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Questions about Leicina Super RT1


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#1 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:09 PM

Hi, I have recently been lucky enough to find one of this cameras. I have tried it and everything seems to work. However there are three things that I am not quite sure about and I was hoping that maybe someone here could help me.

The first one is about the exposure. The automatic exposure works fine and I can manage to lock it pressing the arresting button, but when I try to override the exposure using the knob to adjust +1 or -1 stops, nothing seems to happen through the viewfinder. Is that something normal? Is it only going to be noticeable on the film? Or is it just broken?

The second one is about the internal filters, I don't see that much change through the viewfinder when switching from one to another and again I was wondering if this is something that I am going to see only on the film or maybe something might be broken.

Last thing is related with the screw size for mounting the camera on a tripod. It looks like it is a 1/4 inch but it is slightly bigger. I have gone to Samy's, Belair, even Steve's Camera shop who is specialized in Leica... and none of them was able to tell me what size that is. I want to be able to mount the camera on my tripod but it is being very frustrating. I can't find any information online, everything I found says 1/4".

Thank you so much for reading this, I really appreciate any help I can get
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#2 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:52 AM

The wonderful but complicated LEICINA RT-1 really demands that one have the owner's manual and refer to it as often as necessary. This camera uses a different convention compared to virtually all other Super 8mm cameras.

The AutoExposure bias knob should show a change in the aperture display in the viewfinder when changing it to another position. Keep in mind the change is in 1/3 Stop increments, so it will require considerable rotation of the knob in either the Plus (Over-exposure) or Minus (Under-Exposure) direction to the aperture scale move. If yours does not move, then either the exposure is locked, the power is off, there isn't a cartridge in the camera (required in order for the camera to be operated....so it helps to have a junk scrap cartridge available to play with the camera's settings in a 'dry run' mode), the batteries are weak or a poor connection from the battery chamber to the camera body (make sure the contacts on both camera body and battery chamber metal fingers are clean), or something is wrong with the autoexposure mode.

The Builtin Daylight Conversion Filter is moved in and out of position via the 4 position knob on the right side of the camera body. The Filter change can be seen if you look down the front of the lens, with the zoom in about the halfway position and either using a small flashlight or under a light source....you'll see the filter move in and out of position. There isn't any viewfinder indication, which would've been nice to have. But then, many Super 8 cameras don't indicate the Filter Position in the viewfinder display.

And lastly, yes....that troublesome Tripod Socket. The LEICINAs are made in Germany and are threaded from the factory with the European Tripod Thread Standard which is larger that our quarter inch "Whitworth" thread. Usually they were fitted with a small screwin adapter which reduces the size to our quarter-inch one, but these can unscrew by repeated tripod use, if it's not seated in tightly enough. BOLEX tripod socket adapters will fit the LEICINA (and all other still and movie cameras that have the european sizing). You can find these for BOLEX on eBay and from various vendors. So, once you get that adapter, you'll be fine. They are usually under $10 USA, but pricing varies depending where you buy them. That nice low center of gravity on these LEICINAs really helps make for rock steady images (and the unique film gate design also contributes).

Hope you sort this all out soon and get to use your new camera!
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#3 Joel Pierre

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:43 AM

Exposure:
With a Super 8 Cartridge in the camera, the diaphragm dial varies from 1 to 2 values​​.

Posted Image

Filter:
Of course, there was an internal filter.
Otherwise the rotation of the wheel 10 would have no effect.

Posted Image

For example:
“Sun” position: 8
“Lamp” position: 11
“Moon” position: 5.6
“Night” position: 8

Screw size:
The screw is standard (1/4 inch). It attaches great. But there may be an internal mobile thread which is gone.
The base seems designed for quick system attach (groove).
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#4 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:39 PM

Thank you so much Martin and Joel for your replies!

It is definitely quite different this camera. I have to say I was doing my tests without a cartridge, I can't believe I didn't think about that... now I know what to do. The battery compartment was a little bit dirty when I got it but I cleaned it and now everything seems ok so I hope it will be fine when I test the film. I really can't wait! I intentionally bought a tungsten film to test the internal filter although I will try the internal and an external one I have as well.

Thanks Martin for the tips on the tripod thread! I was really about to give up on this one. The guy at Steve Camera Shop wanted to charge me $100 for an adapter...

Really thank you guys for all the help, I am very excited to try my Leicina and hopefully I will be able to show the results soon.

Edited by Hugo Codinach, 28 June 2011 - 02:39 PM.

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#5 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:59 PM

Doing some fast research I manage to conclude that the screw size for the Leicina Super RT1 might be a 3/8" with 16 threads.

1/4" 20 threads per inch and 3/8" 16 were both common on pre-WWII German cameras and British cameras. The 3/8 thread was more common on larger cameras. Apparently both sizes are BSW - British Standard Whitworth, and are accepted as the international standards for tripod mounts.

So I guess any of this adapters will work:

http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sim_p_2

http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B002MXO47I

http://www.amazon.co...O/ref=pd_cp_p_3

http://cgi.ebay.com/...0#ht_827wt_1141
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#6 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:56 AM

So I was wrong on the size of the thread. It is a 5/16 inches, the Leicina Super RT1 is supposed to have an adapter from 5/16" to 1/4" which I don't have and I could not find.

So I built my own. Two pieces or red oak glued together, some washers and a screw. It works perfectly and now I can attach either 1/4 or 3/8 mounts to it.

I included some links with pictures:

adapter
attached to camera 01
attached to camera 02
parts
my Leicina Super RT1


I also tried some film that I bought from Pro8mm, and the camera did not recognize any of them. It was frustrating... well I guess I will find out what is going on when I develop it. I will post more updates when I have it.

Thanks for reading.
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#7 Joel Pierre

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 08:15 AM

I also tried some film that I bought from Pro8mm, and the camera did not recognize any of them.


Pro8 cartridges do not have notches?

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#8 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:31 AM

There are notches on the pro8mm cartridges, but nothing happens when I place the film in the camera. However this is now the less of my worries... I was cleaning the camera and I don't know what happened but now the release doesn't work. The automatic exposure and the zoom still work fine but when I press either both releases nothing happens. So I guess I need to take the camera to service.

Any recommendations for Leicina service preferably in the USA? Although I am open to send it to Europe.

Thank you so much
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#9 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:03 PM

The LEICINA is a pretty robust camera. Double check all your knobs to make sure it's not on single frame. Of course, check the obvious: Battery chamber connections....rotate the batteries to ensure a good connection etc, make sure you have a film cartridge in the camera or an old empty dummy one, since the camera will not operate or come to life without one (unless you tape down the small film chamber button which is normally depressed by the cartridge), and check the film cartridge itself. It's summertime now, and it's very easy for humidity to swell the emulsion in the cartridge film gate, and cause it to stick. So, pull the film down an inch or two with your finger, and then rotate the film core clockwise until you feel the film snug (do not force it!). With a quick double-check, the camera should come back to life. If it was running fine before and not now all of a sudden, it's almost always something minor as in the above. Good luck, hope you get it sorted out pronto.
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#10 Hugo Codinach

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:43 PM

Hi Martin,

The knob is not on single frame, as a matter of fact I tried the three positions and nothing happens. It feels like is trying because I hear a slight movement but it is like something is stuck. Batteries are new and fine, I already removed them and placed them back. It happened while messing around with the camera. I was trying to remove some dirt, and I unscrewed the main screw on the axis that rotates the film. After putting it back to place it wasn't working anymore. I feel so horrible but at the same time I don't understand because it was just a screw. I am scared to keep touching it, and that is why I was thinking on taking it to a specialized camera shop. Is that bad that I touched that screw? I hope I didn't brake the motor.

main screw
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