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Thread: Loading a Leica

  1. #1
    osprey48's Avatar
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    Loading a Leica

    Although I've been enjoying using my Leica M6 for the lsat 3 years or so, I'm still having trouble loading the thing. I often have to open it up again after loading a new film to re-connect it to the spindle, and thus losing the first few frames. Sometimes it works fine, so I know its not a fault. What has prompted me to have a moan about this now, is that today I tried to rewind what I thought was a completed film which I'd been using for a month or so,but it jammed. I opened it up only to discover that it had never spooled forward in the first place but had scrunched up.
    Is it just me, or has anyone else had problems loading a Leica? The manual said something along the lines of 'the easiest loading method of any camera'. Not in my hands it isn't!

  2. #2
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Never had single problem with mine M6.

    Just search in youtube "loading Leica M".

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    I've had an m6 for a month or so. I can loaf it but not quickly. I find making sure the tongue is through both sides of the spool then making sure the sprockets are pulling the film holes properly works well. It doesn't bother me if i use a couple of frames at the beginning to ensure its properly engage. The leica is very good at getting 38 frames anyway!

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    Load not loaf. Blooming predictive text

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    Fold about 1/4" of the film over before loading, and hold the film firmly against the sprockets for the first stroke before shutting the back.

    Better yet, trade your camera for an M2 or M3 and never have to worry again.

  6. #6

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    It is not fumble proof

    a) the base plate diagram is wrong ie is only for use @ -5C! At more normal temperature you need to take the film leader through the petals until it reaches the chassis at the end! The user manual says this in better English.
    b) then you put your thumb on the sprocket shaft tooth pinning (impaling) the film and then wind the rewind knob device until the film in the cassette is tight, still with the film pinned to the sprocket shaft. Close the door. Attach the baseplate. And only then wind on and fire the blank frames. Checking that the rewind on knob counter turns.
    c) this only works first time 19 out of 20 YMMV

    Sold mine and use M2s with Quick Load kits better success % again YMMV.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby.monkey View Post
    Fold about 1/4" of the film over before loading, and hold the film firmly against the sprockets for the first stroke before shutting the back.

    Better yet, trade your camera for an M2 or M3 and never have to worry again.
    the first two are no nos the last two easier! Barnacks easy as well.

  8. #8

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    Never ever had any trouble whatever with any of the bottom loaders, back loaders, sheet film, slicing 828 from 120, etc. Just read the manual, use your head, be patient.

  9. #9
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    Actually I have never experienced a problem with the M6. Here are some things I look for.

    1. Before you start do you ensure the little lever on the front is raised to the "A" (for Advance) setting? This should happen as soon as you wind on with the lever but may not in your case.
    2. When you advance the lever, before you load your film, do the teeth on the sprocket wheels, just visible on the take up side with the flap open, revolve?
    3. If they do, do you ensure that the film sprocket openings are engaging fully with these sprockets before you close things up?
    4. If so, is the tongue of film inserted fully between the "tulip" openings in the take up spool?
    5. If so, do you give the film one advance with the lever to ensure the film is winding up on the take up spool properly before you re-install the bottom?
    6. If so, once it is all back together does the rewind knob/lever turn when you advance the film? If not the first stroke, at least by the second stroke of the lever.

    If all these things are happening, and the rewind knob/lever is turning everytime you advance your film with the lever, then all is working properly. If not, then there is some problem that may require service by a technician.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

  10. #10

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    M2r

    I loved my Leica M2R but hated having to try to load the thing, especially in a hurry. And photojournalists are in a hurry a lot. Many photojournalists "back in the day" would use a Nikon F or two and carry an M Leica over one shoulder, with 21mm wide angle lens that they didn't use too much. This meant they did not have to reload the Leica in a hurry most of the time. And the Leitz 21mm was a honey.

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