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Norman Peritore

R metering problem--please help

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Dear R friends, I have a Leicaflex and a Leicaflex SL, and am using Summicron 1.2 50 and a Vario Elmar 3.2 28-70 on them respectively. 

Here is the question...neither camera will meter, ie the lttle stick indicator is nowhere in sight when the loop moves. Is this because of this 2 or 3 cam business which I do not understand, or do I need to pack them off for repairs? Is this a reperable defect?

I am using an old Leica meter and a handheld but they are a pain... They are making my experiment with film a bit difficult.

Thnk you for your help.

Patrick

Recife, Brazil

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Hello Patrick,

Welcome to the Forum.

This will most likely be reasonably quick & easy for us to do.

To begin:

Assuming that you have checked/cleaned the contacts, etc in the battery chambers. And that the working batteries are 1.35 volts properly inserted (+ side looking at you.).

While you are looking thru the viewfinder:

What happens when you push the little black rod sticking out of the top left side of your Leicaflex prism (With the lens pointing to the subject with the camera in front of you.)?

What happens when you push the little black rod sticking out of the top front of your Leicaflex prism (The same as above.)?

Best Regards,

Michael

 

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Quick answer:

1) Check the light meter's battery

2) If the battery is ok, check whether the film winding lever is in its rest position. At least with the SL2, the film winding lever must be in its standby position, that is, a little bit away from the body, otherwise the light meter will not work.

Cheers, Andy

P.S.: Only the loop will move once you turn either the f-stop ring or the shutter speed ring. The black needle is coupled to the light meter and will move according to measured light intensity (provided the light meter does work, of course)

Edited by wizard

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Hello Andy,

With all of the Leicaflexes, except for the earlier version of the first Leicaflex, the light meter is only "on" when the wind lever is moved away from the body a certain amount. This is to conserve battery power. 

Best Regards,

Michael

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Hi Patrick,

I have a mint Leciaflex Sl body, and the first 50 mm Summicron I tried turned out not to have the correct cam in it, so the light meter did not work.

As soon as I tried the proper 2 cam version, it worked perfectly. So it would seem that may be your problem, as it was mine.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Robert

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Hello Robert,

Welcome to the Forum.

When you tried the 50mm Summicron without the proper actuating cams & you pushed in the "stop down" button on the front of the camera: Didn't the lens operate in "stop down" mode the same way that it would if you were using a manual lens?

Best Regards,

Michael

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Hello Patrick. It might be helpful if you were to post pictures of the rear of your two lenses, so that people here could verify what cams your lenses have. For the original Leicaflex you need a lens with  the first cam. For the SL you heed a lens with the first and second cam. This means that a lens equipped with all three cams (including the third R cam) will also be OK, but a "third cam only" lens (that is, without first and second cams) won't work properly.

 

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As per John's advice (beat me to it). If your lenses are later versions they are likely to be R cam type and not compatible with your cameras. 

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Gentlemen,

The OP said that the "loop moves", but the "little stick indicator" does not. If the indicator needle having the loop at its end moves, doesn't that mean that his lenses have the required cam(s)? Or else how would that loop needle be moving when using a, say, R-only lens? 

If my assumption is correct (I cannot verify with my own SL2, as I do not own any R-only lens), the problem is not a missing cam. Rather, it is the light meter itself (lack of power, position of wind lever etc.).

Cheers,

Andy

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I've got a friend calling round next week, who has an SL2, so I'll ask him to bring it round so we can compare it with the OP's.

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Hello Patrick,

By the way, did you remember to pull the winding lever far enough away from the camera body to turn the meter on?

In order to save battery power all of the Leicaflexes, except for the first version of the first Leicaflex, turn the meter off when the winding lever is pushed in against the body.

You have to move the lever out to its stand off position to turn the meter on.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Thank you all for the sage advice.Its been decades since I used film cameras. It worked as you suggested. Here is another naive question. Does the height of the loop and stick have something to do with EV, saturation of the film, or etc? I shot at the beach at asa 200, 250 f8, and 500 etc, but the loop always remained relatively low when encountering the stick. IE am I under or over saturating? Should the loop and stick be somewhere in the middle range?

VERY BEST, Patrick

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The "stick" is the meter needle that moves in response to the amount of light reaching the center of the image, so it may be from bottom to top depending on the amount of light. As a result you "chase" the stick with the Loop, which is an indicator moved by the mechanical linkages to the shutter speed and lens aperture controls.

This is in contrast to many other film SLRs where there is a single needle moved by the amount of light, but balanced by resistors in shutter speed and aperture controls, where you always need to center the needle at a fixed position in the finder.

As I recall, the Leica M5 also used a 2-needle system (similar to the Leicaflex), where you matched the moving meter needle with another indicator.

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Hello Patrick,

The co-ordination of the loop with the stick means that you are getting the SAME exposure density on the film. Regardless of whether they are coming together higher up or lower down along the side of the screen.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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HI friends, I took and developed a roll but was pretty disappointed--I used a Leicaflex sl and Vario elmar R 3.5 28-70 which normally gives tack sharp images, but the pictures came out muddy. Maybe the processing was wrong, or maybe the Agfa 100asa isnt a very good film. What do you recommend?

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I recommend you lay out a bit more information for starters.

Who processed the film, and what does the actual film look like, is it all "muddy", and are the numbers along the side clear etc, what about the leader where it was exposed to light.

Processing has little to do with the perceived sharpness, and the light on the only picture you have posted looks "flat", as in nice light for this sort of subject.

Is the whole film less than tack sharp? What shutter speeds? What apertures?

Give us more to work with instead of asking for a general recommendation please.

Gary

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Hi Gary, i used agfa rodinal 5minutes, plus stop bath of citric acid, and kodak f24 fixer. I followed the cameras exposure suggestions, it was about 3:00 on the beach and the b&w should have been more edge contrasty with detail in the sky, as i get with my M8. I use the vario elmar with a sony body and it gives marvellous clarity and cinematic color. 

Ill try more roles, of fujifilm and a 50mm prime and see what happens.

I wish i could follow one of you thru the process of shooting and developing, as i am improvising, with the help of youtube. Does stand development give better contrast?

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Ah, better. Agfa 100? As in APX100? I have used Rodinal with APX100, and found it to be quite contrasty. Is the whole roll like this, "muddy". Can you shoot a (phone pic is fine) of the negs laid out on something like a light box? This will help me (and others) see if the roll is "thin" or not.

And yes, another roll with a mixture of the Vario Elmar and a 50 prime would help. The Vario on the Sony could be skewed by the ability to adjust at will the saturation and colour as well as contrast, easily, within LR or Photoshop.

Let's see the negs next please.

Gary

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