Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/09/18

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Subject: RE: [Leica] finder flare
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 07:46:34 -0400

Peter - I don't believe anyone has contended that the rangefinder flare
problem is related to any of the cameras you mention. It is an M6-M7
problem, which, if I'm not mistaken, means that it probably appeared with
the M4-2. If my memory serves me right, Erwin at some point said that the
rangefinder internal configuration changed after the M4.

This is not a problem of the imagination, nor is it one of eye position -
although eye position can aggravate it:

It is a design flaw, and one that Leica should have fixed years ago.

B. D.

- -----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Peter Klein
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 9:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] finder flare

Steve:  John Collier's observations and mine agree.  I have never
encountered the RF flare problem in any M2, M3 or M4 camera I've tried,
including the M2 I owned in the 70s.  All rangefinders can either white out
or disappear if you look through them sufficiently cockeyed, but what
everyone complains about is decidedly a post-M4 phenomenon.

I think you are right about people's eyes making a difference.  I have worn
glasses all my life.  Last year, I got contacts.  All of a sudden I got a
different perspective on the RF flare problem.  My eyes are fairly deep-set
relative to my eyebrows.  I could never see all of the 35mm frame in a
standard .72x viewfinder with glasses.  I also noticed that people's advice
about the RF flare--"shift your eye slightly and it goes away"--didn't
apply to me.  If I shifted my eye slightly I couldn't see even the 50mm

Then I got contacts.  All of a sudden I could see a 35mm frame, and I could
shift my eye to get rid of (or at least reduce) most cases of RF flare.
Being closer to the eyepiece, I had more "wiggle room."

The flare caused by oblique light striking the illuminator window is really
annoying.  I have found that I can often reduce it enough to focus by
shifting my eye.  But sometimes it just makes focusing impossible.

For this situation, Lutz Konermann's "The Shade" is the best solution I've
found.  As someone else noted, it does dim the viewfinder frame lines,
particularly on the right side (but not the RF itself).  This can also be
annoying, but at least one can focus.  In daylight, The Shade can only
help, and there's enough ambient light that the framelines will be OK on
all but the grayest days.  Indoors, with light bulbs all over the place, it
will also help, but you may lose the vertical frameline on the right.

When I wear glasses, "The Shade" is usually stuck on my illuminator
window.  Now that I mostly wear contacts, I keep "The Shade" in my bag, and
stick it on when I need it.  When the sticky surface gives out, I just peel
off the double-sided tape on the back and put a new piece on.

I've also experimented with a red gel over the illuminator window.  This
made the flare a different color than what I mostly focus on, and hence
easier to see through or eliminated by eye shifting.  But I never got used
to red frame lines--just seemed too weird.

I too am awaiting Leica's supposed solution to the flare problem, and what
they do (or don't) will influence a future purchase decision.  It only took
them 20 years(!)

- --Peter Klein
Seattle, WA

>On Monday, September 16, 2002, at 11:02 AM, Steve LeHuray wrote:
> > I have been wondering about the dreaded M flare for several years now,
> > wondering because flare has never occured with any of my Ms (2 M2s,
> > M3, 2
> > M6TTLs). Many others have also have no flare problems. Could it have
> > something to do with the difference in peoples eyes? Could it be there
> > is a
> > correct and incorrect way to look through the viewfinder?

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