Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/11

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Subject: Re: [Leica] LTM vs. M
From: "Mike Durling" <>
Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 14:37:50 -0400
References: <>

Hi Tom,

Sounds like a nice product you are working on.  One thing that concerns me
is that these cameras usually have a lot of wear on them, and their gears
are brass.  How much extra stress does the Rapidwinder put on these parts?

Mike D

- ----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 1:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] LTM vs. M

> . . .

>  I now have lived with the prototype "Barnack" winder ( IIIf/IIIc/IIIg)
for a
> couple of weeks. This one is completely untreated with insides in gleaming
> alloy and unpainted steel. So far so good! It works very well and except
> some minor redesigns, it should be ready to go into production this
> One of the reasons for building a prototype is to find out what can go
> or what needs to be modified. The lever track needs to be slightly longer,
> the lock needs a different disc and the current returns spring is a bit to
> strong, but that's it. Not bad for a first try. The screw-mount Leicas has
> some idiosyncrasies that are specific to them. One is that the shutter can
> released even when the camera is only cocked halfway. This means that you
> have to pull the trigger until the camera's shutter mechanism stops the
> advance. Or you can end up getting overlapping exposures (this is a
> of the camera, not of the winder, as you can induce the same effect by
> advancing the film partially with the knob-advance). This is one reason
> extending the track in the winder slightly to give it a safety margin. The
> lock needs to be redesigned to allow the disc to turn 180 degrees, rather
> than the 90 degrees of the M-Rapidwinder.
>  I have also found out that the Rapidwinder for the LTM is far more
> to the condition of the cameras advance mechanism than the M6/M7/M2
> Rapidwinders. If the LTM body is stiff or "balky" in the advance, this
> translates into a stiffer leveraction of the winder. I have a small
> of IIIf's and IIIc's that are used for testing, a couple are old and
> and that is immediately noticed when you put the winder on it.
>  The "Barnack" winder has a tripod bushing, centered under the lens,
> than the offset on the regular baseplate. Physically, it is the same
> as the top-plate of a IIIf although it looks a bit bigger, mainly due to
> fact that it is the same height across, whilst the top-plate has all kind
> different "levels" on it. It is amazing to watch all the stuff that has to
> turn when you advance a IIIf, the shutterspeed dial, the rewind-knob, and
> even the release button rotates. Gears galore inside!
>  The LTM really needs the baseplate winder, as it is virtually impossible
> advance the film without dropping the camera from the eye. Now, the
> is another matter altogether! I am already at work designing a replacement
> ABLON filmcutter template for the LTM users. The original ones are now
> overpriced collectibles and I think I can improve upon that design anyway.
>  It will still take a couple of month to fine-tune the design of the
> Rapidwinder, but at least it now exists in the "flesh" so to say and it
> well.
>  The sun is shining and I am now heading out for yet another test-shoot
> said prototype. Red Dial IIIf with a 25/4 Snap-Shot Skopar on it and Fuji
> ACROS in the camera. The fact that we now can get modern, high-quality
> for our old LTM's is an added bonus too. The little 25/4 Skopar is one of
> sharpest lenses that I have encountered and it is a perfect match
> of portable equipment. A 15/4,5 Heliar, the Snap-Shot 25 or a 21/4 and
then a
> 50/2 Collapsible Summicron (or the 50/2,5 Color-Skopar) and possibly a
> or f3,5. The whole package can be carried in pockets rather than in a bag.
> Not a bad way of whiling away a sunny Saturday!
> All the best,
> Tom A
> Tom Abrahamsson
> Vancouver, BC
> Canada
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