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Problems loading film


New Member
I have 2 M7s. I use them regularly. I have always had some problem reloading these cameras. It always seems that I have to click, attempt to rewind, turn the power on and off, repetitively to get the take up spool to work. I seem to have the same problem when I use the motor drive. Any suggestions?


i have more success when i started folding the film tip before loading the film.


New Member
> i have more success when i started folding the film tip before loading > the film.

I am going to start folding the film, I was photographing an event with my M7 that would not be repeated and I thought i have taken some amazing shots .... until I got to frame 39! - The film had not loaded.

It has never happened on my Konica Hexar.

regards Simon


Well-Known Member
Read the directions in your Leica instruction book on loading. I found that it's not that sensitive to exact placement of the leader. I tried loading with the leader just inside the 3 prong spool, and bringing the leader so it goes through and out the other end. Both worked. It is also important to develop the habit of looking at the rewind crank to be sure it moves during your first frames (even when winding the leader to #1). By the way, it doesn't work well until you replace the bottom cover. Hope this solves your problems.


You need to be a little careful about having the film leader protrude through the 3 prong take-up-spool too far. There is the risk that film will wind on with a bulge and jamb midway through a 36 exp roll. The trick is to feed in enough of the film leader but not too much! Once the film is inserted replace the bottom cover and then wind on to the “0†counter position. Do not wind on before the bottom cover is replaced. There is a knack to getting it right but once you have, you will have no further problems. The whole thing is a stupid system. Folding the tip of the film seems like a good idea I shall have to try it.

The M5 take-up-spool was a much better arrangement. The reversion to the M4 type in later cameras is damn annoying, particularly with bulk rolled film. The much maligned M3, M2 film loading was at least a simple fail safe operation.

Good luck, craig


Active Member
i use an m6. i pull the film out enough so that when i drop it in it sticks most of the way into the takeup spool. as there are three slots it hits the other side. the trick i use is to line up one of the sprocket holes with the little gear that's exposed when you open the back door. i hold the film down with finger pressure. this makes for positive takeup. as long as i am not sloppy in doing so I have never had a problem loading the film. it sure beats my canon IIF (unless someone has a trick for the old screwmounts!)


Well-Known Member
I had a lot of trouble with the filmloading on my M6 to start with as I tried to do it the way the camera-shop-owner had showed me. Then after a year of two I found the manual for the M6 camera and follwed the instructions exactly and I have never had a problem with it since!


Well-Known Member
I have been a Leica SM and M owner sine 1966 and have never experienced any problem loading the film. Do follow instruction in the book (per Ruben)and DONT be tempted to keep the base off to "watch the film"


Dear Peter,

Apparently you have not learnt how to post.

If you receie an e-mail of interest, click the entry at the bottom "Jump to this page". You will then be directed to your internet browser and at the bottom of that pagec you will find where to post your message.

Justin Scott


I've had M6's for more than 10 years, and an M7 for 12 months. I have had more misloads with the M7 in that time than I ever had with either of my M6's. I have put it down to kinks in the film leaders, combined with the DX lugs holding the film canister too tightly to allow the necessary "play" when loading.




Well-Known Member
As Tom mentioned in an earlier post, check the rewind knob!
In a rush, I also have missed a session after not checking the rewind.
Now I always "take up the slack" after fitting a new film!



William, you're right and so do I. Still, sometimes it is just a little too easy to forget! Murphy's law appplies here, by the way... have you ever noticed that the film you haven't shot contains the best images of the day...?


Well-Known Member
Bill, you are absolutely right, it's that Murphy's Law you mentioned,
I am sure these were the images I misses, ...the best ones!


I have a leica m7 ,i can shoot 39 frame to 1 roll (36), but when i last frame exposd the quickwind lever half way stopped.Is it normally?
Becouse rewind release lever(R on the camera) not
moving.I try heavy?


Thank you Justin!
I love this camera .And when i make the pictures ,I
forgot to see how many frames i have.I hope the camera is OK!>This little
mistake is not problem inside the camera?


New Member
I Figured out what the problem was. If you put the lens cap on when you load the film the exposure time is so long that the shutter was not closing. When I reload with the lens uncovered it is much better. Folding the leading tip helps also. The ASA contacts are a little tight sometimes too.

Thank you for your help.


The problem I have with my M7 is that somewhere in the middle-to-end of a 36 roll the wind-forward must commit some kind of error. The reason I think this: I often get double-exposures in the upper numbers of a roll.

I've used different labs, so it's definitely not at that stage.

Strangest thing. Anyone else have this experience? Or better yet, anyone know the cause?

Thanks much.


Well-Known Member
I have never had any winding problems with my M7... John, do your negatives have tears in the sprocket holes? If so, then it is a tensioning problem, but if not, you might do a little experiment where you open the camera back, apply slight pressure to the film wheels, and wind on. If there is a slight slippage in the mechanism it might be possible to cause the slippage by applying pressure with your fingers. I have an older Exakta camera that has this problem, so I have to make sure to shoot smaller rolls (12 or 20 exposure) only. Actually, I often get some cool shots with this random double - triple exposure 'feature' - but I'd not be so happy if my Leica did it.

Oh, you should also check to be sure the rewind-release lever is fully returned to the upright position... but I presume you already checked this.

- marc


Thanks for your notes. tears in the negative sprocket holes.

From your description of the Exakta, sounds like I've got slippage of some sort. Not quite sure if I'm ready to switch to smaller rolls....certainly not with a Leica. Fortunately, I'm still under I guess I'll ship it off.

Again, thanks for your input.