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Thread: Compound Shutter Repair

  1. #1
    Foamer
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    Compound Shutter Repair

    I gave in to temptation (once again) and just bought a 250mm Heliar from ebay. The glass looks good and it was only $200, vintage 1934. There is a catch, of course. The shutter only fires at one speed (1/50s?) and the little metal guide for the cable release is missing. The Z-M-B lever is said to be working, and the shutter will fire. I'm thinking compounds are pretty simple beasts and this should be repairable. But by who? Flutot would be my first choice but I know she's backed up for quite awhile. Surely there is someone else out there who can do these. I might have to buy a donor shutter but that's OK. I've been wanting a 240/250mm uncoated Heliar for quite some time. I have a 150mm and just love it! A 250mm should be a great portrait lens on my 5x7, and tight portrait for the 4x5 as well. Haven't seen the lens yet of course, but so far I'm feeling good for $200.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    Well, feeling good didn't last too long! I looked again at what I bought and it's a Jena Tessar 250mm, not a Heliar. It does appear to be uncoated but I won't know for sure until I get it. Crap. Don't really need it since I have a Velostigmat 300mm and a Dagor 240mm I'm happy with. I think I'll go ahead and have it fixed and then resell it. Not sure if I'll come out on that though--I'll have at least $350 in it by then, and it is a pretty common lens.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3

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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    You are not the first to make such a mistake. Sometimes we get so anxious we don't check info carefully.

  4. #4

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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    If it only fires at 1/50, that would indicate to me that the most likely issues are the either the paper gaskets on the ends of the retarding piston aren't present (or too compressed or dried out to work) or the camber under the dial is missing (or not engaging). There could be other issues though.

    Compound shutters are fairly easy to work on, assuming you don't need to replace parts. Unfortunately, I would not suggest getting it repaired unless you can do the repairs yourself. They likely won't be cheap, and you'll lose even more money on this lens when you go to sell it. I just sell it, as is, and honestly disclose any issues with the lens and shutter in the description. The advantage to a compound shutter is that since they're so easy to work on, there's a good number of people willing to buy a broken one, especially if it just has a minor issue like the one you mentioned.

  5. #5

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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    Hi Kent,

    Why don't you try your self? Here its how I did it:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/117820...57702621942764

    It's easier that you might think, and look, once you start there is no coming back so you go further
    Alex

    PD: My guess someone mounted back the dial in a wrong way.

  6. #6
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    Sometimes the driving ring is stuck or needs cleaning and lubrication. In order to disassemble it, you need a special tool, which you can make from of a screwdriver:







    btw if any one has unused parts of these shutters laying around: I could use a spring, since one of my Compounds has a broken one:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20161207_223202.jpg  
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  7. #7
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    Re: Compound Shutter Repair

    Got the lens today--it's in great cosmetic condition. CZJ 300mm Tessar f4.5. Appears to be uncoated. I got brave and took the cover off and poked around inside. It quickly became apparent that the retarder wasn't engaged. I took the cylinder off and with a magnifying glass noticed there was supposed to be a little prong with a loop end sticking up into a slot in the piston. This prong was bent way over and couldn't engage. It was actually broken and hanging by a thread. It's going to either need a replacement or maybe a tiny bit of something could be micro welded on the existing part, I don't know. Since it's in otherwise such good shape I am considering sending it to Flutot, who might have parts for a Compound #5. The glass is perfect and the shutter seems otherwise good. Or, maybe the shutter is worth enough to resell the lens on ebay. I will lose some money but I guess that's part of the gamble of buying old stuff like I do.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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