View Full Version : Seiko Shutter Operation?

Mike Kovacs
19-Oct-2005, 08:18
I have a Seiko shutter than I am in the process of repairing that is attached to a very fine Fujinon-SW 90/8 lens. The shutter has no self timer gearing which I think also means no M-synch. There is no T speed on the shutter.

Besides the cocking, release and aperture lever there is another that is unlabeled and is attached to the pallet arm side of the slow speed escapement. It seems to have two click stops and is spring loaded beyond one of the click stops.

What is this lever used for? The shutter is not operative at the moment due to sticky leaves so can somebody fill me in?

19-Oct-2005, 10:14
Assuming it's like the #0 Seiko my 105mm is in:

bottom left release


cocking shutter

viewing lever

aperture arm

Mike Kovacs
19-Oct-2005, 21:16
thanks - it is the viewing lever, clear now that I have the shutter blades unstuck :)

Jim O'Connell
8-Nov-2005, 03:29
I was given a similar shutter today that seems to be stuck as well.

Any tips on repairing it?

I'm a bit afraid of removing a screw to have the whole thing explode into a mass of arcane clockwork gears... ;-)

Mike Kovacs
8-Nov-2005, 03:43
If the blades are stuck, set the shutter on 1 sec (uncocked) if you can, find a needle and gently lift up the top most blade. Keep lifting up the next blade in sequence until all are free. If the shutter was stuck cocked mid cycle and suddenly snaps open, you have 1 sec to quickly pull the needle out and avoid a disastrous collision!

Once you have them free, you can clean the sticky debris gently with lighter fluid. You can use the viewing lever to partially open the blades to get as much as you can out.

In some cases, its necessary to split the front and rear half of the shutter. Then you can remove the blades for individual cleaning. You have to watch for spacers and that the leaves go back in exactly the same way they came out - not really a good job for a beginner. Beware that the shutter probably has some screws with thread lock applied, at least mine did.

Dan Mitchell's notes on the Seikosha were helpful - http://daniel.mitchell.name/cameras/index.html The Seiko view I worked on is actually much simpler with no M synch or self timer. There are no spring that will pop out. The long coil for the cocking rack is weak because the main spring is a powerful coiled affair which is why the Seiko shutter has quick a "smack" when activated.

Drop me an email if you need help. I could fix it for you if you want to work out some sort of deal.

Jim O'Connell
8-Nov-2005, 20:56
Thanks Mike!

Last night I tried giving it a good cleaning and lifting the blades as you described, to no avail. I wound up partially-disassembling it and found that the teeth on the side of the cocking lever had slipped from the half-round cog that it is supposed to engage. Once I got that set and figured out how the preview lever was supposed to sit, I fit back on the cover pieces, including the disk that sits under the shutter speed ring, which I had to try in a dozen different positions before finding the right one.

Seems to work quite well, though the speeds seem a bit fast, but that may be my SLR experience getting in the way.

Next up, I need to try to find some kind of adapter for the much larger threaded ring on my ancient camera's lensboard. The lens came with a metal recessed Linhof lensboard, but I'm hoping to use this lens on an old field camera, a Tanakaichi, from about 1920, I believe.

Seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimoconnell/38080166/in/set-839840/

The wooden lens board is removable on that, but seems to be a non-standard size so I may just make a new one to fit the new lens to.

I suspect some might find it a bit laughable to put the effort into such an old camera, but I got it quite reasonably at a flea market, got the new lens for free and made 4x5 adapters for the glass negative holders, so it's all just for fun at this point...

Mike Kovacs
9-Nov-2005, 06:42
Glad to hear you got that going - that half-round cog charges the mainspring, which is the tightly coiled and thick spring under there.

Making a board is always an option :)

Rafael Garcia
18-Nov-2006, 05:44

I'm curious about how you did with the Tanakaishi. I just got an Asanuma King No. 1, and it looks like your Tanakaishi, axcept all the metal is brass, not nickel-plate. I was told by someone in Japan that it was probably made by Tanakaishi. I do notice that the recesses in the wood to take the brass fittings were cut by hand, very exactly, but the cuts extend beyond the square corners, as if the camera had been copied by a wood crafstman and not factory-made. Also the wood screws are not bottomed out flush, but also look like someone's hand work. The same person was of the opinion that my camera may be of WWII production, which may explain all of this. I am in the process of fabricating modern backs for it (5x7 and 4x5) because I don't have bookform holders, and a lensboard or two. How has yours done? Mine seems very usable and it's very light, at 3.5 lb without lens.



Ernest Purdum
18-Nov-2006, 11:15
I don't find it laughable to put some work into using one of these cameras. They have enough movements for most landscape work, they can take a pretty good range of focal lengths and they are light. Adapting to a modern tripod can be a problem, but the turntable allows the camera to be folded with the lens in place.