Mamiya 6 - Shutter release button not clicking, film advance lever cocking endlessly

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by adifrank, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    I have a Mamiya-6. A couple of days ago it was working fine. Today I put in a new roll of film, closed the back cover and started to advance the film with the film advance lever. But noticed two strange things: [1] The shutter button would not function, I would press it, but nothing happens [2] The film never stopped. I could advance the film with the film-advance lever endlessly (without having to press the shutter button, which as mentioned, would not function).
    So I removed the roll of film to try and figure out what is wrong. Strangely, When the back cover is open - the shutter button WORKS! It clicks! But then when closing the back cover again - it stops working. I press it and no click. And I can pull on the film-advance lever over and over.
    Any ideas what might be wrong?:sad:
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Check under the camera, there is a curtain release button, it has a textured surface. The camera will not fire without that in the right spot. Usually, when you change a lens, you deploy the curtain with a little knob on the underside of the camera; then you have to remember to hit the release button to get the curtain out of the way.

    Happy shooting!
     
  3. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Hi keithwms, thanks for your reply.
    The curtain release dial is set to OPEN. Just to be sure, I closed the light-shield curtain and opened it again, just to be sure that it is okay. But that didn't help. The shutter release button is still not click. And what confuses me even more is that it DOES CLICK when the back of the camera is open. Only when the back of the camera is closed - it won't click.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Okay that is odd! But when you test it, is it with film in the camera? It seems to have something to do with your new roll of film...

    I'm not sure but I can make some guesses. What position is the film pressure plate in, is it in the right position? And is the lens retracted?
     
  5. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Well, when I first ran into this problem earlier today, it was with a roll of film in the camera. Then I tried a different roll, thinking that it possibly had to do with how the film was inserted or something, but with the next roll I got the same results.

    The film pressure plate is set to 120, which is the correct setting. I used the camera just a few days ago and all was fine, didn't make any changes or modifications to the camera.

    Yes, the lens is retracted.

    I might add just one thing... though I'm not sure about it: The back of the camera snaps closed as it should, but I noticed that there is a very small amount of freedom to the back cover, as if it is not absolutely shut all the way. If I press down on the back of the camera it goes in about 1mm maybe less. The thing is that I can't say for sure if this is a new thing or if the camera was always like this. I never noticed it before, but if it DID exist before and I didn't notice until now... it wouldn't surprise me. So I'm not sure what to make of it. I also have no idea how that would affect the shutter release button, since it seems to work with the back open.
     
  6. Jostie

    Jostie Member

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    I had shutter not firing problems and cured this by taking the lens off and cleaning the contacts between lens and body with a soft cloth. I don't know if this will help but it's worth a try.
     
  7. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    I read something like that somewhere... possibly I read something you posted about it.
    Two questions:
    1. How do you clean those? Just rub them with a cloth?
    2. The shutter DOES fire when I press the button with the back of the camera open (constantly) - wouldn't that rule out bad connections?
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ah now that sounds like a possible source of a problem. I looked at my camera and don't see any contacts between the back plate and the body, but you might check the latch mechanism. Also look at that little contact thing that is a bit to the right of and below the timer symbol, in the back. Looks to me like there is a rather delicate item on the door that pushes that to inform the camera that the back is closed. Is that functional? Also, what if you press the back down firmly, does it still not fire?

    Regarding the contacts, yes, you can just clean them with an ordinary dry cloth, and that does seem to cure a multitude of problems with this camera. If you have another lens, you might try swapping.

    I would be tempted to close and open the curtain a few times too and blow things out a bit- maybe there is a bit of lint or something somewhere.

    Wish I could be more helpful.

    P.S. the back doors on both of my 6es close very tightly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2011
  9. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    This is what I've tried and found out so far...

    When the back cover is open, the shutter release button fires normally. When the back cover of the camera is closed, the shutter release button will not fire and a red warning LED lights up in the upper right-hand corner of the view finder. I found a tiny pushable pin in the bottom crease where the back cover goes in when closed. While the cover was open I pressed the pushable pin with the tip of a pencil and the camera was fooled to thinking the back cover was closed - so the shutter release button fired fine (with LED warning light). So I'm drawn to conclude that the slight looseness in the back cover of the camera when shut is irrelevant. Otherwise, the camera would shoot normally when thinking the back is shut securely.

    According to the Mamiya 6 manual - this warning LED lights up when pressing the shutter release button in the following cases:
    a. when the lens mount is retracted
    b. when light shield curtain is closed
    c. film is not loaded
    d. shutter has not been cocked (film advance lever has not been wound until it stops)

    I tried cleaning the gold circuit connectors on both the lens and the lens mount. That didn't help.

    I currently put in my 3rd test roll of film - and with the film in the camera the shutter release button still won't fire and the warning LED lights up just as it did without film in the camera.

    There's a small hidden button on the right side of the camera which I never new about. According to the manual it's called an Emergency Winding-Stop Release Button. I read the description, but couldn't quite understand what its function is. Could this button possibly help me or be connected with my problem? Can someone explain exactly what it does? Here's the text from the manual:
    Any help here will be highly appreciated... I'm in the middle of a photography residency program in New York and I am lost without my favorite camera. :sad:

    Thanks
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well if you want I can loan you one of mine while you get yours fixed. Sounds like it needs a technical visitation :sad:
     
  11. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Hey Keith, thanks for the generous offer! :smile:
    Luckily MAC Group isn't too far away from here (Elmsford). I've dealt with them in the past (about 6 years ago) and they were really nice and rather speedy. If I don't find a simple DIY solution by the end of the weekend, I'll just make the trip over there and see what they can do.

    In the meantime, if anyone has ideas... I'll be happy to hear them.

    Thanks.
     
  12. kerrybr

    kerrybr Member

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    I just picked up a Mamiya 6 yesterday and thought I had the same issue... but turns out that the film wasn't winding onto the takeup spool. Are you positive that the film is advancing properly? Also, what does your exposure counter read?
     
  13. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Hi kerrybr. Yes, the film is advancing properly. I've already wasted three rolls in tests to try and figure out what the problem is. I see the counter advance normally as I wind the film.
     
  14. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Hi. I spoke to technical support at MAC Group in New York. They wouldn't let me speak to a technician to try and troubleshoot the problem on the phone. So without a choice I'll need to have the camera sent for repair.

    But I believe I have managed to narrow down the problem.

    After doing all sorts of tests, I have a strong feeling that the problem is that for some reason the camera is not registering there is film in it. And that is why the shutter release button won't fire, the film-advance lever will wind the film without it stopping at frame 1.

    Does anyone know how the Mamiya 6 detects if there is film in it? Is there some sort of lever or electronic censor?
    If I find out what detects the film, I might be able to figure out what the problem is.

    Thanks!
     
  15. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I had a good look in the back of my Mamiya 6 and I couldn't find anything like what I expected to find, like a lever etc. My guess (complete guess) is that it senses the rotation of the full spool when the film is loaded.
     
  16. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    Okay, well... I've already handed the camera to a repair service. So far, without opening up the camera, they suspect the winding system will require a complete overhaul, quoted at $300 :sad:. They say that there is a possibility that more problems will be discovered once the camera is open, so I should be prepared for further costs if it turns out this is the case :sad:.

    I asked about the film detection. They say that the film is detected by the roller, located just before the film goes to the pickup spool.
    But they believe it is not a case of the camera failing to detect the film but rather the camera failing to detect that the film has reached the next frame when being wound - which apparently has to do with the winding mechanism.

    I'll post back when I have more details. Thanks.
     
  17. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Please let us know how it goes. I have one that needs repair, and it's good to get feedback about repairers.
     
  18. ssimoncini

    ssimoncini Member

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    hi. i guess your problem matches mine with a 7 body. i bought it a few months ago and shot just one roll to test it, it went just fine. now on a random basis (let's say 3 out of 10 exposures) i advance the film, shutter won't fire, advance the film again, shutter usually fires. By closely listening i managed to hear like a "click" when releasing the film advance lever after advancing the film. when it happens, the shutter won't fire. when it does'nt, the shutter fires. placing a finger underneath the camera on the curtain rotary knob yuo can "feel" this click as a light vibration. From what I gathered by browsing the internet, it's related to a magnetic switch which tells the system that the shutter has fired. now, I think this switch should be operated by the firing button (in one way) and by the film advance lever (in the other way). for some reason i think sometimes the film advance lever "charges" the system on its way up and erroneusly "discharges" the system on its way back.
     
  19. otaku

    otaku Member

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    Resolution?

    Adifrank,

    Did you get the camera back from Mamiya? What was the outcome?
    My camera has been skipping an occasional frame for years, but it has suddenly gotten much worse.

    Thanks.
     
  20. adifrank

    adifrank Member

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    weird. i thought i had replied with the outcome of this a long time ago.
    anyway, better late than never.
    i handed the camera to nippon camera service in manhattan. the said the camera needed an overhaul of the winding mechanism (whatever that means). camera was fixed pretty quickly and it works fine now. i hope i'm not mistaken, but if memory serves me right, it set me back $300, which i believe is kind of the standard going rate for any serious repair for this camera either at nippon or at mac (mamiya).
    thanks