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marknorton

Adjusting the Shutter Release Feel

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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?

 

Yes, I noticed the same thing when I went to the local Leica store and tried out the demo unit. The shutter was smoother and quieter. I had my M8 with me and was able to compare. The shop attendant also agreed that there was a difference but couldn't explain why. I assumed it was due to greater wear and tear of the demo unit, which made me optimistic that mine would turn out that way.

 

Does anybody have definitive information? If this is something that could be upgraded by sending it in, I'd certainly want to do so.

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So here are some additional pictures of the Shutter Release.

 

First, a picture of the aluminium bush into which the shutter release finger guard screws. This bush is mounted to the black frame, held in position by the screws David W. coloured in in the picture above.

 

 

Looking inside, you can see the gold plunger of the shutter release switch. The small circle has a small plastic disc in it to cushion the shutter release and avoid metal/metal contact. Insert a small screwdriver, probe around gently and you can feel the cushioning effect, also press the plunger down to release the shutter.

 

 

Here are the three components which fit on the top of the camera - a sealing ring, the mode switch and the finger reset with the actual shutter release knob in it.

 

 

Here are the 3 positions of the release knob - rest, normal release, cable release

 

 

 

 

Remove the set screw and the components come apart. You can see how they fit concentrically with, in my case minimal friction and lateral play.

 

 

The inner plunger has a tiny nylon washer to cushion its action:

 

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My nomination for Poster of the Year?

 

Why Mark Norton of course: the courage (?) and skill to go to unexplored territory, and the ability to document his travels. Great photos.

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My nomination for Poster of the Year?

 

Why Mark Norton of course: the courage (?) and skill to go to unexplored territory, and the ability to document his travels. Great photos.

 

Hah! That's very kind of you, but I can think of a few who might beg to differ...

 

Message here is don't think lubricating the top half is going to help very much; as I've said before, I wouldn't do it.

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Guest Walt

Mark-

 

Many thanks for going to all this trouble. It's very useful to actually see this, which shouldn't be a surprise.

 

So, to translate my functional drawing into the real parts, my "shutter button" is the outer tube (which is part of the shutter button) and my "cable release shaft" is the inner plunger. In my "vision" of the mechanism before I saw it, the shutter button and shaft were binding against each other, and in the real parts, it would be the inner plunger binding against the outer tube. (I identified this area of binding as 5 in my earlier drawing.) The lubrication I have used is obviously residing between the outer tube and inner plunger. (Ed- This movement of the plunger through the outer tube is the part your drawing leaves out I think, which is the function of relative movement between the two parts that I observered from above and thought I was lubricating. But see 6 below which I did not at all account for)

 

From the photographs, I have the following impressions, for what they're worth.

 

1. There is a large contact area between the outer tube and the inner plunger and these parts are not well polished. I could imagine variation here, sample to sample.

2. The shutter button actuates the inner plunger (and thus the shutter switch itself) through the *sides* of the threads of the set screw, which seems like a terrible idea--the sort of thing you'd do in a prototype design until you refined it into a real solution.

3. In your photographs of the three positions of the unassembled unit, one can see that from rest to normal release, the outer tube has displaced a bit relative to the plunger (even as the whole assembly is a lot lower). This is what I called the variable clearance at 4 in my earlier drawing. This movement is tactilly perceptible as roughness and is also visible when operating the shutter button. Perhaps this is allowed by the threads of the set screw digging into the plunger flat (ugh!). That action might certainly feel like "grit."

4. On use of the cable release, the displacement between the outer tube and plunger is very large. I had one camera that was barely firable with a cable release and lubrication completely resolved this. So, at least on the large displacement with cable release, the movement of the outer tube and plunger against each other was binding badly.

5. When you say that the parts feel smooth, you are moving them in an unloaded condition (i.e. without the back pressure of the shutter release switch). Unless the resistance of the switch is perfectly perpendicular to the plunger, the plunger is going to be displaced sideways against the outer tube. While the detent balls and springs may be very light, these are also going to apply an erratic sideload as the balls move in and out of the shaft detents.

6. With any sideload, and even without sideload, the outer tube is also going to be displaced against the finger rest assembly tube (the outer-outer tube) it rides in. This might be a source of binding on normal shutter release, perhaps the most important (except for the switch itself, which you are holding out for). It certainly has to contribute to the feel of the release. Compressed air forced between the outer tube and o-o tube significantly improves the feel of the release. What is the material of the finger rest/0-0 tube?

7. All of these issues might be moot if the parts were not activated by one of the most highly ennervated, sensate-refined parts of the body, the fingertip. Even more than the roughness, it is the variability in pressure and travel from release to release that bothers me.

8. This construction looks entirely unsealed to the elements. I have an impression that a bit of water around or into the shutter button could wet the electronics of the camera--unless the shutter switch itself is providing the seal. Leica seems to be placing a lot of confidence in the sealing of the switch where the gold piece enters it and, perhaps, in the sealing of the switch to the underside of the top plate.

 

Gosh, enough on this. For the Yanks so inclined, happy Thanksgiving.

 

Thanks again,

Walt

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Walt

 

I'm not going to respond to each of your points, however, point 2 is incorrect. During a normal release, the inner plunger does not move relative to the outer one, so the only sensation of roughness from the release button itself will be due to the outer plunger moving inside the finger rest. The total travel of the button is around 1.5mm.

 

I agree with you that the parts are not finished to watchmaking standards - but my impression is that the feel - the relationship between the spring return force against displacement - of the switch completely swamps any effect introducted by the release button. If you were to remove the finger rest with a 5/8 flex clamp, I am sure you would come to the same conclusion but until you have done that, I don't think it's possible to say that any amount of refinement of the parts I have shown is going to improve the feel of the shutter release.

 

Instead, what Carsten and I have done is back off the detent springs in the switch which changes that relationship between spring return force and displacement to produce a more pleasing shutter release, even if the positions are not so clearly delineated.

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Guest Walt

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Mark-

 

I've ordered a flexclamp and it should be here in the next few days. You may well be right on this issue, and have been much further into it than I have. But pragmatically I have had considerable improvement in the feel with the lubrication--it just works, at least on my two cameras (though more on one than the other). My two now have what I consider acceptable operation. I can also imagine enought variability between cameras (parts finish, switches, switch detent adjustment, etc.) that lubrication might be useless on some.

 

I've got to say that in looking at all this, I am not at all impressed with the effort Leica put into it. I think it's a very shabby piece of design work and obviously executed with a lot of variability.

 

Thanks again,

Walt

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So here are some additional pictures of the Shutter Release.

 

First, a picture of the aluminium bush into which the shutter release finger guard screws. This bush is mounted to the black frame, held in position by the screws David W. coloured in in the picture above.

 

[ATTACH]62572[/ATTACH]

 

Looking inside, you can see the gold plunger of the shutter release switch. The small circle has a small plastic disc in it to cushion the shutter release and avoid metal/metal contact. Insert a small screwdriver, probe around gently and you can feel the cushioning effect, also press the plunger down to release the shutter.

 

[ATTACH]62573[/ATTACH]

 

Here are the three components which fit on the top of the camera - a sealing ring, the mode switch and the finger reset with the actual shutter release knob in it.

 

[ATTACH]62574[/ATTACH]

 

Here are the 3 positions of the release knob - rest, normal release, cable release

 

[ATTACH]62575[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH]62576[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH]62577[/ATTACH]

 

Remove the set screw and the components come apart. You can see how they fit concentrically with, in my case minimal friction and lateral play.

 

[ATTACH]62578[/ATTACH]

 

The inner plunger has a tiny nylon washer to cushion its action:

 

[ATTACH]62579[/ATTACH]

 

 

Hi Mark,

 

It's been a while since you did that obviously, but it is still of use for somebody else...

 

My M9 got flooded by some kir (champagne + sirrup) this week end, I cleaned as quickly and as far as I could the mess, but I keep feeling that the shutter release button contains some sugar liquid (I got otherwise no issue on the M9). Looking at the thread, it seems that one could unstrew easily the shutter release and clean the visible parts - at least the ones shown by your pics.

 

I assume that for my case, no further dismount will be required (and if I'm wrong, then I'll send the camera to Solms, but I would like to avoid it at the beginning of August, while I'm leaving for la Réunion in 3 weeks).

 

Some questions then:

Am I right to think that this unscrew action is easy, not intrusive, (not warranty destructive?), not requiring anything else than my fingers (I don't expect to have to unscrew the release tip, I have a beep screwed in, should have saved the internal shutter screw)

I don't understand the action of the select ring with respect to the shutter release button: how does it bring the release tip to various positions, as illustrated? I think otherwise that I have understood most of the thing (position of pieces together).

 

Thx for help,

Best Regards,

Baptiste

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Any disassembly of the camera is likely to affect the warranty but the shutter release plunger can be removed for cleaning without removing the top plate.

 

You unscrew the finger rest - use a flexclamp as it is likely to be very tight. That will allow you to clean the parts which slide against each other but be aware of the tiny plastic washer and another plastic disc which cushions the shutter release plunger against the shutter release switch.

 

If the Champagne has got further than this, you will need a fairly major clean inside the top plate and a new shutter release switch which means back to Solms.

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My M9 got flooded by some kir (champagne + sirrup) this week end, I cleaned as quickly and as far as I could the mess, but I keep feeling that the shutter release button contains some sugar liquid (I got otherwise no issue on the M9).

 

Sorry for your misfortune--but for God's sake, a kir incident?!?

Only in the Leica forum. . . . Hope you can get it cleaned out.

 

Cheers!

Will

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Just for the record - Kir = white wine and (cassis) or similar alcoholic "syrrup" (mûre or pèche)

 

when Champagne is used instead of white wine it is a "Kir Royale"

 

obviously you would only drink the "Royale" when using a Leica

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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:

 

[ATTACH]60957[/ATTACH]

 

Did you have to UN-solder the contacts from the hot-shoe? That's the only way I can think to remove it from the top-plate.

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Doug,

 

In case you're not aware the last post in this thread was more than a year and a half ago so you might not get a quick reply.

 

Pete.

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I would avoid unsoldering anything. Soldering temperatures are higher than they used to be because lead can no longer be used and you risk cooking the flex-print. Undoing the three screws I mentioned is sufficient to unfold the finger at the end of which is the shutter release switch.

 

I think later cameras are a bit better. Leica may have changed the design of the switch or the adjustment procedure but their dogged determination to retain the old screw-in cable release - a completely pointless nod to the past - means we still have this fundamentally unsatisfactory design. I'm hoping for a better design in the M10 but am likely to be disappointed.

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Not quite useless - it is called retro-compatability. Try using a Visoflex I without the feature

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Never used a screw-in cable release with my M8.2 but i wonder if it is not the only way to securely clean up the sensor in case of LCD breakdown (?).

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Probably! You'd just have to hope the screw lock doesn't give up as you set to cleaning the sensor with the sensor swab as the shutter blades close around it...

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In case you're not aware the last post in this thread was more than a year and a half ago so you might not get a quick reply.

 

I was aware. I had another thread where we were using this one as a reference point. Got my answer too!

 

Also, that's the whole point of using the Search function...which moderators often reference as a way to find the information users are looking for. As the owner of several popular Golf forums, I'd rather have someone reply to a old post, than start a new one and have a bunch of people pile-on with "Use the search button!"

 

Sidebar: (100% NOT meant to be snarky at all...please don't read it as that.)

Edited by Mr. Doug
clarity

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I totally can not feel shutter release of my M8 this Morning

 

The shutter release button stop spring back to its original position this morning … m8 will be in “Half press” state when power on, so that the metering is actively working, and all menu buttons are disabled. Feels like the springs inside the shutter release button are broken. I can still press the shutter button, and it will take a picture. But after picture is taken, the shutter button spring back to "half press" position instead of original position.

 

From Mark's "anatomy of leica m8", there are 4 gold springs and 2 black springs inside the shutter release...I guess there is a hope that the fix is DIY-able...

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