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Concerning the Winder M4-2

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The missing battery chamber to my recently purchased M4-2 winder arrived today, and never having been around someone who used one of them, was very surprised to hear a big "whoomp" every time it fired.  Granted, I didn't have any film in the camera because I was just testing out the operation of the winder, but I could have swore seeing somewhere in the Leica advertising literature about how quiet the winder is.  Am I wrong, or is this not normal?

 

PF

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The M4-2 winder is an industrial era monster. Why would some expect it to be subtle?

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I bought an M4-2 winder a few years ago. Tried it once, and it as so loud and it felt like it would tear the camera apart. Never used again. It's now sitting on the shelf.

 

-Thomas

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  Okay, just guess I'll have to live with it.

 

PF

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I have one from late 1980's used with M4-P then M6.

 

At first I thought it was not working properly with the loud noise and that brutal push-up finger each shutter release.

But at store, the shop keeper showed other winders with same behavior.

 

When I needed winder I used it and shut it to "off" after that, the good thing is thumb wind can be used with winder mounted untill the next film change.

 

Another good thing: the M + winder holding is better secured with large lens like a Noctilux or Elmarit-M 135mm (this last not usable with the last Motor-M 

) .

 

...

Happily, Leica released other winder/motor-M which are more user friendly than this first attempt.

 

Have a try the last Leica Motor-M with handle and so "quieter/gentler".

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I have one from late 1980's used with M4-P then M6.

 

At first I thought it was not working properly with the loud noise and that brutal push-up finger each shutter release.

But at store, the shop keeper showed other winders with same behavior.

 

When I needed winder I used it and shut it to "off" after that, the good thing is thumb wind can be used with winder mounted untill the next film change.

 

Another good thing: the M + winder holding is better secured with large lens like a Noctilux or Elmarit-M 135mm (this last not usable with the last Motor-M 

) .

 

...

Happily, Leica released other winder/motor-M which are more user friendly than this first attempt.

 

Have a try the last Leica Motor-M with handle and so "quieter/gentler".

Ah, so that's the one I read about.  It all makes sense  now.  Thanks.

 

PF

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Posted (edited)

A thumbnail (and thus imprecise) description of the M4-2 winder operation.

 

It was designed to require the minimum amount of modification to the cameras (especially electrical - Leitz was a mechanical and optical company that always had problems getting electrical stuff right, in that era), and thus depended on some weird mechanical feedback rather than electric signals to function.

 

You push the shutter button, releasing the shutter, and simultaneously pressing down a long shaft of sheet metal inside the camera, to close the electrical contacts in the winder and send power to the winder's electric motor. The motor then starts to turn and advance the film and cock the shutter. As it turns, it also returns the long shaft of sheet metal upwards against the shutter button to "unlock" the winding mechanism (try manually winding a Leica film body with the button depressed, and you'll see a depressed button locks out film winding, or results in nasty "grinding"). Coincidentally knocking your finger up and out of the way.

 

In this regard it is rather like the add-on "bump-stocks" for AR15-type rifles, made famous after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, that use recoil to push the button/trigger against your finger.

 

The motor does not stop when the shutter is fully cocked. It keeps right on trying to move a now-immovable wind mechanism, and having nowhere else to go, the motor itself torques or twists or writhes in its mount (intentionally slightly loose), in the process separating the power contacts, and turning itself off.

 

Think of a bump-stock combined with an unbalanced washing machine, and you get the idea. SnaprrrrWHOMP!

 

This is why the M4-2 et seq cameras were given hardened-steel wind-mechanism gears instead of the smoother-operating softer brass gears of the M3/2/4/5. The motor's "thrash" at the end, to break the electrical connection, would have broken or distorted brass gears rather quickly.

 

It is in fact recommended to NOT use the M4-2 Winder "dry" with no film loaded. The film drag helps "tame" the motor force - but only slightly.

Edited by adan

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Thanks for the info, Adan.  I only did about ten releases (single and continuous combined), so hopefully I didn't hurt anything.  It just sounds like it's going to rip the curtains out of the camera.  But after an afternoon of shooting, I don't know why I'd use it.  If the action was that intense, more than likely I'd be using the R7.  Or I could try for a Rapidwinder instead.

 

PF

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Problem solved, ordered a Rapidwinder yesterday.

 

PF

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