1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to the Amateur Photographer magazine online community.

    Why not create an account and take advantage of this free resource.

More sad relics arrived today.

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by John Farrell, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    A Praktica VLC2 - it looks very nice, but the shutter is unwound, and the wind lock is on. I'm going to remove the top cover, and investigate.

    A Praktina FX - the camera works fine, but the lens - a 58mm f2 Biotar - has a dry focusing helix, and some fungus. Surgery is required.
     
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Please show us the surgery in progress, John! Even if I'm not working on anything similar, I love to see how these things work, and how people unembugger them.
     
    zx9r, John Farrell and Zou like this.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Two cameras I like a lot. Have fun, and good luck!
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  4. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I started on the VLC2 this morning - unfortunately it is not going to be a simple job. I removed the top cover, and then the timing escapement, to expose the wind mechanism. I was able to release the wind lock, so I could force the camera to wind - and only one set of shutter blades are moving. The next step is to remove the mirror box, which is attached to the front plate, to get a look at the shutter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I got a hammer you can borrow...
     
  6. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    L series Prakticas are straightforward enough to work on. They were obviously designed to be simple to assemble, which makes them fairly easy to service.
     
  7. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The VLC2 shutter is definitely faulty - there is evidence of battery leakage on one corner, so that could be the cause. I'm going to sacrifice one of my other Prakticas to provide a donor shutter. I have a Super TL2 which should be just right.
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's generally a very reliable and, as you say, pretty simple shutter. I've by no means your mechanical ability, but have fixed a fair few . Never had any success with anything else.
    Very few differences in any of the L series shutters as far as I'm aware - even the handful that only went up to 1/500 second theoretically were actually identical if you change the selector dial. I've got an awful lot of time for the East German shutter designers - this one is just genius, the later version in electronic Prakticas is also excellent, and the Prestor shutter in Werras was probably better than most Prontor/Compur shutters. In fact Linhof used Prestor shutters after German reunification. That said, earlier East German cloth focal plane shutters really aren't always great, and are probably the weakest point in the pretty weak Nova series.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  9. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The shutter is out of the VLC2, and I have grafted in the replacement, and it works. I still have to reassemble the rest of the camera.

    The old shutter
    IMG_5256s.jpg

    The new shutter - still to have the flash wire connected.
    IMG_5270s.jpg
     
  10. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    You are much, much better at this than I will ever be, I'm impressed!

    Nick is spot on about the Prestor shutter - one could argue it's an engineering solution in search of a problem, but in practice I'm sure when new they worked superbly - we tend to see the old knackered ones now! I've always fancied the Flexaret VII with the Prestor, but I think Brexit has pushed them firmly out of my comfort zone price-wise. Twunts.
     
    John Farrell and steveandthedogs like this.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    More an economic solution, in terms of not using hard currency reserves to buy in P/C shutters, and also to occupy engineers, rather than an engineering solution as such, I think.

    With you on Flexarets, they're an itch I was wanting to scratch, but not at current prices.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  12. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The VLC2 this morning, awaiting reassmbly.
    IMG_5271s.jpg

    The camera, finished. I have yet to clean the lens, and the meter is not accurate - whether because of age, or because of my ministrations I don't know. IMG_2950s.jpg
     
    Simon Leung, zx9r and steveandthedogs like this.
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Nice! I have to say that the Praktica range's square looks have grown on me. I must give my MTL3 an outing.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  14. Simon Leung

    Simon Leung Well-Known Member

    Made me think that the vertical shutter mechanism, came from the good folks at Cossina Japan.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Are you thinking of the Copal Square shutter, rather than Cosina? That was the most famous vertically-travelling metal bladed mechanical focal plane shutter. It's certainly a similar design. VEB Pentacon may well have copied it, but they did continue to innovate, including with electronic timing.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  16. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    When did anything other than the Kiev and the Contax stop using the rollerblind shutter, I wonder? Just an idle thought, I have them every few years...
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  17. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The first use of a vertical running metal blade shutter was in the Konica F in 1960 - the Hi Synchro shutter. Copal perfected their version, the Copal Square, in the mid 1960s. The Pentacon metal bladed shutter was first used in the Exakta RTL1000, in 1969.
    Although they are related by a common design idea, the Pentacon shutter is not a clone of the Copal shutter. The Copal is contained between front and back plates, and its control and timing system is attached to the front, at one side of the gate. The Pentacon shutter has a single plate - the front of the shutter. The blades and operating levers "hang" on the back of this plate. The timing mechanism is separate, in the camera top.
     
  18. Simon Leung

    Simon Leung Well-Known Member

    Yes, I meant to say Copal. :)
     

Share This Page