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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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Strange Light Leak
Old 10-16-2007   #1
MikeCassidy
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Strange Light Leak

My M3 has developed a light leak; but a random light leak.

I shot two rolls of PlusX Saturday; developed them at the same time, yesterday.

On one roll between frames: 6-7, 8-9, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17 there is a light leak. It about a 1/4 up from the bottom and touches both frames.

The other roll has no leaks, and the rest of the damages roll has no leaks.

Any ideas??
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Old 10-16-2007   #2
Finder
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Can you scan the images to show us.
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Old 10-16-2007   #3
Scarpia
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Sounds to me like a possible light leak in the 35mm cartridge. Leicas, of course, never have light leaks although there may on rare occasions be iluminatory abberations caused by solar flares or some such thing.
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Old 10-16-2007   #4
robin a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarpia
Sounds to me like a possible light leak in the 35mm cartridge. Leicas, of course, never have light leaks although there may on rare occasions be iluminatory abberations caused by solar flares or some such thing.
Kurt M.
Hi,it's what is known as the "Leica inner glow".They all have it,some more than others..............Robin
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Old 10-16-2007   #5
MikeCassidy
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Its appeared on more than one roll of film so I don't think it the cartridge.

Here is a scan of some of the film; I circled one three leaks. Over to the right there is one more and on the strip below two more.

On the other roll not a single leak!

I have had this camera for 42 years so it probably needs a cleaning BUT the randomness of the leak puzzles me.


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Old 10-16-2007   #6
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Interesting. It is after every time you change subjects. It looks if you take consecutive frames, nothing appears. I wonder if your shutter is developing a pinhole which only shows when the film is under it for some time. But the fact it is fogging under the film gate is a little puzzling.
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Old 10-16-2007   #7
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For what it is worth, I have had many light leaks mostly because it have a number of old inexpensive cameras. All the leaks that I have seen are not in the middle of the frame. They usually originate from a faulty foam around the door. These may go the whole width of the film but it is obvious they come from the door because they include the socket area. I would check the shutter curtain.
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Old 10-16-2007   #8
Bill Pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finder
Interesting. It is after every time you change subjects. It looks if you take consecutive frames, nothing appears. I wonder if your shutter is developing a pinhole which only shows when the film is under it for some time. But the fact it is fogging under the film gate is a little puzzling.
I have had exactly the same thing happen with old M3's. I don't think it is a pinhole. It seems to have much more to do with the age. Pinholes would be random. The flare seems always to show up just as it does on these negs.

My answer was always to fire off a frame before starting a series of pictures. And, eventually, to get the camera off to a good repair person like Don Goldberg (actually, in my case, it was always his dad).

Bill
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Old 10-16-2007   #9
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Try running a roll through her just to test. Run five frames with the lens cap on. Then try different shutter speeds (high and low) on several different frames. Try single stroke advance for a few vs multiple smaller strokes to see if this does anything different.

I agree with the curtin idea, but there are lots of different things to test.

B2 (;->
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Old 10-16-2007   #10
MikeCassidy
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Thanks for all the advice.
I hate parting with it even for repairs; I've had it for 42 years. It is the only machine I've ever bonded with - even my motorcylces were just machines.
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Old 12-19-2012   #11
Niko
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Mike, did you get your machine fixed yet ? Where was the problem ?

I have the same problem on my M3 now.

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Old 12-19-2012   #12
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the roll could have been sharply bent there. it's happened to me when i struggled to fit a film in a reel and the roll got bent. it looks like a light leak.
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Old 12-19-2012   #13
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Could be a leak at a strap-lug. As stated, seems to happen when you change point of view and possibly change the grip on the camera. You can also get leaks when the seal of the back door gets worn. Try a roll with some black tape along the vertical edges of the back door. When you hold the camera you usually press on the back door and squeeze the backdoor tight. When you change point of view - you usually "let go" of that grip - and that can get the back door springing up a fraction and allowing light to seep in.
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Old 12-20-2012   #14
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From another forum i got a tip it could be light leak near the rangefinder -window. I checked that area again with the flashlight in darkness and can see light coming in the film chamber. The light i see is right in the corner of the frame, but i guess this still could be the source of the phenomenon. The shuttercurtains still have something to do with it, as it´s always in the same spot between the frames ?

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