Rolleiflex skipping frames. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by aroth87, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    I got a Rolleiflex at the end of last year and sent got it CLA'd locally before using it much. I've noticed since then that it has a tendency to skip frames. Its still under warranty and I plan to take it back and have it gone over again but I was wondering if anyone here had this occur so I could offer suggestions when I drop it off.

    Here's the symptoms: Some rolls are fine, all frames come back exposed, others come back with unexposed frames. I've noticed that if I listen carefully, rather than hearing the mechanical buzz of the shutter, there's only a quiet, metallic "chunk" kind of sound and if I watch the taking lens the shutter blades don't move. I've been testing it extensively myself since I noticed the problem and it only happens when there's film in the camera. I've sat in front of the TV and run it through all shutter speed/aperture combinations and the shutter fires every time. As a remedy I've been listening for the telltale sound and just using the double exposure function to expose the scene again and I've never had it happen twice in a row.

    If anyone has any insight into what might be happening to cause the shutter to not fire I'd appreciate it.

    Adam
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    just a guess: there's some looseness or mis-adjustment in the linkage between the wind mechanism and the shutter cock mechanism such that, when the camera has no film in it, it cocks fine, but when there is film in it there is just enough resistance in the mechanism that the shutter cock does not completely cock the film so what you hear is just the sound of lock on the film wind mechanism releasing, but not the shutter going off -- this ought to be a simple adjustment that whoever serviced the camera darn well ought to insist on doing out of simple pride, if not to make a customer happy.
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    summicron1 has the basic gist, I believe. The wind mechanism release and the shutter release are separate systems. They are supposed to be aligned properly so that the wind mechanism does not release until after the shutter releases. But it is possible to get it backwards and have the wind mechanism release before the shutter fires.

    By any chance, does being sure to press fully make a difference in the shutter firing? And yes, film is important since this activates the whole wind/shutter interlock system.

    No matter, this is simply wrong and needs to be corrected. The Rollei repair manual available on the internet describes the proper order and tolerances for setting these two mechanism so that they play well together.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I had similar trouble with a 3.5T after a cla - transporting and shutter cocking problems, it was several years ago and I don't remember the specifics. The key is, though, that it happened only on cold days (below 20F, not that often in VA). The guy fixed it, but only after knowing the problem, he determined that a spring was losing "spring" in the cold and replaced it. At room temp, there were no problems. Was it colder on the days of more problems?
    I've had issues with both cameras (the other is a 3.5F) during cold weather that never surfaced in warmer seasons, so I'm thinking if I ever buy another one, I will test it in cold weather, if possible.
     
  5. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    Now that you mention it, I've only had the problem outdoors. Its been in the 30's and 40's (F), so not too cold, but I ran some test rolls indoors on two different occasions and the shutter fired every time.

    I'm going to call the guy who did the CLA tomorrow and have him take a look at the camera again and bring in a couple of rolls of developed negatives to show him what's happening. I'll mention worn spring or shutter/wind mechanisms getting out of sync.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Adam
     
  6. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Yeah, I had this trouble with the 3.5F as well, which was used purchase from a very reputable individual reseller. He had no way of knowing, since he obviously tested it only indoors. I'm gonna keep that in mind on any used purchase, test outdoors in the cold first.