View Full Version : Two problems of my new Retina IIa

06-20-2012, 02:30
Hi! I just got a Retina IIa from an auction website. Exterior is good. No dings no dents. The lens is clean and clear. Rangefinder is spot-on.

But it seems have two problems. Firstly, the shutter cannot stay cocked. During the wind lever returning to its rest position, the shutter blades open and then close. Thus, when I click the shutter button, the shutter blades don't open any more.

Secondly, the frame counter stops at 25. After it is set to 36, it turns downward as expected. But it stops at 25. I attempted to manually turn it to 20, then it continues to work.

Are these problems easy to fix? If not, maybe I should talk with the seller and see how to return it. :o

Sorry for my poor English, and thank you for the help!

06-20-2012, 04:11
The camera will need service due to dried lube.

Unless you know how to repair the camera I would advise contacting the seller for a refund..

06-20-2012, 20:26
Hi Colyn, thank you for the kind reply. I talked with the seller and he agreed to let me return the camera and give me full refund. But the camera looks so cute, and I just can't let it go. I have decided to keep it and see how to make it work.

I have been reading Mr. Sherlock's website. The camera looks very complex, but the shutter part seems easier to access than the other parts. I managed to unscrew the front and rear lens groups and the shutter retaining ring, and now the shutter has been separated from the camera body. I will read more and see how to remove the shutter cover and access the internals. If I can get the shutter work, at least the camera will be able to take picture. A full CLA may be planned in the future by a professional repairman.

What a lovely camera it is! I can understand why almost all of you experts praise it so much.

Thanks again!

06-20-2012, 20:41
I would get it fixed. I have IIa and IIIc and they are gorgeous.

06-21-2012, 06:06
The camera looks very complex, but the shutter part seems easier to access than the other parts.


A full CLA may be planned in the future by a professional repairman.

Don't let ease of access fool you into thinking overhauling that shutter is easy.

06-21-2012, 06:24
Amen. I know a Retina specialist, if you're looking for one.

Chris Sherlock
06-29-2012, 22:19
G'day Yek,

The shutter problem is most likely caused by a tiny spring in the flash synch mechanism being broken. When this happens you can sometimes get the shutter to work correctly if the camera is held in one position while winding on, but not in any other. The only practical answer is to have the shutter repaired.

Another possible cause would be that a different spring in the shutter is broken, or just that the lever that should drop into the cocking ring inside the shutter mechanism, and hold the shutter cocked is sticky with dust or dried lubricant.

One more common cause of this problem is that the shutter release button and its shaft is not returning correctly after being pressed. As before, the probable cause is dust and grit or dried lubricants stopping the free action of the parts concerned.

The frame counter problem is most likely caused by some build-up of dust or grit in the counter mechanism which is making the dial too stiff to rotate. this can happen if the top of the counter has suffered drop-damage.

The spring or pawl that moves the counter dial is prone to failure, and while it is obviously working at the moment, it will be under extra stress if the dial is hard to rotate and will likely fail soon enough.

Regards, Chris

07-01-2012, 22:00
Mr. Sherlock, thank you for the kind help. You are so knowledgeable and so generous to share your knowledge with me and others. And thanks for the concern from KoNickon, Gumby and David. I hesitated to send the camera out because I haven't found a repairman familiar with this kind of camera and close to my place. New Zealand or USA looks too far away.

I was lucky that the shutter didn't give me much trouble. I opened the cover, then cocked and released it for some times, and found it seem work normally. I didn't find the reason of the malfunction. Maybe the shutter release mechanism is the culprit, as Mr. Sherlock mentioned for the third possibility. And the shutter release lever was easy to drop after the shutter cover was opened, and I somehow put it back.

But, the film wind lever stuck after several times of winding. I removed the top cover and found a small piece of metal scrap in the gears. After the wind lever was reassembled, the frame counter totally doesn't function. I guess I have damaged the frame counter spring, and the little metal scrap is just a portion of it. :o

Ok, the camera looks "working" now, except the frame counter. I feel both happy and sorry. A roll of film is in the camera. I wish the result could still be fine, and somebody else in the future could get lessons from my experience.

Chris Sherlock
07-02-2012, 16:12
G'day Yek,

I am pleased to hear the camera is working again. The shutter may continue to work properly now for some time. By repeatedly cocking ad releasing the shutter you will have freed up some component that was previously stuck in place. You may find the shutter starts to misbehave again if the camera is unused for some time, or gets cold, and whatever was causing the original problem has time to stick things together again.

The Retina IIa can be used well enough without a working frame counter. Because the film sprocket has quite sharp edges, be extra careful when winding on near the end of the film or else the film sprocket holes can get torn out. Sometimes when this happens the film can tear right across, making it impossible to wind the film back into the cassette.

Regards, Chris