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  1. #1

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    Rough Shutter Cocking on Canon FTb

    My Canon FTb arrived, but the film advance is quite rough and ratchety even w/o film in it. The shutter curtain assy looks like it moves freely, so it's not that. Shutter speeds sound good, but the shutter knob is a little stiff to change the speeds with. Not too bad, just a little tight. The camera had been setting up for a long time according the seller, but for all I know it may have been like this when it was set up. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    MDR
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    Dirt in the gears, have it cleaned or maybe you can clean it yourself. Good Luck

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    I checked that, at least on the bottom. Pulled the bottom plate off and it looked OK, but I gave it a little lube anyway. Took the film advance lever off and gave a drop of oil down the shaft. Still the same. The return lever seems to hang a little going back to its rest position and needs a little shove, and there's a squeek coming from the advance lever shaft area when I cock the shutter, so it looks like the top will have to come off. The camera took a header at some point in its life and the prism has a good size dent in the front corner, but everything looks OK. No prism issues when I look in the viewfinder and the meter needle is even lively when I put in a battery, although that circular part its supposed to line up with (I think) doesn't want to come off the bottom of the viewfinder. Shutter speeds are on the money until 1/250, which is where they start to get one stop slow. Drat.

  4. #4
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    I have a Spotmatic that feels as though I am stripping the gears when I advance. Even without film in it, it is the same. It's not debris because I flushed everything out with lighter fluid until completely clear with the top and bottom off the camera.

    There are many variables here with this sort of thing: curtain apron fault (even twisted strings!), loose gears, corrosion where the curtain slides causing friction, even too much curtain tension.

    Momus, have you felt the tension on those curtains? Advance half way so that the metal strips at the ends of each curtain are in the middle of the film aperture gate. Then, carefully lift the mirror and tape it's underside to the top of the lens mount area so that it stays up (maybe this Canon has a mirror lock so that that will not be necessary). Now, with the camera back facing you, carefully and gently with your fingernail, move the curtains one by one (ie, move the second curtain's metal strip toward the right and the first curtain's metal strip move toward the left. That will open the curtain area as if for exposure. The level springiness will indicate how much tension there is on those curtains. If too much (they should have only light to moderate tension) you need to turn the tension screws to lessen the springiness. On the Canon mechanicals it is a bit harder to do as those curtain screws guiding curtain tension have small levers attached to each and must first be loosened in order to remove the end of each lever from the ratchet which they employ in order to prevent slippage. It's rather difficult to describe in words but with the Spotmatic all one need do is put a drop of lighter fluid on the two set screws which hold those curtain tension screws tight and then you can freely adjust that curtain tension. - David Lyga

  5. #5
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I've owned a FTbn that I bought second hand for about thirty five years, but I do think expecting camera of that age to work smoothly without any cleaning adjustment and lubrication is unrealistic, these cameras may seem relatively cheap on the face of it but you need to allow the price of a professional service I.M.O. if you need a reliable working tool., I had my FTbn given a complete service and had the light seals and mirror bumper replaced about four years ago after over thirty years service which cost far more than it's market value, but I chose to. I.M.O. paying to have your cameras maintained by a professional repairer occasionally is part of being a serious photographer.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 12-31-2013 at 10:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I've owned a FTbn that I bought second hand for about thirty five years, but I do think expecting camera of that age to work smoothly without any cleaning adjustment and lubrication is unrealistic, these cameras may seem relatively cheap on the face of it but you need to allow the price of a professional service I.M.O. if you need a reliable working tool., I had my FTbn given a complete service and had the light seals and mirror bumper replaced about four years ago after over thirty years service which cost far more than it's market value, but I chose to. I.M.O. paying to have your cameras maintained by a professional repairer occasionally is part of being a serious photographer.
    +1

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    +1
    A lot of photographers instead of buying more and more crap cameras that are junk would be much better served by having the ones they actually use (if any) serviced.
    Ben

  8. #8
    MDR
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    The costs for repairs has often become more expensive than the camera or in fact several cameras besides not everyone has the money to afford good repair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    The costs for repairs has often become more expensive than the camera or in fact several cameras besides not everyone has the money to afford good repair.
    If having reliable equipment is important, you pay for it. And one cannot be serious without reliable gear, whatever it is. When one looks at the cost of say a Nikon F on the used market plus the cost of a CLA by a competent tech, and compares it to the cost of an F when it was new (roughly 1/4 the cost of a small car) - it looks like a steal.
    The alternative is an endless series of dysfunctional cameras.
    If you want unreliable crap, spend your money at lomography.

  10. #10
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    The costs for repairs has often become more expensive than the camera or in fact several cameras besides not everyone has the money to afford good repair.
    What you write is true, all I'm saying is people should take that into consideration before they buy 20+ year old cameras of unknown history from people or company s they don't know without any warranty and expect them to be reliable working tools, and not end up being shelf queens.
    Ben

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