A little technology

Repair is a profession...

It's also a passion

This page has only one purpose: to explain a repair procedure.

I decline all responsibility if you break your beautiful toys... That's it!

Replacement of curtains

Method for Leica M


Leica M cameras are always very expensive. If you decide to work on one of them, be sure of your actions.
Incorrect handling and/or settings can render your camera unusable.

You will be obliged to go to the repairer.

They don’t take kindly to appliances dismantled outside the workshop and may refuse to take charge of your appliance.

Think carefully before embarking on this adventure.

Apart from market value and/or reputation, a Leica is not a Zorki or a Zenith.


To make the most of changing the curtains on an appliance,
read the basic methodology of this delicate operation:

Basics of curtain changes

Leica M cameras have special features that set them apart from other brands.

First step…

Dismantling the casing :
The camera must be dismantled for this operation.
This requires special Leica tools.

Removing the top cover :

Shutter release cup, cocking lever, flash shoe, shutter speed button, counter
and bonnet fixing on M2, crank or rewind button
(several types on M3), flash sockets, and the small screw at the top of the bayonet.
top of the bayonet.
The back, the self-timer and frame selector levers,
the 4 front body screws, 1 at the bottom, the bottom protection.

If you’ve had the courage to get this far, we’ll continue…

To be comfortable with the various operations, you’ll need to dismantle :
The self-timer, the rangefinder drive (roller, arm, limiter, screws, etc)
the chamber, the slow speed block.
Ideally, the brake should also be removed for cleaning.

Have you got the courage to go this far? Then continue…

Second step…

Removing the curtains :
Once everything is dismantled, the curtains are removed.

First of all, you need to release the tension on the springs.
At the bottom are the two tensioners. Using a suitable flathead screwdriver
apply pressure and turn to release the springs.
If they resist, ‘don’t force them’! There are three solutions:
1/ A very small drop of oil can free the tensioner.
2/ If nothing works, it’s trickier, you have to unscrew the drum fixings slightly
but that’s another story…
3/ If all else fails, take your appliance to a specialist – it’s more sensible!

Next, use a felt-tip pen or, better still, trace out in the metal
the edges of the first curtain ribbons glued to the take-up drums.
Depending on the model, mark precisely the edge of the gluing of the second
on the large drum.

On the M2 and M4 models, this curtain is held in place by a screwed metal part, which makes reassembly easier.
You can remove the curtains by gently peeling them off.
Do the same for the ribbons.
Completely clean off any glue residue, it needs to be clean.


The most important thing is to position the second curtain and the
ribbons of the first curtain on the corresponding drums.
On the tensioner drums, all that is required is for the glue to be positioned parallel.

Step three…

The old curtains: If you’ve got this far, you’ll have noticed that one of the curtain rods has a baffle into which the other rod fits.
It’s very important that this baffle is not distorted the next time the curtains are handled.
This is where the ‘motorway teaspoon’ comes in…
This is placed in the baffle to maintain the gap and prevent it from being crushed or deformed.

Now is the time to remove the old curtains from the tie rods.
As you can see from the photos, we start by gently lifting the flaps above the ribbons using a cutter blade. Be careful, it’s brittle.
Then clamp the ties in the hollow of a metal ruler or other means
other means to hold them in place.
Using a flathead screwdriver, pull the tie rods apart to release the old curtains.
Once these have been removed, the distance between the tie rods must be adjusted to allow the new ones to be fitted without difficulty.
to allow the new curtains to be fitted without difficulty. (maximum 3mm).
Clean the inside of the tie rods thoroughly to ensure that no glue or pieces of curtain remain.

Fourth step…

The new curtains :
The old curtains are used to hang the measurements.
It is essential to cut the new curtains to exactly the same size.
(For the material, see Aki Asahi in Japan, it’s very good quality).
Pay close attention to the direction in which the ribbons are wound, so that the new
new curtains with the woven side towards the front of the appliance.

Be careful, the rest is still a delicate operation… Gluing.
Hold the ties in place with painter’s tape on a flat surface.
Prepare the positioning of the curtains facing the tie rods so that you can
fit the curtains into the spaces in the tie rods,
(test without glue).
Apply a thin line of glue to the edge of the curtain and insert the curtain
and insert the curtain as deeply as possible.
To do this, I use a Superglue gel glue that sets slowly for
60-second gel glue, which leaves a bit of latitude for positioning.
Positioned correctly, above all not crooked, you wait without moving while the
the time it takes to polymerise.
The crimping then needs to be redone as it was originally.
To do this, I shaped an ordinary pair of pliers so that one side has a point and the other a tip.
on one side, and a flat part on the other that allows you to grip the tie-rod
which contains the baffle.
The points of the original crimps are used progressively.

Fifth stage…


Basically, reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.

The basic curtain tension settings are covered here: curtains-tension

Basic curtain tension settings

Never forget to consult the repair instructions.

Method for Leica M