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.

Onward

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

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

All to Much

This little chap was inside the Chequers shopping Maidstone, England. Dead to the world around him, think Christmas shopping had become all to much for him. After I’d taken the first shots his old brother told his mother, who I later reassured that I’m just an amateur street photographer and give her this website address. Halfway through our conversion, we noticed in his hands floating in his sleep. It almost looks like he’s playing a piano in his dreams. So glad I got this shot and hopefully his mother will be pleased with this picture of her little son.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) Summicron 35mm ASPH.

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.

Space Suit

Warning!

Never go into a Leica store! …your wallet will feel lighter afterwards.

Not a good idea really, so partly on a whim I went in not having real idea what I was looking or thinking of buying anything. I find myself looking at the Leica MP (Typ-240), a MA (Typ-127), M6 and M4’s, then part exchanged my Leica M3 with the 50mm Summicron DR lens. I came out with a used very good example M6 and a very cheap, bargain price Summicron 35mm ASPH 6 bit lens. I say cheap because the although in excellent condition, this lens had no original box, caps, case, lens hood or Leica papers and was cheaper than my original 35 Summicron from three years ago. Amazes me how someone can lose these items for a Leica Summicron lens …sacrilege!

I know I said I was going shoot only with a 50mm focal length but I soon regretted not having a 35mm to hand in the camera bag. This thought has come to me a few times while being out with the camera of late and I find myself looking around on the web at lenses. Still, I think 70 – 80% of my work will be with a 50mm lens.

Minster on Sea, England. 2021

This lovely lady had stopped to talk to my wife. While the women were gassing the sun made a rare appearance this particular morning lighting up her shining puffer coat and her face. With the incoming stormy weather coming in from behind I couldn’t not take the image.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) Summicron-M 35mm ASPH.

I’m taking the M6 with the 35 Summicron out for shoot this Thursday, so as they say ‘watch this space’

Gymnastic decorating

Gymnastic decorating

While visiting Headcorn village yesterday, on the drive in my wife pointed out this young lady painting the front of this old grade two listed building. I believe it was an old Inn but now houses a couple of small businesses, one of which I think is a ladies hair salon. I managed to get an informal portrait of her on what was a very hot day for us all in the south of England. To be honest I’m surprised the paint wasn’t drying out before she could apply it with the brush!

‘Painting by numbers’ – Headcorn, England.

Both images taken with Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2.

September 2021.



The Spider

Funny how you take a shot and don’t notice a small element of the image until post processing. I was taking pictures of the grasses lit up by the morning sunlight using my new M-P and having shot a number of images I returned home.

click to enlarge image.


Even while finishing the image I still hadn’t noticed the spider until as always I view my finished pictures large on my 30 inch computer screen. Although the spider is very small, the detail of the web when seen large is just amazing to me and completes the picture in a subtle way. Think this image is going to used a large wall print for our new home.

For those of you struggling to see the creature and think Martin has lost his marbles, below in a close up of the image above.

Taken with my Leica M-P and Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH