Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/19

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Burning a hole in the shutter
From: saganicc at MSKCC.ORG (Saganich, Christopher/Medical Physics)
Date: Wed May 19 13:31:14 2004

Burning holes is theoretically possible, but as you say not too plausible.  Light will focus onto the curtain, I suppose there could be a magnifying effect but rather doubt it.  I suspect we would have heard of Leica's spontaneously combusting if this were true.   

Chris Saganich

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Peter Klein
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 1:18 PM
Subject: [Leica] Burning a hole in the shutter

On another list, the subject of cloth vs. metal shutters has come up.  The 
danger of the sun burning a hole in the shutter curtain was cited as an 
advantage of the metal shutter.

In over 30 years of using Leicas, I have never burned a hole in my shutter 
(knock on wood, ptu-ptu-ptu!) .  I wonder how long it actually takes to 
happen.  Nowadays I often set my lens to close focus when I'm facing the 
sun on sunny days, just in case.  But I never did this before, and I never 
had a problem.

I suspect normal body movement usually moves the sun's image around enough 
so that the shutter doesn't "catch."  On bright days, lenses are usually 
stopped down, so less energy reaches the curtain.  I suspect that people 
have to leave the camera lying still in the sun for an appreciable length 
of time for the shutter to "catch." And probably the lens has to be fairly 
wide open and focused on or near infinity.

I'm curious how much of a danger this really is.  Has anyone heard of 
someone actually testing this out--hopefully on an already bad 
curtain!  :-)  Does anyone have any firsthand information about such a 
test?  Or, would anyone who actually burned a hole in their shutter be game 
enough to tell us how it happened?


P.S.  I have seen one Leica with a burnt hole  in the shutter.  The 
original shutter on one of my cameras had a little patch over such a 
hole.  I don't know how it happened, because the previous owner said he 
bought it that way.  I happily used the camera until one of the curtain 
strings failed, at which point I had both curtains replaced.  It worked 
fine before, and it works fine now.

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

     Please note that this e-mail and any files transmitted with it may be 
     privileged, confidential, and protected from disclosure under 
     applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended 
     recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this 
     message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any 
     reading, dissemination, distribution, copying, or other use of this 
     communication or any of its attachments is strictly prohibited.  If 
     you have received this communication in error, please notify the 
     sender immediately by replying to this message and deleting this 
     message, any attachments, and all copies and backups from your 

Replies: Reply from markc at ( ([Leica] Burning a hole in the shutter)