Leica film leader template - suggestions ?

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Hassasin

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So I have a Leica IIIC with Summitar arriving shortly, and possibly will get one of the earlier M's at some point, and the questions are:

  • are all these cameras take in same leader length, or is there a variation? I have read a post somewhere last night where a guy had to play around with leader length before he got one of his LTM bodies to accept the film as properly loaded. I find this whole thing strange, to say the least, but all I know is what I read, yet there are a lot Leica users here, so am hoping for some consensus on this issue (BTW, I have read and understood official film loading instructions, am yet to do first roll anyways, just saying), and to add, I am planning to add at least one or two more LTM bodies, "If" being one of them
  • while a leader can be trimmed manually, looks like having a template is the way to get this in a repeatable fashion, I don't think I'm going for the original (unless a reasonably priced one comes along), any suggestions which template works well?
 

logan2z

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  • while a leader can be trimmed manually, looks like having a template is the way to get this in a repeatable fashion, I don't think I'm going for the original (unless a reasonably priced one comes along), any suggestions which template works well?

Have you tried this one? I can't vouch for it as I don't have a need to trim leaders, but it was posted on the Leica User's Forum a while back and looked pretty well done.
 

Ballinderry-Michael

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I simply pull out the leader until 23 sprocket holes are exposed and then trim with small scissors. With a little practice you'll find whether you prefer to trim from the free ot the cassette end.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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I simply pull out the leader until 23 sprocket holes are exposed and then trim with small scissors. With a little practice you'll find whether you prefer to trim from the free ot the cassette end.
I figured manual trimming is not a high science project, and TBH I don't think I'm going to need a lot of it to start (unless a Barnack gets me going and moves my "loyalty" away from others). But that's main reason original Leitz template is not a consideration at current calling prices.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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You have to register for that forum in order to see the file. I'll try attaching it (though the template needs to be made from materials that aren't in every household).

Thanks, will probably join that forum too, but this is all I need right now, seems like easy way to get started.
 

Don_ih

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I put the cassette between thumb and forefinger in my left hand, pull film out until it crosses my hand, and cut that much with scissors. It takes a second. But I've done it hundreds of times. The end doesn't need to be rounded - I leave it square.
 

Mr Flibble

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When I'm not in a hurry I don't even bother to trim the film to load an LTM Leica. I remove the lens and guide the film into place through the open shutter.
 

Don_ih

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I've just been tearing with my fingers.

Well, this guy is about to cut off the tip of his thumb.

1706094689641.png
 

guangong

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I simply lay tongue on flat surface and cut between sprocket holes with small blade of Swiss army knife. Shape of cut leader not critical. Just be sure long enough. I recently bought a trimming guide from Lifestyle and will probably use after loading bunch of my Leitz cassettes in future.
Keep in mind that in the not distant past all 35mm film came with long leader and no trimming necessary. I suspect that leaders were shortened for automatic loading cameras.
 

titrisol

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You can cut it easily, but if you want there is a 3D printed ALBON, works great:

or this simple one:
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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You can cut it easily, but if you want there is a 3D printed ALBON, works great:

or this simple one:

Thanks too, all worth having on file.
 

chuckroast

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So I have a Leica IIIC with Summitar arriving shortly, and possibly will get one of the earlier M's at some point, and the questions are:

  • are all these cameras take in same leader length, or is there a variation? I have read a post somewhere last night where a guy had to play around with leader length before he got one of his LTM bodies to accept the film as properly loaded. I find this whole thing strange, to say the least, but all I know is what I read, yet there are a lot Leica users here, so am hoping for some consensus on this issue (BTW, I have read and understood official film loading instructions, am yet to do first roll anyways, just saying), and to add, I am planning to add at least one or two more LTM bodies, "If" being one of them
  • while a leader can be trimmed manually, looks like having a template is the way to get this in a repeatable fashion, I don't think I'm going for the original (unless a reasonably priced one comes along), any suggestions which template works well?

I have always used a template with my IIIf. When I got an M2 - which loads very similarly to the IIIf - I tried it without cutting a long leader and it worked just fine. Of course, the M2 has a back door to make sure everything is seating properly, but I wonder if you really need the long leader or can just carefully use a normal one on the III body...
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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I have always used a template with my IIIf. When I got an M2 - which loads very similarly to the IIIf - I tried it without cutting a long leader and it worked just fine. Of course, the M2 has a back door to make sure everything is seating properly, but I wonder if you really need the long leader or can just carefully use a normal one on the III body...

Story I read yesterday was that the guy was messing around with leader length, because he could not get one of his III's to take film up properly and said: needed 2 extra sprocket holes from Leica suggested length in order to get things corrected. I still fail to understand how.

I can see when film is not cut for leader to only have sprocket holes on one side, to ease engagement/alignment with sprocket wheel, until camera is closed and can be wound to first frame, and I guess that's how going through front end to wiggle film around inside the film chamber came about.

On the other hand, I suppose if you want to shoot a Leica "correctly" you've got to load it as Leica said you should, otherwise what comes out is not a 100% Leica photograph 🙂
 

chuckroast

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Story I read yesterday was that the guy was messing around with leader length, because he could not get one of his III's to take film up properly and said: needed 2 extra sprocket holes from Leica suggested length in order to get things corrected. I still fail to understand how.

I can see when film is not cut for leader to only have sprocket holes on one side, to ease engagement/alignment with sprocket wheel, until camera is closed and can be wound to first frame, and I guess that's how going through front end to wiggle film around inside the film chamber came about.

On the other hand, I suppose if you want to shoot a Leica "correctly" you've got to load it as Leica said you should, otherwise what comes out is not a 100% Leica photograph 🙂

I just tried loading a roll of 24 exposure out of date Tri-X into the IIIf without cutting a leader. It worked just fine. You just have to make sure that everything is seated properly before you close up the camera.

I wonder why Leica ever recommended the longer leader cut...
 

mshchem

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I just tried loading a roll of 24 exposure out of date Tri-X into the IIIf without cutting a leader. It worked just fine. You just have to make sure that everything is seated properly before you close up the camera.

I wonder why Leica ever recommended the longer leader cut...

To be able to clear the innards of the camera when loading. You have to clear the sprockets.
 

chuckroast

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To be able to clear the innards of the camera when loading. You have to clear the sprockets.

Can you say a bit more about this please. What do you mean by "clear the innards" and "clear the sprockets"?

What I just did was thread a normal leader tongue into the takeup spool and left enough slack so I could insert the film cartridge and spool into the camera with the film not quite touching the sprockets. Then I tightened the takeup knob to put tension on the film (and make sure the leader was in snug on the takeup reel) and made sure the sprokets and film were properly engaged. This seemed to work fine.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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Possibly Leica was worried that not having long leader would potentially damage top edge of film when being moved into the camera over the sprockets, which might lead to small chunks of film breaking off and eventually causing other problems inside. Just guessing.
 

Don_ih

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Well, You can just try a short leader in a thread-mount Leica. The things that sometimes occur are the film gets chewed up and you need bits of film cleaned out of the camera or the film gets shredded and ends up going in the shutter curtain.
 

titrisol

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Possibly Leica was worried that not having long leader would potentially damage top edge of film when being moved into the camera over the sprockets, which might lead to small chunks of film breaking off and eventually causing other problems inside. Just guessing.

SOme people have mastered loading the short leader into the Leica.
I don't risk it and use the old school leader

 

Don_ih

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The sprocket at the top of the camera does not allow the film to slip over it - it has to feed onto the sprocket holes laterally. There is also the possibility that a short leader could have the point of the film (where it becomes full width again) pierce the shutter cloth. Which would you rather cut? Film leaders or shutter curtains?
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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The sprocket at the top of the camera does not allow the film to slip over it - it has to feed onto the sprocket holes laterally. There is also the possibility that a short leader could have the point of the film (where it becomes full width again) pierce the shutter cloth. Which would you rather cut? Film leaders or shutter curtains?

This is all good and as suspected. Leitz could have been more particular explaining the long leader, but. maybe that would put some potential buyers off ? I'm pretty set I will follow proper technique to load a film in.
 
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