RB67 Pro - cocking lever stuck - after just 9 shots after I got it :(

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by C0rnholio, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. C0rnholio

    C0rnholio Member

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    Hi people. I recently purchased a used RB67 Pro + Sekor 90mm 3.7 ( non C ) off ebay. It was in fair condition and everything seemed to work perfectly when I played around with it without any film in. I have loaded up a Portra film to use in my vacation in Greece ( mostly portraits with my wife ) - and everything seemed fine up to the point where I got towards the end of the film - and the cocking lever on the body got stuck.

    This is my first medium format camera - but I did a lot of reading before starting to shoot it so I know I did nothing to get it stuck. I shot normally and after each shot I usually cocked the body + back so I new that for my next shot everything was set ( since this is a old Pro so it doesn't have the interlocks ). I shot 2 shots and after my 2nd one I wanted to cock the body as usual and I couldn't. Also the mirror stayed up and I couldn't get the lens off the body of course since it's not armed. I didn't bother with it until I got home.

    I didn't know if it's a lens or body problem. But now I got the lens out ( using the paper clip method ). When cocking the lens manually off camera - everything seems fine, the speeds are accurate so the lens is fine. However, the body will continue to stay locked even without the lens - even if I strip everything off it ( back, RB adapter, finder, screen etc ) - so it's 100% a body problem. If I cock the body using 2 screwdrivers the mirror comes down, and everything behaves normally. If I cock both body this way and lens manually and then remount the lens - the camera will fire like it's suppose to but after the shutter release I am back to square one ( lever stuck, mirror up, lens stuck on body etc ) - and I need to take the lens out again as usual with the paper clip.

    I have also tried a 180 lens on the body and it behaves identically.

    Any advice on how to get the body unlocked ??
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    First, start by taking off the back, revolving adapter and lens. \
    The body should cock and fire on it's own.
    The camera body and interlocks are usually pretty robust, but sometimes wear and tear takes it's toll.

    Since that seems to not be the case, what is your level of mechanical skill? the interlock is fairly easy to access and adjust, but not if you've got 10 thumbs.

    erie
     
  3. C0rnholio

    C0rnholio Member

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    Hi - I would consider my mechanical skills to be 8/10 :smile:) I completely tore apart an iphone 3G and successfully put everything back again after repairing some parts. Also I almost completely dissasembled a Nikon 70-200 VR and put everything back together :smile: So I would definitely go for it. But I need a few pointers as to where the screws are so I don't tear up all the leather coverings like an idiot :tongue: A repair manual would be absolutely great. I got 50 Euros back from the ebay seller I got it from so I could get another body - as the back + lens + finder + screen are all perfect - but it's a matter of principle here and I WANT to get the little piglet up and running again :tongue:

    So any pointers on how to get to the mechanical bits would be great.
     
  4. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    shoot me your email in a PM.
     
  5. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Erie, did he fix it?
     
  6. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Not sure yet, we'll see. I've rarely had to remove the side plates, typically the interlock at the bottom wears and needs readjusting, granted I haven't seen as many as you have, but when this symptom creeps up, it usually only takes me 5 or 10 mins to fix.
     
  7. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Yup, start at the bottom first. I suspect the side opp the lever though, have seen lots of bent linkage problems with symptoms like this.

    Although he says it started out of the blue on the last frame.

    I once had an RB that mysteriously had a nut floating around in it that jammed up the works, maybe got in there from the mirror drive slot inside the camera when stored in his case without a lens or back?

    Weird things happen.

    .
     
  8. C0rnholio

    C0rnholio Member

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    Hi Paul - thanks for the support. I also got it from epatsellis - but I am not so sure where to start. Do I need to take off the lateral leatherette ornaments on both sides or simply start unscrewing the bottom scews? As I said the model is the old Pro ( not Pro-S or SD ) - so less interlocks to worry about. However - if I "arm" the body manually with 2 screwdrivers in the lens mount - everything is ok, mirror goes down - the camera fires - if I mount a lens when armed this way everything works as it should. So I reckon it's a problem that lies somewhere from the lever to the mechanism rather than the mechanism itself.

    I don't have a lot of time on my hands these days but I will come back with details once I get on the little piglet :smile:
     
  9. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Well start by taking the bottom screws out n loooking inside there as you cock it. You might get lucky n solve your problem right there... although I think the non-lever side panel has to come off. That has another light sheild plate inside n a couple light seals that will need to be replaced as they hardly ever get done n will definately get ruined once you open it. So buy an assorted sheet seal kit now from Microtools. It has 5 self stick sheets of the various thickness foam you can cut with a razor knife. You'll have enough to do all the seals on your camera n several backs n the rest of your town's cameras for the wooping price of $25. Also get a nice set of Whia screw drivers so you will have no issues with junk drivers stripping the screws. A small set will cost you $15 or so. The #000 n #00 crosspoint are the most popular sizes we'll need. No special tools are needed to do the job.

    Before you get started, you need a well lit clean area to work. I like to have a piece of excersise mat under the camera, screws don't bounce or roll off n you won't scratch the camera body. Get a weekly pill organiser to put your screws in as you take em out in the order of operation. You'll find some screws are longer or slightly different n have to be put back in the same place they came from. Take pictures as well so you have some reference to go back on.

    Send me an e-mail, I can detail the steps to get the side panel off, it is a bit lenghty for a post but in reality doing it is very easy.

    Your interlocks may not be your problem. It sounds like a bent linkage or a simple adjustment. The only way to find out is to take a look inside.

    BTW where are you located?

    .
     
  10. C0rnholio

    C0rnholio Member

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    Hi Paul thanks for the info.

    I decided to give it a go today, got the bottom part off - watched carefully what goes on in there - but that's mostly the system to lock the shutter button. So I went ahead with the non-lever side panel. Got most of the small screws off but I got stuck on the last one ( of course ) as my screwdriver which was indeed small to fit fine in the screw - was too thin to get a good grip to open up the last little screw - located behind the small leather band located in the lower side ( I think I managed to unscrew about 5 tiny screws or something ). However - I decided to close her up like she was, and to get another screwdriver set to try and get them open - probably on Monday. I kinda got the hang of what needs to be done to get that part off. There are lots of screws and probably I don't really need to take them ALL out :smile:
    Tell me this though, do I need to unscrew the knob that holds the strap too ? It has 2 small holes in it and I don't know how will I be able to rotate that counter-clockwise without scratching the body by accident or I don't need to work on that ?
    Also what should I watch for once I get the side off ? The schematics in the repair manual scare the sh1t outta me ( all the angles explications etc )

    Btw I am in Romania so... far far away from NYC :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2012
  11. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    That very last screw you had so much trouble with is actually taken out through the focusing knob which has 2 hole in it once you take off the leatherete, remove a small center screw n the knob's plate.. unless the 2 holes line up through the knob.

    No need to take the strap thing off only the outter ring nut so the side panel can come up over it.

    Once the panel is lose, you'll have to sort of rotate it about a bit to clear the focusing knob n she is out. Now remove the lower panel held on by 2 screws near the bottom edge.

    Once you get the outter panel off there is another shield to remove under these. The brass stand offs unscrew as well as the rest of the small screws near the bottom edge under the gooy foam seals. You also have to take off the bottom panel shield held on by 2 screws.

    This tin sheild is very easily bent so take it easy getting it out. Carefully lift. The bottom one sort of lifts n then pulls off. All that gooy stuff has to be replaced.

    Once inside you can watch the mechanisms n you should be able to figure out what is responsable for what as you cock it. The release is the criticle part I want you to look near the bottom right where it latches.

    The repair manual makes it looks so scary, it actually not that bad once inside.. it'll all make sense once you see it.

    How about e-mailing me?
     
  12. C0rnholio

    C0rnholio Member

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    Ok - problem solved. After some efforts into getting the plates off to reveal the mechanic parts, it turned out that the problem was behind the plate on the lever side. There is just a small metal thing in there, held tight by a spring that keeps the lever into some kind of tension. It doesn't appear to do much but the spring jumped loose and the metal part rotated into a position that was blocking the lever from moving. There was nothing wrong with the mechanics as the machine could be cocked with no problems using 2 screwdrivers in the lens mount and everything worked fine so it had to be something related to just the lever itself.

    Now the piglet is alive again and hopefully I will be able to take some nice photos. I haven't seen the photos I took on the first film yet but I will be back here when I get it scanned.

    I will like to thank all of you for your help and especially paul ron that knows these beasts like the back of his hand :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Eliassblood

    Eliassblood Member

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    Hey, fellas.
    So this worked, uh? That's good news because I'm nearly positive I'm having the exact same issue. I don't exactly understand the screwdriver arrangement but I do have my lens off via the paper clip method and the lens is functioning beautifully. Now, the shutter cocking lever and mirror are what is frustrating me. The shutter cock lever is stuck in the vertical position and the mirror is locked up. Tomorrow I'd like to attempt taking of the side panel and having a look inside. Questions however; I have Pro S, will this be a much different process than with the older model? I will for certain need to replace the light seals afterwards? I'm hoping this task isn't so difficult to where I won't be able to piece it back together... Maybe I'll film the process just to make sure.
    I look forward to hearing your thoughts, fellas. Thanks a lot.
    Elias.
     
  14. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    If the light seal that comes out is intact so you have a template for the new one you will be so sorry you did not replace it next year when it comes out in smaller pieces.

    At the very least photo it and measure with venier calipers and do eng drawing scan and wait for someone to want a copy.

    But you probably only going to get pieces.
     
  15. Eliassblood

    Eliassblood Member

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    Fixed it!

    after taking off the bottom plate to no avail, I removed the lower side plate on the cocking lever side and noticed a miniature screw jammed underneath the cocking lever mechanism. I removed it and the lever and mirror functioned seamlessly. So everything seems to be working fine, however, I am really curious as to where the hell this random loose screw came from and if it's crucial that I find its home?

    elias.
     
  16. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    hahaha it;s fixed but it would be nice to know where the little bugger came from. Sometimes misc junk gets into the camera in the bag.. but a tiny screw usually has a home.

    Take the side plate off? Peel the leatherete n remove the pannel.. no need to take the lever or the focusing knob off to do that.