Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/10/09

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Subject: [Leica] M3 rangefinder vertical alignment
From: Dave Zapotosky <>
Date: Fri, 09 Oct 1998 18:28:48 -0400

I posed this question about a week ago and got no response so I'm trying
one more time:

> 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 about five or six feet away.  At closer distances 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 
> now I 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 . I 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
> problem?
>                              Thanks in advance for any help,
>                              Dave Zapotosky