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Leica M3 baseplate curiosity


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At a vintage camera store a couple of years ago, I had two of those quick load kits in my hand at bargain prices. However the veteran sales person told me that these QL kits put extra stress on the winding mechanism of the M3, and might cause problems later. So I decided not to buy one. Of course I should have bought and resold these kits at a premium, but I would never use one and am happy loading my M3 as originally designed. No need to stress a 67 year old machine that works perfectly and has a "whisper" shutter - quieter than the M10-P 🙂.

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Hello Ironringer,

Since the spool in a quick load replaces the original spool. And is not much heavier than the original spool. And the film guide attached to the baseplate is there to make sure the film is properly placed. And the decal showing how to load the film is on the bottom of the baseplate nowhere near the film: Did the person tell you how the quick load "puts extra stress on the winding mechanism"?

Best Regards,

Michael

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The dealer and long-time Leica user did not clarify what caused (or might cause?) extra stress on the winding mechanism with the quick load device. I can only speculate about two possibilities:

- additional friction in the film path, with the guide in place;

- IF the diameter of the new spool is smaller (even by 1mm) than the original spool, the winder lever and gearing must work harder to pull the film.

Either and both possibilities cause more stress on the winding mechanism.

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Hello Ironringer,

I don't have a roll of film to check with now but I don't think that the film contacts the guide once it is in place. I think that once the film is grabbed by the sprocket holes it is probably lifted above the guide. I will check & get back to you unless someone with a quick load can check before I do.

I haven't looked at an original spool for a while but if I remember correctly the quick load spool, which is a snail, is actually a little wider. Once again, if someone has 1 of each they could look.

By the way, when I use a quick load & pull it out, by pulling on the shiny tube, just enough to release the  frame counter & then put it back in: I then align the snail with my right thumb. This makes no sense when you read it but it is self explanatory when you do it.

Then I pull out enough film to go a little beyond the center of the snail & then wrap the end of the film in the snail to about 2 o'clock.

Then (Important) I push the film up until the sprocket holes are over the sprockets. Snug up & then test to see the film is moving a little.

Then put on the baseplate. Advance 1 frame while watching to see that the 2 little dots "twirl". Snug again. Release the shutter. Advance the shutter a second time while watching the 2 little dots "twirl". release the shutter a second time. Then REMOVE THE LENS CAP.

Ready.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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Has anyone got a copy of the instructions for using the quick load kit that they could either post here or email me a copy of. I have to hang my head in shame, as I have never got round to using the lovely SS 1966 M3 I bought a couple of years ago. It was away for some time having a CLA and my only real excuse is that I find the lever wind is quite uncomfortable and awkard for me, with a very arthritic right thumb, so I have tended to stick to my M4-P and M7, both of which have motor drives. I just went and had a look inside my M3 and there was a quick load kit already there. I am not 100% convinced it has the correct spool but a glance at the instructions should tell me. Hopefully as the base plate shuts correctly, should mean that the correct spool is present. I had hoped there might be a copy in James Langer's Leica Literature book but could not find anything. 

Wilson

PS Found a video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12xtZ3Cjb6s which not only shows me how to use the kit but from the shape of the spool, confirms I have the correct one (angled cut out on top flange). I would still like to get a PDF to add to my large library of Leica manuals if anyone could provide please. 

 

Edited by wlaidlaw
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Andy, 

Thanks for that link. I had already looked at the video I referenced above and have successfully loaded a roll of Adox Silvermax 100 in my M3. The centre sleeve on the spool was not dropping down properly to pull it out to reset the film counter but a blow with compressed air seems to have cured that. 

I always forget just how lovely the viewfinder is on an M3. I would still like to get a copy of the PDF for the Quick Load 14260. I have a library of around 100+ Leica manuals for cameras, lenses, flashes and assorted accessories, which I am always looking to add to.

Wilson

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6 minutes ago, andym91 said:

I couldn’t find one and am not sure there was one...

Best

andy 

Andy maybe not in English. 

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Andy, 

Mine is not bad too but sadly I can only find a photo of the front and not of the inside of the leaflet, searching in both English and German (Leica Schnelladespüle M3 Anleitung) Google. 

Wilson

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Michael,

Someone on eBay is selling a boxed 14260 kit apparently with instructions but for a modest $400. I wonder if the dealer you bought from had taken the instructions out to give to someone else. As my M3 does not have the sticker on the inside of the base plate and is a very late camera from the last batch of 1966, I wondered if the quick load kit might have been standardised to try and maintain M3 sales until the M4 came out in mid year 1967. My M3 had been in storage since 1970, so, the kit has not been fitted recently. 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw
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Hello Wilson,

The box it came in was too small for the instruction sheet pictured above. Even folded up.

The Quick Load is not in my 1968 Dealer Catalog. It is in my 1973 Dealer Catalog.

I think that the Quick Load was introduced, whenever that was, because it is in line with the then current Leitz Philosophy of upgrading & complementing previous models. This is an easy, inexpensive (Modern prices do not reflect the cost of production which is reasonably low.) way of making loading quicker & easier while not compromising reliability. Win, win. Very Leitz/Leica like.

Best Regards,

Michael

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56 minutes ago, Pyrogallol said:

Took a few seconds to find this on the Butkus site

https://www.cameramanuals.org/leica_pdf/leica_quick_load_m_series.pdf

Hell Pyrogallol,

Thank you.

Now I understand part of why some people find a Quick Load difficult, etc.

Because my Quick Load came without instructions I did NOT have to deal with the fact that the diagram is reversed & the instructions are not optimal.

The diagram should show the baseplate turned so that the film cartridge is inserted to the viewers left. And the snail in the camera should be to the right. As things are when people are loading their cameras.

The loading instructions are also not optimal. They should read as follows:

For M1, M2 & MD cameras: Please advance the wind lever until the opening in the snail is between 09:00 and 12:00.

For M3 cameras: Please pull the shiny chrome plated tube at the bottom of the snail until the M3 film counter resets itself. Then, push the snail back in with your right thumb so that the snail opening is between 09:00 and 12:00.

From this point the directions are the same for M1, M2, MD and M3 cameras.

Pull the film out of the film cartridge until the film is just past the middle of the snail when the film cartridge is placed in the camera.

Wrap the end of the film counterclockwise around the snail so that the end of the film is at 02:00.

Push the film & the film cartridge into the camera until the film sprocket holes are over the sprocket teeth & the film cartridge is in place where it should be.

Advance the film just slightly to check to make sure that everything "grabs" & otherwise moves the way it is supposed to. 

Snug the film just enough to know the mechanism is "grabbing". There will be resistance.

Put on the baseplate.

Advance the film while you watch the rewind turn. Snug the film & then release the shutter.

Advance the film a second time while you watch the rewind turn. Snug film & then release the shutter.

Done.

Easier to do than it is to read or to write about.

Best Regards,

Michael

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2 hours ago, Pyrogallol said:

Took a few seconds to find this on the Butkus site

https://www.cameramanuals.org/leica_pdf/leica_quick_load_m_series.pdf

Mike is normally my first port of call for missing manuals but I did not think he would have as brief a manual as this one, Thanks for pointing me in the correct direction. 

Wilson

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