Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/03/03

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Subject: Re: M4-P shutter problem / advice needed
Date: Sun, 03 Mar 1996 20:28:28 -0400 (EDT)
Date-Warning: Date header was inserted by SUNBELT.NET

Hi, Antony:  I use my Leicas in every kind of weather with no problems.  I
spent a month last summer staying with the Moskito Indians in Honduras.
Everything I had with me stayed wet all the time.  My automatic cameras were
totally useless. My Leica M3-DS jammed and the rewind lever broke off, but I
don't think this was weather related.  My M4-P and M6 never failed.  The
smartest thing I ever did was seal all of my film in Tupperware containers
before I left!  No other cameras could take the abuse my Leicas do and keep
working.  Hope you figure out the problem.  Tina

At 05:26 PM 3/3/96 +0000, you wrote:
>I was shooting with one of my M4-P's yesterday in fairly humid, rainy
weather when my 
>shutter failed to close. I was using 1/15th of a sec shutter speed. I could 
>only reset the camera by setting the shutter speed to Bulb.
>On further investigation after removing the film I found that all speeds from 
>1sec to 1/30th sec had the same problem while faster speeds were OK.
>Later in the day when I was back indoors (less humid) I again tested the
camera and found 
>no problem. The camera had had time to acclimatise to the indoor conditions.
>A few years ago in cold and wet weather when shooting in New Mexico I had a 
>similar problem with another M4-P. I had the camera serviced and it's been 
>fine ever since.
>What I'd like to know is :
>Have any other M4-P (or any M series) users had a similar problem ?
>What could be the cause of this ? Is humidity a possibility - how can this be 
>overcome ?
>What are the practical weather extremes of using Leica rangefinder cameras
and how do 
>these compare to other manual and electronic cameras ?
>Am I overreacting when I feel that my expensive, well maintained equipment
is not up to 
>(moderately) extreme conditions (unlike my Nikon F2 or F4 which have
performed under similar conditions 
>without a single problem.) Or have I just had a bad run of luck ?
>I guess the 'decisive moment' turning so quickly into one of disappointment 
>causes me to question the ruggedness of these cameras which I choose to use
>the majority of  my photography and would hate to set aside because I lose
faith in them.
>Antony Soicher
>Johannesburg, South Africa