Originally Posted by rgraphex
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:
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.