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  1. #1

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    Please help me!:CLA

    Hi guys!
    Often reading messages here about old cameras, always someone recommends to do a "CLA".

    Please could you help me explaining the meaning of the word "CLA"?. Thank you very much for the patience.

    Regards

  2. #2

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    CLA stands for "Clean, Lube and Adjust". It's a basic overhaul of the camera, preferably by a professional repairman. The camera is cleaned thoroughly, lubricated where necessary and the mechanics are adjusted back to original specifications.

    It's like the annual car checkup, except that it doesn't need to be performed that often.
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  3. #3

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    My advice is always to check the light seals, replace if necessary, compare the metering to a camera which is known to be reliable, then try a film.

    A roll of film and developing same is a lot cheaper than a CLA. If it needs attention then find a repairer, but a lot of old cameras just need a bit of exercise.
    Matt

  4. #4
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    I agree with Matt. I have a number of old cameras - dating back to 1030 - and have never had any of them cleaned or adjusted. They all work fine, and that includes sixty year old selenium light meters. People can lead you to worry too much about photographic kit.

  5. #5
    pentaxpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    I agree with Matt. I have a number of old cameras - dating back to 1030 - and have never had any of them cleaned or adjusted. They all work fine, and that includes sixty year old selenium light meters. People can lead you to worry too much about photographic kit.
    The CANON 'A' series are very prone to the famous ' Canon Squeak' if you do not exercise them -- I have an A1 given to me with the squeak as it had not been used for 7 years since the owner died and I have been trying to lubricate it as I read on some forums but not with any success at the moment. I have several Weston Master V meters and some just given recently -- not working as the cells are probably gone with age.
    An 'Old Dog still learning New Tricks !

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    I agree with Matt. I have a number of old cameras - dating back to 1030 - and have never had any of them cleaned or adjusted.
    I couldn't resist... The old Shen Kuo cameras never need work...

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    A camera with a shutter that buzzes anemically like a dying bee would benefit from a CLA.

    If it fails to open the film gate at top shutter speeds.

    If you can't see through the viewfinder.

    If you feel like you are pulling teeth when winding.

    Then it might be time for a CLA. It could be a case of a "bird in the hand"... where fixing your known camera is better than anything you could buy. Or you could just look for cameras where the seller says it recently had a CLA.

  8. #8

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    The main things I check:

    Set the camera to the fastest shutter speed, remove the lens, open the back, place your eye close to the shutter and press the button. You will get the very briefest glimpse of daylight, but with practice this can be enough to spot shutter capping.

    Shutter capping happens when the second curtain catches up with the first, giving you either an unexposed portion of the frame or no exposure at all. It tends to happen at the faster speeds. If you can see light both sides (or the top and bottom) of the film window when the shutter fires then you're ok - I go by whether I can see the corners of the mirror box while looking closely at the left hand side, then the right. This is less common with electronically controlled shutters than it is with older models relying on spring tension. If the shutter is capping then it needs a CLA to sort that out.

    If it passes that test then I set it to the slowest speed and fire it again. Usually this is a second, doing it a few times and comparing it to my watch's second hand will show how accurate it is. Again, more commonly a problem with the old clockwork shutters. One of my MXs had a very interesting idea of how long a second was but woke up after I wound and fired a few times. I already had an accurate MX so sat the two side by side on the table and compared the shutter sound at various speeds - the second body sounded identical so was obviously fine.
    Matt

  9. #9

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    Peter,
    Where on our little blue planet are you located?
    If the OP would tell us specifically which camera he is concerned about...at the moment,
    we would be able to help him identify any unique issues/problems, specific to a given model,
    and also, we would be better able to direct him to repair shops for said make/model.

    Marc

  10. #10

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    When I buy a used camera, I checked it out carefully. I checked everything including accuracy of the meter and shutter speed. And then I take test roll of film. If everything is ok I use it like that. I don't believe in CLA a perfectly functioning camera just because it's 30 years old.

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