Zenit TTL self repairing
Few days ago I bought Zenit TTL. It shows next errors:
1. 1/30 speed is not 1/30 but on that position camera act like on B position.
2. X sync, that is 1/30 doesnt fire flash, but...
3. Flash fire on both 1/60 and 1/125 speeds, but...
4. Flash is not synchronized, that is half of frame has picture and half is black, on both speeds.
It seems that 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 and 1/500 speeds works normaly, and other camera functions are OK. I didn't find battery yet, so I couldn't try meter.
My question is should I try to fix it myself, I mean is that relatively easy to fix, or to give it to pro repairman.
If it is relatively easy to fix, and I can do it myself, is there are some manual how to do it or like...
Sounds like that your shutter dial is not properly installed. Many of your descriptions are typical of this. Shutter dial may say "1/30" but shutter is actually set to B. And Zenit camera shutters won't close the synch circuit (to fire flash) when set to B.
Try to find the little screw which sets the shutter dial in place. Loosen it a bit, and reset so that B reads at the proper mark when shutter is really at B. May fix the problem, if this was the reason. Could be due to other reasons as well- hard to really from the short descriptions given.
Zenit cameras are relatively easy to fix, especially the older ones. See Tomtiger's Zenit pages for more details. Or else join the Zenit Yahoogroup for more Zenit info
Thank you Jay, you were so helpful to me lately.
I forgot to tell, while on 1/30 camera act like on B, on B position camera normally act like it should on B position...
That commonly happens to some Zorki and FED as well. Causes can be several. Among these could be simply a matter of tensioning the second curtain (do this only when you're certain that this is indeed the reason), the placement of the shutter release spring (the long flat spring at the bottom of the shutter crate), or just a dirty, sluggish mechanism which can be fixed by cleaning and relubrication.
Originally Posted by haris
It's really hard to tell without the camera's history on hand. Has it been previously repaired? Such can be a reason since improper reassembly can often cause the 1/30 setting to act like B.
Thank you Jay. Since camera was bought on flea market I don't know its history. I will bring it to local repairman. He does great job, for very reasonable price, only is slow, but results of his work are worth of waiting. Only, irony is that repairing and CLA of camera will probably be more expencive thanprice I payed for it
Thank you again for everything.
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That is a fact of life with FSU cameras like Zenit. They are so cheap, but repairing them can cost more than what the cameras sold for. I've one damaged Zenit-122 whose repair cost was quoted 3x more than what it cost to get another one. I've designated it instead to become a parts donor and the parts harvested from it has made two other Zenit live again!
Originally Posted by haris
I don't really consider the monetary amount as basis for the worth of these cameras. Instead, I value them for what they are and can do once restored to proper working order. Superb optics - you got one for the J-9 - and a mechanical body which can work almost forever if properly used are two factors which define these cameras' values for me.
A Zenit may not be a Nikon or a Zorki may not be a Leica, but without the fancy nameplates and superfluous features, these cameras have the same footing on a common ground when used in the same situations.
The only thing which will prevent these wonderful machines from shooting forever is the loss of film- a creeping reality in this part of the world.
I had a similar problem with a Zenit XP. It was a problem at the shutter dial.
What I did:
- dismantled the shutter dial;
- under the rotating knob (dismantled above) is a device with an horizontal screw rotating on top af a plastic-made cylinder with a helical top end; that screw was bent because its travel is limited in both directions (at B and at 1/500) and probably the former owner was using more power than brains;
- un-screw the bent screw;
- streighten it (take care to the thread, you can damage it very easy);
- re-assamble all.
Now, if you are a kind of masochist engineer as I am, go to test phase to check the real shuttre speed. You'll need a very narrow object moving with a known speed at a known distance, perpendicular on the optical axis, to photograph it with 1/30 s (if you need an error analysis take about 5 frames). I used my LP player at 45 rpm with a pin on the edge of the disk.
The rest is simple physics and mathematics: speeds and distances. You must compare the real length of the trace on the frame with the theoretical one if the exposure time would be correct (1/30 in my example). Or at least you'll know the error.
In case the plastic cylinder is not damaged, if 1/30 is working, then all exposure times should work and they will have the same error in percentages.
Following this experiment you may find an unacceptable error. Make some marks (with something white on that black screw) to know exactly wich part is visible from the top and how deep is screwed-in, dismantle it again, check if it is stright. If yes, that means you have to bent it just a little according to the needed deviation to the left or to the right (left / right when you are looking from the top at the previously made mark). Then screw-in back in the same position as before (this is why you marked it). This part is trial-and-error.
It might sound complicated, but you'll understand what I'm talking when you'll dismantle the shutter dial and you'll try to figure out how is it working.
You may have option no. 2: buy one more Zenit with a good shutter speed and a good courtain (you may need this after a while) and use it as a spare parts supplier.
I hope my poor english made not a total mess in this message.
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Thank you, Jay and Adrian. Since I am not masochist engeneer , I brought camera to good repairman. He is not expencive, but he is slow. But, when you see how he repair camera or lens it is absolutely worth of waiting.
A very interesting site I have a Zenit E with a stuck shutter, I'll have a try at fixing it !.
Originally Posted by ZorkiKat