Zeiss Super Ikona IV in the cold

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    While shooting today in cold and snowy Yosemite, I discovered that the shutter is slow in the freezing cold. About 27 degrees F. I had a CLA done a year ago on my Zeiss Super Ikona IV. I thick the grease in the shutter is too thick for the shutter to work properly :sad:
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    this happens with any camera -- my olympus XA froze up on a bike ride a bit ago, I've seen Nikon Fs freeze up -- 27 is pretty cold -- keep the camera inside your jacket until you shoot so it stays warm enough. -- you don't want it so cold that it gets misty from precipitation when you take it back in the house either.

    if your camera does freeze up DO NOT FORCE IT. Just put it inside ur coat and let it warm up.

    If you are going to use it in the freezing cold a lot, like that upcoming treck to the South Pole by ski pulling sledges (take lots of vitamin C!!!) you an have it weatherized with thinner lubes.

    Another thing to watch out for -- frozen film can break, and generate static electricity that leaves lovely flashes on your film, so wind slowly in the cold.
     
  3. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    or buy a russian camera:smile:
     
  4. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Or use a Prontor shuttered camera. Prontor shutters are designed to run dry and should not have any oil in the mechanism and so cannot freeze up.
     
  5. John cox

    John cox Member

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    I recently had two rolls have run into bad static problems in -7C weather, (which isn't too cold). I've had to stop shooting outside at dawn and move up to 11:00 AM for the rest of the winter with film.
     
  6. emjo

    emjo Subscriber

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    Only a few parts of the shutter mechanism need to be oiled. And certainly not greased. There are watch maker's oils of very high quality (Moebius 9010 comes to mind) that really never freezes. However if even that low-viscous oil enter the shutter blades your in for trouble. If this is an oil issue you are having bad luck or a bad CLA (wrong oil). The mechanism can of course also be slowed down by humidity in it before being brought out into the cold.
     
  7. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I have never once had trouble with a camera freezing up. I routinely photo at night in temps well below zero F, sometimes as cold as --42F. If a camera is having problems at what I consider a fairly warm +27F, something is wrong with the camera.


    Kent in SD
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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  9. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Could be that the CLA didn't involve wide temperature range lubricants.
    Proper CLA should guarantee reliability down to at least -10°F.
     
  10. emjo

    emjo Subscriber

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    When I wrote my first post in this thread I also put a self-CLA'd Zeiss Ikonta in the fridge (-18C/0F). I took it out of the fridge just right now. This was CLA'd without the superb Moebius oil and worked ok at 1/25s. Faster speeds were no problem, slower a bit erratic though:smile: [The main worry now is the amount of frost that immediately stuck on the lens and elsewhere, haha.... ]. Well it was a test.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks for the test. Is there a standard grease for CLAs? May be I got the summer weight oil :smile:
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    As I get older I tend to get less cold tolerant but I have regularly captured images with my Pentax and Minolta SRTs at temperatures that were far below zero, like 30 or 40 below, while snowmobiling in North Dakota. I never had any problem with shutters at that temperature but I did run into problems with the viewfinders frosting over if I tried to lift them to my eyes and use them. I usually scale focused. As for keeping them warm, both the Minolta SRT 101 and the Pentax K1000 rode in a backpack on the outside of my snow suit, not on the inside, so they were usually close to ambient temperature. They were surely cold chunks of metal but both cameras were very snow mitten friendly. :D

    I always chucked the exposed film into the refrigerator as soon as I got back home so they had the opportunity to thaw slowly. And the cameras went in the refrigerator as well otherwise they would start to sweat and had to be left near the furnace vent for a couple days to dry out.

    Both of those cameras have focal plane shutters so I don't know how leaf shutters respond to cold. My Super Ikonta seems to do OK but I haven't run across any serious cold here in Nevada to really test it. :smile:
     
  13. emjo

    emjo Subscriber

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    My knowledge is through experimenting mostly so take it for what it is. Generally though only a few parts really need to be lubricated, in Prontor/Compur shutters the escapement mechanism can do with some oil but only in minute amounts: a droplet is huge in comparison, I apply the oil with the top of a sewing needle, very tiny amounts and only at the bearings of the axles. Grease is more for gliding areas and against corrosion on larger springs. If any oil manages to get to the shutter blades (oil can creep slowly to them...) they will slow down or stick altogether even in room temperature.
     
  14. xxloverxx

    xxloverxx Member

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    +1. I go skiing with a Kiev 4 in my waist pouch. Had a Zorki freeze up before though.
     
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Except for a few points where a pinpoint dot of grease is applied, there should be no grease in the shutter; oil is what is used on the pivots. But, 27 F isn't cold. There are many non-freezing oils and greases available which will continue working in temperatures where the human body will have long since shut down.
    What most likely happened is some old, thickened lube was left in the shutter - virtually any instrument/watch oil will continue working at that relatively warm temperature.
     
  16. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks for the valuable insight E. von Hoegh. I might be wrong on my report about my Zeiss Super Ikonta IV. I came home last night to check on the camera and it might not be the cold that caused the problem. The problem wasn't even a slow shutter. I found out it was malfunctioning. When I cock the shutter and push the shutter release, it clicks then when I cock the shutter again, it releases through the cocking lever. I gotta send the camera again. The first time I sent it in was for the CLA, the second time I sent it in for a shutter issue during a trip to Yosemite and it happend in Yosemite again this week. Luckily, the shutter was fine for my 16 day trip to Southeast Asia last summer. I shot about 8 rolls then. I love the camera and the lens is razor sharp. Is the shutter on my camera isn't robust?
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The problem is not the shutter, it's whomever is doing the so-called "CLA".:sad:
    Find someone who is competent.
     
  18. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks for the tip. Can you recommend a competent repair facility? Obviously the one I've been using isn't serving me well :sad:
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Sorry, but there's no one I've had experience with, I take care of my own shutters.
     
  20. Pioneer

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  21. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey thank for the reference! He's in California too!

    Best,
    Don