Pronto shutter cleaning?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by titrisol, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. I have a Zeiss-Ikon Contessa LK (fixed lens/non folder) with a Pronto-LK shutter. It works well, the fast speeds are fine but lately the 1/15 and B speeds are sticky. The shutter opens at normal speed but it doesn't shut fast, it takes a good 4-5 secs to do it. Anyone has instructions/diagrams on how to clean this shutter? My guess is that some ronsonol would do the trick, but I'm afraid of opening it if there are springs that could fly all over my kitchen.
  2. You need to remove the focusing ring from the front element. That requires a tiny screwdriver. It is held by three tiny screws. You don't need to remove them, just untighten about half way.
    Then remove the front element, the middle element (I believe) and finally the shutter speed control ring. I think there might be a collar that holds the shutter control ring, but I can't recall precisely.
    This is a friendly shutter to repair. No flying parts. :)
    While you have it open, clean the self-timer. Also, clean the threads on the front and middle elements and relubricate. When you clean the threads, you will end up with grease on the lens, so clean the lenses too.
    Upon reassembly, you will need to recollimate the lens. Instructions here.
  3. What you describe sounds like the primary problem could be fouled shutter blades. You might first just try cleaning the shutter blades front and back. After removing the lens elements, put a drop of lighter fluid on the front of the blades and try the shutter. Of course, it would not be a bad idea to clean the innards of the shutter mechanism too, but I always like to start off with the least intrusive procedure. If the shutter seems much snappier after the first test, you can use a cotton bud/q-tip with a little lighter fluid on it to gently scrub the blades until any black residue is gone. Be sure to give the whole thing time to dry out thoroughly before putting the lenses back in.
  4. More: I haven;t used this camera in a few months so I decided to take it out for a spin this AM. It is loaded with EFKE 100 film and I already crapped a couple of pics with that 1/15 speed.....

    Anyways, I'll exercise it a bit more, and tonight or over the weekend will try to "unstick" it using what you guys have suggested. I'll try to take pics with my wife's digicam to have a record. And will report soon.

  5. Pablo, I have some pictures of the Prontor SVS and Pronto shutters in various stages of disassembly from the lens all the way into the shutter blades. If you need to see what's going on in there before you start, send me an email. I'll be able to get them to you this evening (Pacific time) if you need them.

  6. Danny Mitchell's site has some notes on the a couple of the Gauthier shutters. If you can get away with cleaning the escapement and self time in place (not always!) then its not too difficult. The trick is not to run contaminated lighter fluid into the optics/leafs. Apply a drop or two at a time and fire liberally. It might take a few wet/fire/dry cycles to free things up. Don't ever call it a done job until the shutter is absolutely dry. Quite often they run fine for a short while then quit again. If this doesn't work, you need to remove the components for more careful cleaning or even more involved, remove the shutter leafs for individual cleaning.
  7. Thanks everyone for the help
    MIke E, Mike C and MIke C-II thanks for the advise and links, these are awesome. Can;t believe how similar this shutter is to the Rikken Shutter of my Ricohflex (I know how to fix that one)!

    Dean I'll take your offer! if you could email me the pics to titrisol at yahoo dot com please?

    This project will start maybe tonight, maybe on the weekend. Last night my 2-yr-old daughter decided to go to sleep way past 11PM, and wanted to play with daddy.. so I was worn out and ent to bed as well.

    I'll try taling pics along the way to document this!
  8. Just saw this message, Pablo. I'll get on it right now. Have to reduce then a bit for email...
  9. Thanks for the Danny Mithcells site link.
    It was right on target!

    It took me a while to take the optical elements out and thene there was a lot of dirt in the blades, and the slow speed scapement was stuck. Nothing some ronsonol wouldn;t cure though! I also fixed the flash contact!

    I left it drying overnight,and now it is assembled and collimated. Tests tomorrow!

    Thanks everyone!!!
  10. Hi,
    Im new to this forum) I know this is an old conversation but would you be so kind and help me out?
    I've lost my memory card that had pictures of my agfa silette 1 pronto shutter disassembly. I found some pictures online but I am still missing some crucial info. I was wondering if you would be so kind to send me pictures of Pronto shutter disassembly from the beginning? Thanks
  11. Have you tried this? Camera repair pages

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