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  1. #1

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    Ok, since lens cleaning is so easy...

    After reading the current thread on how easy it is to clean a lens, I've decided to see what I can do. This is a pretty big step because I am a lot better at destroying things than fixing them. The patient is a 1938 Voigtlander Bessa 66 - with a dirty Voigtar lens in a slow-but-not-stuck Prontor II shutter - picked up on the 'bay for $10.

    My queston: If it survives removal from the camera, do I then just soak the shutter in lighter fluid for a few days, dry it, and start firing it? I've seen disassembled shutters, and taking one apart (even one this simple) and putting it back together is beyond my tools and talents.

  2. #2

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    They call that flood washing a shutter. Instead of using lighter fluid get some Coleman camp stove liquid fuel. It evaporates faster n leaves no residue. After soaking, it may need a light lube on the gear pins using a light watch oil or some music trumpet valve oil. You apply just a tiny pin dot of it at eash seat. At rub joints you use the tinest smear of lithium grease. Most times the shutter will work right out of the bath after dryiong for a couple hours, old shutter run dry anyway n need very little to get em going again.

    To fully clean a shutter, it is best to strip it down n clean each n every component. It is labor intensive but insures everything is clean of old gunked up lube, where the flood method can leave some old undisolved lube beind.

    In your old camera it may not make any difference if you flood clean or strip, how anal you want to get is up to you but you will have a great experiance once you hear that baby purring at 1 sec.

    .
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You may be able to just drip some fluid in the side of the shutter body without removing from camera. Take precautions not to get it all up inside the glass.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  4. #4

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    Paul and Rick, thank you.

    In your old camera it may not make any difference if you flood clean or strip, how anal you want to get is up to you but you will have a great experiance once you hear that baby purring at 1 sec.

    I won't be very anal about this. This is an exercise to learn a bit about maintainence in a low risk situation. But you know, I have been seduced by these old folders and it sure would be cool to be able to take this one out for a spin knowing I brought it back to life. It came from one of those "I know nothing about cameras" sellers with lousy blurry pictures and 5 seconds after clicking the bid button I was regretting the purchase. It was only $10, but aside from a small hole in the bellows, it is in remarkably good shape. It looks like it was never used.


    Take precautions not to get it all up inside the glass.

    With me doing this, if it can get all up inside the glass, it will get all up inside the glass.

  5. #5
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    I would not recommend soaking the whole shutter in the fluid. You might leave residual stuff on the blades, and then you gotta clean it off again. waste of time. Why don't you use a small paint brush and apply fluids on the actual mechanisms. Especially its only slow. Do it the easy way before you try to jump in too much.

    You might also like to consider Naphtha.

  6. #6

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    The camp stove fuel (white gas) leaves no residue so soaking the entire shutter will do no harm n leave the blades nice n clean.. no fussing at all later. If there is still signs of stains n oil on the blades, soak it again till it is all gone, you haven't done a complete job.

    Use jars for soaking your shutters so you can swirl it around in the solution. My findings, over the years, has been the soaking method does a pretty thorough job. If the shutter refuses to work after a good soak it may need to be broken down to get the last of the stuborn heavy gunk lodged in the works generally put in by a DIYer, or there may be damaged n worn parts. Use very tiny amts of lube, think more on a molecular scale.

    Using a paint brush only smears the old stuff around n foces the oils n grease to lodge itself in other places after the lighter fluid evaporates, not really cleaning it out. Soaking disolves the oil n grease. I like to use a 3 step wash so I have fresh solution as I progress.

    Coleman fuel is naptha..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleman_fuel

    White gas is also sold as other brands like MSR, it is camping stove liquid fuel AKA white gas.

    .

    .
    Last edited by paul ron; 03-23-2012 at 10:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbromaghin View Post

    My queston: If it survives removal from the camera, do I then just soak the shutter in lighter fluid for a few days, dry it, and start firing it?.

    Not if you want it to function properly.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum51/1...pair-wise.html

  8. #8

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    The recent thread I saw was more about the idea that you don't need specialized equipment to adjust lenses after you've had them apart for cleaning. Maybe there is another thread, or somebody may have implied it is easy, but that is not always the case. There are plenty of ways to screw things up.
    Last edited by Mark Crabtree; 03-24-2012 at 10:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    Yeah but he is working on a $10 camera that isn't working and it's not a rare collector either.

    The worst that can happen; it still won't work. But the fun, the education... priceless! I am sure that is worth alot more than $10.

    Oh, and if it does work n he's hooked?... we have another guy we can sell our old broken cameras to..... shuuussssh.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron View Post
    Yeah but he is working on a $10 camera that isn't working and it's not a rare collector either.

    The worst that can happen; it still won't work. But the fun, the education... priceless! I am sure that is worth alot more than $10.

    Oh, and if it does work n he's hooked?... we have another guy we can sell our old broken cameras to..... shuuussssh.
    Or, you could say that he has a $10 camera, what a great opportunity to learn how to do it right at minimal investment? The Prontor shutter isn't exactly crap, it merits being cleaned properly. Then he'll have a camera he can actually use with confidence, instead of something frustrating that may work for a few rolls and crap out again.

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