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Will I have to recalibrate lenses with M9?


skimmel

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When I got my M8, my 50 Lux didn't focus correctly. I sent it to Leica along with the body and they fixed it, but then all of my other lenses didn't focus correctly. I ended up having to send back all of my lenses and body -- they fixed it so they all work.

 

Seems to me that they had to do something to both the body and the lenses (??)

 

So... I wonder, did they do something to the lenses to make them work with my specific M8 such that, if I get an M9, I'll now have lenses that don't focus correctly?

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I had a problem with the M8. Lenses that appeared to be fine on an M4/M6 were out of focus on an M8. I was told the lenses needed adjustment and they were sent to Solms. When they came back they were better but still not right. After some time the lenses made a return trip together with the camera after which they were fine. So far those lenses work well on the M9. With the Noctilux and 75 Summilux I asked that they be set up to focus correctly at full aperture. I'm not sure what compromise they make between full aperture performance and focus shift if you don't specify. I'm prepared to put up with the shift as you stop down, as long as the lens focuses accurately wide open..

 

From conversations I had with Leica I think they were learning rapidly that tolerances really needed to be tightened up for digital and hopefully that episode is now behind them.

 

ETA: Some of the difficulty is due to the fact that the sensitive "depth" of film is greater than that of a CCD imager which is a surface device and planar.

 

Bob.

Edited by gravastar
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Thanks. I must say I'm nervous about having to send back all my lenses again if I get an M9. It wasn't fun (and took them 2 months).

 

When Leica first started to ask for M8 cameras and lenses to be sent back together, many of us stated what a nonsense this was. Both camera and lens should be adjusted to a standard, not to each other. Anything else is back to the early days of the model 0, where each lens was matched to an individual camera. I don't know if Leica have started to use the expensive compterised lens focus tester they bought. I was told last year that it was sitting idle while they carried on using the somewhat outdated projection method of focus testing. When I sent my MATE and M8 back to Solms last year because the RF was out of alignment after the upgrade and the MATE's frame change was not working properly to 28mm after service, I asked them not to adjust them to each other. As and when (and if ever) my M9 actually arrives, I don't know whether to test my lenses on it or just assume they are OK and carry on in blissful ignorance.

 

Wilson

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When Leica first started to ask for M8 cameras and lenses to be sent back together, many of us stated what a nonsense this was. Both camera and lens should be adjusted to a standard, not to each other. Anything else is back to the early days of the model 0, where each lens was matched to an individual camera. I don't know if Leica have started to use the expensive compterised lens focus tester they bought. I was told last year that it was sitting idle while they carried on using the somewhat outdated projection method of focus testing. When I sent my MATE and M8 back to Solms last year because the RF was out of alignment after the upgrade and the MATE's frame change was not working properly to 28mm after service, I asked them not to adjust them to each other. As and when (and if ever) my M9 actually arrives, I don't know whether to test my lenses on it or just assume they are OK and carry on in blissful ignorance.

 

Wilson

Hi Wilson, yes they are using their super duper camera focus adjustment jig. We watched it in service with some white M8s in June. Now you can see it illustrated beautifully in the M9 assembly video.

I had my M8 upgraded in June and since it involves disassembly it was calibrated as part of the checks (that get you the extra warranty too). I got to bring my camera home with me but Leica checked my 50 & 75 for me on the spot when I collected the camera. "your lenses are good, we can make them better"

As I understood the explanation by the technician, the measured values (from the camera calibration on reassembly) were recorded and my camera was then extremely close to the benchmark standard they use. I left my two lenses even though I thought they were already accurate, especially the APO Summicron 75 ASPH. Leica told me they would be adjusted to their benchmark standard camera (which mine was now a clone of!) and they did not need to retain my camera.

They were returned to me, adjusted and serviced perfectly and under warranty.

I hope to get an opportunity to try them on an M9 in the near future ;)

 

So my take is that camera and lenses are both adjusted to the benchmark standard whether they are done together or separately. They are not 'tuned' so that they only work best with each other. I'm certainly prepared to be educated if someone has more or different actual knowledge on the processes.

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My old lenses, all ten of them, worked just as well on the M8 as they did on film. Then I bought a fine second-hand 90 Elmarit-M which proved to be badly off -- on both film and digital! I sent the lens and the body to Solms with an injunction to use the M for reference purpose only. They came back with the lens razor sharp, and my previous lenses were still all right.

 

The old man from the Age of Box Cameras

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Thanks guys - that is good news. Progress on all fronts and hopefully no more new lenses or serviced ones coming back out of kilter. I have noticed that the number of lens complaints seem to have dropped off a lot recently and I would guess that what you tell me is the answer.

 

Wilson

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