Ensign "Popular Reflex" Repair

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by southman81, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. southman81

    southman81 Member

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    Hello everyone.
    A few months ago I bought this fabulous "ENSIGN Popular Reflex" (1920?):confused:
    It is in excellent cosmetic shape, but inside it has some problems.
    A curtain is missing, but in general appears to have a future.
    The rollers have tension if I roll up.
    But the problem is I can not deduct how the curtains sewn each other whit the cloth tape, and how long the tape should be…
    I'm not a camera repairman, I'm just an amateur with a nice camera that I would like to work ... I had success repairing a “Reflex Korelle”, and I thought, why not with the old ensign. (Should be easier, but in the korelle there was no missing parts)
    So any help is welcome, drawings, diagrams, sketches, anything!
    Best Regards.
    Luciano from Argentina.

    PD: I Upload some images to those who wants to help :smile:
     

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG

    Somewhere I've posted a link to repairing shutters like this. My laptop died 2 weeks ago and I'm not straight yet but I have saved not only the links but the pages as well (from a partial PDF - not savable/downloadable).

    It's relatively easy to make a new curtain there's patterns in the book, not sure if it covers the Houghton sgutters, it should.

    These shutters work in two ways:

    1. A single curtain made up of a number of slits, you wind the right bit into position. Graflex's etc

    2. A pair of curtains so more complex. Moving seperately like modern cloth SLR shutters.

    It could be yours is the first and has just come unglued/sewn. I've rebuilt a Graflex and also a Thrnton Pickard shutter neither was difficult. I'll see what I can find tomorrow, it's late here now :D

    Ian
     
  3. OP
    southman81

    southman81 Member

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    Thanks Ian!!!
    Great news, but this one have 2 curtains, the first (the missing one) it´s no missing, i have it, but super dry and cracky, so i have to replace this one, i´ll try to male my own curtain... for this also you can help me =)
    But the point is, this camera has 2 curtains. =(
    Thanks again!!
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ok,the book says how to make new curtains. I'll look tomorrow, you can read all you need online for shutter repairs of this type, and if you have the old curtain that acts as your pattern. I can't remember the Author or I'd find the link easily :D

    My Thornton Pickard shutter was dry andvery cracked and dead so I used Methylated spirits to remove the old shellac or whatever it was coated with then ironed the curtains flat before using dilute Black PVA fabric paint to re-lightproof the curtain, it's very flexible, I did the same for my Speed Graphic which had a lot of pin-holes.

    Ian
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Luciano, i've found the link, unfortunately the part on shutters is no-longer available online.

    Send me your email address and I'll let you have a copy of the relevant section as soon as I find the images.

    This link is useful, I found it after I'd repaired both my shutters.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2009
  6. OP
    southman81

    southman81 Member

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    Hi Ian!
    Thanks a lot for your help!!
    The good news is that maybe you are right with the shutter, maybe it is a Thornton Pickard Shutter, i don´t know.. it does have 3 rollers, so not very sure.
    The bad news, is that the one curtain left, is so dry and cracky that i need to replace this one too. Still looking for some sort of fabric replacement.
    I send you a private massage with my email.
    Best Regards!!
     
  7. Guppstah

    Guppstah Member

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    Hi, I know this post is very old, but did you sort out your shutter?

    G
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Since the thread started I've ben making shutter curtains for cameras like this, in fact I have two Ensigns (one rebadged as a Dallmeyer Press) waiting for repair.

    Ian
     
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    southman81

    southman81 Member

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    Hi Ian!
    Yes! the camera works! I finally can repair it!
    Is not so hard, the secret for mi camera is that the two curtains move under the same tape, and when you set the exposure what your doing is to make a gap between the two curtains. Different speeds = differents gaps.
    Send me your email and i will send you a video of how its works, my bad english is not so good for explications!
    Best regards!
     
  10. OP
    southman81

    southman81 Member

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    You have to set the exposure BEFORE you wind the camera
     
  11. Guppstah

    Guppstah Member

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    The reason I asked is I am currently repairing my own shutter on the same camera.
    the difference with mine is that I have both curtains but the tapes have broken.
    i have found as close as I can get to the tapes to replace them and will be gluing, sewing, praying very soon.

    the major task I had yesterday was removing the bottom of the camera box to get at the rollers.

    i really want to take a picture with this camera. I plan to cut down some 5x4 film to fit it.

    when it's rebuilt that is.

    still a way off yet.

    G
     
  12. Guppstah

    Guppstah Member

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    How do you get the tension correct on the tape roller please?
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    What format is your Ensign. I have film & plate holders for mine which is Quarter plate although it came with a Rollex 6x9 back, I also found a box of new quarter plate film sheaths plus two more and 4 conversion film sheaths in a 9x12 box. Film is available on the Ilford ULF run and also from Wephoto (much cheaper).

    Ian
     
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  15. Guppstah

    Guppstah Member

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    Mine is a quarter plate.

    I have a plate holder, the next problem will be getting film of some description sorted out.

    if I can sort these tapes out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2013
  16. kamphotog

    kamphotog Member

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    Repair info for Houghton Reflex

    Hi,

    I know it is an old thread...

    I successfully repaired a couple of Houghton Ensign reflex 3x4 cameras (replacing shutter curtains with new fabric). I did that all by myself (not much info on these cameras/shutter types on the web).
    The repairs took me months, with lots of thinking between actions...
    And now I 'd like to repair a Houghton Model B Ensign Reflex 2x3 (I bought it for the lens (Goerz Celor 180mm f4.8)).

    The tension adjustment of the rollers is always my nightmare. So many tries... If someone has a procedure, I'd be most grateful...
    (the links in the former posts are dead)

    Also, I noticed differences between the 3 cameras :
    On one camera, the bottom curtain roller had the fabric simply wrapped one way around and glued. On the 2 others, the glued part of the fabric was split (vertically) into 5 bands and those bands were wrapped alternatively (CW/CCW) around the roller. I suppose the 2nd option was to secure more strongly the fabric on the roller.
    One one camera, the bottom curtain was wider and was placed underneath the ribbons. On the others, the bottom curtain was between the ribbons.

    I also repaired a Butcher Popular Pressman (3x4 reflex) but the shutter is different (fixed size slits, like on a Speed Graphic).

    I upgraded all 3x4 to 4x5, as it is easier to find film. The result is a 4x4.5 negative... :smile:

    Thanks in advance,
    Kam


     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    kamphotog welcome to APUG
     
  18. Claudio Castelli

    Claudio Castelli Member

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    Hi, I'm looking for direction for repairing a houghton and butcher popular pressman, postcard size (3 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch). As You mentioned, the shutter seems a graflex type, a long curtain with several holes. Unfortunately 2 ribbons broke (those retaining the last, the fastest, the smallest "hole") , so, I lost the original tension... I just tried to reglue the ribbons to the metal bar, but that doesn't work so well (not enough tension for winding the film) Do you know how much I have to wind the spinning bar before re-attaching the curtains? Also, it seems hard to take it away to comfortably work, since is attached to the tension selector.. any tip on how unscrew it? Just any direction would be appreciated..

     
  19. Claudio Castelli

    Claudio Castelli Member

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    Just found out how to remove the tension knob.. it was rather easy, it was a matter of just unscrewing the inner knob.. Any further help would still be appreciated, like, for example, how many spins I have to rewind the roller before putting it back..
     
  20. Parky

    Parky Member

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    Hello all!
    Just joined up, so first post.
    Just acquired an old Butcher Popular Pressman (?AKA Ensign Popular Reflex, Dallmeyer Press?)
    It has no lens and the curtain has crinkled up and so it will need some work.
    I have an old Cooke Aviar 6" that I am hoping will work with it, fingers crossed...

    Anyone with experience of restoring or repairing this camera care to share photos and tips?

    It would be much appreciated.

    Claudio, did you have to tension the winder by trial and error to get it working?
    How many turns worked in the end?
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Can't help with that one, the Butcher Popular Pressman differs considerably to the Dalmeyer Press (which is a rebadged Ensign Reflex) that I own.

    Ian
     
  22. Parky

    Parky Member

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    Thanks Ian, that's worth knowing.
    I was under the impression, from browsing the web , that they were all very similar.

    Can you suggest a source for shutter curtain material?
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG

    For cloth shutter material check out www.graflex.org.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have shutter curtain material - three different types. You need to see what type of curtains your camera takes by that I mean is it two separate curtains or one continuous one with a number of slits. Most British SLR's are two curtain and self capping unlike the Graflex cameras which use one long curtain with multiple slits of different widths, and not self capping (except one model which has a second curtain but still uses multi slit long curtain as well).

    My Ensign made Dallmeyer Press has two curtains, it's much lighter than the same format TP Ruby Reflex cameras.

    Let me know what you need, maybe send a piece of the old curtain so I can match the thickness.

    Ian
     
  25. Parky

    Parky Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and the steer toward the graflex group Sirius.

    Ian, many thanks for the offer.
    As soon as I have a chance to dismantle the beast, I will proably get back to you.
    Just need to figure out what needs attention in order to work out my options.
    Probably be later this week.
     
  26. Parky

    Parky Member

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    Hi Ian,
    Managed to get an hour to have a good look at the Pressman today.
    Disassembly will have to wait a day or two yet.

    It's a single long curtain design with a reflex mirror acting as the cap.
    When in a fully unwound state the first section is solid curtain and measures 4.5" square.
    I say 4.5" because it's a circa 1920's British camera so Imperial makes sense.
    However some investigation leads me to believe
    that it may actually be a rebadged German ICA model.
    The second stage of the curtain is a 4" (100mm) cut out
    Stage 3 is all like stage 1 all curtain.
    Stage 4 has a central 1" (25mm) cut out
    Stage 5 is the same as 1&3 solid curtain
    Stage 6 has a central 1/8" (3mm)
    Total length I would guess is about 24" plus possibly another 1" or 2" on the rollers.
    image.jpeg
    Upon reflection I think those slit measurements, which are rough, are actually metric.
    I say this because the shutter speed selector has 6 speeds which are based on the slit size.
    These are referred to as 100, 25 and 3 which sounds, from my quick measurements like metric sizes.
    I managed to get a set of digital calipers on a section of curtain and it gave a reading of 0.2mm thickness.

    Does that all sound familiar? I will have a sift around the Graflex sites to research their shutters before I take
    mine apart. Just want to be sure I can get it back together again!
    Does this sound like your curtain material would be a suitable replacement?

    Many thanks
    Owen