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Fitting new curtain ribbons to Leica iiic - help!
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
olliewtf
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Fitting new curtain ribbons to Leica iiic - help!

Hey all,

I'm on my 4th attempt at fitting new curtains and ribbons to my iiic. It's been a steep learning curve, but yesterday's attempt was so close to being successful I'm loathe to start from scratch again!

Shutter was firing perfectly until I fitted the cage, and all the bits that hold it in. The second curtain would hang just before fully closed on nearly all shutter speeds. I knew something was wrong, and suspected that maybe the ribbons, as they wrap around the curtain rails, double over and are stitched, were potentially fraying slightly and were generally too bulky - causing the curtain to slow as it makes contact with the 1st curtains ribbons, where they too attach to the opposing rail.

So I took it all apart again to see if there were any signs of rubbing, and sure enough, the ends of the ribbons that were folded over the rail were fraying, as was the stitching ever so slightly, from rubbing.

So my plan is to use my contact adhesive to smooth off all the fraying, and let it dry for a minute or two before clamping them somehow to get them as flat as possible. I'm hoping this will create a smoother surface, with no fraying issues, and the shutter will fire correctly for years to come. I could also use simple UHU superglue for this - my feeling is that the adhesive is probably a better shout.

So - is this a potentially sensible solution, and how the hell do you DIYers ensure that these parts move smoothly? My stitching isn't machine like, but I was sure to add as little bulk as possible - as this is why my first attempt failed.

Option C is to start over, maybe invest in some finer thread, glue these parts after stitching and also have the fold over of the ribbon end around the rail lie opposite ways for each curtain - though I'm sure this doesn't make too much difference.

Thoughts very much appreciated! I'm very, very close to success.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
olliewtf
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Pic for reference - looks bulkier than it is due to the fraying, but just so we can all see what the hell im on about!
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File Type: jpg leicaribbon.jpg (13.9 KB, 43 views)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
olliewtf
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Okay update - I used superglue to smooth off any fraying and pressed each end.
I then noticed that the second curtain was still hanging on slower speeds, and eventually put this down to the fact I hadn't glued enough of the curtain to the drum - so the excess 'flab' would bounce against the crate and slow the curtain, making it nonparallel and jamming it. So I sorted that out.

Results were better, but very occasionally on certain speeds it would still hang - this seemed to be resolved with sufficient tension, but surely that can't be right? Either way the amount of tension that would solve this was in the ballpark anyway.

My other problem though is that 1000sec wont work without a lot of tension on the first curtain. Its louder than my Zorki. what could be the cause of this?

I'm wondering whether to go ahead and replace the second curtain and ribbons again, for fear that things are a little askew and causing alignment and rubbing issues...

Any insight greatly appreciated!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
Erik van Straten
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Buy the booklet of nobbysparrow on repairing IIIc and IIIf cameras:
https://www.ebay.de/sch/nobbysparrow...1&_ipg=&_from=

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Leica-IIIf-I...Z2n:rk:12:pf:0

Highly recommended.

Erik.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
JeffS7444
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I found the instructions on aki-asahi.com helpful when rebuilding my FED-2:

http://aki-asahi.com/store/html/shut...n/inst/01.html
Nevertheless, it was my first attempt at such a repair and I needed to redo several times. I deviated a little in using Cemedyne Super-X throughout, because I had some doubt as to how long double-sided tape would last. I didn't attempt to stitch.

Besides a general lack of precision with my first attempts, it's possible that the fabric and ribbon I was using was too thick. I switched to Aki-Asahi parts. I also ensured that the folded ends of the curtains and ribbons faced away from each other.

In the end, I got a smooth-running shutter and did not need to deviate from stock tension settings
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
olliewtf
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Thanks all.

I did a bit more digging. FYI I already have the nobby sparrow guide, very useful.

One thing I regret not doing is, as you say Jeff, facing the folds away from each other.

Regardless, this isn't my issue now. the amount of tension the 1st curtain needs to achieve 1000 is far too much, so there is a problem.

My hypothesis is that the 2nd curtain isn't glued in the right place. I followed nobbysparrows suggestion of advancing the 1st curtain 1cm, then creating a 2mm overlap and gluing - rather than gluing the curtain to my scribe line from the original set up. Either way is probably good, either way I think I got it a few mm off.

A few articles mentioned that if you're struggling to get 1000 sec, and/or the 2nd curtain sometimes hangs, this can be down to incorrect placement. I cant begin to get my head around why, but its a sensible conclusion to my problems. I may go ahead and make a new 2nd curtain (again!) face the ribbon folds away from the other (still not perfect but should be fine) and take extra care to match the curtain to my scribe line. I may glue it to the drum before gluing and stitching onto the rail, to make this job less fiddly and more accurate.

Thanks again for everyone's help!

I will get there in the end haha
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
Peter Jennings
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You didn’t mention, so I’ll ask. Did you clean and lubricate all the bearing surfaces, especially the shutter brake gear? I just got an old iiic and had similar issues to what you describe. After thorough cleaning and good lubrication it’s running fine at all speeds.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
Gregm61
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You guys are braver them me. I'd just send the thing to Youxin Yee, pay what he charges to get it right and just think about shooting the heck out of it when it returns.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Peter Jennings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregm61 View Post
You guys are braver them me. I'd just send the thing to Youxin Yee, pay what he charges to get it right and just think about shooting the heck out of it when it returns.
Well, if one doesn't find any challenge or enjoyment from this kind of thing, then sending it off for repair is definitely the sane choice. Fixing old cameras is a separate hobby from shooting with them. Both can be very rewarding
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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
olliewtf
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Ive always been one to throw myself into repairs - I hate not having a go first, and the learning curve is very valuable!

Peter, re the brake and bearing surfaces - ive cleaned as much as I can without dismantling the drum and crate. It appears to be working in that respect but ill give it another soak and oil.

I re-glued the curtain last night, leaving a slightly smaller overlap than previously. This has worked better - 1000 fires correctly now without the need for loads of tension, though without a tester im not sure if its as 'relaxed' as it should be considering all is new.

the 2nd curtain will still hang on B setting if it has a low tension, but I have a hunch that this is possibly normal as the amount of tension needed to stop this seems still quite soft. My only concern is that I did see an article that showed the second curtain should be a set distance from the edge of the frame when cocked - and i think, though i need to check, that mine is sitting a bit further back than recommended - i wonder if this would cause issues? but that for now is an imagined problem as I havent measured it.

Im going to try a local camera repair shop and ask if they can test the tension for me - so long as its not extortionate! the old tv method - would it not work to ahve someone upload a video to youtube of an old tv and use that video as a tester? or would the 'timing' stuff get lost when compressed and made digital?

so far so good. Would love to get this all working for the weekend, im off to prague! Failing that the rollei is coming with me lol.

thanks for everyones input!
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Old 6 Days Ago   #11
mcfingon
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I think I can answer the old TV method question. No, I believe it will not work if you try to use a youtube of a TV video. What is needed is the way the tv signals are shown on a CRT screen and that is going to be lost if you look at it on an LCD screen as fitted to modern laptops and computers. You'll have to find a real live old TV somewhere...
John Mc
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Old 6 Days Ago   #12
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfingon View Post
I think I can answer the old TV method question. No, I believe it will not work if you try to use a youtube of a TV video. What is needed is the way the tv signals are shown on a CRT screen and that is going to be lost if you look at it on an LCD screen as fitted to modern laptops and computers. You'll have to find a real live old TV somewhere...
John Mc
This is correct. The reason a cathode ray tube TV set can be used is because it displays an image refreshed at specified hertz. It's the transmission signal that is key. A CRT set not tuned in to a transmission is of no use in checking a shutter. If a screen displaying a recording of a CRT set does not mirror the same hertz as the original signal it will not be much help.

Newer television sets or computer monitors seem from my limited experience trying them to be much less useful for shutter checking. Although I have a professional quality tester I still keep a small CRT set on hand which I will use occasionally for a visual inspection across a fp shutter gate.
Cheers
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Old 6 Days Ago   #13
olliewtf
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I hate the local camera shop. 80 just to quickly check my shutter speeds. ugh.

It'll have to wait I guess. I'll do it by ear and eye (lol) for now and I'm sure I'll be in ballpark for a test roll.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #14
Jerevan
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Microphone, a computer and some free audio recording software (like Audacity) where you can see and measure the length of the shutter sound works too.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #15
olliewtf
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I read that didnt work so well above say 1/30th on focal plane shutters?

I could make the photo resistor plug, seems simple enough - details on the lomo page about the app.

that might be a shout to be honest, bollocks to paying someone to spend 2 minutes telling me if it works or not haha
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Old 6 Days Ago   #16
Peter Jennings
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If you have an iPhone or other smartphone with slo-mo video ability, you can check the gaps to see if you’re getting even exposure. It won’t help you know if your speeds are correct, but even exposure is probably more important.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #17
richardHaw
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i burn the ends to prevent fraying
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Old 5 Days Ago   #18
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardHaw View Post
i burn the ends to prevent fraying
A speck of cyanoacrylate will do the same thing. Yes, it can out gas, but the quantity used is positively minute. Has never been an issue for me.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #19
richardHaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
A speck of cyanoacrylate will do the same thing. Yes, it can out gas, but the quantity used is positively minute. Has never been an issue for me.
the soldering bolt is more handy for me as I fix electronic stuff occasionally

i also love the smell of flux
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Old 5 Days Ago   #20
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliewtf View Post
I hate the local camera shop. 80 just to quickly check my shutter speeds. ugh.

It'll have to wait I guess. I'll do it by ear and eye (lol) for now and I'm sure I'll be in ballpark for a test roll.
I think 80 quid just to pop your camera on a tester for a couple of minutes is a bit over the odds too Ollie, and I do congratulate you on having a go at the repair and doing fairly well so far. But consider the possibility that you may want to do future repair tasks (and why not, it's a viable way of acquiring equipment that might otherwise remain out of reach price-wise). If so, for double the shop's ask to check one camera, once (possibly rather less, depending on the model you choose), you could own your own electronic one which you can use many times, with many cameras. It's not such a silly idea because people who successfully repair a camera once seem, from my observations, to often subsequently go on to other projects.
Cheers
Brett
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Old 5 Days Ago   #21
olliewtf
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Brett - spot on - it is something to consider for sure.

I am wondering how far out the timings will be - im sure theyre ballpark anyway when you consider film latitude etc. As Peter suggests, even exposure is more important.

I made headway yesterday - built up the slow speed parts and the rest of the crate. Forgot to check that the spring was properly located on the escarpment, which had me scratching my head for a while!

Interestingly all slow speeds to the left of 30th are working (down to 1/10s) but to the right (round to T) work only once, when first set to that speed, then after re cocking fire at 1/30. I will most likely never use them, but it bugs me that this camera has had all this work done so I would like to fix this problem if I can!

Any ideas? I cant work out why, for example when i set to 1 second, it will fire and trigger the slow speed timer, but then when i re-cock and fire again, it no longer engages it? If I move the speed back to 30 and then back to 1 second I can get it to fire it again most of the time....

Either way Im very close to finnishing and might risk taking it away this weekend - though it might be wise to run a test roll if I can find time!

Still need to fit the new beam splitter mirror and clean the viewfinders.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #22
Peter Jennings
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It could simply be a slight misalignment. I'd try removing the front panel and reinstalling it. Leica tolerances are quite tight.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #23
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adjust the slow governor and lead it forward. that sometimes works

the most difficult part is the balance of the springs' tension
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Old 4 Days Ago   #24
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One step closer!

Though I had definitely checked the small spring on the escarpment was properly located, it seemed it had jumped off - hence the pivoting thingy wouldnt return to its position once all the speeds to the left of 1/30s had been fired - thus they would fire once, then not again.

So everything works!

all is built up now apart from the top - fitting the new rangefinder prism glass tonight (which im not looking forward to). I have a choice between bostik (contact adhesive) or UHU super glue. not sure which is best for this, maybe the bostik as itll give me a little wiggle room to adjust infinity before it sets.

It also seems that the eyepiece with the diopter adjustment is missing its screw to the rangefinder housing - deefinitely wasnt there before either so someone has been in here before and lost it. I may lightly glue the housing so it sits in the right place, otherwise its just wiggling around. Also the cover for the beamsplitter was also missing, but i dont think that really matters.

onwards and upwards!
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Old 4 Days Ago   #25
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Just read that superglue is a super no-no as the gasses it releases can ruin optics.

bostik it is!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #26
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update - I'm finished!

I had some trouble with the prism - i left the prism holder thingy in the rangefinder (as I'm sure I'd read somewhere it's wise not to disturb it if you don't need to) and glued in the new mirror. Couldn't get vertical to adjust properly. Took out the prism holder thingy and re-glued the mirror. It's flush as anything so it kinda has to be right.

It was dark so a bit tricky to do rangefinder adjustments, but I got the vertical near as (it's not perfect but that doesn't really matter) and the horizontal at infinity is now adjusted too.

I should really check 1 metre with a tape measure but its got to be ballpark enough - plus I mostly zone focus anyway, and if I do shoot wide open the rangefinder should be pretty close.

One thing that did take me back though was that the patch isn't all that bright. My Zorki C is far clearer, and much older. So I'm wondering what might be causing that. I did clean all the various optics. I was expecting a fairly dramatic difference, and only got a minimal one.

Any tips re that are appreciated, but for now I'm going to shoot a few rolls of Foma in Prague (obvs) and see how they come out.

Feels great to have everything back together again!

I urge anyone who can use a screwdriver and has ample patience to not shy away from attempting a cla or shutter replacement - the curtains and ribbons are tough to change for sure, but the rest of it is pretty easy.
I got this Leica fairly cheap so was loathe to make it not cheap anymore. The results are very good. It's smooth as anything, a real pleasure to hold and use. Now I just need to learn how to take better pictures! haha.

Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #27
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Well done Ollie!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #28
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@Brett - thanks especially to your help via messenger - lots of super info there too, really appreciate it.

Think my next project will be the Summar lens I have for it - aperture is stiff and loose at the same time - clean and grease me thinks. But after my trip!
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