Problems with the Leica iiif shutter

The above shot is from a test roll of Kodacolor 200 in the Leica iiif, the first shot mid-roll after changing to the Jupiter-12 (35mm).

Leica iiif
The Leica iiif with the Jupiter-12 35mm lens and a FED 35mm viewfinder mounted on the cold-shoe

Unfortunately there’s an issue with the shutter at high speeds which created horizontal lines across the scans. This is one of the few where they are not evident, in part because the shadows are underexposed.

By the end of the roll the shots were coming out like this…


I posted about this problem on the Film Photography Talk forum on DPReview, which generated quite a bit of interest.

A few thought this was a scanning issue. The problem was that I hadn’t received the negatives back from AG-Photolab so I couldn’t tell if this was the case. A quick look at the negs would have given me my answer.

horizontal lines
An earlier shot from the roll where the horizontal lines are difficult, but not impossible, to spot.

Others more familiar with the Leica Barnacks, however, suspected a mechanical issue. I’ll leave you to read through the forum post as it makes for some interesting reading.

Actually I was making my way back to Indonesia during all this and would never get to see the negs as they would be posted to my UK address, so after quite a few comments on DPReview I emailed Ag-Photolab directly to ask their opinion. David at AG replied:

I’ve spoken to my colleague now and we think it’s a camera fault because the banding can actually be seen on the negative when viewed on a light box. My colleague did actually flag this up when he sent the files over (there’s a little comments box on the WeTransfer link). We’re unsure exactly what the fault may be, but it’s mostly likely something to do with the shutter.

Well I missed the note on WeTransfer, which might have saved a bit of chasing around, but it confirmed what some had suspected over on the Film Photography Talk forum.

Needless to say this is a big irritation. I’m loathe to run another roll through the camera and I’m now far away from a reputable Leica CLA workshop.

The biggest issue I have with this inconvenience, however, is that I absolutely fell in love with the iiif while using it!

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