Light leaks

Normally I wouldn’t have bothered posting about another Leica rangefinder with another light leak (Previous Leica M4-2 light leak – Wetlands) but this turns out to a different problem.

After the first couple of films the M6 started to develop a problem which a first I thought might of been a light leak through the top of the door flap on the back of the camera body remembering the image is always upside down in a film camera. After which I tried to find the problem by exposing the camera to various light sources to see if I could narrow down where the light was getting in. This did not work, after developing a 12 exposure strip the film was clean, everytime!

I puzzled about this because none of the negatives had fogging across the sprocket holes only in the middle of the exposed negative. As you can see the very bottom of the negative is perfectly exposed. Not only that, on a roll of 36 exposures there would only be a few frames with these marks.

After some research online I’m pretty certain it is the shutter failing. I found on the Rangefinder forum an old thread about an M6 with the same problem. They found that some faster speeds, the shutter curtain was coming adrift causing the same fogging marks as mine has. The rubberised shutter curtain is not shutting at the top of the frame at same time as the bottom of the curtain at faster speeds thus allowing extra light across the exposure. It doesn’t effect every image as you can see with the previous pictures Winter Light and Onward, as I found the camera was fine to use at no more than 1/125th and below. Say this though, it would only be a matter of time before the shutter curtain failed completely.

Luckily for me this camera come six months warranty. So reluctantly, I carefully packed it plus added copies of the offending negatives and the camera is now on it’s way to have a repair and be serviced.

In hindsight knowing this camera body dates from 1986 from the serial number and is near pristine condition, so I do wonder how long it had been stored away in some cupboard only to suddenly find itself being used most days. You could say this idiot broke it by using the camera and expecting too much from it. Now, I just hope it not to long away at the repairers.

So if you see anyone online saying their Leica has these strange fogging marks across their negatives, point them in the direction of this post.


Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken on Fomapan 100 film.

Onward

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken Ilford HP5 plus and a B&W yellow filter.

Market

More expired Fujicolor 200 film, this time Faversham market, England.

I was looking for colours this particular day. I took the shot because of the Baby Walker which I’d not seen on of these wooden and metal walkers for years, think they are all plastic these days and this example was in very good condition for it’s age. Just didn’t notice the statue in the background when I shot this composition.

ESSO Mascot

Some of the other wares laid out across the medieval street stones.

Fuel cans

Final frame in Faversham that morning before heading off to Whitstable harbour previous post ‘Harbour

Two Sacks

Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range.

Shot on expired Fuji Color 200 film.

Harbour

Whitstable harbour, England. September 2021

Don’t think the colours are too far out considering this film expired in 2004. These picture I shot the same day as the image of the ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man

Simon Isaacs

I’m please to see Fuji film have announced the release a new Fujicolor 200 last month. Some have reported it maybe a rebranded Kodak Gold, as the curves diagram in its datasheet for this film emulsion look very familiar to Kodak Gold 200. Either way nice to see Fuji continuing with a budget film stock in their product line.


Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range.

Shot on expired Fuji Color 200 film.

Hurdy Gurdy Man

Whitstable, England. September 2021

Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range.

Shot on expired Fuji Color 200 film.

First shots

It’s been a few days and I am struggling a little to get the settings right with my new Leica M-P. Keep forgetting to press ‘set’ on the back of the camera and finding the images are not black and white, forgetting I can change the ISO mid shoot or I’ve not used the manual setting for my Summicron 35mm or my 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lenses nether of which is a non 6 bit coded lenses.

Early days I suppose, other than my user errors I cannot fault the camera.

This one of the first pictures I shot Dahlia in our new garden. Taken using the Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 hand held, with Weston Euromaster lightmeter. I then find out having read in the instruction manual that this camera actually has a spot meter. Think I’ll still carry my Weston lightmeter regardless. You know how it is, your dying to use your new camera when really you should sit down and read the camera instruction manual first. Still all was not lost, my wife likes the image enough it’s now used as a wallpaper on our desktop PC.

When I can get the hang of this thing, it is really something! Think it’s going to make street photography easier, both to shot and post process. Above taken at Minster Leas, England using the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.

One decision I have made is to solely shoot JPG files. As I’ve said before, I don’t alter images very much nor use digital manipulation so I cannot see any reason to use RAW files. Most of my work is going to be black and white anyway and reading reviews it’s suggested that JPG files a better for monochrome pictures particularly for street images.

Image taken at Minster Leas, England. July 2021 with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH


Leica M3

Just after we moved into our new house my wife was given some flowers, pink and white lily’s to be exact. Having a moment to spare I used the M3 plus the Summicron duel range 50mm and this was the result of my efforts. Not bad considering the Fuji Color 200 was from my late father’s refrigerated film stock and was dated 03/2002.

Natural light and exposure taken with my Weston Euromaster lightmeter. Film development was done by AG Photographic lab.

I suppose I’d better think about changing my blogs name now seeing as I’m using digital as well as film.

Changes

Things change, everything in our lives seems to have changed one way or another. Photography, particular street photography for me has changed in the last 16 months, a laugh, smiles or talking are hidden by masks and so my photographic life has put on the back burner these last seven months. The first three months of this year both my wife and I had a self imposed isolation at home, neither of us being the most healthiest of people. My wife Helen is a larger lady with related problems. Myself, I’ve had pneumonia twice before, an ex-smoker and was recommended by our Doctor if possible, that we both kept away from others. Other than going out with the dog for a walk, I find myself no longer carrying my camera because everyone is wearing masks, no one is either getting close or even socialising for the fear of the virus and restrictions on any unnecessary travel, my photography shutdown.

I’ve also had to change since moving into our new home. Developing films in the new house isn’t very easy as it was in the old property. The bathroom, (also known as the washroom in the colonies) in the new house is in fact just a shower room with a very small hand basin, not even big enough to get a Patterson developing tank in and so it’s the kitchen then. While my wife is pretty easy going with most matters there’s a line been drawn …I can, but only on a Saturday morning while she’s out doing her volunteering job. There’s no room in the new home although bigger house, for a dedicated developing room. Also with work commitments and continuing work for yours truly to do around the house, I’m finding very difficult to allocate time for film developing but hopefully as this latest lockdown ends I’ll be able to start getting out shooting.

Having time think while driving the truck at work has given to the idea that maybe I should think about using a digital camera, no developing, just upload to the computer …but then I would dismissed the idea a number of times before, cost, new system, not understand what all the buttons, knobs do, file systems and sizes, finding my mind going in circles back to where I started to the original answer, I don’t need one.

I’m not a technophobe, I am just don’t like a lot of unnecessary controls and features that I’ll never use or just confuse the hell out of my simple brain! For me a camera needs just three things, an aperture dial, manual focus and shutter speed dial and this why I couldn’t get on with digital cameras in the past. I’m not interested in noise, histograms or any of this digital manipulation, a bit of dodge and burn, cloning out any spots and adding a frame, then yes.

Then I was reading Thorsten von Overgaard blog about using a Leica digital rangefinders which I know these cameras are very good but getting one of Leica bodies are somewhat expensive. In the back of my mind is also the worry of the electronics with second hand cameras around the £3000 to £4000 mark which could become an expensive problem. Further on, his website has a link to Thorsten’s Youtube videos, one is about buying and using Leica M9, M240 and the new wallet busting Leica M10 in which he mentions the price of second hand cameras. He also goes on to explain about the simplicity of the camera menus which from what I can understand seem no worse than my Samsung phone.

So we come to today, after a lot of research, I decided on a Leica M (Typ-240) body which now retail for around £2500 for in good condition. This went slightly awry when I discovered the Leica shop Mayfair in London. It have never occurred to me that they sell second hand Leica cameras, let alone ex-demo cameras. Having a little money from my late fathers estate I made a telephone call, card in hand. I’m now the owner of a ex-demonstration Leica M-P (Typ-240) complete with it’s box, papers and associated accessories, plus 12 months warranty as it’s classed as a new camera still. Don’t ask how much!

I’ll be selling my M4-2 body to off set the dent in my bank account a little but will continue to use from time to time my Leica M3 with it’s Summicron 50mm duel range lens.

Just hope this new acquisition works out for me …wish me luck.


All images taken with my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

The M3 image was taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodak Tri-X film.


Thorsten Von Overgaard website link below

https://www.overgaard.dk/thorsten-overgaard-photography-lounge.html


Among the birds

Arromanches, France – August 2020.

These people had been out sea fishing and were just returning their boats ashore. Apart from the reflections I was taken by the amount of Herring Gulls swimming around them hoping for any scraps. The image is cropped from the original as I only had the 35mm Summicron to hand that day.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800

Tails wagging

Honfleur, France – August 2020.

One of those days that was really far too hot to have dogs outside really as the temperature was up in the 90’s. Anyway this fellow had spotted my dog and along with the girl at the back of the group peering over at him made for a interesting street scene at one of the many Cafés in Honfleur.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

Retirement

Taken on another very warm day in Arromanches-les-Bains, France, 2020

Moments after I took the shot our dog Charlie barge in to make a fuss and luckily for me they where very accommodating to him but didn’t notice me taking pictures.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800