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Leica M4: Uneven frame spacing, occasionally wide frame spacing (overwinding)
Old 09-04-2016   #1
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Leica M4: Uneven frame spacing, occasionally wide frame spacing (overwinding)

My Leica M4 obviously has a film transport problem, when using IXMOO film canister or films with a very thin (polyester?) film base as for example Rollei Retro 400S, the space between frames can become very large, up to 1 cm. This wouldn`t bother me to much if I weren`t scanning all my films with a Nion Coolscan 4000ED and the scanner has problems when there are wide gaps between the frames.

The sprocket wheel appears to be firm, I can`t feel any slack but wonder why this problem only occasionally and only (mainly) with IXMOO film canister appears. The IXMOO fully opens inside the camera, there is less friction resistance as compared to a film canister with felt lips so I expect it has to do with the resistance of the film against the advancing force.

However, I wonder how the M Leica winding mechanism allows over winding of the film. Could it be the friction-based rewind clutch ?
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Old 09-04-2016   #2
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Same Leica same problem - just signing up for the responses. Thanks for starting the thread!

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Old 09-04-2016   #3
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is the wide spacing consistent width and in the same spot of the roll (as in the start or end of the roll).
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Old 09-05-2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noserider View Post
is the wide spacing consistent width and in the same spot of the roll (as in the start or end of the roll).
Unfortunately, not. Width varies and it mostly happens at the start of the roll (about first ten frames) but when using IXMOO it occasionally occurs also mid-roll and at the end of the roll. Even the amount of frames with wide spacing in between varies.
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Old 09-05-2016   #5
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wow. I could have written the same exact post, with an M6.
I sent it to DAG to fix the problem, but I'm not sure it did.
It happenned only with IXMOOs, which is puzzling.
I was using an M2 baseplate with the IXMOO, but I did find an M4-p plate that I use now. It seems to have limited the issue, but I'm waiting to see the last batch.
I don't even understand how something like that can happen...
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Old 09-05-2016   #6
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My M2 has too wide spacing sometimes but now that you wrote this I think it is indeed more with IXMOOS and the thin films I usually load in them (Retro80s or Ilford Surveillance P3)
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Old 09-05-2016   #7
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Ok .. here is my theory. Don't slap me if I'm wrong.
I think the M Leica "counts" sprockets with those transport gears next to the frame opening. It seems like the film slips over the teeth of this gear.
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Old 09-05-2016   #8
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In my case it always happens on one or two of the first 5 frames of the roll and only with IXMOOs. Could be the 2nd and 3rd frame or 2nd and 4th or just the 3rd etc. It's really very strange.

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Old 09-05-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bence8810 View Post
In my case it always happens on one or two of the first 5 frames of the roll and only with IXMOOs. Could be the 2nd and 3rd frame or 2nd and 4th or just the 3rd etc. It's really very strange.

Ben
makes sense actually.
And maybe it happens with cassettes that are too full, putting some pressure forward on the film (through the opening that in contrary of regular cassettes offers no resistance to this forward force)
There is more pressure at the beginning of the film...
and I think what could happen is that during the movement over the sprockets, there is a position where no tooth is protruding enough against the door (the two small thingies there) and the film pushes forward enough to skip a tooth.
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Old 09-05-2016   #10
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Exactly at this position is a metal spring mounted on the inside of the backdoor, pressing the film against the sprocket wheel in the top and bottom position. If this is true then a tired spring could cause the problem (allowing the film to slip over the sprockets if enough pushing force has build up) and slightly bending the spring towards the sprocket wheel might solve the problem.

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~ and the film pushes forward enough to skip a tooth.
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Old 09-05-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Exactly at this position is a metal spring mounted on the inside of the backdoor, pressing the film against the sprocket wheel in the top and bottom position. If this is true then a tired spring could cause the problem (allowing the film to slip over the sprockets if enough pushing force has build up) and slightly bending the spring towards the sprocket wheel might solve the problem.
Gabor,
On my M2, it's not a spring but two small rods pushing each against the film in the area of the sprocket wheel.
Maybe later models are different?
at any rate, I think this mechanism may fail if, instead of the sprocket pulling the film during the advance movement, we have the fim pushing on the sprockets. In the middle of the movement, when two adjacent sprockets are at their lowest, the film could slip forward.
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Old 09-05-2016   #12
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On my M4 its also two rods rather than a pressure plate.

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Old 09-05-2016   #13
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Just checked with my M4, two short rods and they are not flexible, so no spring effect. Perhaps the distance of the rods towards the sprockets wheel is to large so I very carefully bent them slightly away from the backplate, now pointing a little towards the sprockets. I have loaded an IXMOO/DELTA400 without any hiccup into the camera now and will check for frame spacing once the roll is finished.
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Old 09-05-2016   #14
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Yay Gabor! Thanks for checking!
I hope that is it. If this solves that problem I might like shooting my M2 more.
With the LS8000 scanner uneven frame spacing is really annoying too.
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Old 09-05-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Just checked with my M4, two short rods and they are not flexible, so no spring effect. Perhaps the distance of the rods towards the sprockets wheel is to large so I very carefully bent them slightly away from the backplate, now pointing a little towards the sprockets. I have loaded an IXMOO/DELTA400 without any hiccup into the camera now and will check for frame spacing once the roll is finished.
I thought of doing that but was concerned by the possibility of scratches
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Old 09-06-2016   #16
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My M3 is being serviced right now with extremely uneven frame spacing - from 1mm to 15mm (I was using regular film cartridges rollei retro 400s film)

The repair tech says the issue was 'part of the gearing mechanism had broken inside'
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Old 09-06-2016   #17
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I just checked with a piece of film.
I put the film in the sprockets and closed the door.
Then I wound the camera while pushing on the film in the canister chamber.
The film easily slides over the sprockets during the movement.
I'm pretty sure that's the problem.
It explains why it happens with IXMOOs and at the beginning of the roll.
My guess is that some cameras, that offer less resistance to the film pull, makes things worse.
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Old 09-06-2016   #18
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Leica winding mechanism count 8 sprockets, no adjustment possible. I had some minor spacing problems with one early M3 but it was due to used gears, your problems seem to be caused by something different.
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Old 09-06-2016   #19
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Thanks for the test!

I haven`t finished the roll as of yet after having slightly adjusted the height of the two rods and will also look for scratches on the film.

I never experienced a similar problem with either my former M4-2 or M4-P so I wonder what is the difference in the design to the M4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
I just checked with a piece of film.
I put the film in the sprockets and closed the door.
Then I wound the camera while pushing on the film in the canister chamber.
The film easily slides over the sprockets during the movement.
I'm pretty sure that's the problem.
It explains why it happens with IXMOOs and at the beginning of the roll.
My guess is that some cameras, that offer less resistance to the film pull, makes things worse.
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Old 09-06-2016   #20
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Very Sorry to hear Gabor, never had that Issue with my M4, or M4-2
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Old 09-06-2016   #21
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Very Sorry to hear Gabor, never had that Issue with my M4, or M4-2
Thank Helen!

I also never had that kind of problem before, having owned at least two M4 bodies before the actual one (and three M4-P and one M4-2). Hopefully I can somehow sort it out, not being able to properly use reloadable IXMOO canister or polyester base films is no option for me.
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Old 09-07-2016   #22
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Will the uneven spacing occur between frames that were shot in quick succession or say a few hours or a day in between them?
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Old 09-07-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
Will the uneven spacing occur between frames that were shot in quick succession or say a few hours or a day in between them?
Vincent, I don`t remember that exactly but it may be a factor also.
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Old 09-07-2016   #24
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In both older and newer cameras the take up spool or tulip or whatever, has a certain amount of slip to it. Could it be that this tension needs to be adjusted. That the take up spool is applying too much pull and is pulling the thin films out of the frictionless cassette and pulling the film over the sprocket? Joe
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Old 09-07-2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
In both older and newer cameras the take up spool or tulip or whatever, has a certain amount of slip to it. Could it be that this tension needs to be adjusted. That the take up spool is applying too much pull and is pulling the thin films out of the frictionless cassette and pulling the film over the sprocket? Joe
This is also a possibility. I don`t remember how the tension of the take up spool (tulip) is adjusted but will look into it.
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Old 09-07-2016   #26
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The tulip shouldn't be pulling, it's just for holding the film. The cogs that engage the holes do the work. If the tulip is pulling the film the camera isn't working right (cogs not engaging or moving). I'm guessing there's some extra film tension occuring with the canister. With thin films the extra tension might cause the film to slip on the cogs.

Doc, you might try running a roll where you press down on the back while advancing the film. The pressure might keep the film engaged on the cogs. I'd also check to make sure the two bars on the back aren't bent and allowing the film to move off the cogs.
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Old 09-07-2016   #27
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I beg to differ; the tulip does pull. It has a slip clutch that needs to be adjusted properly. The sprocket meters the same amount of film every time. The tulip must pull to wind up the film but also have some slip so that it does not pull too hard. At the beginning of a film the tulip will rotate a different amount than at the end of the film when the wound up film is a different diameter on the tulip hence the slip clutch. Joe
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Old 09-07-2016   #28
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Doing some google search I came along that photo (credit Peter Coeln, Leicashop) of an M3 prototype, where no bar pressing the film onto the sprocket wheel was present:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...ototyepe_4.jpg

How is the film guarded over the sprocket wheel in the screwmount Leica bodies?
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Old 09-07-2016   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
I beg to differ; the tulip does pull. It has a slip clutch that needs to be adjusted properly. The sprocket meters the same amount of film every time. The tulip must pull to wind up the film but also have some slip so that it does not pull too hard. At the beginning of a film the tulip will rotate a different amount than at the end of the film when the wound up film is a different diameter on the tulip hence the slip clutch. Joe
The tulip pulls the film as it is fed by the sprocket wheel, but doesn't pull the film from the canister.
Slippage is there to allow for different rotational speed as film adds on the spool.
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Old 09-07-2016   #30
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Gabor, I sent you a message via messenger. Hope it helps!
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Old 09-07-2016   #31
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Quote:
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Gabor, I sent you a message via messenger. Hope it helps!
Thank you, Vincent!
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Old 09-08-2016   #32
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I am quite sure that Tom A can put an interesting light on this problem. Ask him!

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Old 09-08-2016   #33
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Quote:
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I am quite sure that Tom A can put an interesting light on this problem. Ask him!

Erik.

I will do for sure, soon!
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Old 09-08-2016   #34
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i have just developed the test film to check if slightly bending the rods towards the sprocket wheel solves the problem of over winding or wide frame space. The result is that it did not improve anything. Space between frames to large over half of the roll at least.

Therefore I think that something else causes the problem.
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Old 09-08-2016   #35
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It's not normal.

Something is wrong with the mechanism that advances the film.

Suggest a repair is needed. And while they're at it a CLA.
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Old 09-08-2016   #36
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Is the polyester base more rigid/elastic ?
I still think that once an Ixmoo opens, the film acts as a spiral spring.
During the winding, in some cases the films slips.
Thin and rigid base makes things worse
Overloading the cassette makes things worse
As a test, I would load a short cassette, say 20 frames, even less, to see if that helps.

Or I would load different lengths of ruined film, manually open the cassette, put everything in the camera and wind slowly with the baseplate open.
Or even control the tension on the film at different levels with the rewind knob while doing it, see if that changes anything.
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Old 09-08-2016   #37
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I suspect that the IXMOO and then thin based films simply do not provide enough "tension" on the film - it "buckles" when it hits the sprocket wheel. Regular film cassettes have the felt trap that the film pulls through and it keeps the film under some tension - this combined with a slipping clutch could cause the problem.
I suspect that Shintaro can fix it in a jiffy!
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Old 09-08-2016   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
I beg to differ; the tulip does pull. It has a slip clutch that needs to be adjusted properly. The sprocket meters the same amount of film every time. The tulip must pull to wind up the film but also have some slip so that it does not pull too hard. At the beginning of a film the tulip will rotate a different amount than at the end of the film when the wound up film is a different diameter on the tulip hence the slip clutch. Joe
I hear ya Joe, here's my take. I had an M3 that came without a spool. I could load film in it and advance the film until it bunched up in the opening. When it bunched up, it came of the cogs. I see the tulip or spool helping to keep the film against the cogs, so I guess that it is pulling.
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Old 09-08-2016   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
I suspect that the IXMOO and then thin based films simply do not provide enough "tension" on the film - it "buckles" when it hits the sprocket wheel. Regular film cassettes have the felt trap that the film pulls through and it keeps the film under some tension - this combined with a slipping clutch could cause the problem.
I suspect that Shintaro can fix it in a jiffy!
Tom is traveling to Japan on this moment, so he cannot answer the question at length.

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Old 09-08-2016   #40
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So one thought ..
If one winds the film back as far as it goes when the release was not activated and then keeps the finger on the rewind thus not allowing the film to unwind again and the only slightly losen the pressure on the rewind while advancing should solve the problem temporarily then, right? (just giving the film some bit extra tension.)
Assuming the theory is that normal canisters provide a bit of extra pull tension that IXMOOs do not have


Btw. my daylight loader I use for IXMOOs is not able to count sprockets with thin films either.
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