Jan 262011

How To Tell If Your Rangefinder Needs Adjusting

The other day, I left my M6 on

the countertop.  In the years I

have owned it, the camera has

been through some rough

situations.  But this time it was

taken down by my cat.

How Can You Tell The Focus Is Off?

My cats decided to have a wrestling match on the countertop.  The loser was my Leica M6 TTL and 28mm Elmarit.  Leica’s are tough, but being thrown from a countertop on to a tile floor is going to cause some damage.

M6 ttl & 28mm Elmarit f 2.8

Inspecting the camera, everything seemed to be ok.  There were no major breaks and the lens hood took the brunt of the fall.  Luck was on my side, sort of.  I tested the focus of the 28mm on my M9 and it too seemed ok.  There was a slight shake in the body of the lens, but nothing seemed really broken.

But I did not know if the rangefinder was misaligned from the fall.  I could shoot a roll of film to test it out, but I learned today how to check if you rangefinder is misaligned thanks to the guys at Nippon Camera Clinic.

When I explained what happened to Rim, of Nippon, he picked up the camera, held it up to his eye and looked out the window.  “Yup, focus no good,” he said.  I said “How can you tell?”

He explained how to check if your rangefinder is misaligned.

  • Set the focus to infinity.

  • Look at something far away.  (We looked at a building three blocks away)

  • The building was not in focus.

  • In order to get the building in focus, I had to bring the focus ring back from infinity.

  • My camera was front focusing.

To give you an example front focusing, picture this scene.  When taking someone’s portrait you focus on their eyes, but the image has the tip of their nose in focus.  This is what my camera would have done, had I shot any images.

Instead, Rim adjusted the focus and fixed the lose barrel of the lens body.  He said that the barrel was a little loose after the fall, which is not a problem right now, but as I use it,  the lens will loosen itself even more.

Why to I love Nippon Photo Clinic?

  • I can talk to someone, in person about my camera.

  • The camera was dropped off on Tuesday and will be ready on Friday.

  • And I learned something new about rangefinders.

And in case you’re wondering the rangefinder adjustment cost me $125 and the lens adjustment cost $180.  They will also clean up the camera, inside and out.

Just thought I would share that with everyone as an alternative for Leica repair.

Nippon Photo Clinic
920 Broadway At East 21st St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 982-3177

  One Response to “Leica Repair”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Zlatko Batistich and LeicaRumors, Jay Sansing. Jay Sansing said: RT @LeicaRumors: How To Tell If Your Rangefinder Needs Adjusting: http://bit.ly/idUaQk [...]

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