New Leica-M Winder : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I just received the latest Leica Winder M from my dealer. I don't know if any of you have seen it but it is a marvelous addition to my M6TTL. The new winder only adds about 5/8 of an inch to the bottom of the camera. It also includes a grip that extends up the side of the camera which houses the battery. It has a small control that allows you to use in single or multiple frame modes. I have owned several of the older style motor winders and the size, weight and noise made them less than desirable. The new winder adds balance(IMHO) and the grip makes the camera easier to handle. The noise level is low compared to previous models. I am extremely pleased with the purchase. I think these winders are already in backorder from Leica. My dealer received a double-shipment and he may still have one left if anyone is interested.

-- Bob Bedwell (, March 28, 2001


I prefer the motor-winder in my Hexar RF, which does not add 5/8" to the bottom of the camera, or $600+ to my credit card balance : )

-- Jay (, March 28, 2001.

Who asked you, Jay? FYI, this is the LEICA page.

-- Alec (, March 28, 2001.


I'm curious as to which setup is quieter... I checked out the Hexar RF and was surprised by how quiet it was -- not as quiet as a naked M, but certainly not noisy by motorized SLR standards. I have not had the pleasure of hearing the new motor on the M. Do either of you have comparative information? Not to initiate an inflamed, passionate LUG- type [;-)] discussion, but at first blush it seems that the ability to turn off the motor for the M gives you the best of both worlds; but of course, that flexibility comes at significantly higher product cost and no AE exposure option -- an option seems like a natural choice for motorized shooting.



-- Jack Flesher (, March 28, 2001.

I just got my Motor-M last Saturday. Anyone who has used an MD-12 on a Nikon FM2 will have some feel for the size and ergonomics of this drive. I like it a lot better than the Rapidwinder/Rapidgrip combo I just sold. As an M-Grip devotee I like the feel of the battery- compartment/grip on the new motor.

I've got one quibble with the operation of the thing, and I don't think Leica can do anything about it. The shutter release backlash is very noticeable after each shot, but what's worse is that if I mash the shutter button and hold it down, the motor will not advance the film. This means that for continuous shooting you need to keep light pressure on the button and let it bounce up and down.

It does make the sleek M6 a bit unwieldy, though not as much

I also agree with Jay's comments - the motor on the Hexar RF is lighter, faster, a bit quieter, not as quirky and rewinds the film as well as winding it. When you compare the cost of the RF to the cost of a .58 M6TTL with the motor, and then factor in the better electronics, more flexible shutter and lighter weight of the RF, it's a bit of a no-brainer.

-- Paul Chefurka (, March 28, 2001.

Sorry, the truncated line above should read "Though not as much as the original Winder-M".

Two other positive things about the Motor&M6 compared to the Hexar are that you can use the motor on .72 and .85 bodies, and you can turn it off and use your thumb if you want. It's certainly the best winding gizmo Leica has ever come out with for the M.

-- Paul Chefurka (, March 28, 2001.

Drat. I told Mimi I wanted this for my 40th birthday in May. So now I can't just, like, order one. Drat.

-- Tony Rowlett (, March 28, 2001.

I'm sorry, I haven't had the opportunity to handle the new M winder. I do own both a Winder M4-2 (late, works on M6,I paid $99 for it!) and Winder-M (from the early production, says "Leitz"), which both exhibit the same backlash to the shutter button as noted above. While these winders are taller than the new one, they do basically the same thing...wind the film! They aren't very noisy by SLR-winder standards, although until I overhauled it the M4-2 winder made an awful racket and jumped each time it was fired; now it's as quiet as the Winder-M but still lacks a tripod hole. I really don't like the obligatory grip on the new winder, nor having to use those expensive lithiums just to power a low-speed motor. At least the ones in the R8 winder run the camera also, and it rewinds too. I'm not sure why Leica couldn't have engineered a power rewind into the new motor. I also think it would have been nice if it had been a 2-piece unit with a light-tight QR baseplate that could stay on the camera while you took the drive off. Also that way, by buying extra baseplates you could have transfered the winder from one body to another without a changing bag. I'm sure if I didn't already own the older motors I'd be more interested in the new one. And, sorry if the talk of the Hexar RF offends anyone, but it is the M body that Leica refuses to make, so even Solms has no grounds to object to hearing it spoken of in context with its products.

-- Jay (, March 28, 2001.

Given the problems Leica had producing the R8 motor, I'm glad they decided to keep this one simple. Otherwise we'd have had it about mid-2005.

-- Paul Chefurka (, March 28, 2001.

Yeh, 2005 is about when we'll get an M6E or an M7.

-- mark (, March 28, 2001.

In my experience,the movement of the shutter release button while using the various winders made by Leitz for the M cameras is on purpose, for two reasons. It allows you to feel the advance of the film in noisy environs (like in the middle of a riot) where even though the unit makes some noise its not like a Nikon FM/MD-12 or Nikon F2/MD2. It doesn't take much ambient noise to drown out the winders action. Secondly, it can be useful to be able to take a picture without the noise of the film advance by holding down the release button hard after exposure, then leaving the area and releasing it where the noise wont be distracting. Granted, you can just turn off the winder and then use the release, advancing by thumb, but you may not have the time to do that. If your natural shooting style is to use the winder all the time (like me, as I am left-eyed) it is easier to just understand that all I have to do to stay as unobtrusive as possible in a fleeting moment is to press the release and hold it.

-- Tom Duncan (, July 09, 2002.

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