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It's a waste of time. It adds weight and bulk and is barely any faster than a quick right thumb. The only situation where it could be good is tracking action in something like a football game, but given digital does that far better, and people aren't wiling to rattle through a roll of film like they did in the olden days then my case is made. But of course you'd score many, many posing points with a Leicavit.

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If I had three hands, I would use a Leicavit.  With one hand (two fingers) on the focusing ring and one hand (index finger) on the shutter release, the thumb is more natural to advance the film, rather than moving a hand.  But there are people who love these devices.  So I would say try before buy.

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On 8/11/2021 at 8:20 PM, Connie7 said:

Is a Leicavit a viable ‘user’ accessory or is it a desirable but seldom utilised luxury like the mooly?  All advice appreciated 

I'll show you my Leicavit (SYOOM) and my MOOLY and SCNOO for comparison when you come to Dublin. The Leicavit is much smaller and lighter than the MOOLY. That said, the whole point about the LTM is that it is small and light and there is no advantage in using a winder unless you need quick rewind for some reason. With arthritic hands I can't do thumb gymnastics as described above. I don't have any mechanical winders for my Ms, but I have the M4-2 battery operated Winder. Now that is a real monster and noisy. I prefer to use Leica film cameras in the lightest possible configuration and I don't film sports with them apart from one time when I used an M6 to take a photo of a scrum at St Mary's Rugby Club which is beside where I live. Our little collectors' group in Dublin has taken to meeting in the open air post Covid. We have one in Lucan next Wednesday, if you are interested. I can send you the Eircode for the location. Our local CLA man Noel Young who did some repairs for you should be there.

William 

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The Leicavit is most useful for those with hand injuries or advanced arthritis where the motion of the thumb wind is painful or impaired. Canon had copied the idea for their ltm cameras, and then built it in to their VT and VIT models - stressing that it was the fastest operating method, but then had to come out with the usual thumb-lever wind versions as the market didn't go for the trigger designs. They tried a better trigger wind design on the first Canonflex - then dropped it.

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45 minutes ago, TomB_tx said:

They tried a better trigger wind design on the first Canonflex - then dropped it.

The Canonflex and Nikon F came out almost simultaneously.  The Nikon F architecture, with traditional thumb advance and provisions for an electric motor drive based on the SP drive, reduced the Canonflex to a footnote in camera history.  (The R automatic diaphragm implementation was poor too.)

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I had a Canon VT for a while on loan from a friend while I decided whether I wanted to buy his VT or his L1 both of which were duplicates in his small collection of Canons. He seemed to be able to work the focus and the film advance without moving his hand off either, but I am damned if I could. I settled for the L1 which I no longer have. I regret selling it. I do not believe that either camera lost out significantly to a Leica, but I could not get on with the trigger. Is the Leica one any better?

Stuart

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I beg to differ as happy Leicavit-M user.

Since some decades, I used on M and R winder 'of the day/period' when I needed.

 

When Leica Camera launched Leicavit-M for MP, I gave it a try and did love it a lot in place of winder (s ) which at that time not great ( on old winder M the whirring/pushing index up after

taking the pic was something I hardly accepted ).

I discovered that I can (again ! ) continous framing with left eye and the most important didn't need the diopter correction for that eye.

my nice user simple kit only needing films 😉 to be happy around the world

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, zeitz said:

The Canonflex and Nikon F came out almost simultaneously.  The Nikon F architecture, with traditional thumb advance and provisions for an electric motor drive based on the SP drive, reduced the Canonflex to a footnote in camera history.  (The R automatic diaphragm implementation was poor too.)

Right - the Canonflex lenses were really a semi-automatic diaphragm design, in that the mechanism had to be cocked to be ready for the next exposure, so they added a second linkage in the camera that would cock the lens diaphragm as the shutter was wound. Clever, but complex - perhaps avoiding someone's patent. By the time of next SLR design (Pellix, FT, etc) the FL lenses were fully automatic, but used a spring to close the diaphragm rather than having the body linkage force it closed. Thus the lenses would get sluggish and overexpose as they wouldn't close fast enough. That's when I traded my Canons towards a Leicaflex SL in 1969.

Edited by TomB_tx
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57 minutes ago, TomB_tx said:

That's when I traded my Canons towards a Leicaflex SL in 1969.

I had the same problem with FL lenses on my FX.  I don't know how many times I had the lenses serviced.  I had to wait until 1971 and bought a used Leica M2 and a used Nikon F with the FX in trade.  I that point I swore that I would only buy what professional photojournalists used.  I have not deviated since.

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Posted (edited)

A Leicavit is very useful on a SM Barnack camera. It is much faster and easier to use than the regular advance knob. It doesn’t add to much height either. I have one on my IIIg. I also have a couple of MOOLY motors and a SCNOO in my collection. The SCNOO is nice, not adding too much height to a Barnack camera, but the fabric tape used in the mechanism is fragile, and the mechanism is more open to dirt and dust. The MOOLY is a beast, and the clockwork springs are a nightmare if they break. Mine both work and it’s fun to cycle them occasionally, but you wouldn’t want to use one on a regular basis. The MOOLY basically doubles the size and more than doubles the weight of a Barnack camera. The big folding winding knob is quite something. Winding up the mechanism is hard to describe, but you are always aware of the resistance you feel, mixed with the fear that the clockwork springs may break if you aren’t smooth with winding. Tripping the release lever and feeling and hearing the whirring drivetrain on the MOOLY is something you need to experience! Your will not soon forget it.

The advance lever on the Leica M was a revelation, and made the use of a motor or winder more of a luxury. When I had my original MP #225 with Leicavit in my collection years ago, it was fun to play with, but they were a bit delicate too. For my M4-P and M6 cameras, I had Leica Motor M for them. When I used to shoot weddings and events with them, the Motors were a must, even though they were big and noisy. When Tom designed his Rapidwinder, I was one of his first customers. I have one for my black M2 and my M6. They work flawlessly and were mechanically more robust than the original Leicavit. I specced Leicavits on the Hammertone and MP3, and they work very well. Leica took some cues from Tom with the new model Leicavits, and they are more robust than the originals.

I guess it’s a matter of personal preference, but I always enjoyed using an M with the old Motor M, new Leicavit and Rapidwinder, especially when shooting professionally. 

Now, have converted to digital M cameras, I really enjoy the built in advance motor.

Edited by derleicaman
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I enjoy using the Leicavit on my MP3 but I suspect that is just because it looks the part. I bought a used one for my M7 but it gets very little use. I suspect that I have now got used to the ease of use of the M10-D and R and find winding on a little strange after a lengthy spell of digital use. Some time ago I bought a Konica Hexar RF and that, too, is a revelation. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

I'm a member of the "anti-grip" (and anti-winder) league 🙄 but I got a black-nickel SCNOO together with my black IIIa and I must recognize that it's not only a beauty but also quite practical for cameras with winding knobs.

Augusto

Edited by tranquilo67
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, alan mcfall said:

would you share the serial number of your black IIIA, there has been a lot of interest in them.  thanks

Sure!! It's 174659. I must say that I still have pending the proper internal inspection by Jerzy,  but it's in the correct range of serial numbers and the engravings are fulfilled with bismuth so as Jim Lager would say, it has a "minimum pedigree". According to Leica it was originally delivered as IIIa on Sept 1935 and it has gone through 3 services (two of them quite long):

- 1938 during 18 days

- 1950 during 24 days

- 1955 during 4 days

That's all the information I have about it.

According to my research, out of the 800 serial numbers allocated (according to Hahne), only 21 have surface (yes, my wife and myself checked the 800 serial numbers one by one), 14 of them are directly chrome, and from the remaining 7, several of them look like clearly repaint (even some of them auctioned by reputable auction houses). I've been told that you have one of other very few samples with "minimum pedigree".

Here you have it (nice, isn't it? 🙂 ).

 

Best wishes,

Augusto

Edited by tranquilo67
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6 hours ago, tranquilo67 said:

Hi,

I'm a member of the "anti-grip" (and anti-winder) league 🙄 but I got a black-nickel SCNOO together with my black IIIa and I must recognize that it's not only a beauty but also quite practical for cameras with winding knobs.

Augusto

Hello Augusto,

Be careful with that SCNOO. The tape that is attached to the trigger/finger loop and that winds the spool always scares me as something that is rather fragile. I have never used mine with film loaded in the camera, just on the empty camera which puts minimal strain on it.

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10 minutes ago, derleicaman said:

Hello Augusto,

Be careful with that SCNOO. The tape that is attached to the trigger/finger loop and that winds the spool always scares me as something that is rather fragile. I have never used mine with film loaded in the camera, just on the empty camera which puts minimal strain on it.

Hi Bill,

Thank you very much!! As it's in the black IIIa that is mostly a shelf queen, it will not see too much use (if any). Just checked that it works and fully load the shutter.

Best wishes,

Augusto

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8 minutes ago, derleicaman said:

Hello Augusto,

Be careful with that SCNOO. The tape that is attached to the trigger/finger loop and that winds the spool always scares me as something that is rather fragile. I have never used mine with film loaded in the camera, just on the empty camera which puts minimal strain on it.

Bill, I've had a SCNOO go on me and I have had it repaired. They are, however, 'camera' sensitive' and you need to send away the camera that you are going to match with it. The camera I originally had it with no longer works properly (now needs a pull and a third)  with it, but I have found another camera in my collection which works perfectly with it. I have found that matching winders (of various kinds) and cameras is not as straightforward as it seems. The cause is often that the camera has been repaired, but has not been put back together to full factory specifications.

William 

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