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Does my M6 actually have a problem ?


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Hello there!

I feel like something is wrong with my Leica M6, but I can't confirm as it's my very first Leica (and I LOVE it).
When it is 'powered' (fresh new batteries and not on Bulb mode), if I press the shutter half-way or even all-the-way, I don't get any reading in the viewfinder.
The light meter is powered on and giving me a reading only when the wind lever has been pulled completely and the camera is ready to take a picture.

While I can still use the camera properly, in specific light conditions (low light, cloudy and changing light) it's a bit risky to use as sometimes I have to wait 10-15 mins to have the natural lighting I'm looking for and the trigger could be pressed by inadvertence at any moment.

Could you guys please confirm that:

  1. This is not normal, and the light meter should give me a reading even though I didn't pull the lever (as long as the camera is not on Bulb mode)
  2. It wouldn't be too crazy to fix as it should 'just' be a connection missing

Thank you in advance.

Edited by Maien_
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Hi Jaapv.

Thank you for the clarification. I couldn't find any information about this online or in the manual so it wasn't clear to me.
I feel 'better' now :)

I find it a little disappointing that the metering cannot happened unless the shutter is cocked compared to some fully mechanical rangefinder like the Oly RC35 though.

Thanks!

Cheers

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The M6 measures exposure by reading a white spot on the shutter curtain that is only in the correct position when the shutter is cocked. If you remove the lens and watch the curtains as you cock the shutter you will understand why the circuit works this way.

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9 minutes ago, TomB_tx said:

The M6 measures exposure by reading a white spot on the shutter curtain that is only in the correct position when the shutter is cocked. If you remove the lens and watch the curtains as you cock the shutter you will understand why the circuit works this way.

I never checked, and I should, and I will! Very helpful to know, thank you.

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At page 22 of the M6 manual ( downloadable in pdf here )

[...

Switching the exposure meter on

The exposure meter is switched on by light pressure on the shutter release button (2),

providing that the shutter is tensioned (and is not set to "B"). After finger pressure has been removed, the exposure meter

re-mains on for about 10 seconds. When the shutter is released, the meter is switched off and the LEDs go out. lf the film

is imme-diately wound on, as when using the LEICAWINDER, the exposure meter is reactivat-ed and the LEDs light up again.

lf even one of the two LEDs light up, this in-dicates that the light meter is operational.

]

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7 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

[ ... providing that the shutter is tensioned (and is not set to "B"). ]

Being a native english speaker would have helped me I guess, because I read that but didn't understand it meant "shutter being cocked", I thought it was just about having the battery in the camera and the shutter dial not set to B.

I feel stupid now...

Thank you all !

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5 hours ago, Maien_ said:

Being a native english speaker would have helped me I guess, because I read that but didn't understand it meant "shutter being cocked", I thought it was just about having the battery in the camera and the shutter dial not set to B.

I feel stupid now...

Thank you all !

It is not native English to say the shutter is tensioned. That is a technical camera term that references the tensioning of springs that fire the shutter  

It would be more usual to say the shutter is cocked, or the film is advanced / wound on.

Congratulations on your new M6!

J :)

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It is a related curiosity question. (Note: I have M2 and not M6, but curious about “shutter cocking first” part).

Do you keep the shutter cocked all the time? If yes, then don’t you have problem of shutter firing accidentally?

I don’t keep my M2 cocked due to accidental firing concern. But on my Leica IIIc I do keep it cocked since shutter is recessed between speed and advanced knobs and there is less chance of accidental firing.

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7 minutes ago, jmahto said:

It is a related curiosity question. (Note: I have M2 and not M6, but curious about “shutter cocking first” part).

Do you keep the shutter cocked all the time? If yes, then don’t you have problem of shutter firing accidentally?

I don’t keep my M2 cocked due to accidental firing concern. But on my Leica IIIc I do keep it cocked since shutter is recessed between speed and advanced knobs and there is less chance of accidental firing.

Since I use Leica M, never worry about accidental shutter release.

Not as recessed as Barnack's Leica, the M shutter release is "protected" from release if not mounted with soft-release (I don't use one since the first one I've lost, long ago).

 

With M6, the danger is when "cocked", the lightmeter is "ON" and, when in a bag for some time, the release button can be pushed by something full time,

so the batteries can become exhausted.

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I was brought up to never leave the camera for any period of time with the shutter cocked, but I think the advice relates originally to leaf shutters where you do not want to leave the springs tensioned for long periods. I think it does not matter so much with Leica type shutters, though someone will know better.

as far as the M6 is concerned you should put the camera away with the shutter speed dial on the B setting as that switches the battery off. When using the camera on any speed except B the meter is active when the shutter is cocked/wound on. I did find it annoying that you could not take a meter reading without winding the shutter on as I then worried about pressing the shutter release too far and accidentally taking a picture when I only wanted to take a meter reading or not taking a picture and having to waste a frame in order not to put the camera away with the shutter cocked.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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Interesting.

My main fear was about having the shutter accidentally released.
According to your feedback a.noctilux, we should not worry about it but more about the battery.

I guess I'll try to keep it cocked, and I will switch it to "B" to avoid battery draining when in my bag.

Thanks

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Good decision to be prepared, but when the M6 taken out of bag,

take habit to turn the shutter speed to faster, I've done that so many times (in a hurry, took the "picture" with timing "B" ! )

For that kind of warning, later on, even on MP the B/OFF position painted bold red 😇 on black

 

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The speed button turns one way only so I

- don't have MP anymore

- when I used it, I just "forget" to turn it to off

sometimes, I won, sometimes I must put another set of batteries which one must have "in case" anyway using camera needing batteries

Edited by a.noctilux
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