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Thread: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

  1. #1

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    Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Hello all,

    I just received a lovely 150mm APO Sironar W in the mail, mounted in a prontor professional 1 shutter. The lens and shutter appear in good shape, though a bit used (they look like they were sitting in a corner somewhere for a few years/decades, but otherwise just fine). The speeds seem accurate and when I got the shutter, the aperture was moving somewhat freely. However, when I tried the secondary cable release port for opening the shutter and iris for focusing, the iris first would close very slowly, and then not at all. Currently it is stuck wide open, and I cannot find a way to bring it back into position. It does not respond to the movement of the ring, nor the shutter. I can see a small lever with a post on the inside of the lens that moves in relation to the secondary cable release, but it moves freely...it does not pull the aperture back into place as it appears it should.

    I called SK Grimes, and they were not able to help, and the service bureau they recommend (Flutot's) seems to be closed. Does anyone have any advice? Or perhaps a service manual? I do not think the issue is severe...probably just a bit of oil or gunk in the system or a disengaged connection in the iris mechanism.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    La Quinta, CA
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    417

    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    Hello all,

    I just received a lovely 150mm APO Sironar W in the mail, mounted in a prontor professional 1 shutter. The lens and shutter appear in good shape, though a bit used (they look like they were sitting in a corner somewhere for a few years/decades, but otherwise just fine). The speeds seem accurate and when I got the shutter, the aperture was moving somewhat freely. However, when I tried the secondary cable release port for opening the shutter and iris for focusing, the iris first would close very slowly, and then not at all. Currently it is stuck wide open, and I cannot find a way to bring it back into position. It does not respond to the movement of the ring, nor the shutter. I can see a small lever with a post on the inside of the lens that moves in relation to the secondary cable release, but it moves freely...it does not pull the aperture back into place as it appears it should.

    I called SK Grimes, and they were not able to help, and the service bureau they recommend (Flutot's) seems to be closed. Does anyone have any advice? Or perhaps a service manual? I do not think the issue is severe...probably just a bit of oil or gunk in the system or a disengaged connection in the iris mechanism.

    In Ed Romney's 2001 soft bound book called Revised Basic Training in Camera Repair, he says a little about the Prontor and Pronto shutters and that they are very similar to the Compur Shutters when it comes to repair. He doesn't go into detail about repairing the Protor's, but there is detailed info on the Compur Shutters. There is also a diagram of the Pronto shutter. Not sure if this is what you are looking for - hope it helps.

    Dan

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Central Mother Lode, California
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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    I suggest Bob Watkins/ Precision Camera Works: https://www.precisioncameraworks.com

    I haven't sent anything there myself, at least not yet. He does mention the Prontor among the shutters on which he works. And he is an Authorized Service Center for Linhof and Arca Swiss

    David

  4. #4

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    Sep 1998
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    GA
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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dozer View Post
    In Ed Romney's 2001 soft bound book called Revised Basic Training in Camera Repair, he says a little about the Prontor and Pronto shutters and that they are very similar to the Compur Shutters when it comes to repair. He doesn't go into detail about repairing the Protor's, but there is detailed info on the Compur Shutters. There is also a diagram of the Pronto shutter. Not sure if this is what you are looking for - hope it helps.

    Dan
    It isn’t.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Thank you for the suggestions. I am talking to Precision Camera Works. Truth be told, however, sending it to another continent is something I was hoping to avoid. Is this something that a competent repair technician might be able to address, or is it something that requires very specific tools and knowledge? I understand that it would be better done by an experienced technician, but if I have to send it out, the minimum cost will likely be at least 300-500 dollars given the shipping costs and tax climate here (expressed, tracked shipping starts around 50-80 dollars, plus 35 dollars for an customs inspection and export form to avoid tax on the item itself upon return, and then I have to pay 24% VAT on the cost the repair and return shipping. Basically, shipping anything out from here is expensive and a huge hassle. All of which adds up). At that point, it is likely cheaper to just salvage a Copal 1 shutter from somewhere.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    Thank you for the suggestions. I am talking to Precision Camera Works. Truth be told, however, sending it to another continent is something I was hoping to avoid. Is this something that a competent repair technician might be able to address, or is it something that requires very specific tools and knowledge? I understand that it would be better done by an experienced technician, but if I have to send it out, the minimum cost will likely be at least 300-500 dollars given the shipping costs and tax climate here (expressed, tracked shipping starts around 50-80 dollars, plus 35 dollars for an customs inspection and export form to avoid tax on the item itself upon return, and then I have to pay 24% VAT on the cost the repair and return shipping. Basically, shipping anything out from here is expensive and a huge hassle. All of which adds up). At that point, it is likely cheaper to just salvage a Copal 1 shutter from somewhere.
    Any experienced camera repair shop should be able to fix it.

    Or, since you are in a European country couldn’t you take a trip to the mainland with your camera and just have it fixed on the trip? You could arrange an appointment before hand to make sure parts are available, if necessary.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Thanks Bob. I will see what I can do. Europe is closer of course, but it is still a three hour flight and we are not in the EU so the same shipping/tax issues apply. I have a trip coming up to the US, I will see if I can get it done in time while I am there if I can't find someone here to do it. I have two people in mind who might give it a shot, but no one that I am aware of is actively servicing large format stuff...just too small of a market here, unfortunately.

  8. #8
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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    I have two people in mind who might give it a shot, but no one that I am aware of is actively servicing large format stuff...just too small of a market here, unfortunately.
    One would think that the key capability in this case is the ability to service mechanically-governed leaf shutters. Just thinking of leaf-shutter non-LF equipment that historically has been widely used by professionals, is there anyone local who can still handle Rollei TLRs, or the Hasselblad V-series Zeiss lenses?

  9. #9

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    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    Thanks Bob. I will see what I can do. Europe is closer of course, but it is still a three hour flight and we are not in the EU so the same shipping/tax issues apply. I have a trip coming up to the US, I will see if I can get it done in time while I am there if I can't find someone here to do it. I have two people in mind who might give it a shot, but no one that I am aware of is actively servicing large format stuff...just too small of a market here, unfortunately.
    Where will you go in the US?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Memphis, Tennessee, USA
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    20

    Re: Help with stuck iris in Prontor Professional 1

    Here is a link to a couple of Prontor repair manuals that might be helpful https://www.dropbox.com/sh/703h4whla...POCVXwaMa?dl=0

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