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exakta curtains
Old 11-15-2018   #1
rgraphex
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exakta curtains

I've been picking up cheap exakta bodies. Little interest in these nicely made almost always bad curtains. So I been bettering my skills with these cameras .
Rick Oleson has a nice tutorial on these cameras. I found new old stock curtains on that auction site at a very inflated price. Now I'm making my own reusing the brass lath. Difficult to unfold the three folds with success .

2 questions where can I get that thin of brass?
and shutter testing. Ricks writes 7.5 and 5.5 turns. But I would like to be more accurate. So what are good shutter testers
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Old 11-15-2018   #2
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Also what is a good thread and needle size to sew ribbons?
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Old 11-15-2018   #3
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgraphex View Post
I've been picking up cheap Exakta bodies. Little interest in these nicely made almost always bad curtains. So I been bettering my skills with these cameras .
Rick Oleson has a nice tutorial on these cameras. I found new old stock curtains on that auction site at a very inflated price. Now I'm making my own reusing the brass lath. Difficult to unfold the three folds with success .

2 questions where can I get that thin of brass?
and shutter testing. Ricks writes 7.5 and 5.5 turns. But I would like to be more accurate. So what are good shutter testers
Unless you can think of a suitable specialist in your local area it’s possibly easiest to purchase some shim stock online. Here are some current eBay listings:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...stock&_sacat=0

There are a few places that supply curtain material at decent prices, E.g., Aki Asahi in Japan. Not all cloth is created equal however and thickness can vary from model to model. But you say you already have some cloth, so for future reference.

When it comes to testers there aren’t an abundance of options. You can: make your own; pony up for a professional one from firms such as Arrowin or Kyoritsu/Copal (potentially big dollars); try one of the phone apps with appropriate lead for headphone socket (forget ones that only measure sound); or buy one online from sellers such as vfmoto on eBay or Eric Bergstrom.

I already have a very good older professional tester however I’d quite like one that informs curtain velocities as well as exposure times. Florin (vfmoto) sells several which do just that, and I have found him to be a genuine, helpful person. But lately I am leaning more towards getting a Phocron from Bergstrom, simply because it features a small built in oscilloscope in addition to the usual functions and readout. I think this could potentially be quite handy for detecting curtain bounce, something few affordable shutter testers are typically capable of, and information it’s essential to have, if a focal plane shutter is going to be 100% right.

I use fairly fine pure silk thread for sewing Contax ribbons into place—thinner than the Zeiss original actually, but I invariably double up on the attachment for additional security and redundancy too—something you can get away with if using thinner ply with smaller knots. It’s not something to agonise over too much. Take a remnant of the original thread to a fabric shop and match the closest you can find by eye, it will be fine. Different materials have their pros and cons, I considered all sorts of possibilities. Ultimately I realised that if Zeiss chose silk for their ribbons on grounds of strength and resistance to stretch it would be a decent choice for thread, too, and simply purchased some 100% silk thread from my wife’s favourite fabric sellers one day when we visited. Indeed this has proved to be a sound choice, I see no reason why an Exakta would be any different, though other repairers may well have other suggestions.

Exaktas are fascinating cameras and some can be quite pretty, too. They seem to be multiplying at my place lately, four or five more have found their way here by themselves without any help from me, over the past year. I agree some are arguably undervalued but they’re a marque with an important place in the history of the single lens reflex. Their day as collectibles will come, indeed certain models have been already for some years.
Cheers
Brett
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Old 11-15-2018   #4
rgraphex
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Very helpful thanks
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Old 11-18-2018   #5
rick oleson
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The quickest/ easiest shutter tester, if you still happen to have one around, is a CRT television or computer monitor. It doesn't give you a numerical value but it gives an excellent view of whether you have both curtains running at the same speed. I've kept one that no longer receives stations but I plugged a cheap DVD player into it to have an excuse for keeping it on the shelf. http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-135.html . Of course, there are better tools out there. I back up the TV with a small handheld digital tester that reads out in 100,000ths of a second to give me the actual exposure time; but it doesn't tell me whether speed is consistent across the field, like the TV does.

I use regular #50 polyester sewing thread, and a very small "sharps" style needle. I use a figure 8 knot at the end to keep it from pulling loose with a minimum of complication.

For fabric, Exaktas, Praktinas and Pentacons are pretty forgiving, they have a lot of room inside and so are not as picky about thickness as Leicas etc. My favorite material is darkroom curtain fabric, but I don't suppose you can get that any more. Whatever you use, test it with a strobe to make sure it's really light tight before you use it - I've found some commercially available shutter curtain stock that is not.

You can buy brass shim stock in all kinds of thicknesses; a bit harder than finding the material is cutting and bending it cleanly enough for a good job....

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Old 11-18-2018   #6
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wow... I just handled my Exakta SLR today. Nothing works but focus is still buttery smooth on the threaded 50mm lens.
Camera is built like a tank and weighs like a tank.
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Old 12-03-2018   #7
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I have been busy. Exaktas are so cheap. I repaired a number of these now, fun! I have 5 Kine models working. You can unfold the brass slats takes time. I'll post photos when I get an opportunity.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0139.jpg (32.0 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by rgraphex : 12-03-2018 at 16:03. Reason: add photo
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Old 12-03-2018   #8
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I think a lot of these cameras have been opened up before. I run into missing parts, A number of these had something on the curtains like liquid rubber of course this doesn't work.
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Old 12-03-2018   #9
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgraphex View Post
I have been busy. Exaktas are so cheap. I repaired a number of these now, fun! I have 5 Kine models working. You can unfold the brass slats takes time. I'll post photos when I get an opportunity.
Well done. That's brilliant. They're not so bad to work on if you keep the gearing correctly timed. From memory cocking the shutter and arming the escapement control before removing the top covers is key, but I suspect you already know that. One of mine had been stripped and incorrectly timed. I got it back to factory spec, but as it happened to be the first Exakta I ever worked on, it took a bit of time to work it out.

It's usually best to re-use the original laths (metal slats) whenever possible, you can be assured the width and thickness will be spot on that way. As Rick mentioned whilst forming new laths from scratch is possible it can be tedious and is usually best avoided if you can.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 12-04-2018   #10
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I learned it easy to get these out of time. Also learned I can make minor adjustments for the curtains moving the gear one tooth one way or another.
For those interested in curtain size after installed to the lath this size works for me 76x36mm and 85x47mm. Ribbons are about 3.5mm wide. I cut small slits threaded ribbons around slats glued pliobond 25 and sewn. The curtain material come from ebay 2mm thick silk. Ricks directions very helpful.
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Old 12-14-2018   #11
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgraphex View Post
I learned it easy to get these out of time. Also learned I can make minor adjustments for the curtains moving the gear one tooth one way or another.
For those interested in curtain size after installed to the lath this size works for me 76x36mm and 85x47mm. Ribbons are about 3.5mm wide. I cut small slits threaded ribbons around slats glued pliobond 25 and sewn. The curtain material come from ebay 2mm thick silk. Ricks directions very helpful.
(Highlighted)
This is one of the advantages of a double roller focal plane shutter design since it is sometimes possible to do as you've described to fine tune curtain slits, this can't be done with a drum type mechanism as used by E.g. Leica where both curtains are wound onto the same shaft axis as the shutter is being cocked.
Cheers
Brett
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Old 12-16-2018   #12
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Exaktas are wonderful and beautiful cameras. With a very important place in photography history. Sadly they did degrade in quality and beauty alongside their place in the DDR.

I have a 127 format black VP Exakta, with pinholed curtains, a Kine Exakta with A LOT of pinholes, an Exakta Varex VX, an Exakta VX and an Exakta VX IIa. All of them in working condition and with three lenses, all Carl Zeiss. I also have a Rheinmetall System-Exa, which is a simplified Exakta produced by Rheinmetall-Sömmerda. One or two more Exaktas will complete my collection in the future, or at least that's my intention .
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Old 12-16-2018   #13
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The seller blattworld on ebay made a mistake and sold me a larger curtain meant for the 127 model If you give him the sizes he may have.
The early kine versions are very well made inside and worth the repair.
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