Rolleiflex Automat - first roll is blank

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pschauss, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I just received this camera from a reputable seller. It was supposed to have had a CLA. Before loading film, I checked that the shutter worked at all speeds. I could see light coming in when it opened. I ran a roll of Arista EDU (Foma) 400 through it and it came out blank except for the frame numbers, etc along the edge. I rechecked the shutter and, again, I could see light coming in when it opened.

    I believe that I threaded it correctly, running the film between the first two rollers. Is there something else that I missed?
     
  2. jbwpro

    jbwpro Member

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    How many turns on the lever did you do before it "caught" or engaged? did it feel like you rolled it a long time?
     
  3. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    Perhaps you installed the roll backwards? You passed the film between the rollers and I am guessing the counter engaged properly to allow you twelve shots with normal winding.
     
  4. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I installed the film with the film facing the lens, paper to the rear of the camera. It seemed like the counter engaged properly.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    is there a chance the aperture is stuck on 22? and the shutter on 500?
     
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Film loads at the bottom, then I think under the first roller and over the other rollers. Once you get the film paper leader going onto the empty takeup spool at the top (like in 35mm), you close and lock the shell, and wind to 1.
     
  7. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    OK. I loaded another roll of film and turned the crank until it stopped, about 12 turns. Then I put the camera into my changing bag and opened it so that I could mark the backing paper where it had stopped. I had wound the film all the way onto the takeup spool.

    Rereading the manual, I found the following line describing what happens after the feeler rollers detect the start of the film:
    "The pressure of the rollers is released immediately after the passage of the films beginning so that the rest of the roll will slip through freely."

    When I looked at the rollers on my camera I found that the feeler rollers are in the latter position. Is there any way to reset them?
     
  8. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Did you hear the shutter firing while shooting the actual film? I ask because another possibility is that the adjustment of the shutter release and the winding system are wrong. This would make it possible to push down on the release without releasing the shutter but allowing you to wind the film forward.

    You'll need to run film through to get the counter and such activated.

    Just a thought. I've had other TLRs where it was possible to wind the film without pushing the shutter far enough to actually trip the shutter. And I know that this interlock is adjustable on Rolleiflexes.

    EDIT: I posted the above while you were posting your update.

    The camera wasn't adjusted properly, most likely. There is a simple adjustment but it involves opening the wind side and takes the proper feeler gauge. Send it back.
     
  9. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    [video=youtube;dcPT1Rf93ug]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcPT1Rf93ug[/video]
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    There is a problem with the film start sensing. Should be around 3 or 4 I believe.

    The eccentric #8 on the diagram needs to be adjusted. You don't need a feeler gauge if you wasted some film that you normally use.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2011
  11. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    Thanks for the video Aristophanes. That is exactly the way I loaded it. I felt a change in resistance after 4 or 5 turns, but the winder did not stop. I have sent a note to the seller. I will see what he says.

    I will also call Krikor to see if he can repair the camera for less than what it will cost to ship it back.
     
  12. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    When I change film in my Rolleiflex I always count the tuns of the crank. It should not more thane 5.
     
  13. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    When I emailed the seller he said that this model does not detect the start of the film automatically. He said that, after verifying that the film counter was on "0", I should wind the film until the start marker appeared and then close the camera. In other words, load it the way one one load an Yashicamat. I have not tried this yet, but I am not convinced that he is right. Has anyone heard of an early Automat (serial number is 962xxx) which worked this way?
     
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  15. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I think an automat should sense where to start the film, thus the existance of that set of rollers. The yashica (at least my C model) has a red mark in back to line up the film's "start here" line, (and you also don't have to run the film under any rollers). Then you close the back of the yashica and advance to 1. I bet your automat does not have such a mark inside for getting the film on the starting line.
     
  16. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    My Rolleiflex T does not have the rollers. It does have the red 'stop' marks. So it seems that if there are rollers and no markings then the camera should do the work of winding to the first frame.

    Theoretically I guess you could use the camera without the auto-sensing, but then you would have to guess the start of the film and (worse) guestimate the advance of each frame, which is basically unworkable.

    Any reasonable seller will take the camera back. This guy's 'ignorance' doesn't bode too well though.

    Good luck with getting this sorted out.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I think he is telling you that the camera is broken.
     
  18. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    It does sound as if the rollers were out of alignment and did not sense the beginning of the film. This is a very simple adjustment and a relatively common problem with these cameras.

    The film is inserted between the rollers and after closing the door, is wound on, until a gentle but clearly heard "snap" occurs. This snap happens after only a few turns past the beginning of the leader. This is the rollers responding to the extra thickness of the film.

    To confirm things with us please show us a pic of the camera.
     
  19. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    If the two rollers right after the film source, one on top of the other, before the single roller right next to the film gate, are there, there is only one reason that that they are there: to sense the film and start the counter. If there are no rollers to put the film between, then the seller is right. If there are rollers, the seller is wrong. Simple enough.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sounds like the film counter is an inconvenience.
     
  21. Steve S

    Steve S Member

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    I just checked the serial number 962xxx at the Rolleiclub site. This seems to indicate a Rolleicord II Type 4. The plot thickens rather curiously.
     
  22. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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  23. R gould

    R gould Member

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    The only way to be sure is if you could post a picture of the camera, and the back of the camera open showing whether the rollers are there or whether there are markings for the start of the film.
    Richard
     
  24. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    They started calling them automats when they put in the auto film feeler. If it doesn't have it then it has been removed.
     
  25. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    I also have an Automat Model 2 (serial 1030###), and have enclosed a shot of the back below. I also have a Model 4 (serial 1271###), which loads exactly the same way.

    Just in case your camera is missing rollers, I've labeled the relevant parts. To load film in an Automat, place the spool of film in A. Pass the end under roller B, then up and over C and D, covering the film plane. Put an empty spool in E and wind the film onto it. Close the back and turn the crank until you see 1 in the counter.

    Be sure that you're familiar with proper operation: Cock the shutter by turning the crank in reverse, towards you, until it stops, before each shot. After your shot, turn the crank forward to advance the film (and the counter); turn the crank backwards again to cock the shutter for the next shot, and repeat.

    (If I've gotten something incorrect, folks, feel free to correct me, as I haven't shot my Rolleis in a while -- and need to!)

    Hope that helps you out somewhat!
    --Terry.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    Otterdammerung,

    My camera looks exactly like your picture. Needless to say, I am still trying to work things out with the seller.