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Hello, all. I’m still learning my M3 and had a question: Should I leave the shutter cocked, un-cocked or does it even matter? In other words, after snapping a shot, should I advance the film lever and thereby cock the shutter even if that means the shutter may remain cocked for days, or longer? 

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31 minutes ago, AceVentura1986 said:

Hello, all. I’m still learning my M3 and had a question: Should I leave the shutter cocked, un-cocked or does it even matter? In other words, after snapping a shot, should I advance the film lever and thereby cock the shutter even if that means the shutter may remain cocked for days, or longer? 

Hello Ace,

Nice camera.

The reason Leitz used a big, overbuilt, slow running shutter in an M3 was to make it more robust, more reliable & more durable. That is the same reason that they used an idea from the clock/watch industry invented hundreds of years ago which is called a "stackfreed" to have a more durable & long lasting spring to power the shutter. Keeping in mind that many of the mechanisms used in the manufacture of "miniature cameras" were copied from the clock/watch industry. As were bicycles & bicycle chains.

A stackfreed mechanism allows a maker to take a spring & wind it up to a certain point & then to lock it. The spring is then wound to a second point & then locked again. The mechanism is then engaged with the spring so that the portion of the spring that is being used to power the device is in between the 2 locked positions. This way the portion of the spring's potential power that is used to power something is that "sweet spot" after the lowest power & before the highest power of the spring.

Which is what Leitz did. So, in theory it does NOT matter if an M3 is left wound or not. It is the part of the spring's power where "wound" or "not wound" doesn't matter. The only thing that MIGHT be effected is the curtains which are rolled/extended different ways when the shutter is wound or rolled down. I have no data on the effect or not on curtains when the shutter is wound or run down.

Best Regards,

Michael

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I used to cock, and leave my film cameras for perhaps weeks at a time, or more. Now i leave my iiic and M6, Nikons etc uncocked. 

Not sure it really makes any difference, or there would be more fuss and warnings, particularly nowadays with www.

It certainly stops accidental misfires with my film cameras, which was always a waste of a frame, when leaving the cameras uncocked.

...

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Posted (edited)

Hello Dave,

I also usually do not cock the shutter until I am getting ready to take a new picture. Unless I am expecting to take another picture relatively soon. Also to not potentially waste a frame since a shutter that is not cocked can not be inadvertently or accidentally released.

Beside that, quick, easy, smooth winding, singly or in bits, is 1 of an M3's best features. Meaning winding is rarely a hinderance to picture taking.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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I tend to leave the shutter on my cameras cocked, if only from force of habit.  I haven't noticed that any harm has come to them by doing so.  I just know that if I leave the shutter uncocked then I'll miss a photo in the time it takes me to attempt to fire the shutter, realize it's not cocked, cock the shutter and then press the shutter button :)  I'd rather not chance it...

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From what I have heard and seen myself, the shutter brake tends to leave indentation marks on the shutter curtains if the shutter stays cocked for an extended period of time without firing the shutter. So my habit is to leave the shutter uncocked when the camera is stored. However, no harm is to be expected from cocking the shutter right after a shot, with a view to be ready for the next shot.

Andy

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1 hour ago, wizard said:

From what I have heard and seen myself, the shutter brake tends to leave indentation marks on the shutter curtains if the shutter stays cocked for an extended period of time without firing the shutter. So my habit is to leave the shutter uncocked when the camera is stored.

e. Brake Assembly (fig. 37). The brake is deactivated when the shutter is wound. When the shutter is released the first curtain traverses the film aperture and, near the end of its run, activates the brake

From page 7 of the M2 US Army training manual, my underlining.

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vor 37 Minuten schrieb 250swb:

From page 7 of the M2 US Army training manual, my underlining.

I am sure you are correct. However, when storing my M6TTL (now sold) for longer periods with its shutter cocked, you could see pronounced indentation marks (running vertically along the shutter curtain) on at least one of the shutter curtains (don't remember if such marks were also present on the second shutter curtain). Someone then told me to store the camera with its shutter uncocked, and those marks never returned from there on. Whether those marks originated from  the shutter brake is what I do not know. Judging from the manual you quoted, it seems likely that those marks are not caused by the shutter brake, but since they were there (and took quite some time to go away), I prefer to store my Leicas uncocked.

Andy

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Posted (edited)
On 7/20/2021 at 12:46 PM, wizard said:

I am sure you are correct. However, when storing my M6TTL (now sold) for longer periods with its shutter cocked, you could see pronounced indentation marks (running vertically along the shutter curtain) on at least one of the shutter curtains (don't remember if such marks were also present on the second shutter curtain). Someone then told me to store the camera with its shutter uncocked, and those marks never returned from there on. Whether those marks originated from  the shutter brake is what I do not know. Judging from the manual you quoted, it seems likely that those marks are not caused by the shutter brake, but since they were there (and took quite some time to go away), I prefer to store my Leicas uncocked.

Andy

It's probably the clamp in shutter drum which holds end of the shutter curtain in place. When shutter is cocked the curtain runs over the bracket and that might leave vertical lines over time. 

(The black thing in the picture on left side of the shutter drum)

 

Edited by Hintsalae
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39 minutes ago, Hintsalae said:

It's probably the clamp in shutter drum which holds end of the shutter curtain in place. When shutter is cocked the curtain runs over the bracket and that might leave vertical lines over time. 

(The black thing in the picture on left side of the shutter drum)

 

 Do you have actual evidence of it leaving indentations in the shutter curtain? I've never left my Leica M uncocked (unless by mistake) for the past 45 years and have never ever seen indentations in the shutter curtains of all the many and varied Leica M's I've owned. I fear this is another of the 'old wives tales' around Leica that should go into the delete bin.

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10 hours ago, 250swb said:

  I fear this is another of the 'old wives tales' around Leica that should go into the delete bin.

We see a lot of recommendations on this forum for trusted Leica repair technicians, perhaps the 'Old Wife' should come top of the list.😄

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb 250swb:

I fear this is another of the 'old wives tales' around Leica that should go into the delete bin.

Are you serious? I had my first Leica M3 in 1973, and have used various Leicas ever since. Do you think I make up stories here when explaining that I noticed those marks on my M6TTL shutter? And subsequently even asked a repairperson as to the cause of those marks? And why would I make up any stories in the first place? I rather remain quiet if I have nothing to contribute.

Whether there will be any indentations left on the shutter curtain or not may well depend on the material of the shutter curtains (which is not always the same, so there may be indentations on certain cameras and none on others). Also, I did indicate that those indentations have formed after prolonged storage of a cocked camera. If you use your camera regularly, those indentations will not form or will barely be visible.

 

vor 12 Stunden schrieb Hintsalae:

It's probably the clamp in shutter drum which holds end of the shutter curtain in place.

You are quite correct. This is the part I referred to above, but I had wrongly assumed that it is a part of the shutter brake.

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For 40+ years I have remembered the advice not to leave a shutter cocked, so that’s what I do. Doesn’t feel right leaving it cocked. I will fire off a blank frame if necessary to put the camera away. The odd blank frame helps when cutting stripes of negatives, which is why I like the extra wide spacing on the early Nikon S cameras with their 24x34 negatives.

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Among cameras in my collection are those where the meter turns on when the shutter is cocked. That can drain the battery. As a result I've formed the habit to leave the shutter released until I'm ready to take a picture. Otherwise I agree it makes no significant difference to the camera.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Pyrogallol said:

For 40+ years I have remembered the advice not to leave a shutter cocked, so that’s what I do. Doesn’t feel right leaving it cocked. I will fire off a blank frame if necessary to put the camera away. The odd blank frame helps when cutting stripes of negatives, which is why I like the extra wide spacing on the early Nikon S cameras with their 24x34 negatives.

Hello Pyrogalloi,

Was the total frame to frame movement of film in the camera, in early Nikon S cameras with 24 X 34 frames, the same distance that it was with the later Nikon F's?

Did that mean that a person came to the end at the same place at the end of the same 36 exposure film cartridge with both cameras after 36 exposures?

Meaning: At the end of a 36 exposure roll, would there be the same amount of film left on the spool with both cameras?

If you do not know now, is there a way that you could test using your film testing cartridge?

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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2 hours ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Pyrogalloi,

Was the total frame to frame movement of film in the camera, in early Nikon S cameras with 24 X 34 frames, the same distance that it was with the later Nikon F's?

Did that mean that a person came to the end at the same place at the end of the same 36 exposure film cartridge with both cameras after 36 exposures?

Meaning: At the end of a 36 exposure roll, would there be the same amount of film left on the spool with both cameras?

If you do not know now, is there a way that you could test using your film testing cartridge?

Best Regards,

Michael

Two strips of negatives. Top one is from a Leica 111b with 35mm Summaron. Bottom strip from a Nikon S with 35mm Nikkor.

The Nikon frames are shorter with wider spaces between them, so a 36 exposure film would give about the same number of pictures in each camera.

 

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