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Autocord from KEH... stuck focus lever
Old 08-30-2013   #1
BenJT
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Autocord from KEH... stuck focus lever

So, sad day. I was so excited to get this camera, and it gets here, and the focus lever wont budge. It was said to be in 100% working condition. Is there a focus lock on this camera? It really wont move at all, stuck on the closest setting, I'm not going to force it as I've heard of it breaking off easily. Can anyone help or am I looking at sending it back? Sucks because this thing is in absolutely beautiful shape cosmetically.
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Old 08-30-2013   #2
Larry H-L
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It is a common problem.

I'd send it back, or negotiate the price with them if you want to keep it and send it off for a CLA. Karl Bryan is the expert repair guy on these.

KEH does have a repair service, maybe they will CLA it for you.
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Old 08-30-2013   #3
Oren Grad
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Karl Bryan is the Autocord guy - mine is on the way back from him right now.

Karl's repair charges are very reasonable, and his turnaround is very fast (in my case, one day - my timing was lucky!). If you didn't pay too much for the camera, consider just keeping it and having Karl fix it up, rather than hassling with KEH and having to search for another one. Most Autocords you find these days are going to need a CLA sooner rather than later anyway.
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Old 08-30-2013   #4
pakeha
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so no one in the store checked the focus before declaring the camera 100% working? Thats one store I would be very cautious of. Get it fixed, excellent TLR.
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Old 08-30-2013   #5
Brian Legge
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I'd send it to Bryan and ask him to replace the lever with his more robust version while performing the CLA.
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Old 08-30-2013   #6
miragem5
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Bit of lighter fluid and a drop of oil wil get if mobile in 10 minutes
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Old 08-30-2013   #7
BenJT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miragem5 View Post
Bit of lighter fluid and a drop of oil wil get if mobile in 10 minutes
That's what I'm about to try after reading a tutorial on apug. This was from keh outlet on ebay, I imagine if I decide to send it back I should have no problem with a refund. I really don't want to send it back though.
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Old 08-30-2013   #8
Dan Daniel
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Yeah, try the naphtha to soften up the grease. Be gentle.

To do this right involves removing the whole front panel and cleaning/lubing the threads.

First thing I would do is write Karl Bryan and tell him what the shutter and lens markings are. There are certain shutter models that he doesn't think highly of, etc. So he can help you decide if the overall model is worth holding on to or better just returning. In the meantime, see if it will loosen up and try some test shots.
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Old 08-30-2013   #9
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Thanks Dan, I've dropped some naphtha on the threads, about 4 drops in different areas and its sitting now, still not budging. I have some sewing machine oil, is it safe to put a couple drops on the threads if the naphtha frees it? I will email Karl and see what he thinks, this one has the citizen mvl shutter with speeds from B-1/500.
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Old 08-30-2013   #10
miragem5
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If you remove the viewing hood and mirror [ which will need a clean ] and a part of the brass screw tread will be visable just keep that area wet and it should start to free it self
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Old 08-30-2013   #11
DNG
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I bought a Nikon FE in "E" condition, it had 5 major issues, including a Stuck EV dial, and a bent rewind shaft...

I called and talked with a CS person, a she/he told me to send it back with a list of faults... That I did... BTW, they told me that if, indeed that FE had those issues, it was marked wrong, and should have been marked as "BRG"...

in two weeks I received an FE that was in E+ or better....

KEH will make it right, one way or another.. They are big on great CS when needed...
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Old 08-30-2013   #12
GaryLH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNG View Post
I bought a Nikon FE in "E" condition, it had 5 major issues, including a Stuck EV dial, and a bent rewind shaft...

I called and talked with a CS person, a she/he told me to send it back with a list of faults... That I did... BTW, they told me that if, indeed that FE had those issues, it was marked wrong, and should have been marked as "BRG"...

in two weeks I received an FE that was in E+ or better....

KEH will make it right, one way or another.. They are big on great CS when needed...
Actually a bent shaft and stuck EV dial, that is not bargain grade, KEH standards have gone down hill, it should be ugly..

Gary
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Old 08-30-2013   #13
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Well, with the help of a hair dryer I got it free, and after a couple drops of sewing machine oil it is silky smooth. I'm going to shoot a test roll through it and as long as things come out satisfactory I'm not sending it back. I'm sure keh would give me a refund but I'd rather not go through the process of finding another nice one of these.
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Old 08-30-2013   #14
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well done, enjoy it!
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Old 08-30-2013   #15
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The lens on that thing if it is clean will blow you away, mine dates from 1958 with the 400sec shutter and I am aways amazed at the results for an old camera.
Mine was a basket case with stuck and dirty ,gummed up every thing that with a few hours graft turned into a nice user.See if you can find a lens hood for the old girl ,they seem to be a must have for all these old TLRs.
Enjoy your new toy.
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Old 08-31-2013   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miragem5 View Post
The lens on that thing if it is clean will blow you away, mine dates from 1958 with the 400sec shutter and I am aways amazed at the results for an old camera.
Mine was a basket case with stuck and dirty ,gummed up every thing that with a few hours graft turned into a nice user.See if you can find a lens hood for the old girl ,they seem to be a must have for all these old TLRs.
Enjoy your new toy.
The lenses on the Autocords are indeed awesome. I got an Autocord from ebay that developed a focusing problem and sent it off to Karl Bryan as soon as the budget allowed.

In my case, the grub screws that fastened the focus lever to the rest of the mechanism loosened and I could move the lever, but the lenses were stuck at the closest focus position. This turned out to be a good thing, however. When Karl opened up the camera, he found the the lubricants in the helix had solidified and I could have broken the focus lever if it had not come loose.

Karl had the camera repaired and ready to return the same day he received it in the mail. His work is top-notch and his prices are very reasonable. The camera is a joy to use.
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