Tag Archives: Vintage cameras

Leica IIIa CLA, Clean the Slow Speed Escapement

Before giving my Leica IIIa a semi-complete CLA, I want to tackle the slow speeds being sluggish problem. Thanks to the Internet, I found a few sites that explained how truly easy it is. I mean, anybody can do this task and perhaps bring their 75-80 year old camera back to it’s former glory.

Two screws to get started is all it takes. The hardest part is putting it back in and that just takes some dexterity. This method is possible without a complete removal of the body shell as is needed for the newer IIIb. IIIc, IIIf, IIIg, but if you are planing a shell removal for whatever reason, CLA, investigation of a problem or the like, then by all means, wait until then, it would just be easier to put it back in but taking it out makes no difference.

On the model III and IIIa, the slow speed escapement is easy to remove by just taking the lens off
On the model III and IIIa, the slow speed escapement is easy to remove by just taking the lens off

remove the bottom film plate and remove these two screws. Be careful, they are one flat head and one roundish head remember where they go
remove the bottom film plate and remove these two screws. Be careful, they are one flat head and one roundish head remember where they go. The escapement will practically fall out of the lens opening area.

remove these two screws to take the escapement cover off
remove these two screws to take the escapement cover off

slow speed escapement with cover ermoved. I cleaned it in a bath of Isopropyl alcohol, letting it soak and working the gears then letting it dry
slow speed escapement with cover ermoved. I cleaned it in a bath of Isopropyl alcohol, letting it soak and working the gears then letting it dry

This fork goes onto the post on the escapement. It's a little tricky getting it back on but not too bad.
This fork goes onto the post on the escapement. It’s a little tricky getting it back on but not too bad.

after drying, give these bearings (red arrows) a touch of oil. Sewing machine, watch oil or equivalent. I just put a drop on a piece of paper and touch it with my smallest screwdriver and then touch the bearing and let it wick in. never over oil.
after drying, give these bearings (red arrows) a touch of oil. Sewing machine, watch oil or equivalent. I just put a drop on a piece of paper and touch it with my smallest screwdriver and then touch the bearing and let it wick in. never over oil. the (red circle) shows the post that goes on the fork in the previous photo

same procedure for oiling these bearings
same procedure for oiling these bearings

 

Vintage Camera Repair Nicca 3S / Tower 43

T3S-shutter_repair-47

After film testing my Tower 43, I was getting pictures back from the Lab that the frames were only half exposed and with an obvious hunk of broken film wedged in the area between the image aperture and the pressure plate. It was possible that the film piece was fouling the shutter curtains, so after removing the film piece I tried another roll but got the same results, just not as bad.

tower-3s_test-04 tower-3s_test-08

After doing some research and advice from forum friends I decided to tear it down to see if there was a small piece of film lodged in the curtain area somewhere or if it was just needing an adjust.

I got it opened up and couldn’t find any film pieces lodged anywhere so I decided to brave adjusting the curtain tension. I read a couple Leica curtain replacement instructions online and after holding it up to a florescent light at 1/500, I could see only partial opening of the shutter.

T3S-shutter_repair-19 T3S-shutter_repair-22

The following Flickr Set is the method I used to adjust the curtain spring tension. I assumed you could simply turn the sprocketed wheel to tighten the spring but after just a slight turn it seized up.

What you’ve got to do is release the Pawl, *WHILE HOLDING THE CENTER SCREW SO IT DOESN’T SPIN LOOSE, IT’S SPRING LOADED*, back off the sprocket shaped nut clockwise  a little and then turn the center screw counter clockwise to tighten the spring, hold it there while turning the sprocket nut counter clockwise, this puts tension on the center screw preventing it from spinning loose.

T3S-shutter_repair-28 IF

This worked finally and an added bonus to this repair is, I now have use of my slow speeds which I didn’t have before!

tower_43-test3-08

 

Here is a shot after the repair

See the entire repair with step by step photos at my Flickr site

Some Film to Digital shots

A while ago I blogged about my new hobby, collecting vintage cameras then cleaning and fixing them, then taking pictures with them and converting them to digital with a negative scanner. I mostly have been shooting “test rolls” where I test for:  light leaks, exposure meter accuracy, focus, clarity etc… Here are a few shots I’ve taken so far.

Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, Rokkor 45mm 1:1.8 lens, Fujicolor 200 ASA, Epson V100 scanner. From the Japanese garden, Ashland Oregon. Test of exposure
Yashica Electro 35 GS, Color Yashinon DX 45mm 1:1.7 lens, Fujicolor 200 ASA, Epson V100 scanner. Old tea pot planter in garden, you can see the grain of the fire wood and the individual  leaves on the Rosemary. Close-up focus test
Yashica Electro 35 GS, Color Yashinon DX 45mm 1:1.7 lens, Fujicolor 200 ASA, Epson V100 scanner “Pinks” in backyard. Close-up focus test
Petri 7s, Petri 45mm 1:1.8 lens, Fujicolor 200 ASA, Epson V100 scanner. Yreka Western RR, Yreka Calif.
Petri 7s, Petri 45mm 1:1.8 lens, Fujicolor 200 ASA, Epson V100 scanner. Union Pacific at Castella Calif.
Voigtlander Vitoret, Color Lanthar 50mm 1:2.8 lens, Fujichrome 100, Epson V100 scanner. Lithia Park upper duck pond, Ashland Oregon, simple scale focus and shoot camera, no meter, I whetted my finger and stuck it in the air.

The hardest thing is subject matter. Sure it’s just a test roll but some subjects can test many variables at once, plus I have many images of the same thing..LOL On the cameras that are older and have no metering system I use a separate light meter or use the “sunny 16” rule.

New Hobby for me

Yashica Electro 35 GSN 1973
Yashica Electro 35 GSN 1973

I’ve recently acquired a new hobby, collecting vintage cameras, repairing them and taking pictures with them then burning the negatives into digital. It started when I was posting some pics on my Pinterest account/board. I saw someone had posted some pics of an old camera. I followed the link and did some reading up on the subject. Apparently there are many “pro’s” out there that believe the image results are equal if not better shooting film than digital, and there are certainly many things you can’t get away with shooting digital that you can with film, like better detail in a back-lit subjects.

Argus C44 1956. Made in USA
Argus C44 1956. Made in USA

I Updated my website with new pages about my collection and some fixes. Stop by and get nostalgic. there are some links to other sites about the subject. Also I explain how I fixed the above Yashica Electro 35 GSN, it was quite a task.