Jammed focus knob on Rolleiflex 3.5F

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by ian_russell|2, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Advice please. Focus control has suddenly jammed on infinity. There was no warning, no stiffness etc. Everything was operating
    perfectly, but knob is now firmly stuck. Has anyone ever heard of this problem? I'd really appreciate some advice or suggestions.
  2. I suggest Ian you take or send it to a competent camera repair technician who has experience of servicing Rolleiflexes. your camera is around thirty years old and has probably never had any maintenance,and machines don't work forever without any lubrication and adjustment, that's what I would do if it was mine, because I consider paying to have my equipment serviced occasionally part of cost of my photography.
  3. Thanks Ben, I'm going to do that. I don't want to take the risk of fiddling with myself. However it seems to be an unusual
    problem as I can't track down any similar issue on the web. The camera has been working fine with no evidence of a drop
    or similar that might be the cause. Anyway, I'd appreciate knowing of anyone who has had or knows of a similar problem.
  4. I'm sorry Ian If my reply to your question sounded harsh but I honestly think that is your best course of action, I don't own a Rolleiflex I use Mamiya TLRs but it would be a shame to start tinkering with such a fine camera and make it worse, and many camera repairers in my experience won't touch equipment that the owner has tried to repair himself .
  5. Not at all Ben. I appreciate your advice. I did initially consider trying to fix it myself, but I agree that the greater risk is
    making the problem worse, which in my case seems highly likely. Thanks for your response.
  6. The F models are much more complicated that earlier Rolleis in terms of the various internal linkages which must be in synchronization. Something has gone out of whack and the important thing is not to try to force it which could bend or break parts.
  7. There's a cam and follower connected to the knob for focusing. The leather must be carefully peeled back to access the parts for repair. This is a job for a skilled technician.
  8. You know if you find a competent repair person you can ask them your question before you give them the camera. You'll probably get a more definitive answer than you will here.
  9. Thanks very much to all. I'm sending the camera off to Melbourne (I'm in Australia) next week for repair. I should find out
    whether this problem is well known or as apparently rare as it seems to be. This is a great forum and I appreciate the
    advice offered on this.
  10. Who are you sending it to in Melbourne? I'm based in Hobart myself.
    I agree it's an odd one. If I had to take a guess I'd say a cam follower may have collapsed and might be jamming a cam. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head that would lock it solid at infinity. Love to hear the end result though, because it is a strange one.
  11. Hi Brett

    Plan to send it to Michael's Cameras, with whom I have dealt in the past. I hope they will be OK for this repair. I have zero
    technical knowledge of camera mechanics but I think your suggestion, or something close to it, is probably right. There is
    actually a very small amount of movement possible between infinity and the 20 metre mark (about 2-3mm). Very strange.
    I've just the camera for a few weeks, but it worked perfectly for one film, with no indication of any problem at all before this
    happened. I' don't know if the camera has ever had a CLA, and it didn't really seem to need one yet as shutter, aperture
    all OK, but I guess I'll have this done at the same time. I'll post the outcome in any case as it may of interest to other
    Rolleiflex owners.
  12. Sargon Evanian in Sydney has had a number of very good reports from those who have used him in the last year or so. Factory trained Rollei specialist. Reasonable prices too. Michaels I couldn't say. They may be just fine too, but I've not heard any reports either way.
  13. Thanks Brett. I've also seen some of the good reports on Sargon Evanian but I wasn't sure how recent they were or if he
    was still in business. However, I phoned Mainline Photographics in Sydney today and I'm confident they would be pretty
    good also. They have a specialist gentleman who has been around for a long time working on classic cameras. Not sure
    if he is Rollei trained, but he sounds very experienced. He's apparently in Germany this week (he is German) but back in
    Sydney in a week or so. Have you heard any reports on Mainline?
  14. I have heard their name mentioned once or twice Ian. Nothing bad, as I can recall. Sargon is getting on in years, but he is still working on Rolleis. Just a couple of months or so ago, someone posted about the work he did on his Rollei (on a facebook group I belong to), and even provided some photographs of Sargon fixing it, as he worked on it while the owner waited. The owner was delighted with the end result, and the price was good, too.
  15. Thanks for this Brett. Sent off to Mainline today. Hoping all will be well with the repair. I'll post the outcome.

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