Jump to content
wlaidlaw

Another venture into the Leica Reflex world - just hope it is a happier one than last time

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

The M7 I was going to take to India with me at the beginning of March, as a film back up to my digital CL, has been found to have a sheared motor drive shaft. At least we now know what was causing the intermediate gear to go out of sync, jamming the camera. Of course after putting everything back in sync, it worked perfectly with the lever wind but as soon as the Motor-M was put back on - bang and an immediate gear lock up. It may be some time before Leica can send a replacement shaft. I am not sure what their current policy of supplying parts to third party repairers (Cameraworks-UK) is. They were being very difficult at one point but someone may have explained to them, their obligations under EU Consumer protection legislation on spare parts supply. 

In any case, having it back for early March is looking a bit doubtful. I really need motor drive, as the joint at the base my right thumb is distinctly second hand and some days, will just not operate a lever wind. I therefore narrowed my choices within a £1000 budget to a Hexar RF or Motor drive R. I am a bit wary of the Hexar RF due to the spares situation on the somewhat fragile titanium blade shutter. I believe these were developed by Compur Japan for the Contax G1. I understand there are no new shutters available as spares. I also found that Ffordes had a motor drive R9 for sale at a very reasonable price. Very slightly cosmetically challenged but this is going to be a working camera, so irrelevant. I got a 50/2 Summicron R ROM lens from Toms-Camera, who is a forum member and from whom I have bought in the past, at a very reasonable cost. I already have an 80-200/4 Vario ROM lens. I am also a bit like a stick of Blackpool Rock - Leica is printed all the way through me, after using them for 60 years. 

I just hope my second venture into Leica Reflex cameras is more successful than my first. In 1980, I bought a new/old stock SL2. It was a "Friday" camera (I think they are called "Monday" cameras in Germany). After a number of visits to Leica UK, it was still giving loads of trouble. I went and asked Malcolm Taylor for his opinion. He was then the technical man at Hove Camera Company, owned by Derek Grossmark, as to what I should do next. "Take it back to the dealer for either a refund or an exchange" was his recommendation. I exchanged it for a Contax RTS2, which in the hands of a friend, is still working today. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wilson, Might an Abrahamsson Rapid Wind on an M suit your hand? No thumb action and no R9 motor drive battery pack to charge. 

Regards

dunk

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunk, 

I have tried both an Abrahamsson winder and a Leicavit plus a SCNOO on my Barnack cameras. I found them all uncomfortable to use. Although the thumb joint is one of the worst, the rest of my finger joints are not in a great state either. The winder batteries last a very long time (about 40-50 rolls of film). I will be using the CR123A lithium-manganese batteries in the winder not the rechargeable battery pack. I think most of the batteries in those have died now, although there is a company in the USA who will rebuild them. The rechargeable battery pack adds quite a bit more bulk as well, to what is already not a small camera. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dkCambridgeshire said:

Wilson, Might an Abrahamsson Rapid Wind on an M suit your hand? No thumb action and no R9 motor drive battery pack to charge. 

Regards

dunk

Dunk, 

Also the broken motor drive shaft is on the M7 camera not the motor. The motor is fine. The drive shaft also locates the intermediate drive gear, which is the heart of the drive train in the camera. Although it would work with the lever wind for a short time, it would eventually go out of sync, because the gear is no longer held square. The Leicavit and Abbrahamsson both use the same drive shaft in the camera, which was part broken but is now in two pieces. The R9 will be with me tomorrow. I am currently reading through the 130 page manual. In theory I could use my M4-P with the small Motor-M rather than the bulky M4-2 Winder but its shutter speeds have gone increasingly erratic over the last couple of months, so it was crying out for the CLA, it has currently gone for. I want to use colour reversal film and the MR-4 meter on the M4-P, which just fine for colour negative is marginally accurate enough for reversal. The M7 TTL metering is good but I suspect the R9's will be better. I will also have my digital CL with me as well. 

Wilson

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curses Wilson, you reignited the GAS, I have an R9 coming, to accompany my old SL, and use the Summicrons I have. Threads like this are expensive.

Was thinking the R8 due costs but this R9 beckoned and I weakened.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, gbealnz said:

Curses Wilson, you reignited the GAS, I have an R9 coming, to accompany my old SL, and use the Summicrons I have. Threads like this are expensive.

Was thinking the R8 due costs but this R9 beckoned and I weakened.

Gary

Are you aware that Leica recommends not using anything other than ROM lenses on the R9, which makes a bit of a nonsense of their backwards compatibility claim? Apparently older lenses have been found to damage the contacts on the R9. Luckily 2 out of my 3 lenses (50 Summicron and 80-200 Vario Elmar) are ROM. The only one that isn't is my 80mm Hartblei Super Rotator T/S lens. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

7 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

Are you aware that Leica recommends not using anything other than ROM lenses on the R9, which makes a bit of a nonsense of their backwards compatibility claim? Apparently older lenses have been found to damage the contacts on the R9. Luckily 2 out of my 3 lenses (50 Summicron and 80-200 Vario Elmar) are ROM. The only one that isn't is my 80mm Hartblei Super Rotator T/S lens. 

Wilson

Wilson, it's not nearly so bad as that! Three cam and R cam only lenses are absolutely fine. There can be a problem putting ROM lenses on Leicaflexes damaging the contacts on the lens. So far as shift lenses are concerned, the PC Super Angulon R has no ROM contacts, and vestigial fixed second and third cams with manual aperture stop down and works fine on the R9.

Edited by masjah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, no, I didn't know that, thank you.

And none of my lenses are ROM, specifically because I use them on the SL.

More research required, hopefully John is correct (not saying you aren't, just hoping).

Garyt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going by what Leica say in their R9 manual. It may be being excessively cautious. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wlaidlaw said:

I was going by what Leica say in their R9 manual. It may be being excessively cautious. 

Wilson

Wilson, might I suggest that you may be looking at the paragraph on page 129 of the R9 manual:

Leicaflex model lenses and accessories (without the R control cam) may not be used on the Leica R9 as they can damage the camera. If they are to be used on the Leica R9, or other Leica R cameras (from the Leica R3), they must be fitted with the R control cam.

What is being referred to here are the earlier 1-cam and 2-cam lenses, not 3-cam or R-cam only, which are perfectly safe on all R cameras from R3 onwards. The previous page 128 makes this clear.

For non-ROM lenses, the R9 has the necessary linkages to read the 3rd cam. Of course, non-ROM lenses won't have the advantages of the fine-tuning of metering and aperture dynamics which a ROM lens can communicate to the camera.

Hope this helps!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, masjah said:

Wilson, might I suggest that you may be looking at the paragraph on page 129 of the R9 manual:

Leicaflex model lenses and accessories (without the R control cam) may not be used on the Leica R9 as they can damage the camera. If they are to be used on the Leica R9, or other Leica R cameras (from the Leica R3), they must be fitted with the R control cam.

What is being referred to here are the earlier 1-cam and 2-cam lenses, not 3-cam or R-cam only, which are perfectly safe on all R cameras from R3 onwards. The previous page 128 makes this clear.

For non-ROM lenses, the R9 has the necessary linkages to read the 3rd cam. Of course, non-ROM lenses won't have the advantages of the fine-tuning of metering and aperture dynamics which a ROM lens can communicate to the camera.

Hope this helps!

 

 

John, 

That was the bit I was thinking of. What I don't know is how it applies to third party R mount lenses with no cams at all like my Hartblei Lens. In that Gary was discussing SL Summicrons in his post, my guess is that they would be 1 or 2 cam lenses and would fall into the risky category. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it seems anything with one cam, or two cam is not compatible. I recall trying to mount my old two cam 50 Summicron (the first version) on a previous R8, it wouldn't go.

The others are all three cam.

Cheers guys, can't wait for this beast to arrive.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gbealnz said:

Yes, it seems anything with one cam, or two cam is not compatible. I recall trying to mount my old two cam 50 Summicron (the first version) on a previous R8, it wouldn't go.

The others are all three cam.

Cheers guys, can't wait for this beast to arrive.

Gary

Take weight lifting lessons! Mine with a Motor-R, makes my SL601 look dainty. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:

John, 

That was the bit I was thinking of. What I don't know is how it applies to third party R mount lenses with no cams at all like my Hartblei Lens. In that Gary was discussing SL Summicrons in his post, my guess is that they would be 1 or 2 cam lenses and would fall into the risky category. 

Wilson

Wilson, being of a cautious disposition, I think I would share your reservations!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if it was reliability I was after, I'd have picked an R6.2 over an R9 (or R8), or any of the other electronic shutter R cameras. I sold my R8 because of its occasional flaky behavior, and much later acquired an R6.2 which seems to be absolutely solid. The winder and motor for it also seem absolutely solid. 

That said, I wonder why you aren't just bringing your SL, which should be more reliable than any of the other cameras. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ramarren said:

Well, if it was reliability I was after, I'd have picked an R6.2 over an R9 (or R8), or any of the other electronic shutter R cameras. I sold my R8 because of its occasional flaky behavior, and much later acquired an R6.2 which seems to be absolutely solid. The winder and motor for it also seem absolutely solid. 

That said, I wonder why you aren't just bringing your SL, which should be more reliable than any of the other cameras. 

It is because I want one film camera as well as the digital CL and C112 my wife and I are taking. The climate and environment in India seems particularly inimical to digital cameras, heat, humidity, dust, pollution. In my various trips there, I have had three digital cameras fail, a C-Lux (lens extension problems and then AF failure), Digilux 2 (sensor failure) and M9 (sensor failure). I am still hoping that my M7 will be repaired but that is dependant on Leica delivering a new motor drive shaft to Cameraworks-UK, in a timely manner. In a bit of reverse Murphy's Law, I have bought another suitable modern film camera, to ensure that my M7 will be ready.  In that I had 2 ROM lenses already and wanted to use them and wanted a motor drive, a Motor R8 or 9 seemed the choice (not the very bulky winder). I had in any case, wanted for some time to add a reflex Leica to my collection of some 26 Leica cameras. As I will be taking 100% narrow latitude reversal film, I wanted one with good and preferably area selectable TTL metering. Again the R8 or 9 seemed to fit the bill. I was offered a warranted Motor-R R9 at what seemed to me to be a very cheap price (£500) from my favourite UK dealer, Ffordes in Scotland, so opted for that. Everything seems to work perfectly. The camera is slightly cosmetically challenged with a few marks on the paint but one could consider this the same as the brassing on my pre-war black Barnack cameras.

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wlaidlaw said:

It is because I want one film camera as well as the digital CL and C112 my wife and I are taking. The climate and environment in India seems particularly inimical to digital cameras, heat, humidity, dust, pollution. In my various trips there, I have had three digital cameras fail, a C-Lux (lens extension problems and then AF failure), Digilux 2 (sensor failure) and M9 (sensor failure). I am still hoping that my M7 will be repaired but that is dependant on Leica delivering a new motor drive shaft to Cameraworks-UK, in a timely manner. In a bit of reverse Murphy's Law, I have bought another suitable modern film camera, to ensure that my M7 will be ready.  In that I had 2 ROM lenses already and wanted to use them and wanted a motor drive, a Motor R8 or 9 seemed the choice (not the very bulky winder). I had in any case, wanted for some time to add a reflex Leica to my collection of some 26 Leica cameras. As I will be taking 100% narrow latitude reversal film, I wanted one with good and preferably area selectable TTL metering. Again the R8 or 9 seemed to fit the bill. I was offered a warranted Motor-R R9 at what seemed to me to be a very cheap price (£500) from my favourite UK dealer, Ffordes in Scotland, so opted for that. Everything seems to work perfectly. The camera is slightly cosmetically challenged with a few marks on the paint but one could consider this the same as the brassing on my pre-war black Barnack cameras.

Wilson

Wilson, I think that's a very good choice. The R9 metering with the bonus of ROM lenses is very good indeed. (Leica have been known to talk in terms of 0.1 of a stop, but that level of tweak I would have thought would be dominated by personal preference!) Even the multi-field metering gets it right surprisingly often (by which I mean nearly all the time), especially considering that there are not that many zones compared with some of the Japanese cameras - I presume that Leica's metering algorithms are very carefully devised.

There are several small advantages of the R9 over the R8, which personally I find very worthwhile (though perhaps the lock on the mode knob is a mixed blessing).

Cosmetically, the R9 top plate has a ceramic coating, on which it is quite easy to create a very small chip if you catch it with the edge of a lens when mounting/unmounting a lens, but, like you, I would regard these as the normal battle-scars of use (after all, it's not going to sit in a display cabinet). As my dear wife says: John, it's a working camera.

I'm sure you'll derive a lot of pleasure from it.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:

It is because I want one film camera as well as the digital CL and C112 my wife and I are taking. The climate and environment in India seems particularly inimical to digital cameras, heat, humidity, dust, pollution. In my various trips there, I have had three digital cameras fail, a C-Lux (lens extension problems and then AF failure), Digilux 2 (sensor failure) and M9 (sensor failure). I am still hoping that my M7 will be repaired but that is dependant on Leica delivering a new motor drive shaft to Cameraworks-UK, in a timely manner. In a bit of reverse Murphy's Law, I have bought another suitable modern film camera, to ensure that my M7 will be ready.  In that I had 2 ROM lenses already and wanted to use them and wanted a motor drive, a Motor R8 or 9 seemed the choice (not the very bulky winder). I had in any case, wanted for some time to add a reflex Leica to my collection of some 26 Leica cameras. As I will be taking 100% narrow latitude reversal film, I wanted one with good and preferably area selectable TTL metering. Again the R8 or 9 seemed to fit the bill. I was offered a warranted Motor-R R9 at what seemed to me to be a very cheap price (£500) from my favourite UK dealer, Ffordes in Scotland, so opted for that. Everything seems to work perfectly. The camera is slightly cosmetically challenged with a few marks on the paint but one could consider this the same as the brassing on my pre-war black Barnack cameras.

Wilson

It seems to me that this is precisely the kind of inimical environment that the SL and its lenses with their comprehensive weather sealing were designed to be used in. None of the compacts or Ms are so well equipped to battle fine dust and water. 

But you make your own choices. The SL is a rather large and heavy system for extensive travel; not that an R9 with motor winder and lenses is all that much smaller or lighter! 

(My next trip is coming up. Haven't decided on what gear I want to carry yet. But it will be light and small... :) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took the SL on both of my Myanmar trips 18 months and 2 years ago. However on my last two trips to the Caribbean and USA, I took the CL and found it much more pleasant. I found the SL very weighty and with the 24-90, front heavy. That was one reason I opted for a 50mm Summicron-R rather than a Summilux-R for the R9 plus a very large differential in cost (about 4 times or more). I am still hopeful that I will have my M7 back which I will be using with my 50 Summilux III and 28/1.4 7Artisans. I may take my 18 SEM instead of the 28, depending on what lenses I take with the CL. I also now know how to cure the lens extension fault on my wife's Panaleica. You stick a vacuum cleaner nozzle over the lens barrel and switch on and off a few times. This sucks the dust out of the sliding joints and they then recover. 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I have both the one-cam Summicron-R 50/2 (1964 version) and three-cam Summilux-R 50/1.4 (1973 version). On my kitchen scale, they weigh about 360 and 460 grams, respectively. In the hand and on the SL, Leicaflex SL, or CL, I never noticed that they were all that different in weight ... the weight of the SL or Leicaflex SL bodies is much greater than that difference such that it's hardly noticeable, on the CL body, these lenses dominate the overall weight and balance of the camera since the body is so small and light, but I hold the camera by the lens assembly so I hardly notice that the lenses are different in weight. Interesting. I keep the Summicron-R 50 around because it has superb flatness of field for when I fit it to the bellows and rack it out to near maximum extension ... It does a better job of flat macro copy (for Minox negative capture) than the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm, which is at its best in the 1:4 to 1:1 range. 

I agree that the SL zooms are quite large and heavy, as I said above. But they're the best machinery for those conditions: They were built for that kind of severe use. Plusses and minuses.

Still going around a bit deciding what camera I'll take with me on my cruise in two weeks. I am sure I'll bring a Polaroid SX-70 and four or five packs of film (ideal camera for miscellaneous party snapshots... People tend to WANT to have their photos made with a Polaroid!). I haven't decided between the M-D with two lenses, the CL with two lenses, or my Light L16, but I'm leaning towards that last. It's not a photo trip, and the L16 is very slim and light yet packs effectively 28 to 150mm FoV range and up to 50Mpixel capture resolution. No one thinks of it as a camera either since it looks like an oversized cell phone with a bunch of spider eyes... Decisions, decisions. :D 

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