Friday, October 18, 2013

Franka is back in Europe for repairs

From Colorado Springs, USA to Genoa, Italy

Today I received Franka from Valeria (hey, what a fancy violet paper wrapping the box!)

Franka was blind, the shutter stuck.

I opened it and found that the problem was difficult to find since the shutter mechanism is so simple and based on few basic levers, a one-leaf shutter and two springs and I couldn't see where the jam was... since when you take off the lens assembly from the front you can see the shutter mechanism there... and the open shutter operates perfectly all the time without the lens ass.y!

After more than two hours trying and guessing I found the only way to save Franka... amputation.

The lens ass.y have two levers, one is for iris movement and the other communicates to the shutter ass.y for setting the B pose. The latter lever is close to the shutter and, probably because of age and growing plays between things the two assembly kept the shutter jamming. 

Removing the lever closer to the shutter left Franka able to shoot again.
I closed the slot that now is without the lever with some very thin adhesive foam. Nonetheless I left the other slot where the iris lever is still in place without new foam, even if the old one was totally missing... this will keep the errorist mood of light leaking be there like it was before if someone likes it.

The shutter sound like a "leaf" now, better than before since I also put some siliconic grease on the right places where levers and pivots rub together. So it's easy to hear when you press bad.

Then I tried the shutter many many times and then went out with one roll of film. I now finished developing. The shutter fired ok in 11 frames on 12. In that wrong case I heard the sound not being perfect when shooting and I shot again. I had to remember that you have to press the shutter button quite fast even if the camera works with a fixed (slow) 1/30th sec. 

Now Franka can keep going its journey

- Paolo Saccheri

Photo © Paolo Saccheri

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