View Full Version : Cocking a Voigtlander

01-06-2005, 09:31 PM
Is there some special trick to cocking the shutters on old Voigtlanders? I did my antique store sweep today and first came across a folding 6x6 Perkeo I. It was in rough shape, so I figured it was just broken when I couldn't get the cocking arm to budge. Next store I went into had a folding 35mm Vito II that looked to be in excellent shape and everything I tried to move moved, but again, I could not get that darn cocking arm to move. They looked to be similar in design, so I'm wondering if there is some sort of trick to them that I'm missing? Or maybe they both were just broken?

David A. Goldfarb
01-06-2005, 10:04 PM
Not sure on the Perkeo I, but on the Perkeo II, there's a double exposure prevention mechanism. Try it with film in the camera or if you want to outsmart it, open the back of the Perkeo, and if it has this mechanism, turn the roller wheel on the feed spool side of the camera until it stops, then cock the shutter. That said, I didn't think the Perkeo I had an auto-stop mechanism, so that might not be it. You may need to test it with a scrap roll of film.

01-23-2006, 02:30 PM
the shutters might already be cocked. Were they prontor shutters, or compurs? The prontor shutters on these cameras tend to look uncocked when they are actually cocked -the cocking lever moves up on a prontor, while the level moves down on a compur. The easiest way to find out is to release the shutter (bearing in mind the double exposure prevention David mentioned above) and see if that does it. Also, bear in mind, the escapements are probably frozen from lack of use (very common in old prontors), so you might have to "Work" the shutter a bit to get it to fire.



01-23-2006, 09:19 PM
My old Voigtlander Bessa I has the double-exposure prevention interlock...you have to wind the film on for a bit before you can cock the shutter. On the Bessa I there's an indicator on the top to remind you of this (a small arrow that points at the winding knob until you wind on a bit, then points at the shutter once it can be cocked again). With the Bessa I film need not be present for the winding motion to release the interlock.

Kevin Roach
01-24-2006, 09:48 AM
I have that perkeo I with a pronto shutter.

Yours must be broken, the shutter cocking is obvious and there is no other mechanism that would prevent cocking.

01-24-2006, 12:41 PM
I've found a few old shutters on junk store cameras - cameras that have been handled by a lot of people and then put down- where the time delay had been engaged. Since these things almost always are broken or stuck, the shutter is stopped in limbo, the button has been pushed but the shutter has not yet fired. This locks everything up- it can't be fored and it can't be cocked. If you are able to free this mechanism - a shot of electronic degreaser or even a TINY drop of WD40 placed inside the timer slot- the shutter may be back to normal.

The usual warnings expected from everyone about putting oil and grease inside shutters should now be anticipated. I suggest it only in case of a shutter that otherwise is beyond repair - and warn any who would do it to follow up with a Naptha bath or more of that electronic spray cleaner (Radio Shack was my source)