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Leica 1a from 1929 - loading contemporary film?


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A modern cartridge should fit provided the camera been fitted with a 'V2 lock' as illustrated on p11 of this manual:

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

You should also follow the loading instructions, which are probably clearest in this later version of the manual, starting on p28:

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

Note especially the shape of the leader on p29, which has a longer and thinner 'unpaired' section than a modern film. You should trim the leader to this shape, or you risk jamming the mechanism (the traditional method is to use a film trimming template and a sharp knife, but many of us just do it with scissors). The illustration shows 23 unpaired sprocket holes, though you can probably get away with a few less than this. Make sure you cut cleanly between sprocket holes and don't leave a damaged hole. There are various tricks with business cards and keeping the shutter open with the lens off that some people use to avoid trimming the leader at all. Personally, I think these are more trouble than they are worth (if you have a few films trimmed before you go out, you can quickly reload the camera in the field in the proper way without messing with the lens or shutter).

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If the Ia is anything like my II, a modern cartridge will be a little shorter than the size intended for the camera.

You may well end up with negatives where sprocket holes are visible along one edge of the image.

It is not something that bothers me personally; you sometimes see it in iconic HCB, Elliott Erwitt and other photographer's photos  - I find it kind of charming.
Example: https://www.icp.org/exhibitions/elliott-erwitt-pittsburgh-1950 Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Here's an example of the frame alignment from my Leica II with a commercial cassette:

Anyway. If you want to remedy that "problem" you may want to cut a washer and put under the film cartridge to lift it a little.

 

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37 minutes ago, nitroplait said:

If the Ia is anything like my II, a modern cartridge will be a little shorter than the size intended for the camera.

You may well end up with negatives where sprocket holes are visible along one edge of the image.

It is not something that bothers me personally; you sometimes see it in iconic HCB, Elliott Erwitt and other photographer's photos  - I find it kind of charming.
Example: https://www.icp.org/exhibitions/elliott-erwitt-pittsburgh-1950 Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Here's an example of the frame alignment from my Leica II with a commercial cassette:

Anyway. If you want to remedy that "problem" you may want to cut a washer and put under the film cartridge to lift it a little.

 

I'm surprised by this - wouldn't the sprockets align the film correctly, whatever the cassette? Or am I missing something?

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, LocalHero1953 said:

I'm surprised by this - wouldn't the sprockets align the film correctly, whatever the cassette? Or am I missing something?

The sprockets align in the end towards the take-up spool, not in the end with the cassette - you can see the miss-alignment on the film snip I added above (remember the film is upside down in camera).

The cassette side will "hang" so the top of edge of the sprocket holes will be exposed in the film gate. Towards the take-up spool where the sprocket holes are aligned with the sprocket hole gears, the alignment will be close to normal.
If you follow the link to the Erwitt photos, you will notice that the visibility of the sprocket holes varies across the frame.

If you lift the cassette a little with a washer the problem is solved.

Edited by nitroplait
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