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Leicavit

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Any comments on the merits of this accessory? Historically I've been more of a street photographer who trys to grab the moment. Increasingly, taken lots of photos of my young son. I've found with the M8 that in these situations I tend to hold the camera to my eye for longer, constantly focusing and re-focusing and taking a couple of shots from eah perspective. Not sure if the change in behaviour is a response to digital or the new subject (the boy keeps moving!)

 

Anyway, was thinking a Leicavit might be of interest if I'm going to re-introduce film into my photography. Plus it looks like a cool peice of engineering. Any comments or observations appreciated.

 

Murray

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I use the Abrahamsson Rapid Winder which is very similar to the Leicavit. It has been one of my best purchases. One can wind on faster than with the top-mounted lever and it when extended makes the camera easier to hold on to while shooting.

I work a great deal in the Arctic and often wear large mittens. With my Rapid Winder and an Abrahamsson Soft Release I can operate my M4-P while wearing these mittens.

The Rapid Winder (or Leicavit) is a boon for the fast work I sometimes do shooting sporting or theatre events however for Street Shooting I do not use it because it makes the camera too large and intrusive.

 

Yours,

Robert Morrison, M4-P, etc.

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Hi Murray I used a Rapidwinder too. I found it useful as a left eye shooter as it allowed me to advance the film without taking the camera away from my eye. I also found that the pressing the fingers on the left hand around the spike used to advance the film made the camera feel a little more comfortable.

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Why?

 

Because an M8 advances automatically

 

Seriously, I find myself taking more photos with the camera at the eye for a number of frames. I thought the vit might be helpful and faster.

 

M

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Rapidwinder here as well. Tom also gives you lifetime warranty and that will go on to the next owner if you decide to sell it. Its great when you are a left eye shooter and you can have a pretty high advance speed if you need it. It does add 250gr or so to the body so you have to consider if you will be comfortable with the extra weight.

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Got one free with a new M7 [ promotion of a couple of years ago or so! ] ...a LOVELY anachronism..keep it on the camera and never used it !!! forget it is there....unbelievable but true.

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Got one, never use it, I keep on forgetting it's on the camera and use the cam's advance lever which I am completely used to.

Never really noticed any gain in speed either.

Perhaps it's my clumsiness, others may have different experiences.

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Horses for courses. Since I bought mine in 2001 the only thing that's stopped me using it was the purchase of an M8. The only time it ever came off my M6 was when I changed film <grin>.

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Simple question - Can you focus whilst retaining a hold on the lever?

 

Rolo

I'm also a TA Rapidwinder user. If you are using a lens with a tab like a 35 or 24mm you will have no problems focusing - the thing is a dream to use. However, I don't like tabs and so most of my lenses have regular focusing rings. The way I hold the camera when I use those lenses means that the Rapidwinder is unusable.

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I would try it along side a Motor M and decide which you like best. the Motor M is very quiet in Mode I and once you use one, it can't be beat. I have Motor M's on my M6 and M7 and never take them off. -Dick

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I have a very naive question.

After looking at one of these Leicavit's and the RW from TA just how do they work?

Is the lever on the bottom a winder for some type of spring that works a mechanism that automatically advances the film once a shoot has been taken, something like a motor winder without a real electrical motor and the need for batteries?

 

Are there any websites that shows how they work and gives detail instruction on how to use one.

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Ed, after taking a photograph you slide the lever to the left. The lever uses a cogged belt to rotate a notched piece that slots into the motor drive socket on the base of the camera. The lever is spring loaded so that once the film has been advanced is returns to its original position.

 

The lever isn't used to wind up some kind of clockwork mechanism, it advances the frame via the belt.

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Ed, after taking a photograph you slide the lever to the left. The lever uses a cogged belt to rotate a notched piece that slots into the motor drive socket on the base of the camera. The lever is spring loaded so that once the film has been advanced is returns to its original position.

 

The lever isn't used to wind up some kind of clockwork mechanism, it advances the frame via the belt.

Thanks for the reply and the description.

Second question is why does the Leicavit make advancing the film any easier then using the regular film advance lever. I must be missing something here as the film advance lever is spring loaded already and when I'm using my M3 my right thumb is always behind the lever waiting for it to be moved.

What make the lever at the bottom of the LV any faster or easier to use?

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What make the lever at the bottom of the LV any faster or easier to use?

 

In my case it's because I'm left eyed. With the standard advance I have to take the camera away from my eye to advance the film.

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There's a demonstration video by Tom on youTube:

 

YouTube - "How to use Rapidwinder & Softrelease" by Tom A

 

I've just bought a Rapidwinder, but haven't used it in the field yet.

 

I'm trusting that I can speed up a short sequence of images with the winder which appears to enable 3x my wind-on rate. For me, about 1 per second is practical with the standard wind and being left eyed I can't improve on that. Occasionally, I want to triple that.

 

I read that the motor wind puts additional stress on the camera gearing. The Rapidwinder is quieter and doesn't rely on batteries.

 

Looking forward to learning if it works for me, especially my ability to focus and wind as I'm often at f1.4 and focus tracking is important.

 

Rolo

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"I read that the motor wind puts additional stress on the camera gearing. The Rapidwinder is quieter and doesn't rely on batteries."

 

Winding is winding and the stress is the same.

Have you used a Rapidwinder or Leicavit side by side with a Motor M in Mode I and compared the noise level?

BTW, there is a M series Winder that was available and is a completely different device than a Leica Motor M. The Winder has one speed whereas the Motor M has two speed Modes. The I Mode is specifically designed to be as quiet as possible and the Mode II is faster but actually not much more noise level.

Your statement about batteries is of course correct but so what?

 

In reply to the orginal Post, if you already useing an M8, than using a Motor M is just the same whereas using a mechanical winder involves a whole new set of movements. -Dick

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"I read that the motor wind puts additional stress on the camera gearing. The Rapidwinder is quieter and doesn't rely on batteries."

 

Winding is winding and the stress is the same.

 

 

"Winding is winding and the stress is the same."

 

Not true.

 

Otherwise, you're probably right on everthing.

 

Like I said, I just bought it and was trying to help, not undermine.

 

Rolo

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