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120 RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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GW690III problems?
Old 03-01-2012   #1
tfarrell
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GW690III problems?

So I just got this GW690III that was my mom's and probably hasn't been used in 5+ years. I went out today and bought some 120 film, but when I loaded it the frame counter never advanced to 1 when I wound it. I ended up winding through the whole roll of film without the shutter ever cocking. I'm really confused because I have the film literally as tight as I can get it and the roller that's used to detect which frame it is currently on will advance when I'm loading the film, but once I close the back it will only advance to just passed the red S to either the red dot or arrow but never the first frame. As far as I know the camera worked perfectly for my mom and has been left practically untouched since she stopped using it. Are there just problems in general with the loading or should I take it in to be serviced?
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Old 03-01-2012   #2
divewizard
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The camera should be taken for service. It may need a cleaning becasue of long term storage without use, or improper storage in a humid or hot environment. A good repairman should easily be able to clean and align this camera.
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Old 03-01-2012   #3
tfarrell
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Thanks. I just find it really strange because it will advance up until right before the actual frame number 1 and then it just stops. Hopefully it can get fixed. Really looking forward to some 6x9 shots.
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Old 03-02-2012   #4
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Did you align the starter mark on the roll with the mark above the film guide?
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Old 03-02-2012   #5
tfarrell
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Yep. As far as I know, I'm loading the film just as it should be loaded. I've tried it with 4 different rolls of 120. Lined the film start mark up perfectly with guide and have it as tight as I can get it.
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Old 03-02-2012   #6
Dan Daniel
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Other than taking off the top cover, all I can suggest is playing with the open/close lever. When you open the back, there will be a small tab of metal in the upper groove, basically below and a bit to the left of the wind lever axis. As the back closes, this lever is pushed in and moves other parts into place to engage the counter system.

Sometimes on some cameras; mechanism like this get a little balky from sitting too long, grease drying, etc. And sometimes simply playing with them can loosen them up again.

Sometimes....

It is possible to check things by pressing that tab in and spinning the larger rod that is right next to the film gate- maybe 3/8 inch diameter, black with serrations on each end? It is actually this motion that moves the counter, not the wind lever (as I remember the one time I was inside a Fuji GW690). The wind lever pulls the film over this rod (and cocks the shutter) but it is the rod that actually drives the counter gears.
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Old 03-02-2012   #7
NLewis
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I had the exact same problem. It is characteristic of the GW690 series. I had it repaired at Nippon Photo Clinic in New York City, along with a CLA. Now it works great!

It's a wonderful camera, well worth the cost of the repair, especially since you got it for free.
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The film transport switch...???
Old 03-02-2012   #8
kuzano
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The film transport switch...???

The round button that switches the camera from 120 to 220 film could cause the problem you are experiencing. Have you tried moving it back and forth to check for distinct switching. This is one place where the camera can disengage from winding on if the mechanism is not cycling back and forth properly.

Also, are you switching the film plate so the film thickness is accounted for, ie 120 vs 220
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Old 03-03-2012   #9
tfarrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
It is possible to check things by pressing that tab in and spinning the larger rod that is right next to the film gate- maybe 3/8 inch diameter, black with serrations on each end? It is actually this motion that moves the counter, not the wind lever (as I remember the one time I was inside a Fuji GW690). The wind lever pulls the film over this rod (and cocks the shutter) but it is the rod that actually drives the counter gears.

I just tried this. I can get it to advance all the way up until right before frame number one by just pushing in that button and spinning the counter rod manually. I guess I'll have to take it in.

Can anyone explain how to remove the winding lever in order to take the top off?
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Old 03-03-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarrell View Post
Can anyone explain how to remove the winding lever in order to take the top off?
Just unscrew the ring right above the winding lever.
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Old 03-03-2012   #11
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Well I finally figured out what the problem was. Thank you everyone.



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Old 03-03-2012   #12
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Is that a nylon gear with teeth missing?

The thing I disliked about this camera was how loud the shutter release was, and from what I found out, it is the counter mechanism that is loud, not the shutter.

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Old 03-03-2012   #13
Dan Daniel
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That white nylon gear is metal in the first GW690. Maybe it's possible to put a metal in as a replacement?

There is a store on Ebay selling the full replacement set for the GW690III wind mechanism. their price was $60 (plus shipping?). USA dealer. Just to give an option. I don't know if Fuji or another repair place would be willing to sell just the gear. Obviously a simple swap if you don't lose the c-clip. Then again, a cleaning by a repair shop might be a good diea.

By the way, does the shutter cock and fire with film in there at all? Just wondering if there's a way to test the shutter, etc., before needing to get this one part fixed. Always a drag to get one system fixed and discover five more things that need fixing.
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Old 03-03-2012   #14
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So I'm curious about something with these cameras- they have a switch on the top that allows either 8 or 4 frames on 120 film? What's up with that?
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Old 03-03-2012   #15
MikeL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickko View Post
it is the counter mechanism that is loud, not the shutter.

Vick
Vick, here's what I found out when I opened a GW680iii:

Earlier thread

Mine didn't have a stripped nylon gear, hence my statement about built to last!
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Old 03-03-2012   #16
Dan Daniel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
So I'm curious about something with these cameras- they have a switch on the top that allows either 8 or 4 frames on 120 film? What's up with that?
What I have read is that these cameras were popular with tour outifts. That it was common for a busload of people to pull up in a parking lot before going, say, up Mt. Fuji or to the newest McDonalds or some other tourist-type spot. The tour guide or assistant would take a few quick shots. The 120 6x9 format allows for lots of details, meaning actually being able to tell who is who.

A 4-shot roll allowed for a few quick shots and ripping the film out and getting to a processor. Prints ready by the time people get back to leave on the bus. So half-loads of 120 film were available in Japan for these types of situations.
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Old 03-03-2012   #17
tfarrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
That white nylon gear is metal in the first GW690. Maybe it's possible to put a metal in as a replacement?

Fuji won't sell me just the gear (of course) but would be happy to let me send it in to them and replace it for $400. I'm going to try to fabricate my own metal gears to replace the two nylons.
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Old 03-03-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
A 4-shot roll allowed for a few quick shots and ripping the film out and getting to a processor. Prints ready by the time people get back to leave on the bus. So half-loads of 120 film were available in Japan for these types of situations.
Thank you! I had a friend years ago who had a stash of 12 shot 35mm rolls- same idea.
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On the early interchangeable lens g series 690
Old 03-03-2012   #19
kuzano
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On the early interchangeable lens g series 690

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post

By the way, does the shutter cock and fire with film in there at all? Just wondering if there's a way to test the shutter, etc., before needing to get this one part fixed. Always a drag to get one system fixed and discover five more things that need fixing.
The early 690 cameras would only test fire the shutter mechanism with film in them, OR if no film in camera, you had to change the switch on the back from roll film to S for sheet film. The interchangeable lens models had a sheet film back option. The shutter would only charge and fire if switched to S (sheet film). Rotating switch on back of camera.

I don't know how this feature carried over to the GW or GSW bodies with fixed lens, or whether it did carry over at all. So then, I also don't know if the GW or GSW cameras would "dry fire" without film in them, but I suspect NOT!

I had a GSW690 and I do not think I could "dry fire" the camera without film. In any event, I think that situation is referred to in the user manual. PDF manuals can be downloaded off the internet.

Regarding that stripped gear an availability of the gear alone. I am not surprised if Fujifilm will not sell the gear alone. However before I attempted making a new set of gears, I would contact Frank Marshman at Camera Wiz, to see if he has the gears alone. Frank has probably, over the years, worked on more of the Fuji Rangefinders.

For those who don't know, Frank has just moved Camera Wiz, and is in a bit of flux right now. However, he did just repair and return my AE100 metered Fujica 100 lens, in a timely manner. I just received it a week ago.

So Frank is still the "Texas Rangefinder" man in my book and I talked with him on his ongoing telephone number about two weeks ago. (540) 434 8133
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Old 03-03-2012   #20
Dan Daniel
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I might jump on this if you can. Looks like the gear you need is metal in this version-
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FUJI-PROFESS...item1e6b5c142a

Must admit a bit of confusion. I wonder if this particular item is for an earlier version, and I wonder if it matters for this particular gear? Study carefully?

Here's one that looks like yours, plastic gear-
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-FUJ...item334e1a2c36

By the price, looks like they were waiting just for someone like you, up the creek without a paddle or proper gear! Maybe study this photo and the other auction's photos to see if there are differences and how they relate to your actual camera?

EDIT: just noticed the counter on the first auction- 6x7 gives you ten shots a roll of 120, yes? Looks like they mis-labeled something. best to communicate with the company directly to confirm. And still, the gear could be fine. The film movement is usually stopped by a notched disk under the counter itself and should be independent of that stripped gear. Time to count some gear teeth, I guess. Does raise an interesting possiblity of turning a 690 into a 670 with some simple masks....

and of course I have ignored the real issue: why did that gear strip in the first place? Simple failure, or is something else binding, causing the teeth to be stressed?
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Old 03-04-2012   #21
tfarrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
why did that gear strip in the first place? Simple failure, or is something else binding, causing the teeth to be stressed?

I honestly think that it stripped because it's just a poor design. From what it looks like, every other gear in that system is metal and just after normal use the metal gears are going to tear up that plastic ones. I'm thinking that something just got slightly off one time and then proceeded to get worse from there with time. Everything else looks to be completely in tact. Truly bizarre.
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