Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

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alexvaras
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Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by alexvaras » Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:57 pm

Hi all,

Back in March I got a request for fixing one Rolleiflex 3.5F, the problem was with slow speeds and B mode, shutter kept open.

That problem I addressed as the first series of this album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmV7PjLj

Then it came the problem of the shutter release button, too hard to be pressed.

I was very cautious about taking out the shutter with this 3.5F, planetary type with light meter, so before doing anything I launched questions to some of my favourite repairmen, Hans Kerensky, Dan Daniel and Rick Oleson, who were super kind with me and my weekly emails, they sent me and guided me loads of useful information about the shutter and some hints how to proceed with this model 3.5F.
I needed more information/practice with this Synchro-Compur shutter and Rolleiflex, lucky me I got two Rolleicords and one T model, this last gave me the idea where the problem could it be, under the shutter so I needed to take it out.

Here is the camera after removing the front cover. The two knobs at the sides controls speeds (left) and aperture (right) and both move the 2 upper and lower dented rings that round the shutter and also there is a middle ring that interconnects both and moves the needle in the light meter. Here it's the famous planetary shutter at 1/500th (slightly beyond 9 o'clock) and f/22 (slightly beyond 3 o'clock):

Image


Normally a TLR shutter is taken off from the retaining ring inside the film chamber, not this model, this model has attached inside bellows from the back part of the lens plate (screwed) to the camera body (slipped on), so first you push gently the part slipped on to the body and only after the lens plate is out the other part can be removed (thank you, Frank Marshman):

Image


Now... 6 screws into the focusing arms, screw that connects the winding with the shutter (down left) and the parallax mechanism (top right):

Image


Of course marking the parallax at the ground glass at close focus was a good idea:

Image


The parallax screw stays put and takes down the bar coming from the viewfinder until it's free:

Image


My main worry was what will happens with the light meter system, what would it happen when I remove the lens plate, all the service manual and people discussing on the net said you have to set up the camera at 1/500th and f/22:
Image


I marked slightly the position of the light meters levers that go inside the light meter side.

Image


After removing the lens plate this is the view:

Image


Closer look to the light meter levers, if you push them up they will go down again, so yes, they good Rolleiflex engineers had this covered.

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This is the lens plate back side, note the two levers and how they are made. So there are 4 screws that retain the shutter and one flash connector for be removed.

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Before removing the shutter from the plate I removed the timer ring in the viewing lens, not a good idea and after all not necessary, it's a real pain to put it back in place, also I removed the wheel that goes to the aperture external knob.

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Now the bellows can be unscrewed from the shutter, only 2 'threads' deep and if the underpart thread also moves with the bellows part you may need to hold it, in my case I needed to.

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Here is the back of the shutter, notice at 2 o'clock the piece had great friction, that's the shutter release lever that goes inside the shutter:

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Now without the ring we can see rust and dirtiness, another guilty for the bad operation of the shutter release:

Image


Cleaning the rust and the whole part that the ring goes around, plus lubricating the connection points helped to the shutter release movement, also the brass lever that engages the ring can be levelled, it was on the very top and I placed it in the middle, no friction with any other part than the ring pin that engages, here it is mounted back:

Image


After few tries I placed down the lens plate and both levers for the light meter are correctly connected.
Now it's time to set up the planetary shutter with both speed and aperture knobs, the upper dented wheel (speed) is removed, for having the whole play in the camera from B-f/3.5 to 1/500th-f/22 I had to turn the other two CW till they stop, this is the position:

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Now the shutter is checked in every speed/aperture setting and it's time to start closing things:

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As the bellows part inside the film chamber, the best way is using two tool as hook:

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and doing it from opposite sides to make the slip on going parallel, otherwise one part will loose:

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Slowly it goes up to the film chamber and all it's done, checking the camera goes till infinity without the bellow blocking the operation is advised:

Image


Tip for the parallax screw/bar... Since the screw in help in the lens plate, from the close focus I started to go to infinity and at the same time turning the screw waiting the thread bar to connect, it worked very well:

Image


For the speed/aperture marks, both have to be help by a retaining ring that goes through inside, as well there is a very and fragile shim between them... this part is tedious and very time consuming till yo get the point... Take a look that retaining ring doesn't go its thread completely and there is some out, then you will know that you did it fine and all is well arranged.

Image


Finally the speed has to be set at 1/500th and aperture at f/3.5 for accessing the three locking screws that will help the viewing lens once is collimated.

Image


Now the camera has be resting for some days and all behaves well, I would say it's done.

I feel like I just graduated and got a diploma :)

Thank you for looking this long story of a 4 months repair :D
Alex

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by scott » Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:35 pm

Outstanding! I was literally nervous reading this. Kudos!

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by Julio1fer » Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:34 pm

Well done Alex! That looks like a hard job.

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by alexvaras » Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:55 am

Thank you, Scott and Julio, I’m very pleased how it was the process and I got more confident on my skills and Rolleiflex engineers:)

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by melek » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:57 pm

Nice work on the camera! The mechanism is more complicated than I expected it to be. I'm happy to hear that you received helpful advice from others.
-Mike Elek

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by alexvaras » Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:27 pm

Thank you, Mike.

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by BillyBob » Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:21 am

You are a brave, brave man ;-> That was one fiddly job.

Great idea looking into your own cameras first, before tackling this.

Cheers!
Bill

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by alexvaras » Sun Jul 18, 2021 2:07 pm

Thank you, Bill!

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by Dismayed » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:25 pm

It's fun to see you dive into something that I would never attempt myself!
"He could be right, he could be wrong. I think he's wrong but he says it in such a sincere way. You have to think he thinks he's right."
~ Bob Dylan

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Re: Rolleiflex 3.5F - taking the shutter out.

Post by alexvaras » Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:51 am

Well... someone has to do it and it’s super fun!!

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