Kowa Issue

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by pinhole_dreamer, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    That's my Kowa. She has a great lens. I love the light meter - and it takes no batteries - which is a major plus.

    It has this really odd habit of wanting to expose the film and forward at the same time. The shutter button doesn't stick...until that odd habit takes over and it won't release the shutter unless I'm forwarding film. It does this with and without film in the camera.

    What does this? Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The short version is that it might need to be serviced. It could be the shutter, especially if it's a leaf shutter. It could also be a worn part.

    The quick fix is to put a bit of lighter fluid (small amount - short squirt) into the side of the shutter. Look for an open slot. If this seems to correct it, then the shutter might need to be serviced.

    It can hard to diagnose this kind of problem without testing the camera.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It's also very hard without having the camera in hand (and even then) to tell whether you can inject lighter fluid into something without creating far greater problems.
     
  4. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've been told also, to just take it in for a CLA.

    ...which might be easier. I'm confident in taking apart my Helioflex...but not this one.
     
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  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I sold the Kowa H back in the middle 1960s but I do not remember much about them. Is that one of the types which uses the mirror as a shutter?
     
  6. Brac

    Brac Member

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    Unfortunately all the Kowa 35mm SLR's are notorious for unreliability, especially after all these years since they were manufactured. It will probably be difficult to find anyone to repair it, especially as spare parts will be unlikely to exist. With these cameras, it is probably not worth the bother & cost, bearing in mind too that they are likely to break down again. The roll-film Kowas seem to be much more reliable.
     
  7. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Yes, I believe so. The mirror flips up and the shutter is behind the mirror.
     
  8. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    If not, I can always keep it with my camera collection. I have a few cameras, some toys, some just have a serious emotional value to them for me, that she can sit with and keep company. My 'portrait models' are interspersed among the cameras I don't use or are no longer in working order.

    I've not tried a roll of film in it to see if the forward will actually take a photo or not - but the shutter releases whenever I used the forward lever - so it would possibly expose the film and then forward it shortly thereafter. I've got some cheap-o film I can use for an experiment one of these days, preferably after most of the snow has melted and I can go walkabout with some confidence of not falling over my own two feet due to a misplaced step onto some ice under the melting snow.
     
  9. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    It's too bad no one makes adapters to use Kowa lenses on other camera bodies. My own experience has been like others--Kowa lenses are very fine, the cameras themselves not so much.
     
  10. Cai

    Cai Member

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    Ive just come across a Kowa H with a similar issue, I was wondering whether using the film advance lever to take the photographs was effective for you, as my shutter button will not lock either. Cheers
     
  11. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    I've owned two Kowa's, a SET and a SER T. If my memory serves me right the shutter is in the body in front of the mirror. The way it worked, if I am correct, is there is also a light curtain behind the mirror.

    When you look through the camera normally the mirror is down, the light curtain behind it is down, and the leaf shutter in the body is open. When you press the shutter release to take a photo the leaf shutter closes, followed by the mirror raising, then the light curtain opens, then the shutter re-opens and exposes the film and closes again. After the film is exposed the light curtain closes, followed by the mirror dropping, then the shutter re-opens. Of course while this is going on the aperture blades must also work, too. Needless to say, there are a lot of moving parts in there. Both my cameras suffered the same failure, shutter problems. Until they did, both provided very good service. However, when they did no one would work on them. I assume yours works in the same way.

    Wayne

    Edit, found this on the operation. http://taunusreiter.de/Cameras/Kowa_SETR_eng.html
     
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  12. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    Leaf shuttered 35mm SLRs are notorious for this sort of thing and VERY difficult to have repaired. Their medium format cousins are much more blessed in this regard.