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Yet another Leica M2 light leak (not the one everyone else seems to have)
Old 06-25-2019   #1
lukx
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Yet another Leica M2 light leak (not the one everyone else seems to have)

Hi guys,

I have sporadically, but repeatedly, found light leaks on my negatives. These usually come and go, and I've had them show up in many different scenarios (bright sunny days, dimly lit indoors). This seems to be different from the leak with many threads dedicated to it where light seeps from one frame into the next. Mine moves along the top of the image, with a rather straight line where it cuts off toward the top.

A couple of examples can be seen here and in the attached album:




https://imgur.com/a/jTse6Ug


Please help me verify if I've come to the right conclusions so far:
  • the light comes from the front, as it does not have an orange tint (so not through the back door)
  • the light comes from the bottom, as the leak appears at the top of the frame
I think the light shines into the channel that guards the shutter curtains and reflects its way to the other side of the shutter curtain, where it then hits the film.

I found a thread on photo.net that has a little sketch of what might happen. The author there says newer models have an extra seal in the channel preventing this.




https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...utters.131251/


Could that be the issue? How could I have it fixed? Is the shutter curtain installed too high? Should I have it lowered so that it seals the channel shut? Or should I try and have another seal installed, like the one seen on the M6 and onwards?

Has anyone had this issue show up and fixed in their old Leica RF?

Thank you,
Lukas
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Old 06-25-2019   #2
bucs
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There are light baffles inside the 'channel' which evenrually need to be replaced because they disintegrate over time. DAG knows this issue.

Even worse, sometimes they cause the shutter to jam blocking the path where the curtain slides through
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Old 06-25-2019   #3
Malcolm M
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I wonder if it’s coming from around the lens flange. My IIIa and b do something similar, intermittently. The extreme RHS of your sample photo looks to have been shielded from a leak, probably by the shutter guide. On a Barnack, it’s necessary to check the tightness of the four screws holding the flange to the body fairly regularly. I don’t know the details of M construction, but it’s worth checking.
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Old 06-25-2019   #4
Erik van Straten
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Can be through the viewfinder.



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Old 06-25-2019   #5
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My M6 (1986 model) occasionally shows the same leak, always in bright frontal light, but I haven’t worked out the cause. Maybe it’s the viewfinder as Erik says.
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Old 06-25-2019   #6
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I’ll also check the lens flange as Malcolm M says...
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Old 06-25-2019   #7
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Hope u get it fixed. Now I don't feel so bad about the small leak that occasionally shows up on my Kiev 4am!
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Old 06-25-2019   #8
Erik van Straten
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Because the image is portrait-size, it is not clear if the light comes from the bottom or the top.

If from the top, you have to check the strap lug on the side of the wind lever. When the lug is loose, light may seep into the film chamber. The exposed film is wound up with the emulsion side outwards.

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Old 06-25-2019   #9
lukx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Because the image is portrait-size, it is not clear if the light comes from the bottom or the top.

If from the top, you have to check the strap lug on the side of the wind lever. When the lug is loose, light may seep into the film chamber. The exposed film is wound up with the emulsion side outwards.

Erik.
Thanks for the answers so far, guys.

Erik, it was indeed not the best idea to post an example in portrait orientation. The link below the example leads to an album which has further examples. The light indeed always shows at the top of the image, so it should be seeping in from the bottom of the camera, as the image is projected upside down onto the film emulsion.

The flange/lens mount seems to be sturdy and tight, there is no wobble or anything.

I did a flashlight test not long ago which gave no conclusive results. I will give that another go I think.
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Old 06-25-2019   #10
rodt16s
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Had a similar issue on my M3 that was cured by the later style baffle
That light leak was also noticeable on the dead area between frames
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Old 06-25-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfingon View Post
Iíll also check the lens flange as Malcolm M says...
Out of interest, why would the lens flange leak light? You can leave the camera without a lens attached and it wonít expose the film...
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Old 06-25-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
Out of interest, why would the lens flange leak light? You can leave the camera without a lens attached and it wonít expose the film...
On the Leica III and IIIf that I have, bright light will leak into the camera body if you do a lens change outdoors. I believe there is better sealing on the M series Leicas to prevent this. I have just tightened the lens flange screws on my M6 and will see if that makes any difference to my light leak. I need a bright sunny day to test it.
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Old 06-25-2019   #13
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Have the same thing on an M3 DS, it appears to be the baffle as well.
I found that it helps to cover the lens while advancing the film / between shots.
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Old 06-26-2019   #14
Malcolm M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
Out of interest, why would the lens flange leak light? You can leave the camera without a lens attached and it wonít expose the film...
Because the shutter is closed. If there is a leak around the flange, it fogs the film during exposure.

Is the fogging confined to the image area, in which case you should be looking for this sort of thing, or does it extend into the normally unexposed areas between frames, in which case check for leaks around strap lugs etc? Be ruthlessly logical!
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Old 06-26-2019   #15
Erik van Straten
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It can also be that the cloth of the curtains is leaking light, the rubber can be digested. Did you check the curtains against a strong light?


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Old 06-26-2019   #16
Malcolm M
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I don't think it's problem with the curtains. Holes in the curtain are manifest by bright spots on the image, in the same place every time.
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File Type: jpg DSC00524.jpg (36.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-26-2019   #17
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm M View Post
I don't think it's problem with the curtains. Holes in the curtain are manifest by bright spots on the image, in the same place every time.

Yes, big holes, but the rubber can be worn and the holes can be microscopic small over a large area.


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