Kodak Reflex 1A shutter cleaning
I have a very good condition Reflex 1A that I would like to start using, but the shutter blades need cleaning and if I go to 1/25 or slower it actually speeds up. Seems to be consistant down to 1/50 sec.
What would be the best cleaner to use in this case? Naptha? 99% 2-propanol? Electronics grade methanol?
I've seen a few sites on how to disassemble the lenses to get to the shutter, but nothing on how to get it put back together properly. Any suggestions, warnings, hints on getting everything back together would be greatly appreciated.
These sites are for the reflex II, but I'm guessing it's quite similar or the same for the 1A, since it's just an upgraded Reflex.
I don't think the camera is worth having a professional CLA done, but would like to use it as I've heard the Anastar lenses are quite nice.
Unless there is visible oil on the shutter blades, I would not try to clean them. I would have thought that shutter speed problems are more likely to be the shutter mechanism than the actual shutter blades. I have successfully cleaned (cleaned enough, that is) a Compur Rapid shutter mechanism by flushing with naptha - like yours, the camera was not worth enough to warrant paying for professional cleaning.
Mostly, I find shutters will start to behave if I sit and dry-fire the shutter a few dozen times (i.e. with no film in the camera). I would try this before I attempted to dismantle anything. Dry-firing will not damage anything but dismantling can (usually does if I try it).
Last thought - if the shutter is fine down to 1/50, why worry? I cannot think of the last time I used 1/25 or slower on any camera. Fast speeds and slow speeds usually have separate mechanisms (Compur and Gauthier, any way) and if the fast speed part is fine, just don't use the slow speeds.
There is visible gunk on the front surface of the blades, the rear looks clean. I think the shutter speed mechanism is the culprit, in particular a little half-moon shaped gear that the gentleman with the flickr page talks about affecting the speed exactly like I'm seeing. Top speed on this camera is 1/200 ( which gives me 1/200, 1/100. and 1/50) so I guess as long as I use 400 speed film or push to 800 I can probably use it over varying light changes handheld. I've dry-fired it about 50 times to no avail. It's definitely mechanical at the lower speeds, I just figured if I get up the nerve to tear it apart I might as well clean the gunk off the blades.
Last edited by Blooze; 10-09-2013 at 02:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Although still early on in my shutter repair studies and service, I can pretty well tell you that you do not have anything near any kind of accuracy going on there. If you have not made yourself up a little home made shutter tester to see where you stand, then any use of the camera as-is would be a waste of time and film. At best, you'll be torturing yourself making test strips in the darkroom before every print. That 200 speed is probably more near 1/75-1/130th, and 1/100 is probably more like 1/60. Somebody is going to have to get the shutter apart for a cleaning and a look-see for wear. As it is right now I'd venture to say 1/50 is the only speed on the camera that's in the ballpark.
"1/25 or slower it actually speeds up" That is because your slow speed gears isn't moving.
Cheat. gently brush a minute amount of naptha on the slow speed escape gears slowly without making a mess, repeat if necessary(after its dried). . As i said, its a cheat, do it at your own risk.
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Thanks everyone. I'm thinking I may give taking it apart a try this weekend. I paid a little more attention to it and even at the three higher speeds there is some variation from shot to shot that's apparent.
If the gunk on the shutter blades is any sort of oily residue it must be removed.
In practice flush cleaning WILL solve a multitude of issues. You're going to find some recent threads poo pooing this method, and it's not as good as disassembling and proper cleaning.
FWIW typical tolerances on these critters are +/- 20% at slower speeds and 25% or more at faster ones.
First, what I am about to say applies to cameras I am willing to toss in the garbage because they are not worth fooling with anyway. I have always disregarded warnings about electric shock, no user serviceable parts inside, etc. I take things apart for fun! Besides, I payed less than $6 for my cameras. except the Yashicamat
I have done similar cleanups with multiple flushings of naptha on a few cameras; canonet 17, konica c35 auto, konica auto s2, and finally after lots of practice, my Yashicamat 124. Each time they gum up again after 50 or 100 shutter releases. I end up using (after removing any lenses) chlorine free brake cleaning fluid; two or three flushes with that stuff and it gets freed up. The next problem is there is no oil anywhere in the mechanism and you have to add some in just the right places. The layers of rings, bearings surfaces, springs and friction points would all turn to a locked up metal mess without some oil. I wont say what kind of oil I use or how I know where to put tiny amounts of it cause its a guess from staring at the guts and figuring our what metal contacts metal. I have disassembled each of those cameras shutters to study them.