Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/30

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Subject: [Leica] Film not flat in my M6HM?
From: Dan Cardish <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 07:02:36 -0400

I just got back some disasterous slides taken with my new M6HM.  Most of
the photographs were fine, but at several points on the roll of film I
wasted a few frames to check the sharpness of my lenses, specifically my
75/1.4.  These were just some shots taken from my balconey, at 1.4.  The
resulting photos were terrible, way out of focus.  In one image, what
should have been in focus was a transmission tower, perhaps a mile away.
Instead, some nearby tree branches were in focus.  This happened repeatedly
over about 6 consecutive images.

I tried comparing focus with my old M6 (whose focus I trust), by measuring
off 8 feet from a mark on a wall, and mounting each of the two cameras on a
tripod.  I focused as carefully as I could with one camera, and then
without changing the focus, removed the lens, and replaced the camera on
the tripod with the other one.  I then remounted the lens.  Surprisingly
(actually, I would hope not!), the focus for all of the lenses that I tried
were bang on with both cameras.  There didn't appear to be any variance
visible in the viewfinders at all.  So I am pretty sure that if there is
any focus error in my new camera, it will be very slight.

Now, one slide shows something that may explain it.  Parts of the
foreground and background appear in focus, while the middle ground is
completey fuzzy.  I assume this can only be caused by the film not being
held flat (I will scan the slide, though I'm not sure if web page viewing
will show up the problem).  I'm not sure if this is good news.  Has anyone
else had this kind of problem?  I find that I don't trust the camera now.
How can I know if the film is being transported correctly or not?

I ran off another test roll (shooting a variety of subjects with various
lenses, all wide open), and hopefully will develop it some time today. 

Dan C.