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M6 CLA and MP VF upgrade.
Old 12-20-2018   #1
bert26
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M6 CLA and MP VF upgrade.

So the film gate on my m6 is loose and incredibly irritating. It's not causing light leaks but I HATE picking up my camera and listening to this popping sound. That and more importantly, my VF is pretty foggy. I hit up Don at DAG and fixing those two things would run me $130 but a full CLA would run $380. The MP upgrade is an additional $200.

The m6 VF sucks but maybe it's just cos it's a bit foggy? I can't really drop $580 but could swing $330 (film gate and VF upgrade)

If everything seems to be in working order, should I get the CLA or should I just get the film gate fixed and the VF upgrade?

Have had this body for four years with no CLA but have no idea the last time it was done.
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Old 12-20-2018   #2
alexandru_voicu
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I had my M6 viewfinder upgraded by Don Goldberg. In my opinion, there was not a significant improvement. I would suggest to have the camera CLAd. Given that your VF is foggy, a simple cleaning may do wonders. As for the VF of the M6, it's not the greatest. The VF of my Zeiss Ikon is a lot better in every possible way.

When you are saying that the film gate is loose and makes the popping sound, what exactly do you mean?
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Old 12-20-2018   #3
NicolasCooper
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The back of my M6 TTL ist also loose and makes a sound when I grab it. It might be a common (non-)issue.
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Old 12-20-2018   #4
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I had Don (DAG) do the viewfinder upgrade on my M6 TTL. It was an improvement, but still can't compare to my M3. It's about the same as an M4, so still good, but not spectacular.

I think I'd opt for the full CLA, then the camera will be good to go for years, and removing the fog in the viewfinder will make it noticeably better.

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Old 12-20-2018   #5
Rob-F
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I've been a Leica owner for 60 years and I'm having trouble understanding the part about the "loose film gate." What exactly is loose? The back door? The metal aperture plate? I never heard a popping sound from any of mine! Also, does the camera really need a CLA? If the shutter speeds are good, rangefinder is OK, and it winds on OK, then maybe it is not time for a CLA. If the budget won't stand all you want done at DAG, you could also check with Youxin Ye at YYE camera repair. He's reasonable.

Viewfinder upgrade: Does this refer to replacing the missing condenser lens? I had DAG do this to my M6 pre-ttl with .72 finder. All it does is to reduce the flare that can occur with the .72 and .85 finders, in a strong backlight situation.
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Old 12-20-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert26 View Post
So the film gate on my m6 is loose and incredibly irritating. It's not causing light leaks but I HATE picking up my camera and listening to this popping sound. That and more importantly, my VF is pretty foggy. I hit up Don at DAG and fixing those two things would run me $130 but a full CLA would run $380. The MP upgrade is an additional $200.

The m6 VF sucks but maybe it's just cos it's a bit foggy? I can't really drop $580 but could swing $330 (film gate and VF upgrade)

If everything seems to be in working order, should I get the CLA or should I just get the film gate fixed and the VF upgrade?

Have had this body for four years with no CLA but have no idea the last time it was done.
I think Don's quote of fixing your camera back, and cleaning your viewfinder for $130 is a bargain, and a no-brainer. If your shutter speeds are within tolerance there's no need to do an unnecessary CLA. You could send him your camera, have him check it out, and ask what he suggests.

In regards to the $200 MP finder upgrade, its worth asking yourself how much your rangefinder patch flares and becomes difficult to see. That's what the upgrade is, is the installation of an extra condenser lens to prevent flare that was left out of the M6 finder (cost savings?). It doesn't really make a huge difference in how bright and contrasty your rangefinder is, but it will prevent rangefinder patch flare and white out. I have Don's upgrade in my M6 0.58 finder, and I never get flare or white out in my rangefinder patch.
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Old 12-20-2018   #7
splitimageview
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Plenty of techs can clean the viewfinder for a reasonable cost, if the speeds are accurate there is no need for CLA as stated earlier. Try contacting Popflash, they have a retired tech who works on Leicas just for fun, and he’s super quick and reasonably priced. He could also diagnose the popping noise.
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Old 12-20-2018   #8
bert26
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I also have the option of getting the flare-free optics and film door fixed for $265. Sometimes my negatives some back with a straight line through each frame consistently for 2-4 frames at a time and sometimes there is a straight white light leak on the left side of the frame but I don't think that's the biggest deal in the world.

Also, the lens flare/white out problem.. There are a lot of times where i have trouble focusing because the subject I am trying to line up appears so light that it is hard to tell if the lines are matching up. I wonder if this is the fog or the flare issue?
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Old 12-20-2018   #9
Vincent.G
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The VF upgrade is a waste of money and ineffective. I had the upgrade done on 2 M6 cameras but was disappointed as my M6 VF still flared after that. Don’t be another sucker like me. My advice is to live with the VF flare or change to another M body.
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Old 12-20-2018   #10
bert26
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Word. I’m just gonna send it in with the intention of getting the gate door fixed and the viewfinder cleaned along with a note asking if he thinks it needs a CLA. Yeah I’d be bummed if I dropped an extra $200 and still had flare. And it’ll probably be a huge difference anyway just getting it cleaned as it’s been foggy since the day I got it.
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Old 12-21-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert26 View Post
So the film gate on my m6 is loose and incredibly irritating. ..., my VF is pretty foggy. I hit up Don at DAG and fixing those two things would run me $130 but a full CLA would run $380. The MP upgrade is an additional $200. ...
If your M6 VF is a .85 the upgrade will make a notable difference. The .72 and .58 are inherently more flair resistant. But regardless, the upgrade will make a difference. And fog in the VF will make your RF more flair-prone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexandru_voicu View Post
... The VF of my Zeiss Ikon is a lot better in every possible way. ...
I must say I don't understand the praise, especially in this thread, of the Zeiss-Ikon. It has the least flair-resistant finder ever produced in a RF camera.
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Old 12-21-2018   #12
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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How on earth does the film gate get loose? I find this very difficult to believe.
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Old 12-21-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
How on earth does the film gate get loose? I find this very difficult to believe.
I asked about this earlier, and haven't seen an answer yet, but the OP did write, more recently, that he's going to "get the gate door fixed." So I think that what he means by "gate" is the back door. I don't see how it can be loose or make noise, if it's closed and held shut by the bottom plate, if fitted properly.
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Old 12-21-2018   #14
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My M2 door makes a slight "click" when I touch it. The door could get warped in any number of ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I asked about this earlier, and haven't seen an answer yet, but the OP did write, more recently, that he's going to "get the gate door fixed." So I think that what he means by "gate" is the back door. I don't see how it can be loose or make noise, if it's closed and held shut by the bottom plate, if fitted properly.
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Old 12-21-2018   #15
aizan
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it must be something else. all film leica m bodies “pop” when you press the back door, ime.
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Old 12-29-2018   #16
bert26
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Ending up going with a CLA. And the film door or gate or whatever IS loose and he's able to tighten it up a bit. My negatives kept coming back scratched here and there and turns out the pressure plate is causing it and needs to be buffed. Also got a black Leica dot

Pretty stoked to get this thing back and not have to worry about getting it CLA'd again for several years. It will also be nice to see through the viewfinder.
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