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Mamiya Auto Deluxe rangefinder problems
Old 01-10-2017   #1
mbmsv
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Question Mamiya Auto Deluxe rangefinder problems

Hello experts,

I have got a Mamiya Auto Deluxe with Mamiya-Sekor 1:1.7 f=48 mm lens off ebay. Unfortunately, the rangefinder in this camera doesn't work at all, i.e. I can't move the two images in the viewfinder by rotating the focus ring. But if I shake the camera slightly they do move and I can hear some rattle inside. Does anyone know how to repair this sort of problem?

Also, I am not sure if the M-X switch on the lens and the aperture and shutter speed rings work correctly. I am assuming that M stands for manual and the rings should disengage and rotate independently, however they don't disengage completely and they feel a bit stiff. I need to hold the aperture ring while rotating the shutter speed and vice-versa or they will move together. Finally, the self timer seems to work only when the switch is in X position. Does it make sense? Does anyone have a user manual for this camera?

Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2017   #2
johnnyrod
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The MX switch is for flash sync - X for electronic strobe (xenon), M for magnesium bulbs. In M mode it fires the flash about 20ms ahead of the shutter opening, so uses the self-timer mechanism hence why you can't use them together. Re. the dials, they may be a bit stiff, but on some cameras they are designed to rotate together so once the light value is set, any combination is valid e.g. f4 and 1/60, f2.8 and 1/30. I don't know if yours works that way.

Sounds like you have a problem with the RF! I think this one focuses from tabs on the barrel near the body, and the RF mechanism that connects to it is going to be in the body, maybe under the bottom plate. It could simply be that the moving mirror has fallen off and needs re-gluing (thogh it doesn't really sound like it); if you take the top off it should become clear. Google for "Mamiya Deluxe repair" and see what you find, also try it as a picture search. There is a lot of info out there. If you post a few pics here you'll get the best advice. To get the top off you'll need a few tools, it looks very similar to my Konica S (which has more parts than Game of Thrones) or Olympus S:
https://flic.kr/p/L5apgr

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya/...per_deluxe.htm
manual link
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Old 01-11-2017   #3
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Thanks a lot for all the great information. The manual you are referring to is for a slightly different model. Mine is Auto Deluxe, not Super Deluxe. It is a bit older and doesn't have a battery. Yes, the dials behave as you describe, which makes more sense now when I know that M is not for manual.
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Old 01-11-2017   #4
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I have a Voigtlander Vitomatic like that, you turn one dial (aperture I think) to match the cursor to the meter needle, then another ring holds the exposure value while selecting valid combinations of aperture and shutter speed. A Super Ikonta I have actually locks the rings together with a spring clip.

If the self-timer works then you are lucky, on many old cameras it's jammed through years of grot. I have found old Japanese shutters fare better than the German ones, I think they used lubricants with less whale oil etc. in them. Re. the RF, I have found that the way it is coupled and focuses (unit focus) tends to remain accurate, even of the RF goes out of adjustment, so it should be usable as a scale focus camera with some confidence. If you can get the top off (careful using needle nose pliers instead of the right tool if you try) and investigate then it will be interesting.
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Old 01-11-2017   #5
Dwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmsv View Post
...Finally, the self timer seems to work only when the switch is in X position. Does it make sense? Does anyone have a user manual for this camera?

Thanks.
Yes, this is normal for a large range of leaf shutters.

X (for "zero delay") sets the flash contacts so that they close (trigger the flash) when the shutter blades reach the fully open position. M (for "Medium delay") sets the flash contacts so that they close approximately 15ms before the blades reach their fully open position. This delay gives flash bulbs the time to ignite and reach full brightness. There were/are other sync standards for bulbs; S for very slow igniting bulbs, F (about 5ms delay) for fast igniting gas filled bulbs, and FP (15ms delay like M) for long burning bulbs that were needed with focal plane (hence the FP) shutters at high speeds where the curtain slit still takes a bit of time to cross the image. Since FP and M use the same delay, a number of cameras from the 1950s and early 1960s with focal plane shutters mark there flash terminals or settings as being FP instead of M.

This sync delay conflicts mechanically with the gear escapement used for the self timer (often labeled "V" for a German word used for "self timer") in many shutter designs, hence the self timer lever is blocked when the sync is set to M. Many designs combine the M-X switch with the self timer and have an M-X-V lever which eliminates the user issue of trying to use the self timer with the sync set to M.
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Old 01-11-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyrod View Post
I have a Voigtlander Vitomatic like that, you turn one dial (aperture I think) to match the cursor to the meter needle, then another ring holds the exposure value while selecting valid combinations of aperture and shutter speed. A Super Ikonta I have actually locks the rings together with a spring clip.
So, is it safe to hold one dial while rotating the other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyrod View Post
If the self-timer works then you are lucky, on many old cameras it's jammed through years of grot.
It didn't work at first but started working after I exercised it for a while...
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Old 01-11-2017   #7
mbmsv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
Yes, this is normal for a large range of leaf shutters.

X (for "zero delay") sets the flash contacts so that they close (trigger the flash) when the shutter blades reach the fully open position. M (for "Medium delay") sets the flash contacts so that they close approximately 15ms before the blades reach their fully open position. This delay gives flash bulbs the time to ignite and reach full brightness. There were/are other sync standards for bulbs; S for very slow igniting bulbs, F (about 5ms delay) for fast igniting gas filled bulbs, and FP (15ms delay like M) for long burning bulbs that were needed with focal plane (hence the FP) shutters at high speeds where the curtain slit still takes a bit of time to cross the image. Since FP and M use the same delay, a number of cameras from the 1950s and early 1960s with focal plane shutters mark there flash terminals or settings as being FP instead of M.

This sync delay conflicts mechanically with the gear escapement used for the self timer (often labeled "V" for a German word used for "self timer") in many shutter designs, hence the self timer lever is blocked when the sync is set to M. Many designs combine the M-X switch with the self timer and have an M-X-V lever which eliminates the user issue of trying to use the self timer with the sync set to M.
Wow! Thanks a lot for this information!
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Old 01-11-2017   #8
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The seller kindly gave me a link to a Japanese site with many pictures of Auto Deluxe being repaired. Now, I just need to figure out how to take the top off...





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Old 01-12-2017   #9
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One thing I might add. About 12 years ago I repaired an almost-working Super Deluxe and I accidentally touched the half-slivered mirror. Don't even THINK of touching it or "cleaning" it or anything. Fortunately someone here was kind enough to send me one that I could get to work in it.
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Old 01-12-2017   #10
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I accidentally touched the half-slivered mirror. Don't even THINK of touching it or "cleaning" it or anything.
Could you please elaborate? Anything else I shouldn't touch? I removed the front plastic piece with the "windows" yesterday and found some disintegrating black material under the selenium element. I guess it was originally some foam or glue. As soon as I touched it, it turned into dust, so I had to clean it off with alcohol. Now I have a shiny piece of metal under the element. What should I put there if anything?
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Old 01-15-2017   #11
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Removing the top cover probably involves removing the wind lever (2-hole screw on top) and rewind crank (you can usually just block the bottom end of the shaft and turn the crank counterclockwise to unscrew it)... then there are probably a couple of small screws around the edges of the top cover. The semi-silvered beamsplitter mirror is probably the main no-touch surface you'll have to deal with. You may need to replace that mirror anyway, as the coating may be half gone by now. Modern beamsplitter materials are more robust and can be handled without this concern (the problem is finding the material).
http://www.edmundoptics.com/optics/beamsplitters/#f=28233_s|Standard%20Beamsplitter
I'm (obviously from my suggestions so far) not familiar with this particular model, but I suspect the black stuff was glue attaching the selenium cell.
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Old 01-15-2017   #12
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Quote:
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Could you please elaborate?
What I was talking about is the diagonal front-surface semi-silvered mirror. Don't touch it! Don't try to clean it! The silvering will come off and the rangefinder will be useless. Handle with care, please.
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Old 01-16-2017   #13
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It looks very similar to my Konica S, ses the link above for getting the top off. The wind lever comes off by unscrewing its top (the two little holes) then see what parts you find underneath. The shutter button will stay in place, the rewind crank will unscrew if you hold the shaft in the film chamber steady e.g. put a screwdriver through the slot. Looks like there will be screws on the ends of the top cover, then it should lift off.
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Old 01-16-2017   #14
ColSebastianMoran
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Just remember that the self-timer lever is effectively the self-destruct lever on many old cameras.
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Old 01-16-2017   #15
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Quote:
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Just remember that the self-timer lever is effectively the self-destruct lever on many old cameras.
I'll second that: No matter whether yours seems to work fine or not, there is no good reason to use the self timer on an old (particularly leaf shutter) camera, and at least one good reason (continued use of the camera) not to. Resist the temptation, unless you're interested in spending some time inside the shutter.
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