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marknorton

Anatomy of the Leica M8 Framelines

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You're right, it does depend on the difference in tension between the two springs... but I've never had any trouble with it - and I have both versions of the MATE.

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Thank you for giving us so much pleasure again, Mark!

My M8 is for the update in Solms right now - it made me a bit nervous to see all the things that could go wrong with an assembly like this... Ignorance could have been bliss, but on the other hand I find your work also most instructive and captivating!

------------------------

Frans

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mark

truly fascinating...chapeau!

 

Being a complete idiot when it comes to taking things apart I can only guess what attention to detail and discipline is involved.

I one tried to fix a sticky shutter on a minox and the lens fell out..LOL:eek:

 

thanks for posting

 

andy

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I sent my locked up M8 in for repair in New Jersey, and asked how much installing new frame lines would cost. They said $800. I said thanks anyway. I usually have static subjects, so I'll live with chimping for the present.

 

Best,

 

Mitchell

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Hold the press and a thousand appologies from me to Leica service who returned my camera perfect--it is my first verision MATE that is making the frame selector stick when moving from the 35 setting to the 50 setting. Moving beween any of the other settings does not require a nudge from me other than when moving the selection from the 35 to the 50 setting and not vice versa. It seems the spring in the frame selector set up in the camera is vying for authority with the spring in the MATE when moving from the 35 setting to the 50 setting and at the moment the MATE spring is winning the tug-o-war. I wonder if the spring that is aparent when looking at the tri elmar from the barrel end is in need of adjustment. Or, perhaps the MATE and camera will eventually decide to start dancing together. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

The 1st version MATE is well known for frameline problems. If you send it in, Leica can make it work correctly.

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The 1st version MATE is well known for frameline problems. If you send it in, Leica can make it work correctly.

 

It is reassuring to know that others have had this issue adjusted on a MATE. I'm headed through New York in a few weeks and will try the MATE on another body and if it acts the same I will know it is the MATE and will send it in for adjustment.

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Mark, very interesting and professionally done essay. I did not even imagine how it was made. Now i know why I will be charged 650 euros to have the mask upgraded in my M8 that should be arrived at Leica in this very hours (the only upgrade I decided to do).

Thank you for taking the time to enlighten us on this small but crucial part of the camera.

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very interesting! Can you say how thick those masks are? Are they painted or just chemically blackened? Probably they are photoetched, so it would be possible to make some custom framelines :-)

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Silly me, I should have measured the thickness - pretty thin, 0.05mm I would say. As for the finish, matt (flat) black, some sort of surface chemical treatment I would think.

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Silly me, I should have measured the thickness - pretty thin, 0.05mm I would say. As for the finish, matt (flat) black, some sort of surface chemical treatment I would think.

 

well, next time you open it, if you don't mind, let me know :-) it should be not a big technical problem to make such frames by photoetching (unless they use another process, but as those framelines exists since some decades, I don't see any other process to make accurate and fine line then with etching)

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Another fascinating lesson in Leica M forensics! Thank you, Mark.

 

One thought - I'm curious as to how much this design has changed since the M3 was developed. Aside from the increase in number of framelines available, of course. Do you suppose the concept has remained virtually unchanged since the 1950's? If so, that is quite a testament to the ingenuity of the original designers.

 

Doug

 

The M3 viewfinder is a completely different, and apparently more accurate but more expensive design. It has a quite different light path. The M2 (which was originally the "budget" M) was popular because the 35mm frames matched many PJs favourite lens. All subsequent Leica rangefinder/viewfinder assemblies have been evolutions of the M2 design.

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The M3 viewfinder is a completely different, and apparently more accurate but more expensive design. It has a quite different light path. The M2 (which was originally the "budget" M) was popular because the 35mm frames matched many PJs favourite lens. All subsequent Leica rangefinder/viewfinder assemblies have been evolutions of the M2 design.

I would like to see this explained as far as the differences in light paths from the M3 to the M2 and more current M cameras.

To my knowledge of working on M3's and looking at the images of a disassemble M8 the light paths seem to be very similar if not the same although on the M3 the frame line mask is in the front and on a M8 it is turned to the side.

But all in all the light path is still the same.

Light comes in the viewfinder front window and gets reflected to the right by a prism. It then goes through other lenses and get combined with the frame lines and the light coming in the rangefinder front window and then goes through another mirror or prism and is displayed at the eye piece.

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The M3 viewfinder is a completely different, and apparently more accurate but more expensive design. It has a quite different light path. The M2 (which was originally the "budget" M) was popular because the 35mm frames matched many PJs favourite lens. All subsequent Leica rangefinder/viewfinder assemblies have been evolutions of the M2 design.

 

Quite right, Frank. Despite their overall similarities, the M3 finder is more sophisticated and both looks and feels far more substantial than the M2 finder, and it always draws a gasp of appreciation from a person on first seeing it.

 

Still, I'm amazed at how much more Leica has been able to squeeze into the viewfinder in cameras that followed the M2.

 

I'm in awe of the ingenuity of the original design and of the flexibility it has shown in the 50+ years since it appeared. No wonder the president of Zeiss Ikon paid a visit to Ernst Leitz II to tell him "Congratulations on your great victory" when the M3 was introduced.

 

It's like looking at the last mechanical calculator. Brilliant ingenuity, requiring the highest craftsmanship to make it work, and today still functional despite being totally out of date.

 

 

Mark, I was away and missed this thread when you first published it. I'm glad you referred to it in another thread or it would have passed me by. How you have the insight, the fortitude, the inclination to do this kind of thing is beyond me, and then your ability to sit down and explain it so well is a gift.

 

I think in your case the Forum should drop the designation "Erfahrener Benutzer" and apply the moniker "Meisterbenutzer" or even "Erhabener Benutzer."

 

Let's see--Digilux 2, M8, M8 finder frames--are there any 'anatomies' I've missed?

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HC, thanks for your kind words, those three are the complete set up to now, apart from the minor battery charger one.

 

I plan to do an "Anatomy of the M8 shutter" at some point which will spill the beans on how it works; my new Tektronix MSO2024 digital storage scope is just itching to explain all...

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Mark, I am eagerly awaiting this next installment. Are you doing all this sub-millisecond exploration with the black M8 body that we have come to know so well in its parts? Even though there may be secrets of the shutter anatomy in the M8.1 and M8.2 that may still be concealed, I'm dying to know what are the steps in cocking the shutter, determining that the shutter has completely reset, setting the curtain separation and speed, firing the shutter, determining that the shutter has fired, and starting the loop over again. Actually printing the circuit diagram and a block diagram of the microcode that you find might be in poor taste, but I think a layman's discussion of what signals and controls exist would be instructive.

 

Also, how does the time to reset everything depend on the voltage from the batteries? Is there significant variation in the time to reset from one shot to the next? Either of those could be involved in the occasional reports we hear of shutter problems, which continue to be seen in the M8.2.

 

The Copal shutter has been engineered into dozens of cameras now, so this will hardly be revealing key corporate secrets. Although a picture of your test setup, required for a proper anatomy lesson, might turn a few stomachs.

 

regards,

 

scott

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Mark, I also missed this when you posted it, since I wasn't really reading the forum at that time. Great work again!

 

Any chance of releasing these dissections in PDF format?

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I need your help...

 

The plastic block attached to the framelines has taken off and is loose inside the rangefinder ¿ is it possible to remove it removing the top plate out of my m8?

 

 

may damage the focusing system if attached to some mobile part

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I need your help...

 

The plastic block attached to the framelines has taken off and is loose inside the rangefinder ¿ is it possible to remove it removing the top plate out of my m8?

 

 

may damage the focusing system if attached to some mobile part

 

Well... i successfully take the "cube" out of the rangefinder group... now its time to consider to put it on its place... i think it requires to remove this:

 

 

removing this group may cause a rangefinder missalingment?

 

Thanks for your help

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