Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andrea_ingram|1, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. I have acquired an Agifold camera and took the front lens off to
    clean it. This comes off by just unscrewing the focusing thread to
    it's fullest extent. Now I can't get the thing back on! Any
    suggestions? Should I have not done this?
  2. You should have had to loosen or remove a small screw to allow the front lens to be unscrewed. This screw may have been accidentally tightened when you carried out the cleaning, in which case it could be preventing you from refitting the lens. This is the only reason I can think of other than damaged threads or solidified lubricant.

    These threads have a number of "starts", that is, there are two or three grooves forming the screw thread. To acheive correct focus you will need to re-engage the thread at the correct start. To do this you would have to have made a note of the position of the lens at which it came free from the body. If not and you manage to get it back on, you will need to check the focus to make sure it is correct (probably a good idea anyway with a folder).

    Hope this helps.
  3. You might try cleaning the old lubricant off the threads with some Ronsonol lighter fluid on a q-tip. Then, put on a tiny bit of new grease. As John said, there are multiple start points, so it usually takes trial and error to find the right one. Try slowly rotating the lens counter-clockwise to get it seated before screwing in. Sometimes the mount can get deformed from gripping too tightly with an inappropriate tool like a pair of pliars; we'll hope that isn't the case.
  4. Many thanks. Will have a look when I get home from toiling the day away at work :)
  5. Sometimes it is not easy to get a focussing helicoid thread back into place. The tolerances are very tight (as they are supposed to on a precision mechanism), and you have to put back both parts straight on each other. The beginning of the multi-turn thread sometimes gets slightly damaged when using too much pressure which makes it even more difficult.
  6. Gosh, I'm beginning to wish I hadn't started this :-(
    Sure It will be worth it when I take a masterpiece with it ! :)
  7. Everyone here offers good suggestions. My hint: Try "unscrewing" the lens until you hear or feel a slight click, then reverse direction and try to screw the lens in. Gently, of course.
  8. OK, hang fire till I give it a go tonight. It's only 4.30pm here and I'm off home at 7pm I think. [racing here to night and I have to stay for an extra hour or so!]
  9. Andrea, someone else has probably had your camera apart in the past. The front lens element isn't supposed to unscrew all the way. It has three tiny drift pins made of brass holding it in place, and the pins limit the movement of the front element past the closest focus. There is a small slot in the depth of field scale that you can see the pins through as you turn the focus ring. The pins are removed through this slot as you turn the focus ring to each of three different positions to align each pin with the slot. Then the front element will screw out. If one of these pins is sticking through to the inside of the threads you won't be able to get the threads started to replace the front element.

    OK, all that said, this is how it is on mine. I don't know how many variations there are. When you get it all back together, you may want to have the shutter speeds checked. It only has a two leaf shutter and is often quite slow. On mine 1/350 is actually 1/125.
  10. Dean, much as I have a great fondness for anything from either Agilux or their parent company AGI (having been brought up not far from their Croydon UK factory), I have to admit their in-house 2-leaf shutters are a bit of a problem. Slow or sticky speeds on all the Agifold models seem to be the norm, but it often only takes a bit of a clean to get things right again. The trouble seems to be that the shutter's internals are a bit too open to dust ingress, say compared to Compurs. I have all of the five Agifold models, and I don't think a single one had a shutter working properly when I got them! PN
  11. Oh-mine works Peter. It's just slow. My camera repairman checked all the speeds after he CLA'd it. It's no where close to the legend on the shutter ring.
  12. Peter,

    No problems with mine either. The only problem I had was a faint RF patch, that was easily fixed with a new bit of beam splitter mirror.

    Oh, and working out that you had to cock the shutter before changing the speed from 1/350...

    I have a couple of shots or so in my folder from the Agifold. Can't complain about its performance, only the silly place they put the cocking lever.

  13. I reckon you guys must have been just plain lucky, but good on you .... ! My first Agifold (a Series 11 "Rangefinder" Model)had sleepy low speeds so I left it with the Repair Guru for a CLA. Max likes a challenge, and he admitted he'd never worked on an Agifold shutter before, despite umpteen years in the camera business. He rang me to say all was now OK after a few days in his workshop, but when I collected it and asked him how things had gone in such new (for him) territory, he admitted that he had been a little perplexed about the adjustments for the various tension springs that control the speeds. Apparently there aren't any, say compared to Gauthier and Compur leaf shutters. So, he ended up just reconfiguring the retaining ends of the springs to give them sufficient extra "oomph", to make up for the effects of the passage of time. I'm no mechanical whizz and I was a bit worried that such a crude way of tightening a 50-odd year old spring might be an invitation to metal fatigue failure, but everything is still fine. I don't have any way to check if 1/350 sec is actually more like 1/125 sec, other than by my experience, but it sure looks nice and snappy even though a simple 2-blade shutter is hard to assess speed-wise compared to the more usual multi-leaf ones. By the way, Agilux cameras have an interesting pedigree, other than their Mickey-Mouse 2-leaf shutters - everything was made in-house - lenses, shutters, bodies, the works. For a relatively small company in world volume terms, that is quite something. For us Aggie collectors, there is the prospect of a book from the renowned classic camera author John Lewis on Agilux History, and a website from David Gardner, both luminaries from the PCCGB. The AGI parent company has been incredibly unhelpful to date with anything to do with information on their civilian camera arm, Agilux, for whatever reason only known best to them. Maybe their preoccupation with manufacture of optical and other stuff for the more "delicate" area of the military market, has left them with an oversensitive approach, who knows? PN

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