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Kodak Signet 35 Synchro 300 shutter
Old 03-15-2017   #1
Timmyjoe
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Kodak Signet 35 Synchro 300 shutter

Picked up a little Kodak Signet 35 last month with a shutter that needed some TLC. Found a few web sites that had detailed instructions and pictures on how to clean, lubricate and adjust the Kodak Synchro 300 shutter these cameras are supposed to have (and the nameplate of the front of the camera attests to).

Well, I opened this Signet 35 up and to my surprise, it had the same shutter as my little Kodak Pony 135, a Kodak Flash 200 shutter (a much more simplified shutter than the Synchro 300).

Anyone else seen this? This little Signet 35 was manufactured in 1955 (per the serial number on the lens). Was this toward the end of production, and did Kodak decide to go "cheeper" on the shutters on these later cameras?

Here's what a Synchro 300 shutter looks like on a Signet 35:



And here's what a Flash 200 shutter looks like on this Signet 35:



Wonder if anyone else has opened up their Signet 35, and if so, what they found.

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-Tim
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Old 03-15-2017   #2
Mr_Flibble
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I have...and I've found dead bugs in it.

Another Signet 35 and a Signet 40 are on the todo list for a service
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Old 03-15-2017   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
I have...and I've found dead bugs in it.
Yeah, but what shutter did it have?
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Old 03-15-2017   #4
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If all else fails read the instructions! It's not quite that straight forward, but it'll give you a clue. The early Signet 35's were M-sync. They had to have a delay mechanism to let the flash bulb reach it's peak output before the shutter opened. The later Signet 35's were marked M-F-X by the flash post connection (the clue). For X-sync no delay is needed; therefore, the delay mechanism was done away with (simpler shutter).
This change occurred somewhere between serial numbers 174091 and 195155.
Whether the newer X-sync shutter still gave a 300 speed, I don't know.
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Old 03-15-2017   #5
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Well that's interesting information. Where are you finding these said "instructions"? I would love to read them. This little Signet 35 does have a small M-F-X engraved right next to the flash post.

And where do you find the serial number on the camera? The only serial number I've found on this camera is on the lens, which is RR 109XX followed by what looks like a capital L in a circle. I keep seeing the serial numbers listed as six digit numbers like you have above, but can't seem to find one of those on this camera.

And finally, this camera does have a top shutter speed of 1/300 sec.

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-Tim
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Old 03-15-2017   #6
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Tim--As I said above, it's not really as straight forward as "instructions" but the clue would be that one shutter had engraving and the other did not. Therefore, the shutters might be different--and they are. As to the serial numbers, there is an old saying, "Seek and ye shall find". Well if you seek under the rewind knob ye shall find the serial number. Pull up the rewind knob and look on the top plate toward the center of the camera. A light and magnifying glass might be helpful.
By the way, back in the 1980's when these cameras were really cheap I got interested in the variations between bodies. I wound up with thirteen bodies that were all different. Some had only one difference and some had more than one difference. I'd estimate there were close to twenty changes made during production of the Signet 35. As an example, there were four different wind/rewind knob configurations, and the knobs on the late production cameras were the same as the knobs on the early production cameras. Go figure.
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Old 03-15-2017   #7
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1878XX Son-of-a-gun, there it is. This is the only Signet 35 I've ever had, or ever seen in person, so I'm not aware of the differences in the different models. From the serial number on the lens, it seems that this camera was made in 1955. How long were these cameras in production? Do you know any of the history of production? Were they all made in Rochester, or did Kodak have manufacturing plants all over the country? Were there any differences in the military models, aside from the different finishes?

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-Tim
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Old 03-15-2017   #8
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Maybe you'd like to Google Signet 35. There are several extensive articles available. I think they were all made in Rochester from Feb. 1951 to March 1958. Color is the only variation in military models that I know of except I once read that they had no serial numbers. Surely they had a military ID plate.
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Old 03-15-2017   #9
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I've read quite a few of the google articles, that's how I found the "How-To" on rebuilding the shutter. Never found an article that mentioned the M-F-X thing, and never found an article that talks about the Flash 200 shutter in the later Signet 35 cameras. You must have a better Google search engine than I do.

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-Tim
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Old 03-15-2017   #10
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I'm sure my Google search is the same as yours. I probably learned about the sync change back in the 1980's when I was collecting. Just remember that articles you read can easily omit information and occasionally actually contain incorrect information. It has happened.
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Old 03-15-2017   #11
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[quote=Timmyjoe;2707116....\ followed by what looks like a capital L in a circle. ...[/quote]

The circled "L" was Kodak's tag to indicate that the lens was coated, or in their advertising term "Lumenized". Many of the better lens manufacturers had similar marks (e.g. Zeiss' red "T", ...)
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