Agfa Isolette with the frozen focus ring grease of doom

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by BetterSense, May 21, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Is there any way to free this thing up, or is it pretty much junk? It's a real nice camera. If it was frozen on infinity, it might be quite usable, but no such luck--it's stuck on 8 feet.
     
  2. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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  3. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Wick the threads with WD40 or any penatrating oil over night to losen the old gunk a bit. I've had good luck using heat, set it in the sun all day, then brute force with opposing strap clamps. Once you have it appart, clean it with any grease cutting solution, white gas or orange grease cutting cleaners is what I've used.

    Patience is key to not destrying it.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    So does it just thread off all the way counterclockwise then?

    The assembly is still on the camera and I should like to get it off so that I can work on it without torquing the folding bits.
     
  5. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I dribbled a bit of lighter fluid around the focus ring and using a bit of cloth managed to work it back and forth to the extent that now it spins all the way through its range. I'm pretty sure it's not working though, because I put some ground glass in the back and it doesn't seem that the focus changes at all when turning the ring through its range. There must be some parts still stuck inside.
     
  6. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    The Apotar lens on mine has an aluminum outer ring on the front of the lens with the distance markings on it. This ring is attached by three tiny set screws around the edge that screw in radially toward the lens axis. These screws grip a barrel inside the aluminum ring. You might just be twisting the aluminum ring without turning the barrel inside, which is what actually contains the lens elements. If you have a set of jewelers' screwdrivers, you can loosen the set screws until the aluminum ring slides off, and then you will have access to the inner barrel. Then you can try penetrating oil or use a hose clamp as a wrench and try to loosen the inner barrel.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I see that now. I don't have a screwdriver small enough to remove the screws, so I guess there's not much else to do until I get one.
     
  8. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Oh sorry, I thought you had the lens off the shutter already.

    Yeah, take the ring off as described above. Then get the lens off the shutter. It's a 2 part lens and that has to be taken appart once it's off the shutter. One part screws inside the other, the back part stays in the shutter and the front turns via the focusing ring.

    Use strap clamps and not your pliers. Some people use hose clamps, that works as well but can mar the brass if it slips and they chance over tightening which can break the lenses inside as well as deform the brass barrels.
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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  10. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Sacrifice an X-Acto blade by just filing the tip flat enough to turn the screw - it doesn't take much. (you might want to file the edge a bit to make this a safer operation.) I find it works wonders for those screws too small for the screwdrivers I have at hand. Back the screws out but don't remove them if you want to be able to put the thing back together.. those little devils run away quite frequently if allowed to roam.

    The thread Bethe suggested has a lot of collected wisdom on this subject. The camera is usually worth the effort. Good luck.
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Hurray! I bought a jeweler's screwdriver set today and took the ring off. I soaked the assembly in lighter fluid all day and when I got home I dropped them in boiling water. I grabbed the threaded part with vise-grips padded with a piece of mousepad, and carefully grabbed the other part (which isn't threaded) with the vice grips naked. They came apart.

    I figure I'll either use some anti-seize compound, or boat trailer bearing grease on it when I reassemble.
     
  12. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    On one apparently knowledgeable site, I found this recommendation:

     
  13. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Well, I put it all together, but a quick trip into the closet with a flashlight reveals that the bellows is rather like swiss cheese. Is there anywhere I can buy a new bellows? I think I could handle putting it on myself.
     
  14. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    We once had a guy Mark Kopono making em but he dissapeared n turned out to be a flake.

    There are a few companies making bellows but they aren't cheap. I'm sure someone will chime in soon.
     
  15. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Since you are in the US, and if you think it is worth it, you could send it to Certo6 (Jurgen). He specialises in renovating old folders: http://www.certo6.com/index.html
     
  16. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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  17. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Looks like I'll have to bust out the liquid electrical tape.