Kodak Medalist II Repair Question

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by henry_finley|1, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Although my Medalist II is in excellent condition, I can't really use it right now until I work out a problem. First, allow me to say up front that I know how to work on cameras very well, just no experience on these. The problem is that both the action of the cocking lever below the viewfinder, and the shutter release action are both very stiff. When I move the sync lever down to the M position, it's not quite as stiff, but still this problem needs to be remedied.But this fact gives me clue that the stiffness is actually in the shutter and not the camera body linkage. In the first photo, what is the ring with the purple arrow? On the second photo is a screenshot of the service manual telling how to remove the shutter. But I find it a bit confusing. In the 3rd photo with the red arrow, is this the ring that the service manual is talking about? I ask this because I don't see what that had to to with actually getting the shutter off the end of the focus tube. The order of the photos got shifted. Sorry

  2. I have been working on my Medalist I the last few weeks, the two are very alike of course, the main difference being flash sync and revised distance scale on the Medalist II.

    I suspect your issue is not in the shutter, but in the body of the camera, where there are many sliding surfaces and 70 year old grease to gum up the works.

    The ring in your first photo (with the red arrow) allows one to remove the focusing helical, however it is not necessary to remove either the shutter from the focusing helical or the helical from the camera in order to service the shutter. Everything necessary can be removed from the front in order to access the shutter internals for CLA. The ring highlighted with the purple arrow is for retaining the top plate of the shutter mechanism and does need to be removed after removing the front lens element, shutter speed and aperture rings and the plate with shutter speed and aperture markings.

    The process for disassembling the shutter is rather complicated to describe, I was planning on creating a video showing how to service the No.2 Supermatic, If you are able to wait I should have it available in the next couple of days. There will be some small differences in the shutter because of the self timer vs flash sync, but it should help you understand things.
  3. Thank you for the reply. With no ingratitude, I need to differ. Tha camera linkage is not that complicated, and the parts are all quite limber. I really do believe this is after the last point where the linkage goes ito the ring at the back of the shutter that cocks one way and actuates the other way. I will be looking forward to your video.I think this problem has something to do with the sync mechanism (which the Medalist doesn't have). That, and possibly stiff action in the aforementionedring at the back
  4. I am far from an expert on these (my experience is all of two cameras), so I could of course be wrong in my suspicions. There is a relatively easy way to test what is at fault.

    Extend the focusing helical to the infinity point and then take the back off. Find the sliding plate on the top of the guide assembly (it will have four screws holding two L shaped metal brackets to it). Push the sliding plate to the right, this will cock the shutter, then push it to the left, which will fire the shutter. If this moves smoothly (it will require some force because you don't have the benefit of leverage from the winding knob or auxiliary cocking lever) then the issue is in the body. If it does not, then the issue is in the shutter.
  5. Yes, that mechanism is indeed limber. I'm ever more sure this is a shutter-related problem. But this view is tainted by something I recalled reading once, concerning the Ken Ruth fellow (I believe). I remember reading that one of the things he used to do with the II models was to remove the sync mechanism entirely, and just set the contacts for perfect X only. This was said, as I recall, to make the shutter action much more limber.
  6. Well after a few days on working on this, it turns out a smaller percentage of the stiffness was in the linkage and the greatest amount of the stiffness was shutter related. I've worked out my problem, but it sure would be handy to see that video hunter was working on. Thank you.
  7. My apologies for the delay, I had hoped to have this uploaded sooner but it ended up being longer than expected and then we lost power here the other evening and it killed my upload progress. Try this link:
    And if you have trouble seeing it let me know.
    greg_nixon|2 likes this.
  8. Very nice video. But I have a problem. I've done my shutter and I have no slow speeds. Remembering mine is Medailist II, but the shutter is not all that different. I've done everything right, but the escapement just zips through. Doesn't make sense. I've gone over my work umpteen times and it's perfect. Come to think of it, I can't say if I had any slow speeds before my work. I didn't have the camera long enough to know.
  9. You may want to check out this thread as well, as it has some photos of a disassembled Medalist II shutter:

    A day with Big Bertha

    If your slow speeds aren't working, are you able to tell whether your fast speeds actually differ by rotating the shutter speed ring?

    Possibly there is no spring pressure pushing the escapement cam arm into the gear train or the triangular escapement claw has worn teeth?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  10. That video turned out to be a top notch reference. Excellent work. You don't often see that level of presentation. Thank you. I noticed in the first few seconds of it a screen shot of a Kodak shutter manual on the Supermatics. I wonder where I can get my hands on that. Regards, HTF
  11. Unfortunately, It's not the manual for the shutter. It's a screenshot of the the manual for servicing the Medalist II that Mike Butkus was kind enough to send me, and I doctored a bit to better reflect the subject matter. It doesn't include any information about the shutter other than how to remove it from the focusing helical assembly.

    There is apparently a military technical manual for the Medalist floating around, but I haven't been able to find one short of one being offered for $200 on eBay.
  12. Very nice video.
    Thanks for posting.
  13. On my old Warsaw-Pact lenses and old American ones too, often there is a kind of camera smegma (old lubricants solidifying?) that causes stiffness.

    Really tiny amounts of naphtha (applied, worked, wiped, and repeat) can allow easing of turning.

    Of course, you know not to 'flood' the lens/camera/whatever.

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