Titanium Shutter for Leica M
Old 11-25-2019   #1
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Titanium Shutter for Leica M

A pic of my M5 in progress, at cameraworks-uk.com. Titanium shutter curtains installed!

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Old 11-25-2019   #2
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Interesting! I wonder how much added strain is put on tensions and brake for this to work?
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Old 11-25-2019   #3
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Did a Nikon F or SP give its life for this? I recognize that pattern from somewhere, just can’t remember whose titanium shutter that material is from. Maybe it’s available in bulk somewhere.
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Old 11-25-2019   #4
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It was from a donor F2, that already had given up the ghost and was only good for parts. An SP is worth too much for this.

Interestingly, the toast F2 was far cheaper than buying new cloth curtains...

I don’t think the mechanism is strained further than when using cloth curtains.
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Old 11-25-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post

Interestingly, the toast F2 was far cheaper than buying new cloth curtains...
.
F2’s are seriously undervalued.
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Old 11-25-2019   #6
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and it being a trashed, non-working parts camera...

Any M needing curtains should consider this option as the titanium curtains were nearly free, although I’m only aware of the one service firm that currently offers this.
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Old 11-25-2019   #7
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How long is the waiting time?
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Old 11-25-2019   #8
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Yeah, funny that nobody else does this I guess - the Nikon F at least (and F2?) has the big main shutter drum like the Leicas do which I would guess means that the curtains are pretty much the right length.


Makes me wonder if people at Leica ever seriously considered putting Ti curtains in any of the film cameras. But perhaps because it's a camera that's sold OK despite not being mechanically improved since... 1954... they couldn't really bother...
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Old 11-25-2019   #9
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It is said that many SP users preferred the rubberized silk as it was quieter than the Titanium when NIKON switched in 1959. I like the sound of the cloth shutter in my SP. it’s serial number is within 500 of the first titanium shutter models. It’s a lot quieter than any of my Nikon F cameras with the mirrors locked up
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M5 Cameraworks
Old 11-26-2019   #10
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M5 Cameraworks

I thought they were not doing M5 or CL repairs? I was very disappointed when I saw that announcement on their web site. I have both and while both are working, they could do with a service
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Old 11-26-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
How long is the waiting time?
Pretty much all the techs that do specialized work have long lead times now...


Quote:
Originally Posted by ZivcoPhoto View Post
It is said that many SP users preferred the rubberized silk as it was quieter than the Titanium when NIKON switched in 1959. I like the sound of the cloth shutter in my SP. it’s serial number is within 500 of the first titanium shutter models. It’s a lot quieter than any of my Nikon F cameras with the mirrors locked up
I'm curious to hear the M5 shutter in action...

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I thought they were not doing M5 or CL repairs? I was very disappointed when I saw that announcement on their web site. I have both and while both are working, they could do with a service
Apparently mine got in under the wire...
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Old 11-26-2019   #12
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In the photo, what is the material at the top and bottom of both shutter drums? It reminds me of the Contax shutter ribbon, although obviously horizontal instead of vertical.
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Old 11-26-2019   #13
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Old 11-26-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZivcoPhoto View Post
It is said that many SP users preferred the rubberized silk as it was quieter than the Titanium when NIKON switched in 1959. I like the sound of the cloth shutter in my SP. it’s serial number is within 500 of the first titanium shutter models. It’s a lot quieter than any of my Nikon F cameras with the mirrors locked up
Aperture actuator probably making a fair bit of noise even with MLU...
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Old 11-26-2019   #15
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A year or two ago wasn't there a member here who posted about putting titanium curtains in a IIIc? I think he did it himself, a level of skill beyond me. Actually I'd like the whole Nikon F shutter in a Leica M6, my impression from years of use is that the Nikon F shutter is more robust and needs less service than the Leica shutter. Joe
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Old 11-26-2019   #16
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The Nikon FM also has a titanium shutter, IIRC.
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Old 11-26-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.liam View Post
The Nikon FM also has a titanium shutter, IIRC.

It travels vertically, though; probably not able to use it on a Leica.
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Old 11-26-2019   #18
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Congratualtions! Bringing the Leica up to the Contax standard.
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Old 11-26-2019   #19
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The contax shutter is an aluminum alloy, right? As opposed to titanium...maybe this brings the M5 up to F2 standard.
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Old 11-26-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
...maybe this brings the M5 up to F2 standard.

The F2s ugly stepsister, perhaps.
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Old 11-26-2019   #21
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What would we do without haters?
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Old 11-26-2019   #22
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All my film Rf Leicas are much quieter than my other rf cameras, including Nikon S2, so I’m not sure why someone would want to do this?
I’d only upgrade my shutter if it was an actual upgrade that expanded the performance envelope such as a higher top speed. Otherwise my Leicas are smooth, quiet and take lovely pics. And replacement curtains are easily available with no hacks required.
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Old 11-26-2019   #23
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I'm sure it will be quite smooth and quiet, there is no reason to think it would be otherwise. I'll be happy to post a sound comparison with a cloth shutter...

A Ti curtain is in no way a hack, it's just a replacement with better material that has no risk of deterioration or accidental hole burning...and it cost no more than new cloth curtains would have, so why not, when it's being serviced anyway?
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Old 11-26-2019   #24
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i think you can still burn a hole in a ti shutter.
But I am being a wet blanket here. It is very cool that your M5 (best 35mm film camera ever made) is getting an overhaul like this.
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Old 11-26-2019   #25
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Quote:
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It is very cool that your M5 (best 35mm film camera ever made) is getting an overhaul like this.
Happy Hour started early out in California?
M5 is a nice camera, and I like mine, but I am not sure anyone has ever previously called it the best 35mm film camera ever made.
Maybe some pages missing from my manual. Something.
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Old 11-26-2019   #26
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Quote:
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I'm sure it will be quite smooth and quiet, there is no reason to think it would be otherwise. I'll be happy to post a sound comparison with a cloth shutter...
I have titanium shutter blinds in my M2 (cameraworks-uk, too) and I can tell M2 from my M6 by the sound.

But, I could tell them apart even before M2 got titanium blinds. I was a little (just a tiny bit) concerned about the noise before the "upgrade". Doesn't sound any louder to me (a bit different maybe). Maybe I'm just not that sensitive. If you also shoot cameras with leaf shutters any Leica M will be VERY loud anyway...
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Old 11-26-2019   #27
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Happy Hour started early out in California?
M5 is a nice camera, and I like mine, but I am not sure anyone has ever previously called it the best 35mm film camera ever made.
Maybe some pages missing from my manual. Something.
Larry I’m up in Auburn in NorCal at the moment. It’s cold so it’s been happy hour for a while now.
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Old 11-26-2019   #28
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I once briefly owned an M5, but I sold it quickly to avoid getting the Leica Bug. That bug eventually got me, but earlier on, I was Leica-free. There was no Huss-effect, so I sold the M5.
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Old 11-26-2019   #29
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Quote:
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I have titanium shutter blinds in my M2 (cameraworks-uk, too) and I can tell M2 from my M6 by the sound.

But, I could tell them apart even before M2 got titanium blinds. I was a little (just a tiny bit) concerned about the noise before the "upgrade". Doesn't sound any louder to me (a bit different maybe). Maybe I'm just not that sensitive. If you also shoot cameras with leaf shutters any Leica M will be VERY loud anyway...
Yes, I'm assuming 'different' but not necessarily 'louder.'
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Old 11-26-2019   #30
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Very cool mod, Robert! I don’t think you’ll notice much difference in sound compared with silk curtains either. I’ve never heard of anyone burning a hole in titanium curtains so you can toss those lens caps aside forever. Kiitos in Japan has a stash of new old stock Nikon F3 curtains that they use to repair shutters in Nikon RFs and the early SLRs. Don’t think they sell parts only though.

The Nikon S2 is noisy because of its shutter brake design, which was improved (made quieter) in the SP and later Nikon RFs. The curtains aren’t really a factor.
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Old 11-26-2019   #31
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My Nikon F(F2?) titanium shutter equipped Nikon S2 is quite noisy and I think the whole shutter mechanism was swapped, not just the drums with the curtains.



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Very cool mod, Robert! I don’t think you’ll notice much difference in sound compared with silk curtains either. I’ve never heard of anyone burning a hole in titanium curtains so you can toss those lens caps aside forever. Kiitos in Japan has a stash of new old stock Nikon F3 curtains that they use to repair shutters in Nikon RFs and the early SLRs. Don’t think they sell parts only though.

The Nikon S2 is noisy because of its shutter brake design, which was improved (made quieter) in the SP and later Nikon RFs. The curtains aren’t really a factor.
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Old 11-26-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post


The contax shutter is an aluminum alloy, right? As opposed to titanium...maybe this brings the M5 up to F2 standard.
In terms of inertial properties and specific stiffness, not much difference. Depending on the grade of titanium, it may be a stronger, but not sure that is much of an issue with shutters. Still a valid point.
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Old 11-26-2019   #33
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Quote:
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My Nikon F(F2?) titanium shutter equipped Nikon S2 is quite noisy and I think the whole shutter mechanism was swapped, not just the drums with the curtains.
That's interesting, Gabor. I've never heard of someone installing the whole shutter mechanism from an F/F2 into an S2 before. Since F/F2 bodies are a few cm wider than Nikon RF bodies, I didn't think it was possible. The standard procedure (well, the only one I've heard of at least) for installing titanium curtains is to remove the donor curtains from the drums in an F/F2 (carefully so you don't mangle them) and then shorten them to the required length (RF curtains are shorter) and glue them to the existing drums in the camera that will receive the curtains. Did Shintaro do the transplant? Seems like an unlikely transplant to me, but you never know with him lol.
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Old 11-26-2019   #34
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I’m wondering why when Nikon reintroduced the S3 2000 and SP 2005 they chose the rubberized silk curtains.
Money was no object for those cameras as Nikon built new tooling and made improvements on the original S3 and SP.
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Old 11-26-2019   #35
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Quote:
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I’m wondering why when Nikon reintroduced the S3 2000 and SP 2005 they chose the rubberized silk curtains.
Money was no object for those cameras as Nikon built new tooling and made improvements on the original S3 and SP.
Probably because the goal was to make reissues that were as faithful as possible to the originals.

Original production S3s and S4s have silk curtains, not titanium. The S3 “Olympic“ does have titanium curtains, but it was made some years after original production had stopped so is really the first S3 “reissue”. The S3 Olympic also shares a lot of other F parts (the F was in production at the time) besides the titanium curtains.

The original SP also has silk curtains up to about s/n 6214000 after which the curtains were changed to titanium. The change coincides with the start of F production.

Interestingly, the first hundred or so Nikon Fs also have silk curtains. Those are one of the holy grails for Nikon collectors now.
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Old 11-26-2019   #36
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That was what I remember being told. Maybe he just swapped curtains? He did this with the SP, too.

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That's interesting, Gabor. I've never heard of someone installing the whole shutter mechanism from an F/F2 into an S2 before. Since F/F2 bodies are a few cm wider than Nikon RF bodies, I didn't think it was possible. The standard procedure (well, the only one I've heard of at least) for installing titanium curtains is to remove the donor curtains from the drums in an F/F2 (carefully so you don't mangle them) and then shorten them to the required length (RF curtains are shorter) and glue them to the existing drums in the camera that will receive the curtains. Did Shintaro do the transplant? Seems like an unlikely transplant to me, but you never know with him lol.
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Old 11-27-2019   #37
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That was what I remember being told. Maybe he just swapped curtains? He did this with the SP, too.
I’m pretty sure the SP got donor curtains rather than an entire shutter mechanism. Your S2 would be the same, I expect.
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Old 11-27-2019   #38
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Having used a titanium-curtain SP and a cloth-curtained one (splitimageview's old one), my recollection wasn't a louder sound but a different sound. Titanium-curtained sounded more thwacky/thwocky than thwicky. (Never thought I'd type such words, or admit publicly that I noticed)
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Old 11-27-2019   #39
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Probably because the goal was to make reissues that were as faithful as possible to the originals.

Original production S3s and S4s have silk curtains, not titanium. The S3 “Olympic“ does have titanium curtains, but it was made some years after original production had stopped so is really the first S3 “reissue”. The S3 Olympic also shares a lot of other F parts (the F was in production at the time) besides the titanium curtains.

The original SP also has silk curtains up to about s/n 6214000 after which the curtains were changed to titanium. The change coincides with the start of F production.

Interestingly, the first hundred or so Nikon Fs also have silk curtains. Those are one of the holy grails for Nikon collectors now.
Doubt it as Nikon improved on the design and construction in many areas on those re-releases when it would have been easier to make them the same.
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Old 11-27-2019   #40
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Having used a titanium-curtain SP and a cloth-curtained one (splitimageview's old one), my recollection wasn't a louder sound but a different sound. Titanium-curtained sounded more thwacky/thwocky than thwicky. (Never thought I'd type such words, or admit publicly that I noticed)
Fantastic descriptions and I can totally auralize the difference!
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