Konica Auto S2 - Aperture Fix?
Just got a Konica Auto S2 in fantastic (cosmetic) shape in the mail today from an eBay seller. Here's the problem... I opened up the back door and had a look at the shutter from behind. The shutter timings all seem to be OK (even though the shutter speed ring can be hard to turn), but the aperture blades only open up so wide. It seems to get stuck at around f/5.6. I can turn the selection ring all the way to f/1.8, but the blades themselves are stuck around f/5.6 to f/16.
So, I foresee three scenarios:
1) I'm screwed since the camera is beyond repair, and f/5.6 is as open as I can take it :-(
2) I can send it to someone for a CLA or similar service to fix it, hopefully for a reasonable price. Heck, maybe they can re-work the light seals while they're at it. :-/
3) I can actually repair the aperture issue myself, given the correct thorough instructions, the same way I repaired a troublesome Kiev 6C.
Assistance and advice are greatly appreciated!
I got an Auto S2 once that had one shutter blade broken and missing!
Haven't been able to find a replacement shutter blade but I have it apart if you find you need a particular part...
A couple of sources for you
The Konica Auto S2 is my favorite among the big rangefinders of that era - great camera. The dilemma you describe about what to do with a non-functional but easy to find and relatively inexpensive camera like the S2 is a very common problem with folks who get into the rangefinder thing. Repairs, seal replacement, CLA, etc. by a professional can run $100+ easily but you can find nice ones at auction for $10-$25.
The Feuerbacher link is about as good as it gets for step-by-step help in digging into a rangefinder lens assembly of any type. Cleaning cloudy rangefinder optics and replacing seals on an S2 are pretty simple compared to many other cameras. If you're reasonably handy, give repairing it yourself a shot. Worst-case scenario is that you hopelessly screw it up, but then you've gained experience in working on the S2 and you have a box of spare parts. Get another one and go from there.
BTDT, no T-shirt !!
Originally Posted by upnorthcyclist
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I ended up sending it away for a CLA. I've heard nothing but great things about the camera, so I figure it's worth it to show it some proper love and care. (Albeit in the hands of a stranger...) I did my own repair on a Kiev 6C a week or so ago, and it was still a pain to deal with without a proper work bench. I imagine the much smaller Auto S2 would be a real hassle.
Please post a follow up when you get it back. It would be helpful knowing to whom you sent it and how good the results are.
Originally Posted by yeknom02
My good Konica Auto S2 has a cracked viewfinder glass in addition to a few minor bugaboos that might be worth having professionally repaired.
Thanks, Bill L.
However you arrive at it the S2 is a great camera to use!
This might be simpler than you imagined (but I accept no responsibility). I have done this dozens of times with rangefinder cameras. Step one: remove all glass from the lens (front and back). Step two: gently with a finger feel 'why' the aperture is sluggish. If you feel that it is merely oil on the blades (you might not be able to see oil if it is on the internal portions of the blades) flush the blades with lighter fluid (maybe half an ounce while you keep trying, again gently, to move the blades). OF course the setting has to be at F2 or the largest opening where the blades SHOULD be open. Keep opening and closing the blades to work in the fluid. Look at the drippings of the lighter fluid: is it very dark. That is the oil and dirt coming off. FLush again and then again. Leave to dry (perhaps remove the bottom and try hard not to get any in the top of the camera or you will have to remove that too. To dry these I leave overnight in my pilot lit stove which is always about 110 F. Make sure a small space is left under the exposed bottom of the camera so evaporation can be efficient. VERY important to flush all grease away while trying not to get too much in the focus helical, just the blade/shutter section. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 07-12-2010 at 03:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: additional info
Just an update for everyone. I sent the camera to Greg Weber (a.k.a. Weber Camera) in Nebraska. Apparently he's the go-to man for Konica repairs. He took care of the following:
- sticky aperture blades (the biggest problem by far)
- sticky shutter speed selection ring
- repair (recalibration) of the rangefinder
- rewind crank replacement
- light seal replacement
- battery conversion to 1.5 V 625-type button cell
- Clean, Lube, Adjust
- Test for light leaks
All this cost $180. To some, it may sound like a lot, but I think it's worth it. Currently, I have a roll of Kodachrome in there, and I'm looking forward to seeing the results.