Can't focus Ansco Viking 6.3

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by mitchell b. cook, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Howdy.

    I just picked up an Ansco Viking 6.3 and I'm having a little trouble with it. It's in near mint condition and
    everything functions except I can't move the focusing ring. In the instructions it says that you can set the
    focusing ring to 10ft (or 30ft) if you wan't to us it as a fixed focus camera. The instructions also state that
    you can just move the focus ring to where ever you need by just rotating it. Mine is lock some how. It
    won't budge and it's set at 10 ft. I'm wondering if there is a locking mechanism for the focus ring or if
    someone knows a trick about the focusing ring.

    Then again, perhaps it just need to be repaired. :)

    thank for your insight,

  2. The grease has hardened , it is a common problem with these and other Anscos and Speedex's.
    I have loosen up a couple by wetting a toothpick with Ronsonal lighter fluid.
    Don't get it a hurry, soak it dabbing around near the numbers on the ring. It may take a day or 2.
    Don't force it as the whole lens element will screw out, ask me how I know this ?
    The best way is to take it apart,and re grease it, It will get stiff again doing it the Ronsonal way.
  3. Check out
  4. Unfortunately, Anscos are Agfas, and Agfa used a lubricant in focus helicals that turns into superglue with age. It can usually be loosened, per the notes above, but it takes time and patience. once in a while it just defies all efforts.
  5. I had the exact same problem:
    I got a bunch of great advice and in the end it was the culmination of ALL of it plus close
    to two weeks of soaking in ronsonal, alcohol at times, spray sessions of Liquid Wrench and
    the odd nail polish remover. 4-5 times a day at the beginning and 1-2 near the end I
    would sit and try to pry them apart. But also, and this is the part I don't believe was
    mentioned, I would scrape a needle into the threading and clear out whatever the days
    soaking loosened. It was a total drag, my fingers were cut up from slipping [those threads
    are sharp on skin!] and I was frustrated beyond belief. But in the end to my utter relief and
    amazement it just came apart when I tried unscrewing it about the 100th time. But the
    camera was flawless so I really wanted to get it working. However, it has soured me a bit
    for buying more folders. I've gone through similar, though less intense issues with at least
    6-7 folders I've bought. Good luck with yours.
  6. To remedy this problem, I have tried using solvents such as alcohol, acetone (nail polish remover) and naptha (lighter fluid), but I have found that the fastest and easiest way to loosen the front lens element from the focusing threads is to put the parts in the oven for about 15 minutes on low heat, say about 200 degrees F.

    This softens the old grease. Take the hot parts out and unscrew them right away, using a towel or gloves to protect your hands.

    It's probably not a good idea to put the whole camera in the oven. The problem involves the front element being stuck inside a brass collar which also holds the middle lens element. Remove (unscrew) that brass collar from the shutter, and put only that brass collar (with the two lenses) in the oven.
  7. WOW! I thought it would take a while to get a few answers that, in the end, would leave me
    where I started. I'm surprised that there is still such a community and interest in these
    cameras. I'll try everyones advise and post what worked (or didn't) for me.

    Thanksal l.

    Let the adventure begin...
  8. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    BTW there is a fellow in Hawaii that makes new bellows for these cameras at a reasonable cost. Mark Kapono is his name. I'll find his address if you are interested.
  9. I totally agree that heat helps more than soaking in solvents. After trying each and every solvent which was available on an Agfa lens I finally took the hot air gun - and this one did the job in a few minutes. Don't heat too much since the lens cement might get affected.
  10. Well. On January 26 2008 I took a heat gun to the front element and within a couple of
    minutes (even that might have been too long) the front element unscrewed easily. With a
    jeweler's awl and a needle I scraped out the lubricant gunk. I would scrape and then swab
    with 99% rubbing alcohol. after 20 minutes or so of cleaning, the front element easily
    screwed on to the second element. Be careful to not touch any of the lenses as you will
    create more work for yourself having to clean those too.

    Good luck to anyone who finds one of these cameras in good shape but with a seased
    front element. The solution is quite simple and only a half hour or so to fix if you have a
    heat gun. Scott advised puttting the lens parts into an oven. I couldn't figure out how to
    remove the entire lens to do that so I used a heat gun while the lens was on the camera.
    Heat and turn, heat and turn and then finally the element will move.



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