Leica M4-P shutter speed tolerance question

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by DanielStone, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Hey all,
    I just received a recently purchased M4-P from the auction site, here's the e**y item # if you want to take a look: 230954246184

    Anyhow, point of my question is this:
    I wanted to double check the "recently CLA'd" shutter speeds myself, and found some slight tolerances in the marked vs. actual speed readouts using my shutter speed tester.
    Anyhow, most of the "major" ones were on the low and high end of the scale(funny enough, where I usually shoot the most, 1/15-1/60, and 1/250-1/1000...
    Here's the readouts(the tested speed is an average of 3 test per setting)

    [table="width: 300, align: center"]

    Marked speed
    Speed readout

    1s
    0.79 *

    1/2
    0.425 *

    1/4
    0.24

    1/8
    0.129

    1/15
    0.05

    1/30
    1/30

    1/60
    1/64

    1/125
    1/104 *

    1/250
    1/160 *

    1/500
    1/265 *

    1/1000
    1/430 *
    [/table]


    Now, most of the speeds I can live with, and I know this is an older model, so some slight loss or ramping up of speeds are to be expected. Its mechanical after all :wink:.
    However, I thought that on the higher speeds(especially 1/500 & 1/1000) the difference between marked and actual would be so great(like 1 stop or slightly more!).

    The main point of my concern regarding this is that I like to shoot primarily transparency film. If I shot negatives only I wouldn't really worry that much about it. But I like shooting chrome, and want to continue to do so with this camera.
    Yes, carrying a small card around with speeds on it isn't THAT bad, but it'd still be nice to know the camera is at least within 1/3 stop or so on speeds... Some say they can't see 1/3 of a stop on a transparency, but I know I can :D

    thx,
    Dan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2013
  2. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I'd say that its too far out, especially the higher speeds. Usually the ends fast and slow have some variation but that's too far on the high end. Either send it in or do it yourself, I'm sure there are instructions for adjusting the high range and you've got the shutter tester to help tweak it.
     
  3. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    I recall reading somewhere in the past that a shutter speed tolerance of +/- 20% was typical. I'd say yours is out of spec on the high end. Years ago, if the 1000 speed was at 750 or so that was okay in a mechanical camera that had a top speed of 1000. The lower speeds should meet the 20% figure. Electronically timed shutters have better numbers.
     
  4. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Man, that's scary. I wonder how far off MY shutters all are (non-Leica owner).
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Oh yes that's too much off. But consider you have the 1/60 speed right on the money as 1/64.
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    may be not that bad. my Minolta SRT-101 is better than that overall.
     
  7. Farkle-Mpls

    Farkle-Mpls Member

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    Did the eBay seller produce a receipt for the (alleged) CLA? I suspect (not fact, just suspicion) many a seller fancy themselves as camera repair people: removing the cover, greasing a few points and calling it a CLA. I've been duped like that myself (when asked, the seller admitted to performing the service himself and not having any speciality in it). You could record the speed variations and adjust your shooting to match but -- REALLY?! -- this is a new camera to you. I have an M4P and had it serviced and it functions wonderfully. Just like the even-older M3 (CLA'd as well). On a professionally serviced Leica, the age doesn't matter as it can be essentially restored to new mechanical condition.

    You should consider contacting the seller and seeing if he/she will offer to pay for a professional CLA for you or you should consider returning the camera. A full CLA would run between $250-300, depending where the work is performed.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Thanks all, I'll contact the seller and see what they say. I'd like to keep it, but feel a CLA/adjustment "just in case" might be a good idea for the next few years at least.

    Any recommendations on a good Leica shop? Preferably one here in LA if possible.

    thx,
    Dan
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    just because it had a cla doesn't mean the cla-er knew what he was doing, or adjusted the shutter speeds. This one needs it -- any good repairman with a speed tester should be able to do it, but expect to pay additional perhaps $50 or $75.
     
  10. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I knew a person like that. He made a tidy profit for a while on the bay with his "just CLAed" cameras. I called him on it because he "CLAed" mine and nearly ruined it, but he doesn't do it anymore - thankfully!
     
  11. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Not wanting to be mistaken for defending the seller, he could be a crook, he could be a saint, but the way the term CLA is thrown into conversations on the internet has devalued its meaning to the point that it is more like a rite of passage than a meaningful acronym.

    People get the rangefinder adjusted and think they had a CLA. People have a sticky shutter adjusted and think they had a CLA. Meanwhile the people who know they had a CLA will be the ones wincing at the cost because it is far more than the throw away line lobbed into a conversation like 'just send it for a CLA', as if it is the cheapest and easiest thing to do. This is what devalues the term, and it is what makes back street repairers think they know what to do. If a CLA doesn't run to an A4 sheet of things checked, adjusted, lubed, or repaired it isn't a CLA in my book.

    :smile:

    Steve
     
  12. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    If the exposure is uniform across the frame id not worry it is possible to get a M close to nominal but id not expect that from a normal service unless it was at Solms.
     
  13. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Bingo,
    uneveness across the frame is a deal buster for sure.
     
  14. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Curious I test my Pentax KX which is almost 40 years old and I believe older than the M4-P. I don't think it had ever gotten a CLA.

    Shutter Test
    Camera: Pentax KX
    Serial : 8466143
    Each speed was tested 10 times.
    Speed Average Min Max
    1 1.139860937 1.154734411 1.123595506
    2 2.37699073 2.41021933 2.342468962
    4 4.644250418 4.721435316 4.574565416
    8 11.32502831 11.62790698 10.83423619
    15 15.61524047 15.79778831 15.38461538
    30 30.0003 30.3030303 29.63841138
    60 57.3855159 57.83689994 57.20823799
    125 113.481616 114.2857143 111.8568233
    250 255.6498619 261.6431188 243.1906615
    500 495.3928465 535.0454789 465.1162791
    1000 933.0098899 1044.932079 878.7346221
     
  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Most Pentax used shutters which were near clones of the pre IIIc Leica shutter the nominal value is not imperative they are difficult to get uniform exposure across the frame the slit worth varies to allow for blind acceleration...
     
  16. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Hey all,
    I sent the Leica back yesterday, I realized that it's better for me to just stick with my Nikon F4's.
    thx for the help/suggestions though!
    -Dan
     
  17. emayoh

    emayoh Member

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    Wild. I was this close to bidding on that exact listing. I watched it and waffled. I wonder if it gets relisted. I might have another chance.
     
  18. Farkle-Mpls

    Farkle-Mpls Member

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    Dan,

    I use Gus Lazzari at TLC Camera Repair. He's on the "other" coast from you.
    http://tlccamerarepair.homestead.com/

    He did my M4P and a few lenses for me. 100% professional and is a frequent contributor on the Leica Internet Forums.
    Best of luck,

    Carl
     
  19. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Dan,

    Guess it's too late to change the past but how does your shutter tester work? If it's a light sensitive cell aimed at a light, then a penumbra could "start" the time count early and "end" it late, resulting in "longer" measured times than effective.

    I'd rely on a sensitometric test, exposing frames at different times and compare 1/30th f/16 to 1/60th f/11 for example, working your way up to 1/1000.