Cleaning/Repairing LF Shutter

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mfratt, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. mfratt

    mfratt Member

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    I have an old Ilex Paragon 12" in an Ilex shutter which was included with my 4x5. Its an 8x10 lens, but I use it on the 4x5 as a tele. Problem is the slower shutter speeds don't work properly, or work inconsistently. I generally only use on long exposures anyway, so it hasn't been much of an issue, but I'm looking to get a cheap 8x10 and it would be nice if I could just use this lens on it rather than having to buy another for it.

    I was thinking about having a go at fixing it myself. How realistic is this for someone with nill experience at shutter/camera repair? Are there any resources that I might refer to for help?
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Have you tried just exercising it a bit? Running through the speeds 50 to 100 times has helped many a shutter who's only real issue is that they haven't been worked enough. Don't get me wrong - it probably could use a good CLA from a professional, but, being a cheapskate, I often have found the exercise method, or a quick dose of either naptha (lighter fluid) or spray electronics cleaner to be enough of a fix for my old shutters. The Ilex is a marvel of mass manufacturing, not the precision machine that European makers were producing, but a good, solid workhorse nonetheless. Here's what SKGrimes has on them.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Whitey, some Ilexes have hard rubber blades. Solvents ruin them.
     
  4. domaz

    domaz Member

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    You shouldn't be squirting Naptha willy-nilly on shutters. Take the timing gears out if you can or at least apply it only to the timing gears so it doesn't migrate. As Dan says some shutters have cloth/rubber blades you can destroy.
     
  5. mfratt

    mfratt Member

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    I ran through the shutter speeds thoroughly today, not sure that it made much of a difference. 1" seems to be the only one thats really messed up, it seems to be running anywhere from ~ .75" to 2" but everything under 1/25 makes the same noise when I release the shutter... its like a buzzing noise from the timing gears that continues after the shutter closes, and its really weak and oscillates somewhat.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    They're pretty easy because they 're big and simple.
    The front element unscrews, two screws for the decorator plate and three screws for the cam.
    I usually mark the cam for reference because I'm lazy. Take a close look at the slots. There is a follower in each one, on reassembly they like to avoid the groove they belong in.
    The slow speed escapement is in the lower left section of the case. I use lighter fluid or Naptha applied to the various gear shafts. You can apply it with the eye of a needle then work the shutter several times. The shutter can be worked just by replacing the cam plate & holding it in position. You may have to apply the solvent several times before everything is cleared up. You don't have to lube the shutter afterward, there's enough residual left from the solvent.
    That's really all there is. If you want you can take the escapement apart & clean the shafts & holes independently. I don't bother with it. There is usually gear timing & flying springs. When they fly it's to another dimension.