Further Adventures with the Photovit Photina Reflex

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chuck_foreman|1, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Some of you may recall my rapturous post running victory lap etc ..cough cough!! Well I went to this today, and wanted to test fire it and considered even loading it.. I fired it...and once again very sticky Grr!! I don't think it's the cold !! Grrr!!
    This is the result of using Naphta to loosen up the focus and all that dissolved grease ended up in the shutter. The first time I stripped and cleaned it, the re-assembly was badly done and the seating of the lens in the body was pinching when focused at infinity and after a week or so it was also again sticky. So I took it down again and spent three hours cleaning the shutter blades meticulously, using a whole bag of cotton swabs. I spent more time on the re-assembly and I got it right... that's when I foolishly claimed victory. I shot two rolls through it one B&W and one color with acceptable or expected results.
    I don't trust myself to tear down the Prontor SVS shutter mechanism. Some of us are trusted mechanics.. I'm scared I'll really screw it up to the point it'll never be anything but parts...
    I'm considering flushing the shutter profusely with Naphta and/or soaking it for awhile. I considered this before, but took the conservative long meticulous route with the swabs for fear of harming the lens coatings. IIRC I can't remove the middle element. I was able to reach only one side of the shutter leaves, but I was able on bulb (B) to access and safely clean the front of the middle element.
    I haven't torn it down yet, to see this closely. Maybe I can find a level of fluid that covers the shutter but not the glass?? But my question to the forum is how bad is Naphta on relatively modern coatings? Will the lens coating dissolve if soaked in Naphta ?


    This was from the last time before I removed the shutter, I believe you remove the back ring and the whole assembly comes out. Then you can remove the rear element and ..The End!
  2. Chuck I've used lighter fluid in similar ways to what you are suggesting, and have never been conscious of any effect on coatings. But some coatings are of course softer and more vulnerable than others.
  3. Thanks John... I was hopying for your feedback. I'm sure I've splashed plenty of Ronsol on glass before with no ill effects. I know you have this model too with the alternate lens. It just bugs me when something doesn't work.. it's not like I don't have at least three other "better" TLRs to use.
    This does seem to be a "modern" coating. The fragile ones seem to be from the late 40s and early 50s... as they say YMMV.
    I haven'T removed the shutter completely from the body but I have both front and back elements out and the from the back it looks pretty snappy but from the front it seems sluggish. IS this one of the those shutters that has a blind to prevent leaks when spanning (cocking) the shutter? Could the front be a blind and it'S sluggish but the back be the timed shutter. Looks great from behind!!
  4. Ok clearly there is no blind I've removed the shutter lens assembly... it was over a year ago.. you tend not to trust your memory... so just geezin' on that" blind" stuff .
    Well still on the fence if I will make more trouble ie more old lubricants ... by flushing or try to remove all with a soak... need to buy more swabs and Ronson if I need a glassfull.
  5. The shutter on my Photina (which I've since sold) was a Vero, probably a simplified version of the Prontor, and it was working well, needing no attention. But I've had similar problems to yours with other TLR's, including a Super Ricohflex, and a Halina A1 whose shutter complete with central lens element was immersed in lighter fluid for some months until one day I picked it up and found it working. All this when I had a number of far superior cameras lying idle. So I do understand the motivation.

    Good luck.

Share This Page