I got a nice GT recently, but it seems to have some problems, for which I'd like to get some advice before taking the sledgehammer out
Anyway, the camera seemed to work OK when I got it a few days ago - I dry-fired it several times, just to get a feeling. It behaves a bit differently from my Lynx, as far as I remember (Lynx is away on loan right now). Namely, it makes a "clack" sound when rewinding for the next shot, not when actually pressing the shutter
After some research, I found that it's supposed to work that way.
But, what seems strange is that, when slowly pressing the shutter, it buzzes, making a funny electrical sound - not mechanical, like the whirring of the slow speeds on a Leica or Zorki, but more like squealing, or whatever
Definitely electrical, like some very small buzzer. It does not buzz all the way when pressing the shutter: actually, it does it once at the beginning of shutter button travel, and once before the end, before the shutter actually fires - I guess it's in positions when the warning LEDs are turned on. If the shutter release travel is about 5mm, then it's heard after about 1mm pressure, and then again at about 4mm. Sometimes it only buzzes once, at the beginning... Strange.
Anyway, after some dry-firing, I tested it with some exposed film in a canister I keep for this purpose - to test loading and rewinding film. I loaded it, but noticed that it does not wind the film properly for the next shot. I opened the bottom plate to see what's going on. Saw how it behaves, and the film advance locking mechanism - the black shaft that goes down when pressing the shutter, and which jumps up upon winding, and which produces that "clunk".
I realized that the rewind button release (chrome one that's pressed to release the wind-on gears for rewinding film back) won't come out after pressing it (it should come out when you wind the shutter!). I did some fiddling, and also greased it a tiny bit, so it wouldn't stick, and it got better. Closed the bottom, and tried again.
The "clunk" sound when winding was gone!
So, I searched a bit at the usual sites (Matt Denton, "Classic Camera Repair forum", etc.), and found out about the "pad". Opened the top, and from what I could see from the front, the pad was missing.
Must have gotten lost in transport...
I followed Jon Flanders' advice, and managed to replace the pad from the front, without total disassembly. I used a piece of Jon Goodman's light seal kit foam (2mm thick). No problem there.
However, that didn't solve the "missing clunk" problem
I opened the bottom again, and unscrewed the screw of the film advance locking mechanism (see above) until its groove was aligned with the locking "tooth" again. Now it worked OK, clunking and all.
Closed everything, and tried it with a roll of film.
Exposures all over the place
So, back to square one...
After some more dry-firing, with back open, I came to this:
when pressing the shutter release quickly
, the shutter speeds behave as they should.
However, when I squeeze the shutter slowly and gently, as I usually do, I get very inconsistent (incorrect) shutter speeds, toghether with that "electro-buzzing" sound.
Looks to me the sliding shutter contacts need cleaning or something... Maybe the lost pad got stuck there somewhere... From what I understand about how it's supposed to work, and looking at the photos on the Web, I guess I am looking at a lens panel removal in order to get to the contacts
While I'm there, I'll probably use something else for the pad - Jon suggested to use something harder than foam - probably neoprene, which won't compress that much.
Maybe I'll just replace the pad, and see if things get better. But that buzzing leaves me wondering...
Any suggestions are welcome.
I'll keep the hammer ready, just in case