Mamiya C3 - shutter problem

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by newcan1, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I bought a very nice Mamiya C3 from a fellow APUGer last week, who very honestly had described a problem with the shutter on the 80mm lens that came with it. I got a good price and 2 other lenses, and am very happy with the kit.

    But of course, now I am wondering how hard it would be to strip the 80mm lens down to examine what might be wrong with the shutter. Taking the lens elements off is easy - but all that exposes is the shutter leaves. I don't know how to strip down further to the shutter mechanism.

    Basically, no matter what setting it is turned to, it fires at about 1/60 sec. So it works, but won't change speeds.

    The lens has "Seikosha S" on it, which I assume describes the shutter. Any tips on how to strip this thing down would be most welcome.
     
  2. MSchuler

    MSchuler Subscriber

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    I can't speak to do-it-yourself work, but if you decide to send it to a shop, I've had Flutot's Camera Repair (http://flutotscamerarepair.com/) do work on my Mamiya TLR shutters and they have done a good job.
     
  3. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Thanks - I saw their webpage. But they have a backlog and I think it would be at least $80 or so to have them look at it - I think I could get a replacement lens for that.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    If you have little or no experience with a shutter like this I'd have to advise against trying to DIY.

    You need the correct tools to start and them sheeesh. These things have tiny gears, escapements, etc and only need a tiny bit of lube at the correct places.

    I'm sure some crotchety apugger will come along and marvel how easily they fixed theirs, or how they gushed it with ronsonol and all was well but I'd look for another or get this one repaired by a competent repairman.

    BTW, 80 bills is n't an exorbitant price for a full teardown and repair/lube.
     
  5. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    80 bills isn't bad - but I can buy a replacement for the same price - I figured I could tear this one down, and even if I fail, I wouldn't be behind.
     
  6. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    You could buy another for 80, but how soon will it need a CLA?
     
  7. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I've had Paul Ebel work on a Mamiya tlr lens that had the same problem, he did a great job since he's worked on a lot of them. Cost including return shipping was about $95, which I thought was fair.
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Having your equipment maintained is part of the cost being a serious photographer if you need to come back to your client with pictures , not excuses.
     
  9. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    True, I suppose that once CLA'd it would last a very long time.
     
  10. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    True...but your next lens may have problems, too.

    There use to be an *Bay seller with the handle of 'nikondave' that sold illustrated/breakdown repair manuals for all kinds of cameras and lenses; including Mamiya TLR cameras and lenses.

    Also, along with Flutot's, (mentioned in post #2), for shutter repairs, apparently Mamiya USA (MAC), sold all/most of their remaining Mamiya TLR parts to KEH Camera, in Georgia. KEH may end up being the last bastion for Mamiya TLR repair, simply because they now have all of the remaining factory supplied repair parts for these cameras.

    Unfortunately, they won't sell the parts individually.
    They only use the parts when repairing lenses and/or cameras sent into their repair shop.

    Another age related problem you're facing is your "Seikosha S" model shutter.
    Those shutters were in the earliest lenses commonly called the 'Chrome' lenses.
    There hasn't really been any parts available for those lens shutters for quite some time.
    If you do opt for purchasing another lens, try to get a 'Black' lens, preferably one that has a 'Blue-Dot' on the shutter cocking lever.

    Picture comparison example...Old 'Chrome' lens on the left,
    Newest 'Black-S' lens, w/the best muti-coatings of any Mamiya TLR lens on the right:
    http://farm1.staticflickr.com/93/245447845_48e6be09ac_z.jpg

    Below, are examples of the three (3) different generations of the 'Black' series of 80mm TLR lenses.

    First-production, Black, 'Plain-Dot' 80mm TLR lens:
    http://dzpcameracafe.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/m-c220-g.jpg

    Mid-production, Black, 'Blue-Dot' 80mm TLR lens:
    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3432/3208656581_01266338cc_z.jpg?zz=1

    Newest/last-production, 'Black S - Blue-Dot,' 80mm TLR lens:
    http://www.cretephotography.com/images/Mamiya C330/700_9623.jpg
    *Note: This latest 'S' series 'Blue-Dot' lens is easily identified by the absence of any lens markings around the lens face.

    Good luck!

    Marc
     
  11. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Marc - very interesting. I just sent an e-mail to Flutot's as they have a wait list. But maybe they won't be able to fix it. I didn't say which one it was, I'll send them a follow up e-mail.

    But if no parts are available, that makes me all the more curious to open it up - nothing to lose then.

    Funny it's one of the oldest models, it look like it came out of the factory yesterday, it's in wonderful condition (except that it only works at one speed plus bulb).
     
  12. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    The Seikosha-S was actually the second generation of shutters. The really old ones are the Seikosha-MX with speeds to 1/400. Joe Lippincott's out of print 'Care and Repair of Classic Cameras has a section on opening up a Seikosha-S. Enough for basic cleaning. If you need parts you are probably into cannibalizing another shutter. Or if you find a good one, just do a swap.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Strongly ===> What he said!
     
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  15. photopriscilla

    photopriscilla Member

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    Thank you! I will look into him! I have a lens problem!
     
  16. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    These lenses have insides that are accessible: all you have to do is unscrew both the front and rear element sets. It MIGHT be that the escape mechanism has a bit of grime in it and cannot easily be positioned at each shutter speed change. I would flush out the entire mechanism with lighter fluid after the glass has been removed and until all the liquid does not discolor any more. It just might work and it does no harm. Then dry in a warm, dry place overnight, making sure to periodically move the shutter blades completely so no liquid remains between the blades. My oven, with the pilot light on, provides an environment that is about 110 F but you could also use a hair drier to speed things up. - David Lyga
     
  17. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Thanks, David. If I can get access to actually see the shutter mechanism, it may well be something simple as you say. After all, it fires at about 1/60 and opens on bulb. I think there is more to it than removing the glass, however - I think the chrome metal on the front has to come off somehow. But I'll probably try; nothing ventured, nothing gained. And Flutot hasn't responded to my email of the other day.
     
  18. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    And you do not have to worry about getting 'helicoid grease' all over your inner mechanism because there is NO helicoid: the focus is in the Mamiya body. - David Lyga
     
  19. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I may have some pictures of a Seikosha-S being dismantled. PM me an email address and I will try and dig it out. If I have it it is in my previous computers' backup.
     
  20. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    If you haven't settled on an outfit to look at this, I highly recommend the repair guys at KEH in Atlanta. I regularly sent my 35mm gear to them, bodies and lenses, for periodic routine maintenance. They do a great job and in a timely fashion. Lately though they've gone towards a flat rate system which I don't think may be so reasonably priced. http://www.keh.com/Repair-Center.aspx

    I agree and would not attempt to do this on your own, working without a net. Lube placed in the wrong place can really mess up a lens. So can the wrong lube in the wrong place. Also it often takes some very specialized tools for everything from spring lifters/removers to pliers to screwdrivers. And if you improvise those, you might be doomed. Send it to someone who knows what they're doing especially since you got a fair price on the rig.
    Take it light ;>)
    Mark
     
  21. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Well this is interesting.....With the help of my Ed Romney repair book, some small camera repair tools I bought 13 years ago and never used until now, and a couple of shutter images provided by fellow APUGer grahamp, I actually fixed the shutter. The speed control mechanism wasn't working - the tab on it that lines up with and slows down the mainspring was not interfacing with the mainspring. When I took the speed control out, I noticed a screw lying beneath it in the shutter. The screw was supposed to screw into the speed control assembly from below, I surmised. Without it, the control lacked structural integrity and the tab could push up and was ineffective. When I reassembled everything with the screw in place, the shutter fired properly on all speeds - except 1/125, 1/250, and 1/500 all look pretty much the same. There is a lot of oil on the blades, and I think this is why. For my next trick I need to take off the rear element (haven't quite figured that out yet) and clean the blades with solvent.

    This is of course a rosy summary - the path to success actually involved a few additional learning experiences along the way, but so far so good.

    Any idea re: the best solvent? I have VM&P Naptha and barbecue lighter fluid, but no cigarette lighter fluid. I'm open to suggestions - what to use and where to get it.

    I'm now glad I did this, because I have noticed that on another lens (105mm) there is also a problem - the top three speeds all fire at 1/500-ish. But not because of oil on the blades. Now I understand the shutter, this may be an easy fix (unless attributable to missing part).
     
  22. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    newcan1, I believe that the element sets simply unscrew (carefully, use a pair of pliers, newcan1).

    As far as the oil: impregnate a clean, soft tissue with some lighter fluid and carefully use that to moisten the blades, then wipe off with dry, clean tissue. You will have to continually move the aperture blades (this is where the oil hides) and the shutter blades. (You might even do THIS: fire at BULB, insert a finger or other rather soft object in the hole and then 'close' the shutter. Obviously, the shutter blades will not close completely and you will see what oil lurks when the shutter blades are partially closed. Be careful and this should not damage anything.

    Actually this whole cleaning might be better accomplished by squirting the lighter fluid directly into the whole lens assembly (with all glass elements removed, first) if there is a lot of oil, in order to drain all the grime. I would have to see it to advise you further but be certain to make sure ALL is completely dry before screwing on the element sets. What I do is this: after all the grime is drained and the assembly is clean, I put the mechanism in my oven. The pilot light keeps the temp at about 110 F so it dries completely overnight. But, just to make certain, every few hours work the aperture and shutter blades to uncover hidden lighter fluid so it will dry quicker. Don't force anything. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  23. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Where does one buy lighter fluid? I assume you mean cigarette lighter fluid, not charcoal lighter fluid.
     
  24. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I use charcoal lighter fluid (it is cheaper) and NOW, at this time of the year especially, it is easy to buy. Put some in a smaller squeeze bottle so it will be easier to squirt.

    And, of course, as you stated in post #20, make certain that there are NO loose screws. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  25. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    Zippo brand,but,depending on your market..Rizla ,or..anything. Should be labelled "Petroleum Spirit -1271 ", and come in a metal can with a sealable spout.
     
  26. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Well the shutter has been cleaned as best I could, and reassembled. I took the camera with that lens for a test run today - the negatives look good! Thanks all for your helpful advice.