View Full Version : New Leica II disaster?
Well, I just got the first shots from my new Leica II back and there sems to be a problem with the shutter. All the shots (except two) on the roll have a bar across the middle as shown in the attached.
I wondered if it could be something other than the shutter, as two shots are free from the defect, such as I had got sunlight into the casstette, or something in the processing, but it seems to fall at exectly the same point in each frame. I'm thinking that light through the slit on the cassette would not be in exactly the same place on every frame, but cannot rule out a processing error (I do know that the lab were having problems with their machine.
Anyway, I am off to pick up a second set of negs shortly, just to confirm whether it is the shutter blind, or the processing. Anyone got any theories?
John, the streaks are not in the same place: compare the first frame with the third. If the fresh set of negatives was done on a different machine and the problem remains, you have your answer. I doubt that any processing machine can produce a defect at one frame intervals.
to me it looks like sticking shutter curtains.
there is a good chance that a CLA removes the issue.
The streaks are at the position where the film exits the 35mm cannister when the preceding frame is at the film gate (does my description even make sense?). It appears to be a light leak somewhere around where the 35mm cannister sits. In short, the streak is probably caused at a different time from when the exposure is taken.. That's why it's not on every shot. If you shoot in quick succession or keep the camera in the dark, there's no streak..
Check how the bottom plate fits. Check the open/close ring for light tightness. Check whether the film rewind crank is light tight where the spindle enters the cassette chamber. Check the top cover for missing screws. Check for missing screws on the body. Check the fit of the top cover..
I had something similar with my IIf, the postwar model. It proved to be a light leas under or around the spot where the slow speed dial is in a III model. You may find a difference in presence of the stripe: shots made quickly after another and low light shots don't have it.
This may be only part of the cause: in some shots I can see a double exposed white stripe.
Mid frame does not look like curtains cause this. But, there is a shadow very very close to the film surface: you can see sharp edges.
Thanks guys - second film shows exactly the same problem, so I think I can rule out processing. On the second film, all the frames were exposed in fairly quick succession and all of them have the stripe - interestingly, some have two.
I think it is probably a shutter problem that I can't see with the naked eye. Since I bought from a dealer, it will go back - looking for either a CLA at his cost (and the opportunity to retest) or a full refund.
Shame really as this is a first-year of production body in super condition and the 11 o'clck elmar looks to be pretty good too.
Back to the dealer, yes ofcourse. I doubt it is a shutter problem like I stated earlier.
In fact it looks quite like mine. You have a IIc or a IIf? The model with the metal front part without vulcanite? It could very well be light leaking there. Bigger leaks if the exposure is longer ofcourse.
Most leaks are about halfway the frame. That is about the distance on an exposed negative to the edge of the guide rails and the sprocket wheel, where light can leak from the front of the camera. Because the sprocket wheel and the shutter housing provide shade and are really close to the film, the edges of your light stripes are sharp. You will find thet the width of the stripe matches the opening between the camera chassis and the sprocket wheel.
So why sometimes two streaks in one frame? Knob winding. Not making a direct one stroke full frame advance.
And why no light leak when the film is closer to the front of the camera, near the (missing) slow speed dial? The back of the film is light tight. You will see leak marks on the sides of your negatives though.
Is the shutter and wind smooth? Judging your pics I see no problem in the shutter system.
If you really like, have it fixed. I have spent lots of money refurbing of Barnacks and they work well if they get done right.
Second Ronalds comment above. From your description, the camera seems to be in great cosmetic condition, so I think it really deserves a CLA and a long life doing what it should.
Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement (much appreciated)
I went back to the dealer at lunchtime and we had a good look at the body under a strong light. It looks as though the shutter is not capping on wind-on (just like an "O" series body). This would explain the sharp edges and why it is more obvious on some frames.
I don't think I could wind at exactly the same speed every time, but the film moves with the shutter curtains, so it would appear to be in roughly the same place on every frame. On a couple of frames, I may have replaced the lens cap before winding, which would explain the abscence of the marks in this case.
It has gone off for a shutter service (no quibbles) and I hope to have it back in a couple of weeks. I just love these old Barnacks, particularly my Standard and this II.
Laptoprob, it is niether a IIc or IIf, just a II - like the one shown here:
Mine is definitely 1932 from the serial, and the elmar is pre-1933 uncoated. I have to say that the performance of this 75-year old lens looks to be outstanding, the bokeh on the (rather dark, shot at 1/4 sec f3.5, handheld) shot of my wife in a bar is superb. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this lens :D
I will report back when the repair is complete and I have it back in my hands - can't wait!!
Good luck John, those are lovely little machines. I have an uncoated Elmar too, one lens I will never sell!
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