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Stiff focus ring, dim rangefinder, shutter speed off on lens

 
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Cannister



Joined: 06 Jan 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Stiff focus ring, dim rangefinder, shutter speed off on lens Reply with quote

Hi,

I recently was gifted a Graflex XL (rangefinder) and have some questions about tuning up a few things:

1)The rangefinder double image is very dim and lacks contrast. It's pretty difficult to line the focus up unless I find a very contrasty vertical line. Is there any way to make this easier to see?

2)The focusing ring is pretty stiff - I can turn it, but it takes a fair amount of force to start it moving. Does anyone know how this could be fixed? Disassembled and oiled somehow? Is there a service manual available for this camera?

3) I was given 2 lenses with it: an 80mm Carl Zeiss f/2.8 and a 58mm(?) Rodenstock f/5.6. The Zeiss seems to be in perfect working condition, but the Rodenstock's shutter does not seem accurate, nor does it appear to open when set faster than ~1/50 I believe. Also the shutter does not cock easily - the lever has to be pushed to the absolute limits of it's range of motion before I hear the barely audible "click" and the shutter release is ready to go. Any advice on if either of these issues are something a DIYer could fix and how? If not: who services these and how much do you expect it would cost?

Thanks in advance!
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your camera's 58/5.6 Grandagon is in a SyncroCompur #00 shutter. I have one of the lenses, had it reshuttered so I can use it on my 2x3 Speed Graphic. IIRC, extracting the front cell from the shutter requires a lot of dismantling. I'd send the lens in shutter out for overhaul.

Many people recommend Carol Miller at www.flutotscamerarepair.com She has a waiting list, her site says that sending an e-mail is the way to get on it. I've done that, heard nothing at all from her for about 7 months, then got an e-mail telling me to send the shutter. Too late, I'd sent it elsewhere. Another e-mail about a different shutter never got a response.

I usually use www.skgrimes.com . I also use Frank Marshman, who can be reached at 540-867-9671 . He's quick and less expensive than Grimes.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3231
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there a service manual available for this camera?

Check your private messages.
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Cannister



Joined: 06 Jan 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for the information.

I ended up using this trick to brighten the rangefinder. I had previously used it on my Olympus XA with great success, and was happy to discover that it works great on the Graflex XL as well.

You can see the small black square on the primary viewfinder in this photo I took on my test roll: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannister/11921274245/

I'll still have to look into sending the lens out for CLA. The cost is slightly prohibitive right now though.

My first roll through came out horribly unfocused, but after a quick search on this forum I discovered that the button on top of the rangefinder has to be used to set where infinity is on the lens before focusing the camera. After adjusting that I was very happy with the sharpness of the focus.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3231
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you read: http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=2189 ?
NO- do so then read on in this post.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/CRC9/05103/N0439.oap?ck=Search_N0439_-1_2743&pt=N0439&ppt=C0090
Leaves no residue and cleans thoroughly.
Try spraying between the lens barrel and the focus collar and operate the collar its full range.

Check your shutter speeds: Place a clock or watch with a sweep seconds hand so that it can be viewed easily while watching the shutter blades. Set the shutter speed dial to 1 second and open the aperture to its widest setting. Set/cock the shutter and position so that the release/trip lever is easily operated and the shutter blades and the clock second hand are both visible. Trip the shutter just as the second hand covers a second mark. Observe that the shutter blades open fully and close. Note the position of the second on the shutter blade closing. Depending on the width of the second hand a in tolerance shutter's blades will close within the second hand width ( narrow second hand ) either side of the next second mark. Now set the shutter to 1/2 and repeat the procedure. An in tolerance shutter's blades will close when the second hand is mid way between the start and next second hand. Set the shutter to the next fastest speed and operate the shutter. Did the shutter sound faster than the half second setting? Continue until you reach the 1/100~1/125 speed then work your way down with each speed taking longer than the previous. All speeds from 1 second to 1/100~1/125 are based on the delay gearing which is set for a correct 1 second. A half stop fast or slow is easy to see at 1 second and 1/2 second settings.
If you need something more precise try: http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6105

I can service your shutter also.
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Cannister



Joined: 06 Jan 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did sit down last night and compare the 58mm's shutter to the working 80mm shutter. Way off. Set at 1/30th of a second the shutter took a different amount of time to close after several actuations.

What's a ballpark estimate for servicing the shutter?
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a can of the CRC QD Electronic Cleaner (referenced in the second link in 45PSS's post, above) at a local hardware store (Ace, IIRC), so avoiding the need to mail order. Check around, you may find some "off the shelf."

BTW, the stuff did the trick on a Sony FM-AM radio with very scratchy tuning; a small squirt of the QD on the shaft, right where it enters the tuning gizmo, quieted that baby right down and made tuning a pleasure, also seemed to improve clarity of programming (I listen mostly to classical music).

I also cured a balky 4-way mirror adjust switch on my '02 Prius by disassembling and cleaning the contacts with the QD. Good thing, too, as that's a $100+ part, believe it or not.

If it works as well as that on your lens barrel, you'll be a happy man. Just be very careful that it doesn't come in contact with any lens glass! I don't know for a fact that it's harmful, but I wouldn't chance it.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3231
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just be very careful that it doesn't come in contact with any lens glass!

If it does its no worse than glass cleaner but any lubricant it is carrying off might stay behind. It is cold to the touch straight from the can so it may cause condensation on the inside surface of the lens. It might penetrate the threads of the cell mount rings also and get on the inside surfaces of the lens.
Other brands of electrical contact cleaner do not work as well. The auto store link was for convenience and the product may be carried by a verity of auto parts, electronic supply houses, hardware stores.


Shutter pricing in a PM.
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