Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/19

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Subject: [Leica] Nikon FMx
From: Stephen Patriquen <>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 02:05:59 -0700 (PDT)

> ><Snip> 
> > Has the original FM ever failed anyone who used it
> with 
> respect? It's about
> > as close to a sure thing as you're going to find
> in
> this 
> world.
> > 
> > br
> I do recall having to have the whole shutter
> replaced
> once 
> or twice at not small expense.
> I did put hundreds of rolls of film though it for
> years, 
> motorized with an MD-11.

The FMs are great cameras, but the shutter has a
finite lifespan. The rivets used in the shutter blades
eventually wear through, allowing a blade to drop.
Unfortunately, it's one of those faults that allows
you to keep shooting without realizing something is

I bought about 20 FM2s in 1985 for a college program I
started. About 100 students used these cameras every
year since then, and (AFAIK) all have survived what
must be the absolute worst torture test a camera can
have (letting a journalism student use it :-)

Most repairs were fingers through shutters (often
repairable by simply putting the blades back where
they should be) and rewind knobs that were unscrewed
because the future-leaders-of-the-free-world couldn't
follow the little arrow on top. I eventually added a
section to my lesson plans called "save the parts".

BTW - quite a few students bought their own cameras,
and some would pick up the FE2 as it was automatic and
almost the same price. Almost every one of the FE2s
required service eventually (despite being single
user)- one reason I was not impressed with the new
FM3, which IMHO should be called the FE3 - that meter
readout sucks.

Now if we could just get Leica to use the + 0 - LEDs,
and add a METER SWITCH  la Nikon...

Steve Patriquen

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