Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/10/02

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Subject: [Leica] Leica M3 rangefinder vertical alignment
From: Dave Zapotosky <>
Date: Fri, 02 Oct 1998 14:29:27 -0400

I have an M3 DS, 1955 vintage, that seems to have a peculiar problem
with the vertical alignment of the rangefinder.  It seems to be properly
aligned when focused on subjects more than five feet away.  At distances
of five feet or closer, the alignment is off.

I acquired the camera last spring.  It had been used very little over
the years and was in nearly mint condition except the rangefinder was
clouded/dirty.  The secondary image was very faint and I don't know how
good the vertical alignment was to start.  I sent it to DAG for
overhaul.  It came back with the rangefinder/viewfinder images crisp and
clear except for the  alignment problem.  

Don Goldberg explained that the rangefinder adjustment is made at
infinity and that there is only one vertical adjustment, not separate
adjustments for close and far.  I sent it back so he could adjust it to
a compromise point, with perfect alignment at 10 feet.  This would
improve the close distance alignment but at farther distances the
vertical alignment would be  slightly off.  

When I got it back the infinity focus seemed to have changed, so that I
now had to back the lens (a 50mm f2 collapsible Summicron) slightly off
the infinity mark to achieve proper horizontal alignment of images at
infinity.  Again I called Don who assured me one adjustment has nothing
to do with the other, so back it went to be rechecked.

I finally got it back yesterday and now the infininity focus is right
on, but my vertical alignment is again off at close distances. Don is
very puzzled and is willing to look at it again, saying perhaps
something in  the rangefinder optics is loose or something.  My initial
reaction was to send it back but I'm wondering if I should just leave
well enough alone as the shipping charges add up and each time it's gone
for six weeks. I also fear that if the vertical adjustment gets changed
my infinity focus will again be adversely affected.

Anybody have any similar experiences or knowledge concerning the

                             Thanks in advance for any help,

                             Dave Zapotosky