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Typ 109 viewfinder level wildly off

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Hello all,

I have the 'level gauge' feature enabled on my Typ 109, which is supposed to show a green line in the viewfinder when the camera is level.

My images have often been out of level, with horizons dipping to the right so often that I couldn't believe I was not paying attention to the level.

I finally went out to test it today, and sure enough...a series of 8 photos, horizontal and vertical, all taken with careful attention to the green line, and all very badly out of level.

I'll attach one example here...they are all consistently like this. Takes a 1.7 adjustment in LR to level the horizon.

Wondering if this is a known issue? Can't imagine I'll send back to factory and wait 6mos for a repair...had to do that once already. I'll just turn it off. But I am disappointed!

Thanks for any advice.


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Not sure, I'd have to do more testing I guess. This was shot at full telephoto [34mm] which I seldom do. I may have a vignetting problem at that focal length.

Edit: I also recently added a polarizer. This may be the issue. Again, need to test.

Edited by chris0959

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It's no doubt the polarizer.  I get no vignetting using the software built into the 109 to extend the focal at the long end twice as far - BTW:  This seems to have no impact on image quality.

I wouldn't know about the level light since I never use it.  I urge you to pay attention to your horizons.

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Ha! I hope that's tongue-in-cheek Stu...you 'urge me to pay attention...'

That's the whole bloody point!

I'm so moved to pay attention to my horizons that I'm willing to use the fancy, if invasive, electronic level in the viewfinder of my $1k Leica camera.

And it's horribly inaccurate. 

Priceless advice. If this is the best I'm going to get you may close this thread Mr Moderator.


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If lct's suggestion doesn't work, why not call service at Leica in NJ and get their advice?

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The 109 can be  extremely sensitive to anything attached to the lens. Merely attaching a small step-up ring prevented the lens from extending on my 109. Try removing the polarizer and see if that helps the level  problem.

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