Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] A mystery
From: "Robert G. Stevens" <>
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 1999 15:58:06 -0300


I may know your problem.  When I use big lenses, I notice that the lens
flange or the camera flange can have the screws loosen.  I had it happen on
an R6 while shooting with a 280.  Luckily, I had a screwdriver in the bag
and tightened the screws.  If they get too loose, I could see the flange
getting bent.  I now occasionally check the screws for tightness.



At 08:11 AM 9/4/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Good morning, all,
>(or afternoon, or evening, whichever applies to your hemisphere)
>A couple of weeks ago a cold front moved down from Canada into the Great
>Lakes area, creating beautiful conditions for pictures. I called my
>travel agent and was on a plane to Cleveland. Once there, I drove to the
>Burke Lakefront Airport (at the base of the city, right on the shore of
>Lake Erie) where the good folks at the Business Aircraft Group lent me a
>Cessna Citation II and a Beech King Air B100. With the help of airport
>operations and the tower and two volunteer pilots, we closed the shorter
>runway, positioned the aircraft (engines running, lights ablaze)
>artfully against the Cleveland skyline and I shot two rolls as the light
>faded just after dusk. Packed up and was home several days later, after
>more shooting elsewhere. 
>The camera was my trusty R8 with the 70-180 Vario-Apo-Elmarit on a solid
>Manfrotto tripod at F4 and about 90mm per Erwin, mirror locked up,
>2-second electronic timer shutter trigger delay used to eliminate the
>shakes, on Kodachrome 25 (first roll) and Ektachrome E100VS (second) for
>fun, bracketing all over the place. The photo is to run 13x20 inches
>(old LIFE mag. format) in a new brochure I'm working on as the backdrop
>for the opening essay, so I was excited to see the developed film. 
>When it arrived, I was astonished to see two rolls of blurry pictures.
>Like a car wreck, I couldn't help but keep looking at them. 72 blurry
>shots. What the hell had happened? Oddly, it seemed that the far right
>side of the images were "in," but that most everything to the left was
>out. The lens was new and not heavily tested. Could this be some kind of
>weird decentering issue? (Leica quality control, again!!!) Could the
>film have gone through the camera, both rolls, cock-eyed somehow? Could
>I just have mis-focused, or knocked the ring after focusing, which I
>(stupidly) never rechecked? It was near dark, after all.
>Ten days passed. Back from another shoot (I carry two M6s, which I use
>more than the R8), I had a messenger coming to pick up film late one
>afternoon and had shot only half a role in the R8. Might as well shoot
>flower pictures to finish off the roll, I though, so I went to change
>lenses and...the lens wouldn't come off! What is THIS all about??? The
>lens just didn't want to turn. Holding the camera at eye level with the
>lens pointed straight up and turning it 360 degrees, I was astonished to
>see the stainless steel lens mount on the camera warped about about the
>4 o'clock position. It was buckled up off the camera about a 1/16th of
>an inch+ at one point, causing the lens to mis-align with the film plane
>and making lens removable difficult. It was almost as if someone had put
>a screwdriver under the lens mount and pried one side of it up off the
>camera. No signs or indications of how this happened to the camera, or
>on any of three R lenses. Wow. OK, the old warped stainless steel lens
>mount excuse. THAT will impress those lab guys!
>Bought a new R8 the next morning (w/new, funky blue readouts in the
>viewfinder) and shipped the old one back to NJ for a new lens mount.
>Have to reshoot Cleveland next week, after the Labor Day air show clears
>out. You might think that, with the WYSIWYG viewfinder of an SLR, that
>this misalignment would be visible, but it wasn't, at least not to my
>newly 40-year-old eyes. Perhaps I just looked at the right side of the
>groundglass. Who knows. But be careful. Every so often you should check
>to see that your lens mount is as Solms intended it. Stainless steel
>apparently isn't as strong as I thought it was.
>Mystery solved.
>David W. Almy