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Leica M5 is back in action, I think.
Old 09-08-2018   #1
Ian M.
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
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Leica M5 is back in action, I think.

Oy, I have too many cameras. But at least, after 3 years of sitting and too much money (all saved from not shooting any film), they're all fixed.

Almost simultaneously, my M5 and Bessa went grossly out of alignment, and my M8's shutter self-destructed. The former two just got back last week and are in tip-top shape. (If you're keeping score, the Bessa back focusing a bit resolved itself)

The M5 went to a local tech here in Seattle, who said they're pretty well versed in RF calibration, at least everything but the M5. They've adjusted a couple vintage Canon lenses for me, and I trust them.
A week later and $40 for an estimate, they tell me they couldn't get the top plate off because of a sizable dent near the eyepiece. I've worked at a camera shop and heard all the broken camera excuses, but I legitimately don't recall any impact, but there it was. Off to Sherry or DAG, so it seemed.

I just thought I'd take a look at the process of adjustment, and figured if I muck it up, it's going in anyway. M's are a bit easier than the Bessas, from what I gather (and I'm never touching the Bessa screws again). Five minutes with a screwdriver and it's looking good, vertically, infinity (skyscrapers four miles away) and 3 feet with a tape measure.

Meter looks good compared to my other cameras, using the fridge as a gray card. Shutter appears mostly okay using that speed testing app. Best of all, I got the eyepiece off and cleaned. It's like night and day...

I'm a little disappointed with the shop for two reasons: first, contrary to what I assumed, the vertical alignment doesn't require pulling the top plate. I know the M5 is a strange beast, but it's no different than the preceding models.
Second, they left me with a tight-feeling shutter dial. Seems to jam up on the long-exposure metering section. Not something I use much, but I paid for the inconvenience. I still think it could use a good CLA, so it'll go in anyway, and we'll see what can be done about the dent.

Well, time for a test roll.
Ian M., Seattle
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