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Strange Leica M3 problem

Victor Robles , Oct 08, 2007; 03:00 p.m.

Hi there. I'm selling my Leica M3 on Craigslist, but when someone tried it out it snapped one photo and then stopped. Do you guys know what the problem is? The shutter is closed, so it makes no sense to me why it stopped snapping photos.

Here's a link to the Craigslist ad: https://accounts.craigslist.org/post/shwpst?pii=439658979&db=lv

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Brian Kieffer , Oct 08, 2007; 03:25 p.m.

You've got to advance the film. There should be a little lever that will reset the shutter and move the film ahead one frame.

Ken Ford , Oct 08, 2007; 05:21 p.m.

There's one in every crowd...

Let's start with the easy stuff. Victor, first off - is the camera loaded? Second, could it be a double-stoke M3, where you need to wind-on twice? (What's the serial number?)

Vick Ko , Oct 08, 2007; 08:32 p.m.

Assuming you figured out to re-tension the shutter, if the camera still doesn't fire, and appears to be jammed, then there is a worse case scenario.

The light shield strip inside the camera may have fallen into the shutter tape.

You need to take it in for repair; it's a bit of a PITA to remove.


Gary E , Oct 09, 2007; 01:48 p.m.


If this is a single stroke M3 and you now cannot advance the frame, then your M3 is stuck. I've had this happen to me before on my M3, and after had it sent out for an "unsticking" I found that there is a little lever that gets reset to allow for the advancing of the frame. It can fall off it's seat if you have jarred it too hard. I know Leica's are known for robust reliability, but I assure you I did not drop mine to have this happen to me. Find a reputable Leica repair person and get it fixed.

Gus Lazzari , Oct 10, 2007; 09:48 p.m.


Sorry but as a technician, I'm not sure what it is that Gary E. is talking about... "little lever that gets reset" ???

Ken on the other hand, may be on the right track. If there's film loaded in to the camera and somebody believes that they're dry firing, eventually they'll hit the end of the roll; no more winding makes for a simulated jam.

Otherwise, it requires service by a qualified technician. Regards, Gus

Ken Ford , Oct 10, 2007; 10:00 p.m.

Gus, isn't there an interlock that prevents frame advance until after firing? I think that's what Victor meant - an internal lever.

Gus Lazzari , Oct 11, 2007; 01:08 a.m.

Well Ken, too simplistic an explanation for what happens to involve a complex series of levers, cams and gears. They provide for among other things, prevention of premature firing, over-advancing, too much curtain over travel, and the completion of cycle mechanism.

In addition: To claim that a little lever fell off its seat, unjustly contradicts Gary's "robust reliability" statement.

The only weakness in this Leica M shutter is the velvet strips Vick spoke of; the original 50's adhesive used to hold these strips, lost their pliability, became brittle then failed. (Causing the detachment) Gus

Victor Robles , Oct 16, 2007; 04:48 p.m.

Thanks guys. Is there any way to delete this post?

Ken Ford , Oct 16, 2007; 06:49 p.m.

What's the matter? Are the potential Craigslist buyers finding the thread and getting scared off?

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