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Who knows what the life expectancy for the rubberized shutter on the M series is? My camera is only 2 years old but I was told the shutters stand up poorly to age. Any comments?
Well, I have 2 M3s from the 60s and an M4 from 1970 and have had no problems with the shutters
thats good to hear. I was told the rubber dries out but if you have had your cameras since the 60's, there is a good chance my 2002 M6 will out live me since I am now nearly 40 :)
I bought my first Leica when I was 19...will be 58 in a couple of weeks.
I believe leica rangefinder shutters have a duty cycle of 150,000 rolls. They wont be wearing out anytime soon... if you shoot 10 rolls a week you'd have about 10 years before it needs to be looked at.
Somewhere I read it's more like 400,000 cycles, Leitzboy. In fact, Japanese SLRs are built to last 150,000 cycles, not Leicas. Have to dig out where I got those figures...
A number of screw mount Leicas that I've seen recently have needed curtain replacement. It would seem then, that the curtains are good for about 50 years then.
If you're worried about the condition of the shutter curtains, the best time to have them replaced is when the camera in in for a CLA, perhaps anticipating the need to replace them in the near future.
Essex Camera Service charges about $60 above the CLA cost toreplace the curtains for a camera that is in for service.
My M3 was made in 1954. Recently the shutter worked OK but wouldn't open for 1/500 and 1/1000. I sent it to sherry, who CLA'd it for the first time and she adjusted the shutter AND re lubricated. I am 72 years old and hope to live to 125 so I can have it CLA'D again.
Don't let the lens sit facing the sun and you will have the same "bad" luck as I did.
I can't quite match kajabbi, but my M2 was made in 1957, I bought it in 1967 for $150, and this Summer I thought it was about due for CLA. Even though it was running perfectly. It is a bit quieter and smoother-feeling with the fresh lube job though. I think it will last a LONG time...
PS: Back in the 60's I tried out a Nikon S2 that had been displayed in the camera shop's west-facing front window. It had pinholes in its metal shutter. Wouldn't have believed that could happen, but it obviously had!
According to Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz, the best way to prevent this burning is to leave the cap on. If not possible, close the aperture.
They did an experiment and put a RF lens on a piece of cloth under the sun. The fabric started smoldering after only 30 seconds!
These things are dangerous...
Of course you could use a Konica Hexar and not worry at all...metal shutter.
Hi, rpsawin, back in the 60's I tried out the Nikon S2 that had been displayed in the camera shop's west-facing display window and found it had a handful of pinholes burnt through the metal shutter... Don't know how else those little holes could have got there. After that we made sure all cameras in the window were focused to the closest distance.
It's highly unlikely that under normal circumstances a lens would burn a hole thru a metal shutter. The shutter must have been defective or subjected to some other stress.
That, or you make have handled the first consumer-level laser....:)
Bob, it does seem unlikely, but we couldn't think of any other way for several pinholes to get in the shutter. This was discovered in December 1965, at Jack's Camera in Rapid City SD. The shop had two large west-facing "picture windows" on either side of the front door. There was a low platform to elevate the display items above floor level, and typically the cameras were tilted lens-up for easier examination by passers-by. It was part of my job to keep the display tidy and to wash the windows each morning.
Some of these cameras sat there for months. For some reason several Kodak Pony cameras stick in my mind, both 35mm and 828! Not much buyer interest in those. Anyway, I expect that day after day (especially near Summer Solstice) the afternoon sun would pass about the same track, and be focussed on about the same area of the shutter. Evidently enough of this repeated heating of certain spots burnt several holes in the shutter. I wouldn't be suprised if there were other thin spots that hadn't yet burnt all the way through.
I enjoyed taking out various used cameras to try, and it was in using this Nikon S2 from the shop that we discovered the pinholes. Only focal-plane shutter RF cameras would be vulnerable. One other such I borrowed was a Canon Vt (with trigger winder); not sure if it was from the window display but if so it may have been "saved" by different positioning.
Say, the old Contax and Kiev RF cameras had black-painted brass "roll-top" shutters, didn't they? Low melting point, easily oxidized... What did Nikon use?
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