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M6 Classic - buyer needs help!
Old 02-29-2012   #1
stormbytes
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M6 Classic - buyer needs help!

I recently returned an overpriced M6-TTL to a seller (for a host of reasons) and in its place, I bouugh an M6 Classic. The Classic feels great! Rangefinder is spot-on, shutter speeds sound perfect, and its even got the big "M6" on the top plate.

I did notice a couple of things and, with one bad experience behind me, I'm looking to dot-and-cross everything. Please share your insights as I've only a short time left to evaluate the camera before the sale is finalized.

1. Film loading:

I grabbed 2-3 film canisters and threw them into my bag as I headed out of town for a few days. I had trouble getting the leading edge of the film to slide upwards, into the correct position so the lower sprocket catches just right. All three rolls sat in the fridge for quite some time (>6 months) and I'm pretty sure I noticed a slight kink in all the rolls, just at the top (where the leader was protruding from the canister).

This was never a problem with my Nikon FM3a as there are no vertical constraints or tracks. Is the kink in the film the likely culprit? Has anyone else had similar problems?

2. Stains/spots on the shutter curtain (photo attached).

I've no experience with cloth shutters, so my concern is mold or whatever culprits lurk in these water. Is this normal? What causes this sort of thing?



This, second time around I plan on being a much more educated shopper. I'd love to keep this camera as I got it at a good price (or what I think a good price is!). But if there are any doubts at all, I'd rather not take any chances. I don't have the means to buy wrong.


Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-29-2012   #2
nobbylon
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Curtains look fine as long as there are no holes and the surface isn't damaged. Look at them with a magnifier and check there is no cloth damage.
Film loading can be tricky and I always fold over the leader toward emulsion side about 1cm before dropping in.
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Old 02-29-2012   #3
Benjamin Marks
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Not sure how to answer. As to #1, do you have experience loading M cameras? It is a little different than the "insert film leader in slot" mechanism of the FM2. The film leader should sit in one of the slots of the "tulip" and fully across the film gate. There is a helpful schematic on the bottom of the camera that you can see when you remove the bottom plate.

#2: I dunno. Sweat stains? Rain drops? Dried drool? It doesn't look like it would interfere with the functioning of the shutter. If you are concerned that it is mold, remove the back and lens let it sit in the sun for an afternoon with the
"spots" pointed at the sun.
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Old 02-29-2012   #4
Steve Bellayr
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Looks good to me. Leicas are trickier than Nikons to load. There is a video on the web by Tom on how to load a Leica. This goes for all cameras: If the rewind knob turns when you are advancing the film then the film is loaded correctly.
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Old 02-29-2012   #5
umcelinho
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actually I find the leica loading method fairly easy and quick (not M3/2's though because of the take-up spool), maybe I've just grown used to it. but i learned to load my M6 by looking at a video on youtube that showed how to load an M fast and getting 39 frames per roll. i can change film on the go pretty easily. just pay attention to the rewind crank, it should turn as you advance the lever.
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Old 02-29-2012   #6
Leigh Youdale
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Once you've done it a few times loading the M6 is easier than many other cameras as you don't have to fiddle and poke the end of the leader into a tight slot.
Just make sure the leader is properly inserted across the tulip (as others have noted it sometimes helps to fold the leader so it engages more directly with the 'prongs' as they start turning, use the opening in the back and your finger or thumb to gently move the film to match the sprockets, close it all up and away you go! And check the rewind knob is turning as you advance the first few frames!
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Old 02-29-2012   #7
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Thanks for all the insights folks. I'm not too worried about film loading; like anything else its about getting into the habit of it. My concern was about the condition of the camera, since I don't want to have to service or replace it anytime soon.
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Old 02-29-2012   #8
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If it doesn't smell like mold and the test pix are spot on, you're good!

Ben

Edit: I assume you know about the risk of pointing one of these at the sun with a lens on and the lenscap off (focused image of the sun + cloth shutter = unhappy camper).
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Old 03-31-2012   #9
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Quote:
… but i learned to load my M6 by looking at a video on youtube that showed how to load an M fast and getting 39 frames per roll.
Very interested in that 39 frame loading technique ;-) I always get 37 frames with TRiX.

I always load this way:

- hold film in left hand
- drop film cassette halfway into camera
- pull the leader out of the cassette with the now free left hand until it just touches the camera housing on the take up spool side
- drop the film now completely into the camera (pushing film canister with left middle finger, pushing film edge on take-up spool side with left thumb)
- adjusting film with left thumb through small window between sprocket wheel and film gate (don't push and wiggle the film through the film gate opening - somebody will at one point bump into you while loading, resulting in your thumb sticking through the shutter curtain)
- wind one frame, while back still open (this is probably redundant, resulting in only 37 frames)
- close backdoor,
replace bottom plate
- tighten rewind crank
- wind another frame (probably redundant as well)

ready to shoot at frame 0

Never force the film advance on your last frame, even if your frame is almost fully advanced.
Forcing it through can result in ripping the film out of the film canister, making you want to unload the camera in a darkroom - bad, if you are shooting in summer on the nude beach without any shadows or clothes in sight, to provide some dark place for unloading ;-P
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Old 03-31-2012   #10
jordanstarr
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curtain looks good...doesn't look like mould to me, just something that dried up.
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