesterday I liberally sprayed the end of an unfolded paperclip with rp-7 and then poked it down the cable release hole and worked the shutter button several times before switching the power on.

The shutter release is now smooth. Pressing past the exposure lock still requires a bit too much effort but the notchiness is gone and to take the shot after resting on the second stop I now just need to think about it, there is no noticeable effort involved.

I will post if something stops working but it still seems OK this morning.

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Would it be possible for some of you who've lubricated the shutter release button to give a status?

 

I'm curious to know if you've seen any unintended side-effects and approximately how much action has the release button gotten since the application of lubricant - and if possible, has the "grittiness" crept back at all?

 

Thanks,

David

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Would it be possible for some of you who've lubricated the shutter release button to give a status?

 

I'm curious to know if you've seen any unintended side-effects and approximately how much action has the release button gotten since the application of lubricant - and if possible, has the "grittiness" crept back at all?

 

Thanks,

David

As for me I haven't had any unintended side-effects from oiling the shutter button but then I really didn't use much oil. Along with that I really haven't noticed the shutter button getting any better then the PERCEIVED difference I felt shortly after oiling it.

Since applying the oil I have shot about 400 shot.

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Guest Walt

Like Ed, I haven't had any problem, so far, with either of the two cameras I lubricated. The releases continues to be much smoother than they were. (And one of my cameras was nearly unusable.) I have noticed that one of the cameras (the one that had the better release in unlubricated condition) still gets a little gritty if the pressure on the button has a side component to it. There is too much play in this mechanism, laterally. I find the shutter release action good enough now, though not excellent. Good enough is my experience with the camera as a whole.

 

Walt

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My camera is also just fine, perhaps 300 shots later. I did disassemble it and lube it directly on the contact surface though. I love the new feeling, but then, at least half of this is due to removing the first detent completely and making the second one much softer.

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Anyone in the US looking for small tools can find a large selection at McMaster-Carr (McMaster-Carr Supply Company). Use "screwdriver" in the search window, then click on "Miniature Screwdrivers" in the list. They have flat blade, Phillips, Torx, etc. The ones I bought were German-made Wiha brand.

 

McMaster-Carr is the most amazing source of tools and other stuff, from large scale to the tiny ones at issue here.

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Thanks for the updates.

 

Is WD-40 a safe material to use for this purpose?

 

I will most likely be going with a paperclip or a metal punch style applicator and it seems like one very small drop of lubricant will be sufficient, yes?

 

thanks,

David

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Thanks for the updates.

 

Is WD-40 a safe material to use for this purpose?

 

I will most likely be going with a paperclip or a metal punch style applicator and it seems like one very small drop of lubricant will be sufficient, yes?

 

thanks,

David

NO NO NO. WD-40 is NOT a lubricant, although it may feel oily. It is a Water Displacement spray. That is what the "W" and "D" stand for.

Please do not use WD-40 on your Leica.

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NO NO NO. WD-40 is NOT a lubricant, although it may feel oily. It is a Water Displacement spray. That is what the "W" and "D" stand for.

Please do not use WD-40 on your Leica.

 

OK, can you give me some reasonably available options for the US? I'm not used to having to "improve" cameras, so this is new ground for me.

 

Thanks,

David

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Look for a high quality oil the has PTFE (Teflon) in it. Most good gun oils have that as a additive.

Most good hardware stores will have something like this.

Stay away from Graghite additives, that is slightly abrasive.

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Most good gun oils have that as a additive.

 

Adds new meaning to "shooting with your Leica", I suppose.

 

What you need to realise is that putting oil in at the top is not going to reach the part which provides the release feel. That's done from the sides using the screws which Carsten has adjusted.

 

The shutter release switch is soldered onto the flex print of the top of the camera, expensive if you mess up.

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I would strongly recommend NOT putting any lubricant into the camera.

 

I really agree with Mark. If I had it to do over I would skip trying to oil the shutter release. In fact I will on my other M8.

In my original reply to dlw I used the word "Perceived" because after trying the one I oiled against the other that I didn't oil I didn't notice any real difference between them and still don't after 400+ shots.

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Ah, I guess I didn't understand the "PERCEIVED" then, as I took it to mean you perceived a difference immediately after and haven't noticed a change since. Now that I re-read it, I see how you meant it.

 

I'm not settled on doing this yet, but I'm going on a fact finding mission to the hardware store to see what my options are. Walt has shown me his air canister trick and I was impressed enough by that, but I've recently picked up my Mamiya 7 after having used the M8 exclusively for the last few months and the difference between that camera and an M3 and the M8 is really drastic enough to make me want to give this a try.

 

Carsten's more drastic move is also tempting, but I use the exposure lock enough to need that middle position of the button to be a clear difference.

 

Thanks,

David

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David, simply opening up the top, and backing off the screws a bit will help a lot. Removing the springs and plungers and adding a minute amount of lubricant directly to the contact surface will also surely improve things. I happen to think that a three-stage release is not needed, but there is no need to follow that path.

 

Having seen how the switch is put together from the inside, I think that Walt was rather lucky to get the lubricant to the right place. It could just as easily go somewhere else and not reach the right point.

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Guest Walt

Since I started the whole lubrication idea, I thought I'd comment at this point in the thread.

 

I agree with Mark that, in principle, the lubrication is a bad idea. Anything that doesn't need to be lubricated shouldn't be because the lubrication itself becomes a maintenance item due to deterioration, gumming, etc. Secondly, in this particular case, there is the issue of electrical contacts where one wouldn't want lubrication, particularly one containing PTFE (Teflon). The conservative approach here is to avoid any lubrication.

 

All that said, I've found a big benefit from lubrication on one of my cameras and a considerable benefit on the other. What I have objected to in the shutter release is not the detents, but, apparently, the interference between the shutter button and the cable release shaft, particularly when the shutter is not hit square-on vertically. I placed the lubrication precisely and sparingly at the top of the cable release shaft. This was not random spraying into the shutter button, though I would point out that the inside of the shutter button is completely unsealed and unprotected and all manner of crud could get in there spontaneously. As Carsten said, I may just have been lucky and the lubrication ended up somewhere else useful. I suspect that people are objecting to slightly different issues coming from different places in the mechanism.

 

My two cameras may short out and smoke tonight, but in the meantime, so far so good.

 

Walt

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