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Lenses freezing up in cold temps

 
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:39 pm    Post subject: Lenses freezing up in cold temps Reply with quote

Hi All,


My learning adventure continues, this weekend we got our first bit of cold and the temps were in the mid thirty's during the day. We went on a few hikes where the 4x5 camera was in a backpack and after setting up a shot and finally corralling my wife and kids for a nice shot sitting on an old stone wall the shutter starting messing up and I could not get it to fire. After getting back to the car, I took the lens board out and put the lens up near the car's heater and after a few min I was able to get it working again. I finished off the roll of film and we went home.

Sunday, we went out hiking again wanting to get pics of my kids, this time I brought the 2x3 as the rangefinder is working really well and I don't have to mess with the ground glass, thus it is much faster to shoot.

The shutter on that camera froze up too, but the heater trick in the car didn't help. As of now, the cocking lever will go maybe 1/3 of the way and the shutter release will release it but the shutter is fully closed and won't move to reset it.

Questions:

1. I live in Massachusetts and for the next 5 months or so it is going to be cold, what strategies can I use to still shoot film during the winter?

2. The gear I have is old, I expect that it will fail, is there preventative maintenance one can do to shutters to minimize this?

3. Graflex Syncro-Compur shutters, are they a bear to open up to take a look at? I'm wondering if the 1/3 cocking lever is the shutter didn't fully fire and is in mid cycle. I'm hoping I can release tension on what ever is hung and allow the cycle to restart.

4. I've read posts about various home brew's to make old grease more viscous, Any solvents one could recommend? is a bit of lighter fluid worth trying?

thanks in advance
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1581
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used Ronsonol (lighter fluid = naphtha = Coleman fuel) with success on my Graphex shutters, but other members abhor it mightily. Be sure to unscrew the front and rear lens elements, and try to get the solvent on the metal parts only, i.e., avoid iris diaphragm. Exercise the shutter during and after application, through all shutter speeds, and let everything dry thoroughly before installing the elements.

Keep your lenses warm by capping and bagging them (I have nice soft felt zipper bags for mine) and putting them in your pocket between shots. Work fast!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3796
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your shutters need a CLA. Solvent use in the previous post will likely cause more trouble than it solves with Compur shutters.
I rate Compur as the most difficult to service if you are unfamiliar with shutter repair.

You can download a copy of the Compur shutter repair manual here:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/44503560/Compur-Shutter-Repair-Manual

It shows a Speed Graphic 105mm in a CN-1307-000
A 4x5 Speed Graphic is not listed but is likely a CN-1110-000 or a CN-1210-051 depending on the lens.
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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided against messing with the jammed shutter as I am guessing that fixing some damaged or misaligned part is out of my league.

I've been searching and it seems that there is a camera repair place about 1hr away from me in Providence, RI. They are open till 6pm a few nights a week and I could get out of work early and go down and drop it off. I sent them an email describing the issue and they said they could repair it and the charge wasn't ridiculous.

Does anyone have any experiences with Zachs Camera Repair?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2042
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never used them but have often seen them recommended on other, more active, forums.
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