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120 film RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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Certo 6
Old 03-19-2007   #1
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Certo 6

Any Certo 6 users out there? One of my favorites!
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Old 03-19-2007   #2
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I got one recently -- have only shot one roll through it but I love it. Very nice lens; pretty easy to use also. A substantial piece of equipment.
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Old 04-16-2007   #3
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I got one too, Newton-Ellis serviced mine, now the RF patch is clearly visible and focusing is spot-on, the lens is superb and the camera pocketable (if you have big pockets LOL) I love it!
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Old 04-16-2007   #4
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I got one not long ago, I've sent it to Jurgen Kreckel for a re-silvering of the rangefinder and a CLA. I shot one roll, by scale focusing, before I sent it off.

here's one of the shots @2.8:

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Old 04-22-2007   #5
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another Certo Six user here. I've run a couple of rolls of film through mine. Its a really nice camera but I prefer the Agfa Super Isolette and Balda Super Baldalux's I have.

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Old 04-23-2007   #6
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And another user. Mine could do with the RF mirror being resilvered, but is in otherwise superb condition. Nice lens, and feels very well made.

I prefer the Iskra, but the Certo feels better built, better even than the Super Ikonta III I have (which is also in very nice condition).

Has anyone here tried fixing the RF mirror themselves? I've don the mirror in a non-coupled RF camera, but am hesitant to rip into this camera myself just yet.
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Old 08-24-2007   #7
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I have a Certo 6 acquired a while ago. I cannot believe the superb quality of this camera. The Tessar lens (coated) must be as good as my Hasselblad in that I can't really tell the negatives apart.

It has a certain modern industrial look to it with it's machined, stainless steel struts and rather plain looking top cover. To those of us that really appreciate the cachet of the Super Ikontas this might not do.

I'm afraid that if it weren't for it's really solid construction (perhaps surpassing the Ikontas, Iskras, Agfas, Weltas and Baldas etc.) it is a camera I'd overlook.

Notes of interest:
-To achieve parralax correction the lens seems to reposition itself with respect to the finder.
-I've installed new mirrors. A front surface mirror and a "beamsplitter" which is a partially silvered mirror. This really worked well! Check Edmund Scientific! Cutting these mirrors to size is a bit of a task I'm afraid.

I do have an issue. The lens is a Tessar in a Prontor shutter. The shutter cocking arm and the aperture lever will interfere with the closing of the camera unless perfectly positioned. I have tried a compur shutter with the same issues. Anyone have a suggestion?

Last edited by literiter : 08-24-2007 at 19:08.
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Old 08-24-2007   #8
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I have a certo dolly super sport. I love it.



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Old 08-24-2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literiter
To achieve parralax correction the lens seems to reposition itself with respect to the finder.
Correct. This is done via parallelogram arms on the front standard. The Certo is the only camera I can think of in which parallax correction is handled by moving the lens to match the finder, rather than vice-versa.

I admit I've never handled a Certo (although I'd like to, given my interest in cameras with interesting or unusual mechanisms.) I only remember this from a writeup in one of the Schneider books.
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Certo 6 problems.
Old 08-28-2007   #10
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Certo 6 problems.

In the right hands the Camera will provide some superb images. Remember that with a lens like this Tessar there is no need for the extra glass you will find in any retrofocus designs like a Hasselblad. The Compur shutter is very similar to that in the Hasselblad (the Prontor of course not so) The lens is a 2.8, 80mm Tessar. It seems it is very difficult to tell the difference between an image taken with this camera and my Hasselblad. Is is a very very nice lens system!

I am quite fond of my Certo 6 but there are issues with the camera, that any future owner will have to seriously consider.

The fact that the whole lens focuses and will correct for parralax, and the lens itself is really fantastic, but:

-The biggest negative issue is having to release the shutter before closing the camera or the shutter cocking lever will hang up in the closing latch mechanism located on the body. This appears to happen with the Prontor or the Compur shutter. Jurgen Kreckel of Certo6 fame also mentions this. I think this should not happen.
It may be that one could engineer the problem out with the Compur shutter but it may not be too easy with the Prontor. If you have one of these you'll know what I mean.
So whadda ya do if you want to put the camera away and the shutter is cocked? Do you release the shutter?

-The other issue may not be a reality but I think it is possible that the focusing mechanism may fail on these, rather abruptly from time to time. I just don't trust the thing.

The camera indeed has some plusses, but when push comes to shove I really do trust my rather ancient Super Ikonta B, with it's front cell focusing Tessar and non parralax correcting lens.

Perhaps if the Certo 6 had been in production longer the flaws could have been corrected.
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Old 09-22-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P C Headland
Has anyone here tried fixing the RF mirror themselves? I've don the mirror in a non-coupled RF camera, but am hesitant to rip into this camera myself just yet.
I'll be taking my Certo 6 apart again this weekend. I'll take pictures of what I've done and try to post them.
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Certo 6 beamsplitter and mirror replace.
Old 09-22-2007   #12
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Certo 6 beamsplitter and mirror replace.

If you do any of this, and mess it up this is your problem. I'm just trying to let people see what I've done. Not what others can do.

Here are three images:

1) Remove the little leather cover from the counter. I would dampen the leather with alcohol and it should soften the shellac. Remove carefully and save. Under this is a small screw. Use a sharp screwdriver and carefully undo.

2) At the other end of the winder is a tiny screw holding a little plate which goes into the film spool. Remove this and the winder will pull out. Remove the two screws at either end of the top cover and wiggle free.

3) This is the cover for the beamsplitter. The two screws will remove.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1-Certo ctr.jpg (46.7 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg 2-Take up.jpg (44.1 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg 3-Cover .jpg (47.4 KB, 169 views)
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Certo 6 beamsplitter and mirror replace.
Old 09-22-2007   #13
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Certo 6 beamsplitter and mirror replace.

Images:

1) Is the beamsplitter. Remove this very carefully, you will want to preserve it intact to measure it for size. I measured it at: 20.11mm x 13.02mm x 2mm. I purchased the beamsplitter from Edmund Optics. Part # NT31-411.
-Cut using a carbide scribe and a wooden ruler. The mirror will damage easily. Keep everything super clean. use cotton gloves etc.
-You will want to use a tiny bit of glue or paint to hold it in. Don't use cyano glues.

2) Edmund has first surface mirrors as well but I used an old mirror from a old SLR.

3) This is the old mirror from the camera. The silver has completely corroded.

Aligning the thing is interesting. I had no trouble once I understood what was happening. Keep screwdrivers sharp. Use care with the mirror. I hope this will help someone.

Remember: Some will find this really easy, some won't. I am not resposible for any problems that may arise. I had my own in doing this. I am only showing you what I've done, and had sucess with.
The best of luck.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 4-Beam splitter.jpg (55.3 KB, 200 views)
File Type: jpg 5-first surface.jpg (50.8 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg 6-mirror.jpg (65.1 KB, 144 views)
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Old 09-22-2007   #14
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Some notes:

Edmund Optics is a great place to get stuff for cameras. beamsplitters, front surface mirrors, black flocking tools, etc. etc.

A "beamsplitter" is merely a partially reflective mirror. In this case 50%.

To replace the leather use some shellac as glue.

Use really sharp screwdrivers in Certo Sixes because the slots seem to be very thin.

If a screw seems too tight, try a drop of acetone or alcohol on the head of it which may soften the glue and let you get it out. You can also try heating a screwdriver with a candle or small torch till it will melt plastic, then apply a tiny bit of heat sink compound (from electronics suppliers) to the screw. When the screwdriver is inserted into the slot the heat will trasfer to the screw and voila.. if it's gonna come out, this will do it.
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Old 09-26-2007   #15
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Thanks for that, it is really useful information. I cut a new RF mirror or beamsplitter for an Agifold, and had no problems with that. As one glass guy told be, don't be afraid when cutting the glass, and it will cut/break exactly where you want - be timid, and it will break where you don't want it to!

Here some of images I took with the Certo Six the other weekend of buildings on the waterfront and Civic Square in Wellington. TriX 400 @ 400 in PC-TEA 1+50:





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Old 09-26-2007   #16
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Very nice architectural images. When done with some foresight, I'm a big fan of reflective shots.
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Old 09-26-2007   #17
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These pictures are really marvelous. You have a very nice camera. There will be a lot of Hasselblads wondering where they went wrong.

The thing I marvel about, with these cameras, is their remarkable simplicity. Perhaps, once the rangefinder issues are dealt with we may marvel at their remarkable reliability.

I have some Super Ikonta "Bs" and "Cs" that I've redone, as well. The focus on these cameras has withstood the test of time but the lack of parallax compensation is unfortunate.
I cannot tell, myself, but I believe that the lens sharpness of my Certo Six will be somewhat superior.

My home is in a mountainous area with many opportunities for scenic images. I hike fairly often, but being a little older now, I've become a little more lazy and instead of taking my Hasselblad I will just pop a folding camera in my pack, add some water and a lunch and away I go.

When you cut glass as thin as this 2mm thick beamsplitter there are a few things to consider if you haven't.
-I used a very sharp carbide machinist's scribe. I Used a piece of flat hard masonite with a piece of white writing paper on top of it as a cutting surface. One quick, purposfull stroke as your glass guy said. Don't cut on the silvered side.
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Certo Six compared to Ikonta.
Old 10-06-2007   #18
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Certo Six compared to Ikonta.

I have one Certo Six and 4 Super Ikonta Bs. I have ovehauled all these cameras. I'm not a professional camera tech, I just like to work on cameras.

If anyone is interested here is my comparison of these two cameras.

Certo Six = C6
Zeiss Super Ikonta B = ZI

C6- The body is a casting and has a nice solid feel to it. The camera is a little more compact than the ZI. No strap lugs.
ZI- The body is also a casting and has a nice solid feel to it. The body has strap lugs.
A substantial camera.

C6-The struts are quite substantial, stainless steel and machined to very high tolerances. Very, very nice.
ZI-The struts are stamped metal, chrome plated and function very well. They do the job.

C6-Focussing mechanism:
The whole front standard moves with respect to the film plane. To focus closely the lens raises slightly to compensate for paralax. The distance is transferred to a dial atop the camera. Very nice.
The focus lever is situated very near the tripod mount. When a tripod is attached it will become very hard to focus.
Internally the focusing mechanism is relatively flimsy and will be easy to knock out of adjustment. The mirrors must always be replaced. Not hard to do but you must do it.
Brighter rangefinder than the Zeiss.

ZI-focussing mechanism:
Front cell focusing, no paralax compensation. Once adjusted for focus hard to knock out of adjustment however. The whole focus mechanism is complex but very well made. Very seldom do we have issues with mirror desilvering. Rangefinder not as bright as the Certo six.

C6-Lens:
My camera has a Zeiss Tessar 80mm f2.8 coated lens. Really nice edge to edge sharpness at all focal ranges and apertures. Front standard moves to focus. This is why you buy the Certo Six. Hard to beat this stuff.

ZI-Lens:
My cameras all have coated and uncoated Zeiss Tessars. They are all sharp at infinity but seem to get a little soft as they focus closer. These lenses are beautiful and adequately sharp but must be a compromise to accommodate the focusing mechanism.

C6-Shutter:
Prontor. The shutter itself is fine but, on this camera it poses a serious problem. The cocking mechanism will actually interfere with the door latching mechanism when cocked. When the shutter is cocked, do not close the lens door, it will hang up. Some of these cameras come with the Compur shutter, it may not be an issue with the Compur but I don't know. With my camera and the Prontor it is a stupid system.

ZI-Shutter:
Synchro Compur. Very nice, no issues, just close the camera.

C6-Film advance:
The film advance on the Certo Six is actually more confusing than the Super Ikonta B. As well, I don't think it is as well made as the Super ikonta. The Certo uses a lever to advance the film which will speed things up a little. You need two strokes of this lever to advance the film. Pay attention because there is no stop after two strokes. (is this just my camera?) The film counter will give you 12 frames.

ZI-Film advance:
Not quite as confusing as the Certo Six. When cleaned and lubricated the advance is smoother and more postive than the Certo Six. Internally the parts are beautifully machined and well designed. Even though the film advance on my ZIs only give 11 frames, (you loose one) I trust it more.

C6-Camera case:
Made of thin, apparently inexpensive leather. The screw on the base of the case to hold the camera in will come off and be easily lost. Since the camera has no strap lugs you must use the case if you want to hang around your neck. Really junky case.

ZI-Case:
Very well made from very good leather. All my ZI cases had to be restitched but this was easy to do. On one camera the front of the case is detachable. Very sturdy well made cases.


There are good features on both cameras. Stopped down to f8 or so the Ikonta will perform as well as the Certo. The Certo has the edge with it's glorious lens and focus mechanism, no question, but the general egonomics and manufacture makes the good old Super Ikonta B a better camera for general use.

Last edited by literiter : 10-07-2007 at 05:59.
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Old 10-07-2007   #19
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I must add:

You can put a filter and a lens hood on the Certo Six, very easily. Not so easy on the Super Ikonta B. I have a hood for the "B" it slips on and it can blow off in a wind, the Certo's hood or filters screw on.
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Old 10-15-2007   #20
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Pic of Certo 6 in action
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File Type: jpg Certo rff.jpg (72.3 KB, 325 views)
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Old 10-16-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literiter
Pic of Certo 6 in action
Love the lens hood, where did you get it?

I have a Certo 6 on its way from Jurgens, can hardly wait
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Old 10-17-2007   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie
Love the lens hood, where did you get it?

I have a Certo 6 on its way from Jurgens, can hardly wait

A friend walked into the office a while ago. He had an idea I was fond of cameras and just dropped off the lens hood. It is a Zeiss, the same mfg. as the lens. He had no idea I wanted this. Very nice.

There is a guy on Ebay, who calls himself "Photo Widget". When I searched thus: "zeiss (hood,shade,filter)" I found him. You will know that the lens takes 40.5mm and are relatively common. This is good.

I hope your camera comes soon. It is something you will really enjoy.
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Old 10-23-2007   #23
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Thanks to Literiter's explanations and assistance, I now have a wonderfuly bright viewfinder and RF patch on my Certo.

Thanks!!
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Old 11-06-2007   #24
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Hi,
Does anyone know if there is an owners manual available on the Certo 6?

Mine arrived from the US, looks great - I would like to read up on the 'factory instructions' if possible before heading out to use it.

Thanks

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Old 11-07-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie
Hi,
Does anyone know if there is an owners manual available on the Certo 6?
There you go:

http://www.certo6.com/images/certo6i...structions.pdf

Great camera, I really enjoy mine.
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Old 11-07-2007   #26
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I have the instructions from Certo 6 - in fact i bought the camera from him.

I was actually looking for something from the manufacturer - if there is such a thing!

Regards
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Old 11-08-2007   #27
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I'd love to find a set of instructions myself, though Juergen's website gives you what you need to use the camera.

I'd love to know what that small hole on the back left side of the camera (below the wind crank) does, for instance.

A question: Who knows how to adjust the rangefinder? Mine is off vertically.
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Old 11-08-2007   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon
I'd love to find a set of instructions myself, though Juergen's website gives you what you need to use the camera.

I'd love to know what that small hole on the back left side of the camera (below the wind crank) does, for instance.

A question: Who knows how to adjust the rangefinder? Mine is off vertically.
The little hole has a red flag that comes down when film is present in the camera. The device that actuates it is right beside the take up reel.

Can you tell us more about the rangefinder being off? Has the camera been CLA'd ?
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Certo 6 Mania...Now the Perkeo
Old 11-10-2007   #29
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Certo 6 Mania...Now the Perkeo

Glad to see there is so much interest in this camera. If you like this one, you'll LUV the Perkeo IIIE!!
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Old 03-01-2009   #30
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Hello friends. I got a Certo Six recently. The camera must be CLAed because of lot of problems. The shutter seems to be slow at lower speed and the rangefinder is off and dim. I think the rangefinder should be easy to be adjusted by changing the angle of the reflector (should be changed also), however, I don't know how to disassembly the lens and shutter? It seems no screws there.

By the way, some friends have done such CLA for Certo Six. Is the beamsplitter necessary to be replaced? I can easily find the reflector but for the BS should be a little bit difficult.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-01-2009   #31
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Congratulations on your new Certo Six. These are very worthy cameras and well worth any effort to have them function properly.

Technically they are considered by many to be simple cameras to work on. The shutters respond well to CLAs, and the lenses are easy to clean as well.

There is usually some tricky bits to get sorted out and that is the Viewfinder/Rangefinder system. There are two mirrors to be replaced, one is 1/2 silvered and the other is a regular mirror. The 1/2 silvered mirror is the "beamsplitter" and is very simple to replace once you find the mirror itself. In the US try Edmund Scientific.
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Old 03-01-2009   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikhit View Post
By the way, some friends have done such CLA for Certo Six. Is the beamsplitter necessary to be replaced?
If the rangefinder is dim, the beam splitter has oxidized - that will happen sooner or later on every Certo 6, as they sourced rather poor beam splitters.

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Old 03-01-2009   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie View Post
Hi,
Does anyone know if there is an owners manual available on the Certo 6?
Instruction manual in pdf format: http://www.mediafire.com/?jkjzimm3lim Google is your friend.
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Old 03-04-2009   #34
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Thank you my friends. The replace of the beamsplitter may be a bit difficult for me because I can't find the half mirror easily. Any substitutions? Certo Six is a beautiful monster with the inner structure of alien. I need the details of disassembly from you.
Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-05-2009   #35
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by optikhit View Post
Thank you my friends. The replace of the beamsplitter may be a bit difficult for me because I can't find the half mirror easily. Any substitutions? Certo Six is a beautiful monster with the inner structure of alien. I need the details of disassembly from you.
Thanks a lot.

Too bad you didn't wait, I was planning on putting mine up on ebay. It is totally functional.
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Old 03-05-2009   #36
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Originally Posted by chippy View Post
if you can get a hold of someones old dvd/cd reader from an old trashed computer you can find a nice half mirrored piece about 8mm square. i found it after dismantling my old Gateway brand computer (they went bust here in Oz years ago)pentium 3..it was half trashed already after my son got his hands on it, wanting to see how it went together (thanks mate!). so before i threw it out i pulled it to bits further and found the mirror....not sure whether there would also be a mirror in dvd players for TV or ordinary music cd players, but worth a look.....my sons got a nice music CD player, maybe i will destroy it and find out

Since he lives in China, there's probably no point in mentioning Edmund Scientific. Do you think there is any point in mentioning the mirrors in some of the cheaper Yashicas and older Polaroids?
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Old 03-05-2009   #37
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Originally Posted by chippy View Post
i have taken front surface mirror (full)out of Polaroids , to cut for TLR's that need a new mirror etc etc, but do not of know of any with half relectivity mirror? i only get the cheap ones and they dont have rangefinder, they dont have the half silvered mirror.
The 110s used to be cheap and it wasn't that long ago, but then somebody started converting them with 4x5 backs. They are not cheap anymore, at least here. I don't know what they cost in China.

Edit: The Polaroid 101 and 250 can still be had cheaply though, and they do have semitransparent mirrors.

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Originally Posted by chippy View Post
not sure if 8mm square piece out of the dvd reader is quite big enough for the certo six half reflective mirror (beam splitter)? must be close, but its a handy resorce never the less--plenty of old computer disk drives lying around in junk piles
Beats me if it is. The mirror from a Yashica J probably would be though and it would only cost a few bucks. He'd have to cut it down, but the Yashicas came with mirrors that are not especially delicate. If he's careful, he ought to be able to get the mirror out and cut to size without ruining it.

Last edited by FallisPhoto : 03-05-2009 at 16:38.
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Old 03-11-2009   #38
optikhit
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Thank you very much, my friends. So much great ideas on the beamsplitter. Acutally I can ask some friend to coat the glass for me, however, I must try to find something that can substitute. It would be totally unnecessary to coat unless I have not found one.

The camera has not been touched, not opened yet. I (and the technician) still have no clue to disassembly the lens and the shutter. I don't want to toch the bellows and other part (except the top cover for the rangefinder). Any ideas? I know that some friends don't want to discuss this thing openly, but you can PM me...haha...
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Old 03-11-2009   #39
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The camera has not been touched, not opened yet. I (and the technician) still have no clue to disassembly the lens and the shutter.
Depends on what shutter your camera has, but here are a few disassembly instructions for common shutters: http://pheugo.com/cameras/index.php Here's an exploded diagram for the Synchro Compur, in case you have that one: http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-55.html They are pretty simple shutters to clean. If you just want to do simple "flush and brush" cleaning, all you have to do really is take off the shutter speed cam plate. This will allow you to access all the gearing, the diaphragm blades and the shutter blades. Taking it apart further allows you to access the pivot points for the blades.
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Old 03-11-2009   #40
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Depends on what shutter your camera has, but here are a few disassembly instructions for common shutters: http://pheugo.com/cameras/index.php Here's an exploded diagram for the Synchro Compur, in case you have that one: http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-55.html They are pretty simple shutters to clean. If you just want to do simple "flush and brush" cleaning, all you have to do really is take off the shutter speed cam plate. This will allow you to access all the gearing, the diaphragm blades and the shutter blades. Taking it apart further allows you to access the pivot points for the blades.
The shutter is the Synchro Compur.
Perhaps it is not necessary to fully service the shutter, just do a lubrication may be enough. BUT, how to remove the front lens elements? In the front there are no screws...
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