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Thread: Kowa Issue

  1. #1
    pinhole_dreamer's Avatar
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    Kowa Issue


    That's my Kowa. She has a great lens. I love the light meter - and it takes no batteries - which is a major plus.

    It has this really odd habit of wanting to expose the film and forward at the same time. The shutter button doesn't stick...until that odd habit takes over and it won't release the shutter unless I'm forwarding film. It does this with and without film in the camera.

    What does this? Any ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    The short version is that it might need to be serviced. It could be the shutter, especially if it's a leaf shutter. It could also be a worn part.

    The quick fix is to put a bit of lighter fluid (small amount - short squirt) into the side of the shutter. Look for an open slot. If this seems to correct it, then the shutter might need to be serviced.

    It can hard to diagnose this kind of problem without testing the camera.

  3. #3

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    It's also very hard without having the camera in hand (and even then) to tell whether you can inject lighter fluid into something without creating far greater problems.

  4. #4
    pinhole_dreamer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I've been told also, to just take it in for a CLA.

    ...which might be easier. I'm confident in taking apart my Helioflex...but not this one.
    Last edited by pinhole_dreamer; 02-05-2011 at 09:43 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added a thought

  5. #5
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    I sold the Kowa H back in the middle 1960s but I do not remember much about them. Is that one of the types which uses the mirror as a shutter?
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately all the Kowa 35mm SLR's are notorious for unreliability, especially after all these years since they were manufactured. It will probably be difficult to find anyone to repair it, especially as spare parts will be unlikely to exist. With these cameras, it is probably not worth the bother & cost, bearing in mind too that they are likely to break down again. The roll-film Kowas seem to be much more reliable.

  7. #7
    pinhole_dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    I sold the Kowa H back in the middle 1960s but I do not remember much about them. Is that one of the types which uses the mirror as a shutter?
    Yes, I believe so. The mirror flips up and the shutter is behind the mirror.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning...It smells like...PHOTOGRAPHY!

    The photo blog has moved...
    I Love Film : by Susan McNutt, the mad photographer

  8. #8
    pinhole_dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brac View Post
    Unfortunately all the Kowa 35mm SLR's are notorious for unreliability, especially after all these years since they were manufactured. It will probably be difficult to find anyone to repair it, especially as spare parts will be unlikely to exist. With these cameras, it is probably not worth the bother & cost, bearing in mind too that they are likely to break down again. The roll-film Kowas seem to be much more reliable.
    If not, I can always keep it with my camera collection. I have a few cameras, some toys, some just have a serious emotional value to them for me, that she can sit with and keep company. My 'portrait models' are interspersed among the cameras I don't use or are no longer in working order.

    I've not tried a roll of film in it to see if the forward will actually take a photo or not - but the shutter releases whenever I used the forward lever - so it would possibly expose the film and then forward it shortly thereafter. I've got some cheap-o film I can use for an experiment one of these days, preferably after most of the snow has melted and I can go walkabout with some confidence of not falling over my own two feet due to a misplaced step onto some ice under the melting snow.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning...It smells like...PHOTOGRAPHY!

    The photo blog has moved...
    I Love Film : by Susan McNutt, the mad photographer

  9. #9

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    It's too bad no one makes adapters to use Kowa lenses on other camera bodies. My own experience has been like others--Kowa lenses are very fine, the cameras themselves not so much.

  10. #10
    Cai
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    Ive just come across a Kowa H with a similar issue, I was wondering whether using the film advance lever to take the photographs was effective for you, as my shutter button will not lock either. Cheers

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