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M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?

  
 
Sax45
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Hello all. Earlier this week I acquired my first M camera, a 1960-61 M3. When I opened the camera for the first time, I was surprised to find that there was a quick load spool, which was not advertised. A nice surprise to be sure. So I loaded the film, which went smoothly, and shot my first roll.

While the first roll was in the camera, I did some research and found that the quick load kit came with a plastic spacer that attaches inside the base plate. I was pretty sure I saw no such spacer when I loaded the film. I finished the roll today with no apparent issues. Film advance was smooth through all 37-38 exposures, and the rewind knob turned as you would expect. Film rewind also felt as smooth as you would expect.

When I unloaded the film, sure enough, there was no spacer there. So my question is, is this spacer necessary? Are there potential consequences in not having the spacer? And if so, what are they?



Mar 01, 2024 at 11:02 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
Hello all. Earlier this week I acquired my first M camera, a 1960-61 M3. When I opened the camera for the first time, I was surprised to find that there was a quick load spool, which was not advertised. A nice surprise to be sure. So I loaded the film, which went smoothly, and shot my first roll.

While the first roll was in the camera, I did some research and found that the quick load kit came with a plastic spacer that attaches inside the base plate. I was pretty sure I saw no such spacer when I loaded the
...Show more

Never heard or seen this spacer for the M3. I also just use the spool. I don't think anything else is required.



Mar 01, 2024 at 11:30 AM
Sax45
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Good to hear! Here is the manual: https://www.cameramanuals.org/leica_pdf/leica_quick_load_m_series.pdf

The manual shows how to install it, but that is about it. It’s worth noting I only saw the manual after I loaded the first roll. As a first timer, it was pretty easy and straightforward, but it probably helps that I have a IIIc.

The downside of the quick load is that you still need to remove it to reset the counter. I do wish Leica had made the end a little easier to grab. Ironically it seems like an M2 with a quick load would be more convenient than an M3 with quick load.



Mar 01, 2024 at 11:40 AM
madNbad
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


The plastic spacer that fits to the bottom plate is there to push the film into position, just like the wheel on the bottom plate of Leicas with the Rapid Load system. If it's missing there is the chance the film will not be properly aligned when you replace the baseplate and begin to wind.
I fought with a Quick Load in a M2 for months before giving up and buying an extra spool. It only occurred to me lately I was not treating it more like the modern system.



Mar 01, 2024 at 11:48 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


I thought about getting an after market QL for my M3, but instead bought a second spool which I keep ready loaded so it is a simple drop in.


Mar 01, 2024 at 11:50 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
Good to hear! Here is the manual: https://www.cameramanuals.org/leica_pdf/leica_quick_load_m_series.pdf

The manual shows how to install it, but that is about it. It’s worth noting I only saw the manual after I loaded the first roll. As a first timer, it was pretty easy and straightforward, but it probably helps that I have a IIIc.

The downside of the quick load is that you still need to remove it to reset the counter. I do wish Leica had made the end a little easier to grab. Ironically it seems like an M2 with a quick load would be more convenient than an M3 with
...Show more

Never seen this spacer and I certainly don't have it either. Never even once had an issue with film not being inserted correctly or moving out of alignment. Thanks for sharing, learned something new today I was not aware it existed and which I never missed either !



Mar 01, 2024 at 12:57 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


madNbad wrote:
The plastic spacer that fits to the bottom plate is there to push the film into position, just like the wheel on the bottom plate of Leicas with the Rapid Load system. If it's missing there is the chance the film will not be properly aligned when you replace the baseplate and begin to wind.
I fought with a Quick Load in a M2 for months before giving up and buying an extra spool. It only occurred to me lately I was not treating it more like the modern system.


This kind of misalignment is the kind of thing I was worried about. But surely if the spool were to drop out of alignment, you would get a film jam, and it would be immediately apparent, right?



Mar 01, 2024 at 01:49 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Desmolicious wrote:
I thought about getting an after market QL for my M3, but instead bought a second spool which I keep ready loaded so it is a simple drop in.


Yeah I was actually looking forward to trying M3 classic loading, coming from a IIIc. I always thought the arrow that "lights up" when you load the film was a neat feature.

I have heard of the pre-loaded spool trick before. I think having multiple regular spools would be more convenient than the QL, especially on an M3 (maybe not as much on an M2). Maybe I will keep my eyes open for a good deal.



Mar 01, 2024 at 01:52 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


retrofocus wrote:
Never seen this spacer and I certainly don't have it either. Never even once had an issue with film not being inserted correctly or moving out of alignment. Thanks for sharing, learned something new today I was not aware it existed and which I never missed either !


Glad to hear and glad you learned something new!



Mar 01, 2024 at 01:53 PM
 


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madNbad
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
This kind of misalignment is the kind of thing I was worried about. But surely if the spool were to drop out of alignment, you would get a film jam, and it would be immediately apparent, right?


There are plenty of reports of the Quick Load working fine without the spacer. Leica probably added it just to make sure the film stayed put.



Mar 01, 2024 at 02:04 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
Yeah I was actually looking forward to trying M3 classic loading, coming from a IIIc. I always thought the arrow that "lights up" when you load the film was a neat feature.

I have heard of the pre-loaded spool trick before. I think having multiple regular spools would be more convenient than the QL, especially on an M3 (maybe not as much on an M2). Maybe I will keep my eyes open for a good deal.


Scroll down the page. Igor has them for $50. I've bought from him before with no issues.

http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_accessories.htm



Mar 01, 2024 at 02:10 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


madNbad wrote:
There are plenty of reports of the Quick Load working fine without the spacer. Leica probably added it just to make sure the film stayed put.


Yeah it sounds like there is an issue with the spool potentially dropping. It also looks like, from the pictures, that the spacer alters the angle/location of the film as it "turns" in the direction of the takeup spool. But like you I had no issue loading the QL spool with it gone.



Mar 01, 2024 at 02:42 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Desmolicious wrote:
Scroll down the page. Igor has them for $50. I've bought from him before with no issues.

http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_accessories.htm


Thanks! Once I financially recover from this rounds of purchases I will strongly consider it.

On the bright side, looking at his prices for the camera and lenses that were part of my purchase, I feel pretty good about the deal.



Mar 01, 2024 at 02:44 PM
madNbad
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
Yeah I was actually looking forward to trying M3 classic loading, coming from a IIIc. I always thought the arrow that "lights up" when you load the film was a neat feature.

I have heard of the pre-loaded spool trick before. I think having multiple regular spools would be more convenient than the QL, especially on an M3 (maybe not as much on an M2). Maybe I will keep my eyes open for a good deal.


Like this?




Mar 01, 2024 at 06:31 PM
Sax45
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Exactly! Pretty neat if you ask me. Though I imagine the effect is a bit less exciting will BW or slide film


Mar 01, 2024 at 08:54 PM
John Wolf
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Sax45 wrote:
Exactly! Pretty neat if you ask me. Though I imagine the effect is a bit less exciting will BW or slide film


No, it “lights up” prominently with BW film, too, with the light gray emulsion, at least on HP5+.

One thing that always concerns me is the amount of rewind pressure required to free the film from the spool. In my case it requires an uncomfortable amount. I’ve actually torn film off the take-up spool.




Mar 02, 2024 at 08:11 AM
Sax45
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


Interesting, is it more than a Barnack?

The QL required a normal amount of pressure. You could definitely feel it but there was minimal extra pressure. I would maybe even say it has less grip than the average camera I have used.



Mar 02, 2024 at 08:47 AM
John Wolf
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · M3 Quick Load — is the space necessary?


it’s an M2. I think I’ll look for another take-up spool. Or maybe not push it in so far.

Otherwise, I really like this loading system.



Mar 02, 2024 at 12:01 PM







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