View Full Version : DIY shutter repair... is it worth the trouble?

James Phillips
25-Jul-2000, 22:16
Hello Everyone, I've noticed on Ebay etc. that a person can acquire literature on the servicing of various shutters. I enjoy tinkering with anything new and I was seeking your opinions. Is it is worth trying to clean and service shutters myself or is this a "can of worms" better left unopened? Thanks for your thoughts.

sheldon hambrick
25-Jul-2000, 22:35
Depends on the shutter.

Ive personally clean up:

A Rapax for a 135mm on my Crown Graphic (not closing all the way on the slow speeds  cleaning of the slow speed gears)

An Ilex #3 (firing at the fastest speed on all settings  cleaning of the slow speed gears)

and a Dial set Compound for a Tuner Reich TC (firing at the fastest speed on all settings  un freezing and cleaning of the regulating piston).

In each case, Ive very happy that I did  I saved some money on a CLA. The insides of these three shutters are not as scary as I thought. On the other hand, Ive opened several Seikos on Mamiya TLR lenses, and said no thanks and put them back together! And Ive also sent a #4 Ilex off to Mr. Grimes for a CLA, due to its particular type of problem.

In summary, Id say that if youre mechanically inclined, its at least worth a try on the simpler classic shutters.

david clark
25-Jul-2000, 23:11
Hi Grey, I've had pretty good luck cleaning and lub-ing some of those I've picked up. For me the older stuff seems do-able. I know it has saved me a lot of money, and after timing them with the Camulet tester, I know what speeds they fire on. Good Luck

John H. Henderson
26-Jul-2000, 11:02
I've CLA's my Seikos from my Mamiya TLR's. It's very satisfying to take a sticky shutter and hear the difference after you're done. I didn't realize until reading Sheldon's comments that this would be more complex than other shutters. What do I know? I have a bad habit of jumping too far right into things. I disassembled the Seikos because they were sticky at slow speeds, were cheaper, and I wasn't about to take apart my working Compur and Copal on my LF lenses.

Kevin M Bourque
26-Jul-2000, 23:30
If you start playing around with shutters, don't get *anything* on the iris blades (especially oil). They are very light, and any amount of contaminant will cause them to sieze. Once gunked, I've never been able to get them effectively un-gunked. This is the voice of bitter experience!

James Phillips
27-Jul-2000, 23:10
Thanks for the all of the replies. I will be giving it careful consideration before opening my first shutter and discovering what lies within. I now will be waiting for the "proverbial cheap acquisition" before exploring, but I do look forward to the opportunity to see how a shutter functions. As the Chinese Proverb says "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back" and I thank you all again for the good information that you have provided me with.