How did they assemble lens irises?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by athanasius80, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Well last night I finally managed to take apart, clean, and reassamble a set of Wollensak aperture blades in a shutter. Does anyone know how they did it in the old days? It took me too many cuss words and too much time to imagine doing this on an assembly line scale.
     
  2. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    Magical gnomes? I really don't know how they did it but I agree whole hartedly that they are a pita.
     
  3. dmax

    dmax Member

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    The short answer is that they used a jig to hold pieces in place and in their proper orientation. It kept the locating pins firmly in place prior to insertion into the shutter body. They still use jigs nowadays to put together the one-piece shutter and diaphragm assemblies in modern-day lenses. Because of the final one-piece construction, these are easily dropped in place and then secured with screws.

    Or maybe they employed assembly line workers hired specifically for having at least four hands!
     
  4. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've read that shutters and irises were assembled by ladies who neither knew nor cared anything about photography, but who could do them in seconds (after doing a few hundred), using pretty simple tools. I suspect that included a jig of some kind, and also the whole process likely varied considerably from one brand to another -- but the first iris I reassembled took me less than an hour, with no tools more sophisticated than tiny screwdrivers to push the blades around.
     
  5. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I've just stripped, cleaned and reassembled the aperture blades of an Asahi Auto Takumar. It took me a couple of hours to get the blades sorted, but I reckon that with practice it would become much easier. A friend who once worked for Toshiba UK told me how the Japanese management were constantly surpised at the lack of dexterity of UK assembly line women compared to their Japanese equivalents, due mainly to the size of the fingers. My two bunches of bananas certainly don't help and fine screwdrivers/pliers are a must!!!
    Steve