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A cautionary tale

Discussion in 'Leica Camera Chat' started by John Tarrant, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. John Tarrant

    John Tarrant Active Member

    For many years I have been a Leica M3 user. once, many years ago I observed some old tram lines being unexpectedly dug up by some workmen. Trust M3 immediately to eye and several snaps taken. Later, back at the darkroom I discovered an absence of film in the camera! I was so used to the fact that I ALWAYS had film in the camera that I had neglected to watch those little red dots that Leitz had thoughtfully engraved on the rewind knob, rotating! Perhaps all film users have done such a stupid thing at least once in their lives.
    Today I took a digital Leica for an outing. I carefully checked the menu to inform the beast that it had an elderly Summicron attached (My lenses have not got six bit coding). The camera felt surprisingly similar in use to my trusty M3 except that I had to spend time arguing with it about exposure (I had a similar experience when using an M6 some years ago!). The only other disconcerting experience about shooting with the beast was the disappearance of the viewfinder frame lines if the camera went to sleep. However the rangefinder still worked and by the time I started to focus the camera woke up and frame lines appeared! So, satisfied with the fun of using the beast I returned to the computer and...no memory card in the camera!!
    Moral: even in this digital age I can still perform the equivalent of forgetting to put a film in the camera. Yes, I know that had I looked at the screen I would have been aware of the lack of images as a result of the lack of a card, but I am a film photographer and do not look at the back of the camera after taking a picture! It makes me think, if I had an M10D I would not have had the option of checking the screen for pictures (It does't have a screen).
    Perhaps for dunderheads like myself digital cameras need a mechanical "card inserted" reminder on them. ( or even a little whiteboard on the back, like the M4P where you can scribble the filetype on it?). Anyway I am off to take all the pictures again!
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've never managed that particular trick. I always kept my film cameras loaded and with 35mm I always checked that the rewind knob had tension as soon as I picked up the camera (a trick I was taught by the chief photographer at my first full time job). I too used a M3 and I wish Leica had chosen to make a perfect digital copy of it instead of those strange M6 style things.

    Leica and Rollei from right.jpg
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    One huge advantage of having two card slots on a camera is that one doesn't generally remove both of them at the same time, thus there is likely to be one card available at all times. Unless of course the second slot is used as a duplicate of the first for back-up purposes. In the days of film that just wasn't an option so I see the second card as extra capacity rather than back-up.
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I once saw somebody load film into a Zorki rangefinder and start take some pictures with its lens cap in place.
    I decided to tell him, so he rewound the film and started again.
    Should have got an SLR...

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