Rolleiflex shutter replacement

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by sangetsu, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    I recently bought an old Rolleiflex 3.5 E3 with a clean Planar lens for a good price. The main problem with the camera is that the shutter did not fire. I don't have much experience with leaf shutters, but I decided to attempt a repair.

    Upon removing the front plate and taking off the front of the shutter, I determined that a release lever had broken. I hunted around for shutter parts, but all I could find was a new shutter for a Rolleiflex F on eBay. I bought the shutter intending to simply remove the lever from the new shutter and install it in the old shutter.

    The new shutter arrived, and I got to work. As I got into the old shutter, I found a few more problems, and I began to think that it would be better if I simply replaced the entire assembly with the new shutter. Unfortunately, the new shutter had a different type of release, and different interfaces for the shutter and aperture dials.

    Swapping the old rings was an easy enough task, but the release was a different matter. On the E model the release is below the shutter speed dial, on the new shutter it was on the back side. I found that on the top the mechanisms looked the same. I was able to pull out the release assemblies on both shutters and compare them. The only problem was that the housing on the new shutter didn't have a slot for the release lever. No problem, a few minutes with a file was all I needed to create the slot. I put it all together, and it seemed to fit.

    The only problem I ran into was that winding the shutter lever did not fully cock the shutter. I was able to adjust the length of the winding throw a little until the shutter cocked properly. I reassembled the camera, and it now works perfectly. It was a bit of fun to see how a Rolleiflex works on the inside, and I was happy to be able to get the camera running with a new shutter cheaply.
     
  2. HTF III

    HTF III Member

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    You were lucky, You could have had a real bag of worms on your hands.
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Wow, it's your camera and can do what you wish but sheesh.
    With a Rollei if it were me…I'd send to a reputable tech and get it done right and it would last my lifetime.
     
  4. HTF III

    HTF III Member

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    I can understand why he did it, and I would have done the same thing. Remember, most of these Rolleis these days all have "cleaning marks" on the lenses. I've seen enough fleabay Rolleis to now believe that protecting them like a 1965 Corvette is pointless. They're all mostly junk now. When the lens is shot, the ballgame's over. May as well home-repair it. If you can do it well. Was it Galen who said: First, do no harm. This guy's Rollei lived through the surgery.
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Awesome! I have a real beater 3.5E3 Xenotar. Takes wonderful images. All the best with yours.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2013
  6. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    I paid a princely $100 for this Rolleiflex, and it was quite a bit more worn than those eBay Rolleis From India. I have done repairs such as replacing the shutter curtains and ribbons in old Leica/Contax/Nikon cameras, working on the Rollei was not more difficult, just a lot different. I was also able to calibrate the focus mechanism, install a new mirror, and get the viewing/taking lenses matched

    I just finished overhauling the shutter in my old Plaubel Makina II, it was basically the same as the Rolleiflex shutter, but easier because it, and it's associated parts were bigger.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    What is it with all those Rolleis in India in such bad condition?! I have wondered that for years.

    Dennis