Jump to content
marknorton

Adjusting the Shutter Release Feel

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

It could of course also be that your shutter didn't need the lubrication where mine did, and that the contact cylinder between the shutter release middle and the normal release tube is where it was needed. In that case, you probably hit the spot dead on. Mine needed it a bit lower. I am not sure how much variability there is in these shutter releases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done about 300 shots since I lubricated it and I havent thought about it so I just pulled the camera out to check.

The initial detent at the exposure lock is still a bit too stiff for my liking but, after hitting the second stop and increasing the pressure I can feel no grittiness or even movement. The button suddenly just goes down and the shutter off when the pressure is strong enough.

I am not sure where the lubricant went but before I added it there was a slight jerkiness to the final release.

The pressure required could be lighter and adjusting the set screws would probably make it perfect.

I agree with Carsten that the first detent seems unnecessary.

In fact I was a bit puzzled about why it is there, but I guess that when using an external viewfinder there is no way, except by finger movement and experience, of telling when the exposure is locked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walt the cable release shaft IS the shaft that moves whatever that hits the switch for the Meter on, Meter Lock and shutter fire. The button you push with your finger only moves the shaft inside of it. There is NO movement between the button your finger hits and the shaft inside of it. They move as a unit.

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walt
Walt the cable release shaft IS the shaft that moves whatever that hits the switch for the Meter on, Meter Lock and shutter fire. The button you push with your finger only moves the shaft inside of it. There is NO movement between the button your finger hits and the shaft inside of it. They move as a unit.

Ed-

 

Yes, I know that the cable release shaft hits the switch, but the button and the shaft also have relative movment. When you fire with an actual cable release, the shutter button does not move at all (after all, the cable release sheath is screwed to the shutter button and only the inside cable moves, depressing the shaft). When you fire with the shutter button, the two move together for part of the travel and then separate, but this action seems variable. That said, the lubrication benefit may be just to the lower part of the shaft. I don't know. But I can get a change in feel by just moving the head of the cable release shaft around. It appears to hang up on the release button at different heights.

 

Walt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walt
It could of course also be that your shutter didn't need the lubrication where mine did, and that the contact cylinder between the shutter release middle and the normal release tube is where it was needed. In that case, you probably hit the spot dead on. Mine needed it a bit lower. I am not sure how much variability there is in these shutter releases.

Carsten-

 

Yes, and I noticed something else here that I didn't mention in my last post to Ed. Before the lubrication, one of my cameras was relatively O.K. with a cable release and the other required so much force with the cable release that it was essentially unusable (the cable release would actually start buckling or bending before the shutter would actually release). So there is a lot of variation, I think.

 

Walt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a new M8 owner I certainly agree that the power switch/shutter release is markedly loose and gritty. In fact, Leica is really obsessed with embarrassing themselves with this pithy design. Everything I know about five thousand dollars goes out the window the moment you switch the M8 on or take a shot. It just feels like a really cheap piece of equipment. Still, I’m reluctant to dive in on the corrective procedure although I feel you could make a bundle by offering your service to other owners such as myself.

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Walt the button you push with your finger and the plunger inside of it, where the cable release shaft hits, never separate during the push of the shutter button. How could they? If you don't push down on the button the shaft won't move. The shaft doesn't move any farther then what you move the button. It is not geared in any way.

I'd like to know if someone has taken apart the top section of the shutter release. Does the concave cap that surrounds the shutter button and captures the ON/OFF switch unscrew like they do/did on the film M cameras? (That's the part that holds the film advance lever on) I would think it does but don't yet have my spanner wrench set to try it.

As to your problem with one camera and cable release I suspect the button part is tight around the shaft the cable release rod hits making it stick. Oiling that shaft inside the button, and the area of around both, will help that as you have stated. The oil will make the shaft slip/slide easier inside the button.

 

Until someone take the top section apart and posts images of it we'll never know how the two interact.

Ed-

 

Yes, I know that the cable release shaft hits the switch, but the button and the shaft also have relative movment. When you fire with an actual cable release, the shutter button does not move at all (after all, the cable release sheath is screwed to the shutter button and only the inside cable moves, depressing the shaft). When you fire with the shutter button, the two move together for part of the travel and then separate, but this action seems variable. That said, the lubrication benefit may be just to the lower part of the shaft. I don't know. But I can get a change in feel by just moving the head of the cable release shaft around. It appears to hang up on the release button at different heights.

 

Walt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walt

Ed-

 

I'll try to post later today, with a sketch. I haven't taken this apart, so I am conjecturing from the observed behavior of the two parts. I think what you describe is how it should work, but doesn't because of binding between the button and shaft, because of binding of the shaft (in its supports) and because of variable clearances between the parts.

 

Until I have a moment,

Walt

 

P.S. Yes, the best thing to do would be to take it apart.

 

Daniel-

 

You had me laughing outloud, literally. I think this shutter release mechanism is an atrocity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Carsten, I think you've got the right solution - but I've been to Berlin in December and I'm not desperate enough to hop on a plane and track you down just yet.

 

I spent some time working the button and decided that my sense of a problem comes more from the angle I have my finger at when pressing the button (which is a result of the grip I use to hold this camera - a different thread).

 

What I think I'm feeling is a combination of fairly stiff detents to mark the three positions of the release and a perhaps not so smooth sleeve for the rod to travel up and down as there seem to be slightly different resistances along the vertical path. When I press the button at more of an angle I feel the edges far more than when I press down from a more perpendicular position on the button and this is causing me to apply more force to the shutter button than normal.

 

So, I'm pretty sure that lubricant could help, but the combined risk with the long term maintenance requirements have me feeling pretty cold to the idea.

 

I took a look through Mark Norton's anatomy and borrowed one of his pictures for this thread. If I'm understanding correctly, the picture Mark took (below) shows the underside of the shutter button attached to the top of the camera. The screws I've tinted green are what attaches the complete button housing to the brass and the three inner screws that I've tinted yellow are setting the tension of the button springs within the housing.

 

Am I correct so far with my orientation inside the camera? By slightly adjusting the tension of these screws is the original height of the button changed or just the vertical tension of the release button?

 

[ For now, I've decided that one of Tom Abrahamson's mini soft releases might get the job done and it's a lot cheaper than ruining the camera. If this doesn't work I might get desperate enough to open the thing, but I hope not. ]

 

Thanks all,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While were on the subject of the shutter release, has any one else noticed an improvement in the feel of cameras from newer batches and also that the shutter cocking is quieter?

 

A friend of mine has pre-ordered his M8 and received it very quickly after they started to ship.

 

The notchy feel and noise level of the shutter being cocked was one of the first things that struck us as we handled the camera. I was able to spend some time with the camera so, I was able to commit it's traits to memory.

 

Fast forward a years later.

 

Recently I visited a Leica dealer to pick up a few items and handled an M8, that they had just gotten in and were using as a demo unit. In any case I was surprised to notice that the shutter release was much smoother and I swear that the shutter cocking was a lot quieter than what I had experience with my friends camera a year earlier

 

Has anyone else noticed this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David, you are partly correct; the green screws do attach the black carrier to the underside of the top cover. However, the yellow screws are in effect what mounts the entire shutter release/power switch:

 

 

In this picture you can see the auminium component third from the right (sorry about the shadows). This effective forms a "turret" which protrudes through the top cover and the finger rest screws onto the top of it.

 

Here's another picture of it without the top cover and flex print getting in the way:

 

 

In the picture in your post, the central silver dimple presses into the shutter release switch and it's this which is pressed down by a cable release. Pressing the shutter release also presses the same part down.

 

The shutter release switch mounts on the three screw holes you can see and the 4 contacts on the flex print mount around the switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walt

David- No, you have misidentified the tension adjusting screws, but I will let Mark or Carsten correct that. I also believe that anything less than perfectly vertical pressure on the shutter button is sometimes responsible for the "grit," which is an entirely separate matter from the strength of the detents. I mentioned this in a few previous posts, and illustrate my conjecture on the cause below.

 

Ed- I've attached a quick diagram of what I imagine the mechanics look like from an observation of the function of the parts. This is not a correct diagram, but an illustration of function, because I haven't seen the mechanism. I lit the inside of the shutter button with fibre lights and viewed the parts in movement with a microscope, tools I use for watchmaking.

 

In the diagram, the chrome shutter button is part 1; the cable release shaft is 2; the shutter switch itself is 6. The clearance at 3 is what allows the cable release to work (by depressing the shaft at 7). The shutter button itself does not move during cable release operation. There should be very little clearance at 4, though this is variable because parts 1 and 2 bind against each other at the two spaces indicated as 5. Contact at 4 is what allows the shutter button to operate the cable release shaft and switch. When pressing the shutter button, the shaft can hang up, increaasing the clearance at 3, and I have actually observed this happening. This creates a gritty feel as the shaft (2) slides through the hole (5) in the shutter button (1). Additionally, anything other than vertical pressure on the shutter button cocks it slightly (the red double arrow) and increases the friction at the two spaces 5. I believe that it is these two spaces that the lubricant is working on.

 

Walt

 

P.S. I've just seen Mark's last post and in my diagram I am imagining the lower end of part 2 as the silver dimple (in the illustration in David's post) he refers to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent, I can see where Leica should go for their next CAD-CAM software, LOL.

 

This is pretty much how it works. There's a set screw in the side of the shutter release so that when it is depressed, the plunger is depressed as well.

 

Walt, you can dismantle the top half without removing the top cover, all you need is a 5/8 flex clamp around the finger rest.

 

If you remove it and use a thin plastic object to press into the gold plunge you can see in the hole, I think you will quickly realise the grittiness is from the switch, not the release button. On mine, the release button is very smooth operating within the finger rest.

 

I'll take some pictures and post them tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It figures. I think there was a lot of wishful thinking on my part that I could do this without handling more than one flex print.

 

I look forward to seeing more pictures tomorrow so I can get a better sense of what's going on in there.

 

Thanks everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one Walt,

 

Thank you - it all makes sense.

Also explains why the amount of lubricant needed was so miniscule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure I'd want to risk any teflon migrating where it isn't wanted.

The stuff I used is called Selleys RP-7. Its a standard general spray lubricant/miracle worker which according to the labelling on the can fixes everything that can possibly be wrong with anything .

 

They don't say what is in it - probably snake-oil.

 

I have used it for years on various misbehaving electronic and mechanical equipment without ill effects and in my years of working with hardware never heard of it causing any problem except for rendering cd players useless by coating the laser assembly.

I have reluctantly refrained from using it as a lens cleaner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walt

Thanks, Mark, for taking the time to reply to this. Yes, that's my CAD-CAM software, still running under DOS. I will get a wrench, not the kind of thing I keep around (my largest watch tools are a fraction of the size needed for this camera and generally of a different type). I also look forward to the new pictures of our little button friend. I have been reluctant to pull the top plate because of the warranty issue. If ever a camera needed a warranty, this is it.

 

The lubricant I've used is "Triflon," which is an oil based, moderately viscous PTFE lubricant. After applying a very small quantity under the head of the cable release shaft, it helps to operate the shutter several times with a cable release (not the shutter button) to place the lubricant where it's needed. Or where I think it's needed, whatever the case.

 

To add to the mix on this crazy shutter release, I just stopped by a photography store on my way home from lunch to find that they sell the very nicely made Nikon "Soft Shutter Release," part AR-9 for $10.. Though my lubricated releases are pretty good now, I've tried the Nikon gizmo on both cameras with the "first finger joint" actuation method. On one camera they seem to smooth the action slightly (but make the detents rather hard to detect) and on the other they make the detents so hard and sharp that the camera is essentially unusable. This shutter release mechanism is very poorly designed or very poorly manufactured or both. This kind of variability is ridiculous in such a critical function. With the soft release screwed into the shutter button you can easily see the huge difference between the two cameras in terms of both rotation and lateral shake of the shutter buttom. The camera that is too hard with the soft release (and also not quite as good after lubrication and without the soft release) has maybe two times the rotation and lateral shake of the other camera. So I don't know what to say about the soft release. I think people are going to find very different results depending on their particular camera. This, I imagine, is also probably true for any lubrication effects.

 

Walt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't someone take the housing apart and expose the rod, or rods, that the shutter button actually hit and actuate the switch part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy