Operations carried out

Cameras and lenses


Leica M2 - 1962

The Leica-tastrophe

Cellar humidity? Partial flooding? Forgotten in a bag?

Initially, this Leica arrived in the “operating room” for a blocked shutter release.

The bottom plate did show some traces of rust on the screws, but often, this is nothing to worry about.

The condition of the visible curtain suggested a compulsory renewal.

The dismantling revealed a lamentable state!!!

Stroke of luck

The rangefinder is the most sensitive, delicate, fragile point.

Luckily it was still clear and contrasting with some very minimal rust spots.

The roller arm and the fixing screws were barely marked, only the top of the darkroom was really damaged.

Before any dismantling, you must unseize all the parts, allow them to act properly and then carefully dismantle each necessary part.

The penetrating oil and impurities were removed in a first ultrasonic bath of isopropyl alcohol.

Then a second bath in new alcohol to completely clean the mechanisms.

Overall, a Leica M is made from metals that are not very susceptible to rust.

Those which are, when attacked, tend to spread this rust on the surface to the rest of the mechanisms.

Conversely, oxidation is more frequent.

The original flocking of the darkroom, weakened by humidity, was stripped in order to make a new, more resistant matte black paint.

A very sensitive part is the curtain brake which is often oxidized and no longer brakes correctly. This results in incorrectly positioned curtains at the end of the shutter and increased noise.

The darkroom was stripped of the original flocking weakened by humidity and was repainted matte black.

Both curtain supports were cleaned before renewing.

The self-timer and other parts have been processed.

The essential anti-fog on the top of the lens mount is often damaged and has been replaced.

Arming and trigger functional again

Changing the curtains

A page is entirely devoted to this subject on this site.

Leica M curtains

The first thing to do when removing old curtains is to completely release tension.

Then, VERY IMPORTANT, mark the gluing marks for the ribbons of the first curtain. This allows you to subsequently find the original positioning.

Keep in mind that it is on the large drum that the gluing of the ribbons of the first curtain and the second curtain must be very precise. The bonding on the two tension drums is less important, because they only ensure tension, with the exception of the perfect vertical parallelism of the ribbons of the second curtain and the first curtain.

First functional curtain (basic tension)

Functional second curtain (basic tension)

Curtain adjustment progress

A page is devoted to this subject on this site.

Curtain tension

The “base” voltage allows the shutter to operate at minimum.

It rarely makes it possible to obtain curtain scrolling times (in milliseconds) which are acceptable so that the exposure speeds are just right, it is a “starting point” for making the final adjustments.

Using a Shutter Tester which is necessarily equipped with three measuring diodes, you can measure the settings exactly and refine them.

It should be kept in mind that:

1/ It is the similarity of the scrolling times of each curtain which determines the exposure speeds.

2/ The speeds engraved on the camera button are “standardized” and never correspond to the real speeds of a mechanical shutter.

3/ The photos allow you to compare the evolution of the settings, in order to obtain the best between the scrolling times of each curtain and the shutter speeds.

4/ Depending on the standard speed selected, the scrolling times of the curtains change, this is the impact of the mechanical shutters, especially if they are old and have suffered, which is the case with this device.

5/ Likewise for shutter speeds, when making adjustments, compromises must be made. However, these differences generally remain within the manufacturer’s tolerance and have no visible influence on the negatives.

Slow speeds

The slow speed block must be cleaned with a bath of isopropyl alcohol, dried well and lubrication must only be done on the axle bearings, never on the gears.

The adjustment is made by the eccentric screw on the top and must be done to obtain 1/8.

The slow speed mechanism, particularly for the second, allows you to see if the second curtain is correctly positioned. In fact, when the speed of one second is triggered, the mechanism gradually releases the second curtain until it is released and closed. During this time the curtain moves slowly to the edge of the exposure window. If this curtain is incorrectly positioned, the edge of the curtain extends beyond the edge of the window and can create a vertical area of ​​underexposure.

Partial reassembly

Fully functional final reassembly

LEICA the legendary brand

I decline all responsibility if you damage your toys!!! There are also professionals to do this work!

The team is preparing new information for you

Back to surgery