SL66 magazine issue?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jonathanbennett120, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    So, I've had my camera now for about two weeks. Everything thing seems to be working well, BUT I'm having an annoying issue with the film back.

    When I put in the slide to remove the back, or to keep it blocked so I don't accidentally expose film (though mostly, I just slide in the slide so I can take off the film back for fun since it's a new exciting toy!) It seems to have trouble locking back on the body.

    The little black release button for the film back snaps out, but with the slide removed and placed back in it's holder the shutter isn't always ready to shoot. I don't know why this is. I've also had trouble getting the slide back in to the film plane to remove the back. It won't go all the way in.

    Yes, the shutter is always cocked when I have tried this. There is a part of the mechanism that seems to stay locked even though I've tensioned the shutter. After a blank exposure (not a lost frame, I rewind with the multiple exposure button pushed so it just re-tensions the shutter)it seems to come around, or if after locking on the back, I push the release button again and re-latch it then it seems ready to shoot. It's not major, since the camera is still working, but obviously something is wrong.

    Now, one thing I know is that my magazine is not matched to it's insert. Not sure how it got switched. My seller says it's the only magazine he's ever owned and he is the original owner, and maybe it's been switched by accident during a repair.

    Could the unmatched magazine (which has no winding issues or frame spacing issues, I tested it already) be causing body engagement issues?

    Sorry, that's a mouthful.
     
  2. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    In my mind, the mismatched magazine could only potentially cause frame spacing problems. If the spacing is OK, then you have nothing to worry about.

    What you describe may be a damaged mechanism from somebody forcing the dark slide in with the camera uncocked. It would require a repair if this is the case.

    Are you shooting by pushing the shutter button or with a cable release? I find my SL66 likes a heavy duty release like my Linhof or Gepe Pro and its important that you push the plunger down well or the shutter trips and the double exposure interlock stays locked, necessitating a push on the button to release it for winding.

    Also, regarding the cable release, always fire it with the release button red dot in the LOCKED position. Jurgen Kuschnik says failure to do so can damage the release button internals.
     
  3. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    Thanks for the tips.

    I have been using a release cable, and the shutter has always been UNLOCKED. Seemed to make sense! Glad to hear it, better late than never. The problem only occours after I've removed and replaced the film back. SO, I'll just stop playing around with the removable back until it's necessary, like when I own a second film back!

    From now on, cable release only with Locked trigger. Thanks.
     
  4. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Hi Jonathan,

    to avoid jamming the mag or losing a frame when loading a new film you should get used to
    one simple rule when handling the sl66: Always turn the crank after each exposure ( "Do the swing before you do anything" )
    Nice slogan, he?
    So I wish you good luck and many nice pictures with your new toy!

    Mike, you frightened me a little bit with the info about the release lock. I just used a cable release a few times
    without doing so, fortunately not often. Will keep your advise in mind.
    I agree that the Sl66 doesnt like the lighter cable releases, hope I´ll have luck on Ebay next friday and get a pro one.
     
  5. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    The SL66 body is one camera I chickened-out doing shutter work on myself. Jurgen Kuschnik told me my camera's release was damaged from using too long a cable release with the release lock open. He ended up replacing some small parts in there.

    I think the travel of the cameras cable release pin is limited when the release is set to lock. Funny that Rollei makes no mention of it in the user manual and there is no mention in Mannheim either. Of course, it should turn to lock when you screw in the release anyway, but it may be counter-intuitive to people that it can still fire in the locked position with the cable installed.
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Member

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    I have three backs - never a problem, but I would be concerned about mis-matched inserts. You might try calling Harry Fleenor and ask about your problem. Healways has been helpful for me on the phone. The stuff about the cable release doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I've used all kinds on mine for many years with nary a problem. Again, I would ask Harry. I know he's far away from you, but I can't say enough good things about hime and his work.
     
  7. rst

    rst Member

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    So the shutter lock pin at the film back is moving when you pull the dark slide out? I assume you have checked this with the magazine empty. Invest a film and try if the shutter lock pin moves when a film is loaded and the dark slide is pulled out. I had that problem with one of my backs and it seems to be an easy repair.

    Also one advise, always remove the dark slide after mounting the film back. This will lock the film back to the camera body. So that if you accidently pushing the film back release button you will not end in only having the film back in your hand while the camera body and lens went down to the floor. A lost frame is pretty cheap compared to that and can be prevented by locking the shutter.

    Regards
    -- Ruediger
     
  8. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    This camera was actually serviced by Harry Fleenor in the past. It has an Ocean Side camera repair sticker inside the body where the magazine's left side sits.

    My second roll of film has bad image spacing, surely due to the mismatched film insert. Too bad. Minor overlapping on a pair of negatives. Still, they printed well and most importantly the images came out well exposed, thanks I'm sure to my little Voigtlander VC Meter II.

    I'll post some later today.

    The shutter issue seems to be minor, but I'll call H. Fleenor sometime about it anyway. Hopefully it doesn't point to bigger issues.

    It's very strange, and I've figured out how to work it out. Still annoying, but weird. I have three options it seems.

    1. Shoot a frame or two without loosing a frame by rewinding with the multiple exposure catch, all while the lens cap is on, the shutter is at 1000 and the aperture is at 22. That let's me get the slide in place.

    2. Just jiggle the trigger a bit. It's very obvious when it is still in lock down. You can hear it click when it becomes free.

    3. Push the magazine release button and let it snap back in place.

    STILL, I wish this never reared it's ugly head. I don't want to return the camera. I hope this problem goes away, or is remedied by a new matched film back.

    Note. All this is happeing with film inside. Any testing done with an empty magazine worked out fine. I also didn't experience this until my third roll of film [currently on frame 10]. Hopefully it's all a matter of one poorly loaded roll or something like that. We'll see.

    Again, thanks all.
     
  9. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    So, two more rolls have gone through. A 220 roll and another 120 roll. BOTH had perfect frame spacing. No overlaps. Not even any close calls.

    I also bought an additional film back last week, just for the convenience of having a roll for daylight and a roll for low-light. That back had a matching insert.

    I think the problem might have been when I loaded the film, or it could be the unmatched insert and it might happen again. Either way, not too bad considering how little of the image overlapped.

    Here are my latest results with a variety of films and the help of my voigtlander VC meter II. I love that little guy. It fits right on the accessory shoe and does a consistent job.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanbennett120/
     
  10. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    You're a pretty brave soul taking a SL66 in a kayak!
     
  11. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    My thoughts exactly. You easily could have toppled over by the sheer weight of this machine!!

    Jaap Jan
     
  12. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Or its sheer terrorist threat - I'm ticked because with this retardedly small carry-on size departing from Heathrow, I'm afraid my SL66 will now have to stay at home for my trip to Europe this week. Particularly the 6.2" dimension is a problem and I can't risk it + 4 lenses going to the hold for sure destruction.

    What exactly does this accomplish besides me not wanting to fly anywhere any more?
     
  13. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    I was a little spooked to bring the 66 out on the water, but I had purchased a water-tight Pelican case, the 1120. As you can see in the pictures the water is very still, no rapids, hardly any current and my kayak is a Wilderness system "Pungo" marketed toward fisherman and photographers due to it's stability. My wife is in the yellow "old town LOON" kayak which is much more tippy and shakey.

    It is fun though. I'm just extra careful. First thing I do when I get the case out of the hold is get that strap around my neck!!!
     
  14. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    Much as I love my SL66 (best medium format SLR ever made IMHO), I can tell you about cameras and European vacations. Having lived in Europe for ten years, I learned that I took fewer pictures when burdened down with my SLR's and 4X5. Probably 75% of all the photos I took were done with Fuji 645 rangefinders which were a delight to use and very easy on the shoulders and neck. Sometimes I also took along the Fuji 6X7, which was also a lot lighter than my Pentax 6X7. I usually took along my GS645S with fixed 60mm lens for B&W and my GA645zi with 55-90 zoom for color. Both with lots of film fit nicely into the small size Domke bag for carry-on.

    The compromise, of course, was lack of lens interchangeability--I had to zoom with my feet-- but I have no complaints about the sharpness or contrast of the lenses. The Fujis are superb in that respect. My old GS645, despite having its front lens cell violently ripped off the body when it slipped off my shoulder into my whirling bicycle spokes, is still cranking along just fine without ever having seen the inside of a shop. (I managed to reattach the lens cell on the dining room table that evening.) The rangefinder is sometimes a bit sticky, but a good knock fixes that.

    They're getting a bit hard to find now, especially the GS non-auto models, but they are fine little beasts.

    Larry
     
  15. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    Now that I've been shooting with my SL66 for a few months I have learned a few things.

    First, the camera is amazing. My shots are sharper, even with the mirror/FPshutter vibration, than with my Yashica Mat. I love this camera. It's heavy, but not TOO heavy with a comfortable strap/bag.

    Second, the one thing I would change on the SL66 is the little switch on the film back for 120/220. It's too easy to move. I've screwed up image spacing (no overlaps but they get close) on 120 and recently lost the last few shots on a 220 roll due to having switched to 120 and the back thought the roll was finished!

    I wish it had a small spring lock like on the bay I attachments for the Yashica Mat. A simple improvement that would keep the switch where you want it. Now I've learned a piece of tape is needed.

    I've been shooting lots of Velvia 100f now. I'm hooked on slide film and got a few boxes of Gepe slides, both glass and glassless and also purchased a Brumberger projector with a 6x6 and 35mm carrier. It works amazingly! I also got a Realist 620 for both formats and that works great as well. I can't tell which is better. I'll be leaving one at my inlaws house. Both cheap and both project sharp crisp images.

    My Voigtlander VC meter II has been incredible too. My exposures are coming out really well on the slides, and I know there is not much room for error with slide film. I highly reccomend this little guy.

    Well, that's all. Just a short update. Thanks to everyone here who helped out with suggestions and tips when I was getting started.

    J
     
  16. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Is Harry Fleenor still at it? I understood he closed his business several months ago.
     
  17. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Well, Rollei sorted that out - they removed the 120/220 switch altogether and made dedicated 120 and 220 mags for the final version. Try finding a few 220 mags now though - they aren't easy to get.

    Glad you like the SL 66.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  18. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    In the SL66SE manual it states:
    <quote>
    Important: before the cable is screwed in, the release button must be engaged in the "release locked" position!
    <end quote>

    Whether locking the release or not makes any difference might depend on the cable release itself, and how you press the plunger.
     
  19. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Your images "Water Lillies?," "Pads" and "amytownSL66" don't seem to have made use of the SL66's unique feature: the ability to tilt the lens down. Even though that tilt is accompanied by some fall, it's a great opportunity to put near/far subjects within a depth-of-field volume suited to them. Exploiting this capability will likely increase your satisfaction even more.
     
  20. jonathanbennett120

    jonathanbennett120 Member

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    Sal, you're right. I haven't had the chance to really explore the benefits of the tilt. I've tried with some close-up work, but that's very difficult. Those shots you mentioned would have been ideal, except that both of the water lilly shots were taken from a Kayak, so getting the right height/angle with the camera would be very difficult I think. You're sort of stuck with a certain height/angle that you can shoot from, PLUS the kayak is drifting! SO, maybe after I master the use of the tilt on solid ground I'll try to implement it on the water.

    Thanks for the comment though.
     
  21. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Here's a couple of new SL66 photos.

    Beaver Dam, Algonquin Park Ontario - Reala 100, CZ Planar 80/2.8

    [​IMG]

    Spruce Bog from Visitor Centre Lookout - Reala 100, Rollei Distagon 50/4 HFT

    [​IMG]