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Thread: How do you clean/lub an older Compur shutter?

  1. #1

    How do you clean/lub an older Compur shutter?

    I recently acquired a 105mm f/4.5 Carl Zeiss (Jena) Tessar in a rim-set Compur ( 1-250, T & B) shutter (no flash sync). From the markings on the lens and shutter and the style of lettering, I think it was probably made in the 1930s.

    I'd like to use it on my Crown Graphic as a normal lens with a 2X3 roll back but the shutter is a bit slow, especially at the slower speeds.

    Can anyone provide guidance on how to dissemble the shutter enough to just clean and re-lub it? It looks like you can separate the back of the shutter (with ir is) to expose the gear train by removing 3 screws on the back.

  2. #2

    How do you clean/lub an older Compur shutter?

    I would recommend, prior to attempting such an effort yourself, to call S K Grim es or another qualified shutter expert to determine the cost of a clean and re-l ube and the probability that this would solve the slow shutter speed problem. Ad ditionally, I would ask them if partial or complete disassembly is warranted or unnecessary and the type of lube etc. for your specific shutter.

    During similar journeys into the unknown or unfamiliar, I have found that the sm all investment in experience is worth it since I usually end up there anyway aft er having less than satisfactory results by attempting it myself.

  3. #3

    How do you clean/lub an older Compur shutter?

    I finally figured out how to work on this shutter so I thought I'd pass along wh at I've learned. Procede as follows, and don't loose anything:

    1. Unscrew the front and rear lens elements. Set aside in a safe place.

    2. Set the time ring at "T".

    3. Remove the f-stop indicator retaining screw and pointer.

    4. Remove the two screws holding the f-stop scale in place.

    5. Remove the screw under the f-stop scale. This keeps the face plate from rot ating.

    6. Rotate the face plate about 20 degrees counter clockwise until the retaining tabs are visible in the recesses around the lens element mount.

    7. Hold the shutter flat on the table and carefully lift the speed ring and fac e plate straight up and off the lens mount.

    Nothing will fly apart. If you turn the shutter upside down, the only thing tha t may fall out is the shutter release lever. Everything else is captive.

    I cleaned the entire shutter assembly by flooding it with lighter fluid, includi ng the shutter blades and iris. I gave it a mild shaking to remove the excess f luid and then blew it dry with canned air.

    After that I CAREFULLY lubed the timing escapements with Outers Tri Lub (a teflo n based lub made for guns). Lastly, I lubricated the center hub where the cocki ng lever and the time setting ring rotates with powdered graphite suspended in l ighter fluid. (If you get lube on the blades or iris, those parts can be reclea ned by keeping the shutter flat and just flooding them again with lighter fluid. )

    Reassemble in the reverse order.

    I tried running the shutter completely dry but that didn't work. The center "hu b" formed by the lens mount especially needs lubrication where the cocking lever rotates because it is under heavy tension from the shutter operating spring. T he self timer wouldn't advance at all then the "hub" was dry.

    My shutter now works perfectly and the timing is right on!

  4. #4

    How do you clean/lub an older Compur shutter?

    I recently acquired a Synchro-Compur-P shutter with 101mm f.3.7 lens in which speeds 1/10 sec. and below would not complete the shutter cycle. 1/25 sec. acted like 1/10 sec, and 1/50 sec. acted like 1/25 sec. After unscrewing the lens elements I squirted non-residue electrical contact cleaner and powdered graphite into the cocking lever slot while working the shutter. After letting the shutter dry thoroughly for a day I wiped any residual graphite off of the shutter and iris blades with a tissue dipped in naphtha. The shutter works like a charm now at all speeds, and the flash synch. works fine at both X and M settings. I didn't attempt to take the shutter apart. I first tried using the contact cleaner without the graphite, and after the fluid dried, the shutter bound up completely. This appears to be an easy fix for a shutter which is not really broken but is just sluggish.

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