Another folder repair question

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by battra92, May 25, 2006.

  1. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Okay, here's the deal. After fixing an Agfa Isolette, an acquaintence decided to donate an Ansco Speedex to me. It was pretty cool and the bellows are perfect (I'm impressed) and everything else is good except: 1) The focus is froxen (which I can fix) and 2) the shutter is incredibly slow. I clocked 10 seconds on the 1 second setting.

    This is a nice camera with an Apotar lens and, I think, a Prontor-SV shutter (I'll check when I get home) I would think this is something worth getting fixed as it is better than my current Agnar/ Vario Isolette. And hey, it would be nice for color and use the Agnar for B&W.

    Shutter repair is something I do not feel comfortable with. I can do the focus just fine, and even fixing holes in bellows is fine, but shutters are too sensitive. Does anyone have advice on who/where/if it's worth it to get this fixed. I mean it is a cool enough camera and all and I can probably see myself using it so I thought I'd ask you repair guys. :smile:
     
  2. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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  3. William Parrish

    William Parrish Member

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    Before you write-off repairing the shutter yourself, take a look at this page:http://daniel.mitchell.name/cameras/prontor/prontor.html
    A lot of the problem with the shutters on the old Agfa/Ansco's is solidified lubricant and dust. If you're tearing it down far enough to free-up the focus, you're only about two steps away from dismounting the shutter and dropping it in a bowl of lighter-fluid for a few days. I'm just a hammer-mechanic, but I've been able to restore a couple of them. Good luck.
     
  4. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Jurgen Kreckel, www.certo6.com, has worked on a couple for me. Very good service and reasonable prices. He specializes in folders.

    Lee
     
  5. William Parrish

    William Parrish Member

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  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I'll second the dropping in lighter fluid suggestion. It has worked wonders for several of mine.
     
  7. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Quick and probably stupid question. I have the front elements off so I can see the clockworks of the shutter. How do I get it off to immerse it in lighter fluid?
     
  8. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    I'll second recommending Jurgen. I've dealt with him a few times, and have only great things to say about his work.
    Chris
     
  9. DBP

    DBP Member

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    If memory serves, you can fairly easily access the rear from inside the bellows. There should be a ring that unscrews. But if you can't get it off, just squirt some lighter fluid into the mechanism, let it sit a few seconds, fire the shutter a few times, pour off the lighter fluid, and repeat. Once it is firing well, let it dry. You may need to repeat the cycle a few times.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I used Ronsonal light fluid on several shutters to clean them and had success in all cases. I was surprised at how close the shutter speeds were after cleaning. I have a shutter speed tester and the speeds are very acceptable. I removed the rear element from the bellows side from inside the camera. I have an Agfa folder and now it's like new. Keep track of how you take it apart because of shims and washers. I could not get mine back together after hours of working on it. I put it away in a baggie then brought it out a couple of weeks and found that I had a part backwards, the whole thing went together fast as is great. It's fun to fix something if you can.

    Curt
     
  11. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Thanks guys

    Jergen was a bit too pricey for my college budget ($100 or so to fix it better than I could ever do, I'm sure)

    I couldn't get the inner ring off and as my electronics teacher always told me, never force something to come off so I took the advice here and squirted the Rosonol into the exposed shutter and fired it off a few times. Lather, rinse, repeat. So far so good! I can't accurately measure the shutter speeds but 1 second no longer takes about 30 seconds to close (it seems to count about my 'one onethousand' pretty well) and the fast ones seem faster than the fast ones. What is a way, short of putting film in there and shooting a roll, of testing the shutter accuracy. Most likely, I'll use it for color print and skip slide but it would be nice to know how accurate it is.

    So I think I'll just get some lube later and slap it all back together and adjust it all. Nice to know that these folders are fairly easy to service. :smile: Thanks all!
     
  12. DBP

    DBP Member

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    If your eye and ear think the shutter seems about right, it probably is. I would start at 1 second and see if the speeds seem to change proportionately. In my experience, leaf shutters are either way off or pretty close. You may want to double check that the blades close all the way at slow speeds, as I have seen that problem in an otherwise smoothly functioning shutter. Be sure not to get any lubricant in it while you are putting it back together.
     
  13. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Yeah, I'll check that. I have the camera pretty much 85% back together with the middle lens element back in place for the time being.
     
  14. William Parrish

    William Parrish Member

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    Sorry, I haven't checked this link for a few days. Be sure to keep the lube away from the shutter mechanism. If you used Ronsonol lighter fluid, there should be sufficient residual lubrication to keep the shutter firing smoothly. If you just can't help yourself, and have to lube something, use a very, very small amount of lightweight machine-oil (sewing machine oil comes to mind) applied with the tip of a needle, only to surfaces where a part rotates on a pin. DO NOT put any lube on any gears.

    You had asked about removing the shutter assembly from the camera, and this is accomplished by removing the retaining ring from the bellows side. A lens spanner helps out immensely here. If you don't have one, you might be able to fashion one by grinding a couple of tits on a piece of band-saw stock, and then gripping it in a pair of vice-grips. (Grind slowly, and quench frequently, or you'll remove the temper.)

    Bill
     
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have always had the view that if the one second speed takes about a second and does so smoothly with no hesitancy, then the rest of the speeds should be pretty good.
    I don't base this on any facts or actual measurements, just what I have found so far.

    Steve.
     
  16. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Thanks again for all your help. I adjusted the focus and after a tiny bit of the lube gel from Radio Shack (which cost a whole 97 cents) and it's as good as new. The bellows are light tight as of right now. I hope I never have to replace those. ^_^;;

    Now to take it out and get shooting. I just got the roll back from my Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 and they are pretty sweet. I'll definately be using these folders as a demo for my college photo club.

    I've got Medium Format in my pocket ... :wink:
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    That Ronsonal really works nice doesn't it. And it evaporates and leaves the metal very clean.
     
  18. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    That it did. I kept hearing how you have to pour it off and stuff. Funny but by the time I went to pour it out of the shutter, I got nothing. The only question I have is after it dried, where did the dust and grime go? Everything looked really clean afterwards.
     
  19. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Hopefully not on the shutter leaves! If you clean an escapement on the camera, apply one drop at a time. Never apply directly from the bottle - its too easy to go overboard.

    Personally, I always disassemble a shutter to service it. Its so easy on the Prontor's too - there aren't any finicky adjustment points like on the Compur's.
     
  20. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Well I don't think I went overboard. ^_^;;

    Eh, I just wasn't comfortable with that, plus I couldn't get the shutter off (no spanner wrench)