View Full Version : M4 Rapidwinder conversion
Any users here has had their M4 conversted to take the Tom A. Rapidwinder? I have done a bit of online research and seems DAG is the person for this but I need to know how does the Rapidwinder "feel" on a converted M4.
It shouldn't feel any different. But your wallet will feel a lot lighter.
I had rapidwinders on both of my Ms (M6, M4-P) and think they are the best accessory you can get for your M. They add little weight but provide great functionality and last forever.
Don (DAG) has done wonderful work for me at a reasonable price. Tom A stands behind everything he make better than anyone else.
Never had a 4, but it felt natural on my M4-P.
There has been many conversions done for the RW. Usually M3's, but also M4's. Gerry Smith at Kinderman and DAG can do them - it requires installation of the intermediate drive from a M4P/M6. I always recommend that the "converter" gets both the camera and the RW prior to doing it as they can then be matched to each other.
I cant say if it is worth it - The M4 is "semi-collectible" and you might be better off getting a second (or third) body-such as a M4P or M2 and use that with the RW. Of course, if you are "sentimentally" attached to the M4 (not an unusual state, by the way) you can have the conversion done, but bear in mind that the purists frown upon any converstions like that (but they also frown upon the fact that you actually took the camera out of the box and used it - so who cares about them).
OT but are we going to see you and the Mrs. in Asheville?
Unfortunatly we cant make Asheville. The Nikon Historical Society has its meeting here in Vancouver next week and in May we have people cpming to visit. BUT we are definitely on for Kentucky in the fall.
It is too bad, because we both like Asheville and the Carolinas.
Thanks Tom. Hope to see you and Tuulikki in HK soon.
Hey, Tom -
In your experience how do the brass gears in the M3/M2/M4 stand up to the Rapidwinder?
Isn't this why Leica switch to steal gears, once they made the motorlug standard?
I have never found the brass gear being a problem. The Rapidwinder excerts less torque than the M-winder so there should be no problem. I only had problems with one M4P and the Rapidwinder and that was after 5 years of using the camera as a testbench for several thousand winders. The intermediate gear wore out and started slipping (OK, it fell out when I took of the winder!). I had it replaced by Leica Canada and I asked them to check the rest of the gear-train and there was no excessive wear on it. I suspect that the camera had the eqivalent of 10 000 rolls through it in that time and it is still in use as a normal user. Mainly with the ZM Biogon 28f2.8 on it.
The brass gear has an advantage though over the steel gear in the original MP and later MP's. They are smoother and quieter. The original 1957 MP's always felt like they were chrushing rocks when you used the Leicavit MP! I used a couple of these in the early 60's and the gears would work fine and once they wore, they were smooth, but rather than "give or flex" when overloaded, they would chip. Case hardened steel is quite brittle while brass is "softer" and has a certain "give" to it.
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