[pure-silver] Re: Help?! Minolta Autocord

I have an Autocord, which I no longer use much, but back when I did, it
developed a problem with the winding/cocking mechanism.  I can't remember
the symptoms in detail, but when I took the side panel off I discovered a
worn cog.  The cog was not well aligned with its mate and the teeth had
rounded off a bit.  I flipped it over and put it back.  With (gentle)
subsequent use it has been fine.  The details of this story probably have
no bearing on your current problem, except to note that the winding/cocking
mechanism of Autocords may not have been built with 40 years use in mind
and may be bit of a weak point.

To get into the winding mechanism you have to take the black covering off
the side panel, but otherwise it's pretty much just follow your nose.  I
have never opened up the shutter.

Nicolas




                                                                                
                                            
                    Leigh Solland                                               
                                            
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                    29/09/04 15:41                                              
                                            
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Thanks to all who have responded to my plea.  I will try to answer your
questions in this single post.

Richard Knoppow wrote:

>   I am not very familiar with the Autocord. Does it have
> automatic shutter cocking or must you cock it manually?

Manually.  It has a crank, like a Rolleiflex, so you turn the crank forward
to advance the film and back it up a quarter turn to cock the shutter.


> If
> its automatic the cocking mechanism may not be completely
> cocking the shutter. The shutter will click but not actually
> fire. I've had this happen in Rolleiflex's when the cocking
> lever stroke was too short.

I will play with that some more, and see if I can get it to behave
consistently.  I am puzzled, because I have shot quite a few films with it,
with no problems at all, and no harm
(such as mule kicks) has befallen it.

============================================

Dan C wrote:

> I guess the moral is, try using it a bit, the lubricants might soften up
> and flow around a bit.

I have been using it, for over a year and a half.  It is my main shooting
camera, so I don't think it suddenly dried up.  I think it is more likely
that a chunk of goo has come loose
and is floating around in the shutter, or that possibly a rod or a gear or
a cam in the firing mechanism has become worn to the point that it fails to
do its job intermittently.

============================================


Ryuji Suzuki wrote:

> My best guess is grease contamination of the shutter blades.
>
> A few questions for additional clue:
>
> - can you charge the shutter immediately after the false firing?

Yes.


> - does the true firing probability change in cold/warm place?

No.  One film was shot at about 40 F, the other at about 60 F, and today I
was playing with it at about 70 F, and in all cases, the shutter blades
opened something over half the
time.  When they don't open, they don't even twitch.


> - can you control the shutter speed over the entire range
>   whenever the blades open?

Not sure.  I haven't tried the whole range yet, but will test that.


> Shutters in TLR and rangefinder cameras like Minolta Hi-Matic 7S,
> Konica Auto S2, Canonet QL series, etc. are among the easiest to work
> on, but I wouldn't expect to do anything without damage on your first
> camera to repair.

I agree.  It isn't my first camera to repair, but it is my favorite, and is
in pristine condition, so I am reluctant to start tearing the leatherette
off without being quite convinced
that the problem isn't accessible from the outside.


> If the problem is indeed grease contamination, the only sure fire
> method is to take the shutter off, take the blades off, immerse the
> blades in cleaning solution (most common is lighter fluid. I used to
> use a mixture of xylene and acetone, and dry methanol in alternating
> way, cleaning at least once in each solution), wipe off the grease,
> and dry.  Of course you'll have to put them back on, which also takes
> skill.

Yeah, the first one I tore into was a Kodak 1A that had belonged to my
grandfather, and I was trying to be really careful not to wreck it.  I did
great until I had it halfway back
together, and then I couldn't figure out how a particular spring went on.
I bought another similar camera, and took better notes as I disassembled
it, so that I could get them both
back together correctly.


> Another common symptom of grease contamination is variable shutter lag
> when shutter fires. In cold weather, the lag tends to become long, and
> eventually the shutter ceases to open. But if you fire repeatedly, the
> lag may shorten temporarily.

That has not been a problem, even when I was shooting in -30 F temperatures
last winter.

Thanks again for all your ideas, guys.  I'm going to ponder for a while
longer before I start surgery.

Leigh

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