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.

Winter light

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken on Fomapan 100 film and a B&W yellow filter.

Out & about with the M6

First roll with my new/old Leica M6 circa 1986 model.

Also new to me, I used Rodinal film developer for the first time processing these negatives. I’ve only ever used D76 or the equivalent ID11 developer.

For these pictures I solely used the Summicron 35mm ASPH lens and I shot two rolls of Fomapan Classic 100 film and rated it an ISO 800. The jury still out on the focusing tab, I’m 50-50 about using it and I mostly zone focused the lens on this photo walk. But by the end of the day I forgot the lens even had a tab and I have to admit with the smaller E39 size lenses the focusing tab used for precise focus does work well. Maybe I was a little too quick to dismiss it first time round and will get use to the tab in time. Glad I purchased the black chrome 1959 design of the Summilux which doesn’t have a tab unlike it’s modern sibling and really I think is totally unnecessary for a lens of that size.

‘Close up’
Tenterden High Street.

Do you think he forgot his reading glasses?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised how responsive the meter is on the M6 and it matched my Weston Euromaster lightmeter readings everytime. Despite the poor light, the LED’s in the viewfinder are clear, easy to use and very bright, if anything I found it easier than the Leica M-P (Typ 240) display, not bad for a 35 year old camera!

So this is Tenterden in Kent, England on cold, overcast December day, very soft light.


While walking along his gentlemen suddenly leaned in front of me talking on his mobile phone looking down the service road to the supermarket. Oh well, might as well take his picture now! Other side of the street, girl on the right was staring into space for ages, while the woman on her left, I think she was writing her memoirs.

Stop!

Gentleman in the middle of the image amused me, thought I was some sort of local litter enforcement, I was wearing flat cap, navy blue top, trousers, black body warmer along with my Domke F-5 bag and camera, hmm?! …think he might of dropped something he shouldn’t have.


Few pictures from the Sheerness, England.

I was amused by the local butcher was wearing a rubber turkey on his head for Christmas, taking a shot through the display window, relying the cameras meter for the exposure. On the right, a mother enjoying some phone time with her young son. I took the shot through the Cafe window, where we were having lunch at the time and guessed the exposure on this occasion by an extra stop.

Cyclist Dismount

Cyclists, you’ve got to love them!


All in all I’m very pleased with the results, what else did I expect with a Leica Meßsucher.

Well at £2400 British pounds or $3200 for just camera body you could say it’s an expensive tool or toy. Really with this camera other than different frame lines and a built in meter, is no different to my old Leica M4-2. While the Leica M3 was a lovely old camera with a fantastic built qualities, I personally found the viewfinder on the M3 much darker than my old M4-2 0.72x and the new M-P 0.68x viewfinders which both give a great view outside their frame lines too.

With prices of used Leica film cameras still climbing, I think I have made a good investment overall.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Eastern Patterns

Sheerness, England – February 2021

Morning after Storm Darcy, aka ‘The Beast from East 2’ a cold front eastern Europe and Russia. I’m going start a new club called the ‘Frozen Leica Society’ because oh boy was I so cold my hands started to hurt in the -7°c wind chill …We English are not use to this sort of thing you know!

Anyway I shot this picture purely because of the pattern of the snow fall along the seawall. Later on, further along the front in the distance you can see the waters edge looks very white and as it turned out the sea was starting to freeze.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800

Flood light

Yes I know, corny title.

Weeks after I have taken this picture this area is two or three worse still and the grass where we walk our dog, the water comes up around your boots as the ground is so saturated. Anyhow, what with the on going lockdown restrictions, photography is becoming a little harder to do at present especially street photography. So my attention has turned to a little local landscape photography.

Taken last month at Bartons Point Coastal Park, Isle of Sheppey, England. I took this shot not only for the sunlight reflecting in the water but because the different puddles across the fields leading to the horizon.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 400 film with a B&W yellow filter.

Night before

Bright sunny morning and I came across this bench with the empty bottle and can from the night before. There is something to be said for empty streets during this lockdown for photographers, it’s either easy to find shots like the one below or harder because you work to a image that is going to work for you.

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Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film pushed to an ISO of 800

Dad’s photographic life

I don’t often do still life photography and this picture has come from an album I found while sorting out my late fathers estate. In the 1950’s he was stationed with Royal Air force in Malta and during that time there he purchased a Voigtländer Vito B camera. It’s a wonderful album full of images he had taken with this camera of the island during the two years he was stationed there.

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I used my late father’s Leica M3 with a Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range lens. Shot on the dinning room table using just natural light from a near by window and taken with a timed exposure of f/8 at 1 second on Fomapan 100 Classic film.

Seafront Parking

Hope everyone keeping well out there.

While out with the dog before the current curfew, I heard children playing on the beach below the seawall. It was then I noticed the two scooters and a child’s bike resting against the railings.

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Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2 and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO using sunny sixteen rule at Minster seafront, Kent England.

Big & bold

These beauties are Newfoundland dogs and are often having a meet with their owners over at Mote Park, Maidstone England. This the second shot from the same roll of Fomapan 100 Classic film but pushed the ISO three stops. This image I haven’t done much other than removing a hair, the usual spots, slight sharpen and framed the picture. OK the Fox Hound in the background is a little burnt out but I think this is to be expected as I did meter for the black coats of the Newfoundlands. This may well be my go to film stock from now on.

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Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO, developed in stock Kodak D76 at 20ºc for 15 minutes.

Posts

Minster Leas, Isle of Sheppey, England.

After shooting my image ‘Only the Bones‘ you can see some old posts in the background which I think maybe part of an old pier or even for a floating pontoon as these old structures are some eight feet in height. Maybe the old barges where part of the pier, who knows?

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Taken using my Leica M4-2, with a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH on Fomapan 100 Classic film rated at 400 ISO and a B&W yellow filter.