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Canonet 19 with iris sticking
Old 09-14-2016   #1
almost
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Canonet 19 with iris sticking

Hello,
I hope someone can help me with this.
I have bought a Canonet 19, early 1961 model with bottom winder. it is in pretty perfect condition. But the iris tends to stick.
I have taken off the front element of the lens and flushed the iris with lighter fluid. It unsticks momentarily but after a few minutes tends to stick again. The problem is I can stop it down but when i want to go back to f1.9 the iris does not move, it stays at f16.
Searching online for a solution i have found this very interesting post on another forum site… (photo-net)
by Frank Wilson
On all older Canonet cameras I had removed the lens along with its attached mounting board and of course the lens assemblies were removed also. Then I left the lens set for one month in a covered tub submersed in solvent. Once a week I would remove the assembly and let it drain for an hour. Then I refilled the tub with fresh solvent again and soak it for another week. Every week I drained the solvent and let the lens assembly set out for one hour and added fresh solvent. After the 30 days expired I let the lens assembly dry out for a week and the shutter and aperture did work like new again. I never lubracated anything inside of them and as of now I have three older Canonet cameras that still operate to this day taking great photoigraphs. The oldest one was done four years ago. Also it is the first one made back in 1961 with the rapid bottom winder. This trick was given to me by an old camera tech that told me these older cameras that are not worth that much may be well worth soaking instead.

I have PM'd him but no response.
I would like to know what is this "solvent " he refers to. The name of the product.
Also I have limited tech knowledge, so I need to know how you remove the lens for soaking. Do you undo the three little screws on the barrel, near the body? Will that not cause problems with the auto-exposure linkages,if any?

If anyone has any info on how to solve this iris sticking issue i am eager to know. I really wanna solve this issue as the camera is perfect otherwise.
Many thanks in advance for any info,pointers etc.
regards
alex (uk based)
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Old 09-14-2016   #2
johnnyrod
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Hi Alex, there are a few from the UK here but not so many! I actually had a Canonet QL17 (not GIII) with top winder in bits the other day, the shutter is a nightmare, reminds me a Ducati motorbike. Anyway if you can effectively flush it with lighter fluid then you are on the right lines, an amateur disassembling this is a one-way street. The solvent he refers to could be anything but for grease (which will be the problem) then lighter fluid or similar is best. I've soaked assemblies for maybe half an hour before, then change the fluid and try again until it looks acceptably clean, a week is massive overkill. Let it all dry out at least overnight, and try the shutter. If it starts to stick it is often an indication you have shifted some of the muck but there is some left and is has now gone hard again. That said, the shutter and aperture leaves slide across each other so any liquid can also stop them doing so. If there is grease/oil present you should be able to see it on the blades as smears. As said, don't oil it, with the possible exception of the pivots of the clockworks, but if you can't access them then don't worry about it. If this doesn't get it going then you may need to take more bits off but Copal shutters are the work of the devil in my opinion so I'd persevere with flushing for a while!
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Old 09-19-2016   #3
almost
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Thank you John,
well, a few days before posting i had flushed the iris with a lot of Zippo fluid. As I said it was still sticking. I left it till this weekend and when I tried it… perfect!
Obviously I had not given the iris enough time to dry out completely. Now after a week drying it is absolutely perfect, camera looks like new and the Selenium meter not only is still alive but giving very good readings. i am falling in love with these early canonise. lovely design, cool bottom winder and even auto exposures. Not bad at all for 1961.
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Old 09-19-2016   #4
almost
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Obviously the key is not only to persevere with lighter fluid, as you say, but also to let the assembly dry out over plenty of time and in a very dry (i.e. not humid) environment.
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Old 09-20-2016   #5
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Yep, there are a lot of small spaces in there. Humidity (non-condensing!) shouldn't be a problem per se in terms of removing the solvent, and the lens isn't airtight anyway when reassembled. I also have a number of old rangefinders with selenium meters, they can be good, but are killed off by long-term exposure to the light, so the ones in cases tend to still be working.
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Old 09-20-2016   #6
farlymac
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I use an air bulb to quick dry apertures and shutters. Makes the work go faster, and you can tell if it needs another dose of lighter fluid. Any liquid, be it oil, lighter fluid, or (heaven forbid) water on the blade will make them stick. They have such close proximity when sliding back and forth, anything will make the blades grab each other.

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Old 11-03-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
I use an air bulb to quick dry apertures and shutters. Makes the work go faster, and you can tell if it needs another dose of lighter fluid. Any liquid, be it oil, lighter fluid, or (heaven forbid) water on the blade will make them stick. They have such close proximity when sliding back and forth, anything will make the blades grab each other.

PF
Yep, it is almost like air is the lubricant.

Also, for anyone looking at problems with aperture blades, don't force a stuck or even very stiff set of aperture blades. I was playing with a shutter from a 9x12 Avus when I learned not to do that. I am sure it would take a machinist with proper tools to replace that tiny, tiny pin that held the now fallen out blade.
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Old 11-03-2016   #8
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@almost: The below URLs may help.

http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/canonetblade.html

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/how-to/canonet-repair/

http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/canonetrestore.html
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