Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/02

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Subject: RE: [Leica] sm question
From: "Greg.Chappell" <>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 17:39:51 -0500

When you set the dial to "T" the only way to get the shutter to close is to
SLOWLY move the setting off "T" towards the 1 second setting. As you move it
the shutter will close. It's a very hard setting to use. Your better off
capping the lens before moving it as you'll move the camera & blur your

You're right on about the slow speed dial. Set the top on to "25-1" then set
your slow speed.

ASA dial is useless.

The Sekonic L398M has marks on the shutter speed dial for those old speeds,
if you want a meter with 'em. Otherwise, use one with the regular speed &
adjust with your aperture.

Wide angles require a viewfinder. It makes the camera not-so-pocketable, but
you can find a 35 3.5 Summaron for a decent price. It'll probably need to be
cleaned. Canon & Nikon made good LTM lenses. Check those lines out. I hear
there's a new 35 1.7 Ultron being offered by Voigtlander (Cosina) that will
be rangefinder coupled if you want to spend around $750!

- -----Original Message-----
From: guybnt []
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 1999 6:00 PM
To: leica-users
Subject: [Leica] sm question


very recently bought a iiif rd + elmar 50/3.5 - i camera/lens combo i have
long lusted after. i managed to load it after (only) two tries (not much
worse than the m when i first loaded it), having trimmed the film leader
with a pair of scissors. i am now shooting my first roll of film with it,
and am as excited as hell! i've gone to the archives and researched the
iiif info, and yet a question or two remain (and there will undoubtedly be

first of all, the proper working of the slow speed dial. if i'm not
mistaken, to use the slow speeds i've got to have the big dial set to 1/25
(my slowest speed on that dial), then i can use the slower speeds on the
smaller dials, right? well, going through the shutter speeds, which all
sound great, i found i can't get the the shutter to remain open on t. it
stays open a good long while, but does shut without my doing anything. is
this normal? if so, what am i doing wrong?

does the film speed indicator serve any purpose other than remind me what
film is in the camera? if not, it's not very useful for those of us who
rarely dip below 100 asa (referred to a 'fast film' in the accompanying
manual, which boasts a 35 cent price tag), or have i missed something?

is there a definitive answer (should such a thing exist) to the question of
these 'international' shutter speeds and how one meters properly for them?
i've taken my first few shots metering with my m6, just to see if all is
working as it should, but will undoubtedly purchase a small lightmeter (a
lunapro, most likely, unless there are similar models you feel strongly
about). aside from shutter speeds both cameras share, i'm going to have to
compensate one way or the other when i use 25, 75, 100 and 200. any

finally, since i can't imagine i'll use only the 50 with this camera, what
suggestions have you in the wide angle range (specifically 28s and 35s)?
hopefully something that would not be too rare (and thus too expensive).
what wide angle sm lenses really shine?

thanks for your answers and suggestions.