View Full Version : Retina IIa easy slow speed shutter fix?

03-05-2008, 08:25
I recently purchased a Retina IIa in wonderful condition with mint case for a mere $55! My heart was broken when I discovered that none of the shutter speeds worked below 1/500 (slow ones stayed open) So, in a last ditch effort before takng it apart I placed it near my heating vent to heat the lens assembly up. While I was warming it up I cycled the shutter at 1/500 then tried slower and slower speeds. Then to my amazement ALL the slow speeds came baack to life! This process took about 15 min's total. I didn't think this "Fix" would last after the camera got back to room temp but it did!
I still plan on doing a full CLA but I thought I share this experience anyways!


Graflex & Retinas!

03-06-2008, 19:53
It looks like you melted the solid residues of the original grease, and operation indicates that the shutter is ok and only needing a good Ronsol cleaning!, but yeah, interesting way of giving an overhaul...

03-07-2008, 01:03
...but yeah, interesting way of giving an overhaul...

I can see the logic in his thought - I've read that the first thing many watch repairers do is to warm the watch up, as solidified grease is often all that is stopping them from working. Certainly my body heat has had that effect on an elderly watch I was wearing just so that the chain hung right.


03-20-2008, 01:09
Yes the heatingn method...Could someone give advice how to apply the ronsonol?
Soaking the shutter would not be the solution is my first guess

03-20-2008, 06:27
Actually, soaking the shutter works just fine. You have to remove it from the camera of course and then remove the lens elements but that's all that's required.

03-20-2008, 08:32
You certainly can do it that way - though dismantling it further, once you have removed the lens elements, means that you will be able to get the stuff out of the shutter more easily. There's not a lot of point in shifting grease from one part of it if you then leave a thin smear of grease over everything, as you may if you don't remove all the naphtha. It's surprising how the stuff lurks between shutter and aperture blades.

On the other hand, a tiny amount dabbed on the blades with a MOIST - not wet - cotton bud can work wonders too, though it's a less permanent fix. Like many things, there is more than one way to skin a cat... I mean camera!

Prontor and Compur shutter dismantling are both fairly well described on the net - if you can't find an appropriate article, add Daniel Mitchell to your serach terms. I think that's the name of the chap who's site they are on.


03-23-2008, 16:55
Three sites that show how to cleaning leaf shutters:



Carlos Flores