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M3 Rewind Mechanism


Active Member
Dear Friends,
I'm asking for an advice on repairing the rewind crank of a Leica M3.
I have just purchased it from Ebay for a very good price and the seller stated that the rewind function is...not functioning.
I didn't have received the camera yet so I cannot say anything about the nature of the defect itself but, from the pictures I saw, the camera seems absolutely normal from the outside.
Having another M3 (you know this happens...) I took a look at the internal rewind mechanism and seems a very simple device probably easy to fix.
Of course I shall be more precise with the camera in my hands but I thought it would be a good idea to know in advance if anybody of you has ever encountered such a problem and what were the results.
Thanks in advance and best regards to you all


Active Member
>Enrico wrote: > > "I'm asking for an advice on repairing the rewind crank of a Leica M3."

Yes, the rewind mechanism on the M3 is relatively simple BUT unlike similar rewind mechanism on the M4/M6/M7, there is a gear assembly 'beneath' the top place AND you need a special tool to remove the knob.

The axis of the rewind knob in NOT in line with the axis of the film cassette, so Leica designed in an 'idler' gear to offset this because the RF/View finder assembly is so wide as to preclude an 'in line' axis design (e.g., on the Leica II-IIIg).

Unless the knob itself if misaligned due to outside forces, there is really not much to go wrong. You can grease the small gears with a 'd&ening' grease to make the knob turn smoothly and in the 'Leica fashion' but aside from that there is nothing else.

If the knob is reluctant when you try to pull it up, you can lubricate the shaft a bit.

How can the knob be damaged and STILL not show physical damage? I'll describe one scenario:

Knob raised - external blunt cushioned force was applied to the raised knob/shaft so as to cause the shaft to 'bend' a bit. This will make the task of 'pulling' and 'pushing' the knob an 'adventure' - the knob may be difficult to turn as well.

Once you have the camera in hand, further analysis may be performed on you M3.

Good luck.



Active Member
Dear Tsun,
thanks for the very competent advice, I'll surely post more details on the situation once I have the camera in my hands.
I'll keep you posted, regards