M7 battery life with a twist.
Old 09-27-2017   #1
Huss
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M7 battery life with a twist.

A slightly different M7 battery life question..
I'm using the Cr2 batteries, and when I am not using the camera (no film in it, camera in storage) I remove the batteries. As I cycle through my cameras, I may shoot a couple of rolls, then that camera may sit for 3-6 months before I use it again.
So while not that many rolls of film may have been used with those batteries, time is passing. With that in mind, how long should these batteries last? The serial # of my M7 is in the 332xxxx range, and while I do not have the BC message, I often have the lower blinking led dot appearing on the same set of batteries. Which could either signify a DX reader issue, or low batteries.

Thanks

p.s. the back dial is accurately set to the DX reading mark. I wish Leica never incorporated the DX function. Something that is so simple in $20 point and shoot cameras, is so flaky in a $5K Leica..
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Old 09-27-2017   #2
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Silly as it sounds, the blinking light can also indicate an exposure value beyond the meter's capability. I've found this when the lens cap is on - duh. It can also indicate no film loaded in the camera - I've also discovered this the hard way. That being said, the M7 is one of the most fickle cameras I've ever used.
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Old 09-27-2017   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Lens cap is not on, exposure reading is correct for the scene. Also film is in the camera (w/o it it defaults to 100 ISO and blinks).
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Old 09-27-2017   #4
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I've used a lot of CR-2 batteries in flashlights over the years and found once they are put into use, expected life is about six months. You can store them unused for a long time but after they have been installed the life expectancy drops sharply.
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Old 09-27-2017   #5
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i've been tempted at one time or another to buy an M7. it's posts like these that have kept me from pulling the trigger. The DX functions seems like a huge blunder.
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Old 09-27-2017   #6
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I've never had issues with batteries draining when the camera is off and not in use for several months. My M7 gets cycled with a few other film bodies, too.

I use 1/3 N or 2L76 batteries. Not sure how you can use a CR2 battery.

You can stop the lower little (itsy-bitsy) light from blinking only when the film in the camera is DX coded on the canister AND the ISO dial on the back is set to the rated ISO of the film (or AUTO) AND exposure compensation is set to 0.

The lower light has nothing to do with battery charge. The top light lights up when you lock shutter speed. A battery about to go dead lights up bc for a shot or two and then dies.

How do battery-phobes manage with cell phones, laptops, etc? ;o)
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Old 09-27-2017   #7
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Originally Posted by Hilm3 View Post

I use 1/3 N or 2L76 batteries. Not sure how you can use a CR2 battery.
Thanks for the correction, I meant CR1/3N.
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Old 09-27-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
i've been tempted at one time or another to buy an M7. it's posts like these that have kept me from pulling the trigger. The DX functions seems like a huge blunder.
You can ignore it and set the film speed manually. But if the manually set speed is different than the DX rating on the film cannister, you get the little blinky light.
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Old 09-27-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilm3 View Post

You can stop the lower little (itsy-bitsy) light from blinking only when the film in the camera is DX coded on the canister AND the ISO dial on the back is set to the rated ISO of the film (or AUTO) AND exposure compensation is set to 0.

The lower light has nothing to do with battery charge. The top light lights up when you lock shutter speed. A battery about to go dead lights up bc for a shot or two and then dies.
I printed page 86 of the owner's manual again, that has a chart showing all the different combos and blinky light effects.

For battery status check, the lower blinky light has nothing to do with it?
Only the ISO or shutter speed display blinking if the battery level is low? And the BC if it is almost dead?
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Old 09-27-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
I've used a lot of CR-2 batteries in flashlights over the years and found once they are put into use, expected life is about six months. You can store them unused for a long time but after they have been installed the life expectancy drops sharply.
Thanks for bringing it back to my original question. So once I have started to use the batteries, even if I then take them out of the camera and don't use them, they are still deteriorating?
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Old 09-27-2017   #11
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You would think with no power being drawn from them they should last but for some reaon they don't. I have had lithium batteries stored unused for a year or two and they lasted just about the same amount of time as new ones once put it to use. The 1/3N in the M6 TTL would normally last about a year.
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Old 09-27-2017   #12
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Thank you for that info, very useful.
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Old 09-27-2017   #13
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Hi! My experience with batteries is entirely different. I seem to get 1 1/2 to 2 years from a set. The last time I changed the batteries was in February of 2016 and they were still working fine this morning.

I've purchased my M7 new in 2004 and the only issue I've had with it was that the DX reader died in 2012. Leica replaced it free of charge. I've had no other issues in 13 years.
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Old 09-27-2017   #14
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Originally Posted by TEZillman View Post
Hi! My experience with batteries is entirely different. I seem to get 1 1/2 to 2 years from a set. The last time I changed the batteries was in February of 2016 and they were still working fine this morning.

I've purchased my M7 new in 2004 and the only issue I've had with it was that the DX reader died in 2012. Leica replaced it free of charge. I've had no other issues in 13 years.
Do you keep them in the camera the entire time? Or take them out between use?
What is the brand? Mine are Duracell.

Where was your camera repaired? Leica NJ or Germany?
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Old 09-27-2017   #15
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Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
i've been tempted at one time or another to buy an M7. it's posts like these that have kept me from pulling the trigger. The DX functions seems like a huge blunder.
I've never had a problem with my M7. I tend to reach for it more than for my M2, M5, M6, or MP. Not that I don't use the others, but the M7 kinda has it all.
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Old 09-27-2017   #16
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I leave my 1/3N battery in all the time. I don't even bother to shut off the camera. Batteries seem to last forever in the camera. At least 1 1/2 years, as someone else stated.
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Old 09-27-2017   #17
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I had never used Duracell CN1/3 batteries going dead about 3 years before the printed expire date. They were kept in the unopened blister package until I put them into my M7 and no power. Changed to another pair of batteries and no problem. My camera was serviced by Leica in Solms before that.
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Old 09-27-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Do you keep them in the camera the entire time? Or take them out between use?
What is the brand? Mine are Duracell.

Where was your camera repaired? Leica NJ or Germany?
The ones in the camera now do not have a brand name on them. I've pretty much used whatever was available when I needed to buy the next set to keep in my camera bag. I haven't taken them out of the camera in between uses. The camera was repaired in New Jersey. I hope that helps!
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Old 09-27-2017   #19
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Thanks for all the tips!

Sooooo.... one thing that I failed to mention, because I didn't pay attention to it until now is.. when I turn the camera on via the power switch, sometimes the ISO reading shows up instantly, sometimes it takes several seconds. Once up to 10 seconds. A couple of times playing with it today it the LED display would completely disappear/shut off just a few secs after I turned it on. I then got the b6 (battery check) message.
I took out the old batteries, popped in some brand new ones, fresh out of the blister packet. Seemed fine for the first couple of turn ons. Then a few seconds delay. Then the same behaviour as before (but no b6 message yet). I'm now kinda pi$$ed, about to swear at the great flying spaghetti monster in the sky when... I decided to take the batteries out and clean the contacts inside the camera.
First I used a pencil eraser, then spent the next 10 minutes blowing and picking out the remnants. Then I used a Q-tip (cotton swab) dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Then I put the batteries back in.

That fixed it. It was dirty contacts all this time. I even put the old 'expired' batteries back in, and still works perfectly. So there u have it ladies and gents. Don't be a dirty dirty photo boy like me, keep your contacts clean!
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Old 09-27-2017   #20
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Deoxit is your friend. I use it on all contacts. The screw threads of the cap on some cameras are responsible for electrical conduction also, so don't forget to clean that.

I bought mine from B&H:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Lubricant.html
5 oz goes through all of my cameras, and the bulb flash units that I have been rebuilding. I have an embarrassing number of the latter, when you include extension units. Even then, I don't think I've even gone through 1 oz yet.
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Old 09-28-2017   #21
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Glad to hear the problem was solved so easily.
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Old 09-28-2017   #22
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I should try the very same trick on my Wetzlar M6...it might brings the meter backl to life...it seems to be stuck at iso 50 all the time :-(

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Old 09-28-2017   #23
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Years ago the people at Nikon Pro Service encouraged me to clean the contacts of new batteries before inserting them in the camera. I clean contacts with 600 grit crocus cloth. Most hardware or auto parts stores carry the cloth. It's similar to very fine sand paper at 600 grit. The adhesive in the cloth won't allow the cutting particles to leave the cloth easily like sand paper. I think the cloth is a cotton base.

I clean camera contacts with Alcohol on a cotton tip.
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...ner-vs-alcohol

My battery life was extended noticeably after following the NPS suggestion.

I've used Deoxit on electronics equipment. Especially switch contacts that get a cleaning movement when operated. Deoxit leaves a film on the contact surface. I prefer Alcohol for non moving contacts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol


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Old 09-28-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
. I decided to take the batteries out and clean the contacts inside the camera.
First I used a pencil eraser, then spent the next 10 minutes blowing and picking out the remnants. Then I used a Q-tip (cotton swab) dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Then I put the batteries back in.

That fixed it. It was dirty contacts all this time. I even put the old 'expired' batteries back in, and still works perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Deoxit is your friend. I use it on all contacts. The screw threads of the cap on some cameras are responsible for electrical conduction also, so don't forget to clean that.
Cleaning the contacts with an eraser will eventually scrub the gold plating away, resulting in worse oxidation/corrosion problems. Deoxit is a better idea. Also good to know about is ProGold, made especially for gold plated contacts. Easy to find online.
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Old 09-28-2017   #25
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Cleaning the contacts with an eraser will eventually scrub the gold plating away, resulting in worse oxidation/corrosion problems. Deoxit is a better idea. Also good to know about is ProGold, made especially for gold plated contacts. Easy to find online.
I can see that happening eventually, but one time is ok.
I think the problem with the M7 is that the position/angle of the battery chamber results in dirt possibly being able to accumulate over time as the -ve terminal is hidden from easy view. Most cameras have a very easily accessible battery chamber for cleaning.
But a Q-tip with isopropyl alcohol takes care of that in seconds, and will be something I do going forward when I change batteries in all my gear.
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Old 09-29-2017   #26
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Use deoxit and progold, save the emery cloth for battery leaks. Cr2 (not the 1/3) store the same in my flashlights, maybe yours had a weird parasitic drain- same with my cr123s(same chem)
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Old 09-29-2017   #27
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I think progold is now called DeoxIT Gold.
I've been using Deoxit Fader, as I often have contacts and switches that slide or make intermittent contact. It adds some lubrication as well as oxidation protection.
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Old 09-29-2017   #28
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Dumb question, people have mentioned that the contacts in the camera are gold plated. But they are silver in colour....
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Old 09-29-2017   #29
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Dumb question, people have mentioned that the contacts in the camera are gold plated. But they are silver in colour....
You've got one of the Russian fakes. No wonder the blinking light is such trouble.
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Old 09-29-2017   #30
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You've got one of the Russian fakes. No wonder the blinking light is such trouble.
Light no longer blinking after cleaning kontacts with vodka Komrad.
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Old 09-29-2017   #31
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Light no longer blinking after cleaning kontacts with vodka Komrad.
There should be plenty leftover for toasting the M7.
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Old 10-14-2017   #32
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You've got one of the Russian fakes. No wonder the blinking light is such trouble.
That must be the case komrad!

Butt seriously, no-one has a reply to this? I have checked every single camera that i have, new and old, film and digital, from all sorts of mfg. And none are gold in colour. So whom came up with this idea, that battery contacts are gold plated? I did a google search and gold ones do exist for specific purposes, but they are not in camera battery terminals and are gold in colour...
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