Rolleiflex 2.8D Shutter (etc) Issues

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by EthanFrank, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    Hi APUG.

    I just picked up a Rolleiflex 2.8D for a price I couldn't refuse, knowing that it'd need some repairs. I'd love to hear what you guys think, prior to sending it out.

    First off, the shutter doesn't open, at any speed. It just stutters a bit when I press the shutter. The rewind crank also doesn't stop when I turn it the opposite way to cock the shutter.

    Second, there is an awful smell (??) coming from the viewfinder assembly. Does anyone know why that is?

    If there is anything I can do to fix it, I'm all ears. Otherwise, any ideas as to how much this might cost me? The viewing lens also seems to have some mild fungus.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    What does it smell like -- WD-40 or lighter fluid?
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I suggest if you want a reliable answer to your questions you take it to a professional repairer ask him to strip it down and diagnose the faults and quote you a price for the necessary repairs.
     
  4. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Depending on where you send it, $250 and up? The shutter is going to need an overhaul- probably gummed up as Synchro-Compurs tend to do. Wind system problems, could be simple, could not be simple. All in all, with this many things going on, unless you are either experienced or willing to risk a pile of parts while learning, I would let someone else handle it.

    As to the smell, well, there are so many 'awful' smells in the world. Maybe someone drooled chewing tobacco juice all over it? A mouse crawled in and died? A new mirror is standard, and the viewing lens fungus could just be roach tracks on the back side or you seeing the mirror tarnish; no matter, it takes a lot to make a viewing lens unusable.
     
  5. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    My only worry about the fungus in the viewing lens is that it would somehow reach the taking lens...is that an irrational worry? I'm not too knowledgeable about these things.

    The smell...quite honestly, it is a rotting smell, but I don't know what materials there are in a Rollei that really can rot. I know that the viewfinder assembly isn't as easy to remove in a 'D' than an 'E' and beyond, but I see 4 small screws surrounding the viewfinder...if I remove these, will I be able to give the whole thing a good clean and replace it?

    I don't want to fix all these problems myself, the camera will go to a tech eventually - I'd just rather do what I can do myself before that, and save a few dollars in the process. The viewfinder seems a little less daunting than the shutter.

    Neither...old furniture, maybe? Rotting wood?
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Given the description, Ethan, it sounds to me like sending it for an overhaul is the only prudent option. Unfortunately, the $$$ mentioned by Dan Daniel sounds about right to me. I've seen pricing that was all-inclusive, and sometimes the shutter overhaul priced separately from the body overhaul.

    p.s. I've never seen wood used in the construction of a Rollei. Perhaps leather fungus???
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    By trying to fix it yourself you might make thing worse the position of the focusing screen needs to be correct within very small tolerances to achieve correct focus,and some repair companys won't touch cameras that have been "tampered with", the one I use won't.
     
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  8. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    I'm certain it's not wood, that's just the best way I can describe the smell.

    I thought it was the leather too, when I first opened it. I stripped off all the leather and applied a kit from Morgan at cameraleather.com. However, the smell is only in the viewfinder...Baffling.

    I don't intend on messing with any of the internals, that would be biting off more than I can chew. However, I don't see the harm in a good, thorough cleaning.
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    This is false economy. If you open it up and screw it up. It will certainly cost more for the eventual professional care it already does need. If you screw it up badly enough....you may have a very difficult time to find a technician who will even touch it.

    Even if you do not screw it up, what ever you can do yourself will be so trivial for a professional that it will be included in the fee for the complete service.

    It is a Rollie...and a nice one at that. It is not some dime-a-dozen 35mm SLR...give it to a professional who IS knowledgeable about these things.
     
  10. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Removing the focus hood is easy- unscrew the four screws, slowly pull up and back, probably tilting the back out first since there is a spring/mechanical block tucked in behind the name plate. Maybe you'll find the dead mouse right away.

    There isn't anything in there from the factory to rot, other than a small piece of cork. I would wipe everything down with some alcohol at the most. I've gotten a couple of used cameras with heavy smoke residue, which can take on a pretty rancid smell over the years. Maybe it's just the number of paint surfaces in the focus hood that allows for a denser collection, and the paint might not neutralize a smell like leather?

    If you touch the mirror with anything, it will tarnish more or flake off, just to warn you. You'll get access to the back of the viewing lens so you can try cleaning it. Given the work that the camera needs, I would just let the repair shop handling installing a new mirror, maybe a new screen. There are alignment and focus issues to deal with, anyway, so little gained by doing this yourself at this point.
     
  11. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    Very good point.

    I've just contacted Gerry at Kindermann here in Toronto, he says he'll have a look at it.

    Thanks, guys.
     
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  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    When I did clock repair work, I'd estimate very differently for anyone who told me they already tried fixing it... and VERY differently for anyone who brought parts in a box.

    There are some "home remedies" that are not trivial. One example is use of WD-40. That ruins cleaning solutions making re-use (normal business practice) impossible and increasing the cost of a repair proportionally. Another is loss of small parts... which a synchro Compur has many of.

    p.s. Good decision, Ethan!
     
  13. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    I really just need the smell out of the house! Blech.
     
  14. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I understand. I bought a camera once that had that musty old barn smell. It eventually went away.
     
  15. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    One thing I forgot to get clarification on:

    Can the fungus from the viewing lens (there's a good deal of it, although I can see through the lens just fine) spread to the taking lens?
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Perhaps, but I doubt it. The are physically separated.
     
  17. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    Thanks, Brian.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I understand that fungus is spread by spores and many people suggest keeping an infected lens separate from others.
     
  19. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    Mm, that's what I was worried about. I suppose I'll look into having the viewing lens cleaned.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    John's right, of course... but think about the construction of a TLR: the two lenses are physically isolated in separate chambers. Having the lens cleaned might be a good idea anyway, but it seems like the risk of infection is limited.
     
  21. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    I think I'll decide whether to get it cleaned based on price, then. You're right, the construction of a TLR doesn't really allow for much in the way of spores spreading between the lenses. I'm comfortable with spending $200, maybe a little more on repairs. If cleaning the viewing lens pushes that beyond $300, I'll just learn to live with a little fungus.
     
  22. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    I have a question that I've had a hard time finding an answer to. This guide shows how to fit an RB67 screen to a Rolleiflex with a removable hood:

    http://www.panum.de/rolleiflex_screen.htm

    I have a spare RB67 screen. Are the dimensions of the older Rolleiflex screens (like mine, a 2,8D) the same as the newer ones? That is to say, would a tech be able to cut down my RB67 screen and use it? Adding a Maxwell/Beattie screen isn't an option at the moment.
     
  23. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    No, the older screens are smaller. So the RB67 screen will fit even better!! :smile:

    Here's someone on Ebay sellling a screen sized for the older, including a D. He gives dimensions of 56mm x 63.5mm. I have a ground glass from a Rolleiflex of that period which measures the same- 56 x 63.5mm.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rolleiflex-...660?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c61a35b14

    You will need to remove the hood and undo the clip springs holding the glass in place. You will also probably need to recalibrate the viewing lens to match focus with the taking lens.

    I don't know the RB67 screen and its material- use that web site to see cutting methods. I have cut down square screens for Rolleis and other TLRs without problems.
     
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