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  1. #1
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    Leica M4-P shutter speed tolerance question

    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)

    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 *


    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 .
    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

    thx,
    Dan
    Last edited by DanielStone; 04-06-2013 at 01:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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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. #3

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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.
    -Fred

  4. #4

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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.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    Man, that's scary. I wonder how far off MY shutters all are (non-Leica owner).
    may be not that bad. my Minolta SRT-101 is better than that overall.

  6. #6

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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!
    Carl
    Minneapolis, MN, USA

  7. #7
    DanielStone's Avatar
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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

  8. #8

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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.

  9. #9
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farkle-Mpls View Post
    ... 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 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!
    Those who know, shoot film

  10. #10

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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.



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