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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Inoperative Rollei 35 S
Old 05-14-2010   #1
CycleDog
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Inoperative Rollei 35 S

I found a Rollei 35 S in the local Goodwill store and purchased it for $3. You don't expect much of a $3 camera. This one seems to be completely inop. The film advance lever won't move. The shutter doesn't work, and the meter doesn't move even with a fresh battery inserted. Externally, it appears to have some dirt and corrosion, but the inside of the film compartment is clean, so it probably hasn't been immersed.

I've found a repair manual and a user's manual, but I hesitate to tear into this one. If anyone has had a similar 'trifecta' of problems, please give me a nudge in the right direction. It's a nice, but dense piece of equipment, and I'd rather not destroy it through inept repair. Discretion may relegate it to the shelf or I may re-sell it for parts if its not repairable.
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Old 05-14-2010   #2
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The user's manual told me about the lens being extended in order to unlock the shutter, but I don't recall seeing anything about the film advance lever. I thought they were coupled - i.e. advancing the film cocks the shutter. Did I miss something?

The film advance lever does not move, leading my to suspect it was either forced or it's jammed somehow. I haven't taken the top off yet, and I probably won't do that tonight. It's been a long day and I know better than to try something like this when I'm tired.
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Old 05-14-2010   #3
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No problem. In all honesty, I'd prefer to find that the camera's apparent inoperative condition is due to my own stupidity rather than a mechanical fault. I can fix stupid pretty easily.
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Old 05-14-2010   #4
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Only a B35 here, which is a good deal different, but take a peek inside the lens cavity from the back (pressure plate flipped down). There are various levers and latches that you could try to wiggle free. Obviously use a safe "tool" such as a pencil tip or toothpick.
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Old 05-14-2010   #5
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There are two levers in behind the lens assy. The right one operates the aperture. It seems OK. The left one operates the shutter blades. The linkage from the shutter button doesn't seem to engage it. The button moves. The lever moves. But something in between does not.
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Old 05-14-2010   #6
Sonny Boy Havidson
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From my own experience with the Rollei 35 cameras, their shutters and so seem not to like inactivity too many years but a good camera repairman can fix it (avoid to try if you have not the required skills, it is a very complexe camera) and 35 S devinitively worth it.
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Old 05-15-2010   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDog View Post
There are two levers in behind the lens assy. The right one operates the aperture. It seems OK. The left one operates the shutter blades. The linkage from the shutter button doesn't seem to engage it. The button moves. The lever moves. But something in between does not.
The Rollei 35 design is rather different from other cameras. Most of the "shutter" is in the body, not the lens. The only part of the "shutter" that is in the lens is the set of shutter blades that open and close. All of the timing gears and speed adjustment components are in the body.

The shutter release button is not connected in any direct manner to the lever visible through the film aperture. It releases the shutter timing mech. in the body. It is that timing mech. that opertates the visible lever to open and close the blades.
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Old 05-15-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDog View Post
No problem. In all honesty, I'd prefer to find that the camera's apparent inoperative condition is due to my own stupidity rather than a mechanical fault. I can fix stupid pretty easily.
Off topic, and this does NOT apply to you, but a really funny T-shirt saying I saw once said: You can't fix stupid.

On topic: The Rollei S is a great camera. It is not an easy camera to begin camera repair on. Since you spent only $3, it may be worth spending for a proffessional CLA.

Just to confirm: The lens is extended, right? And rotated to lock/click into place?
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Last edited by FrankS : 05-15-2010 at 07:55.
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Old 05-15-2010   #9
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Yes, I read that the lens must be in the extended position before the shutter will operate. That's in the user's manual...and I had to find the user's manual in order to figure out how to open the camera! Those pesky Germans!

My job entails working on small electronic and electro-mechanical devices. I'm good at that, though I'll admit to mixed results with cameras. But I've learned that one axiom essential to any technician - First, do no harm. I tend to be very hesitant about getting in over my head.
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Old 05-15-2010   #10
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Check with Harry. Link Below. Best guy on Rollei's

http://rolleirepairs.com/
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Old 05-15-2010   #11
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Quote:
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Yes, I read that the lens must be in the extended position before the shutter will operate.
Extended and locked? That was Frank's point. Mine will stick sometimes until I unlock and lock again with some more conviction.
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Old 05-15-2010   #12
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Yes, it was extended and locked, leading me to think that the interlock between the shutter mechanism and the lens could be the source of the problem. Late this afternoon I began to disassemble the top end. I didn't get far. Under the film advance lever there are 3 small brass screws exhibiting dissimilar metal corrosion. I cleaned them carefully and managed to free just one. The other two will need a drop of oil to penetrate the threads, but that's at work. I use instrument oil made for aircraft navigation instruments. Like I said before, I work slowly and carefully.
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Old 05-15-2010   #13
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Would it be possible for you to take and post photos along the way?
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Old 05-15-2010   #14
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Sure, I've taken some photos today, but haven't transferred them to this laptop yet. My digital macro isn't the best.
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Old 05-16-2010   #15
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The problem could be under the bottom cover rather than the top. I had one camera that behaved like yours and it was because a linkage was gummed up and wasn't releasing (and therefore not allowing the shutter to fire). I can't remember all of the details, but have a look at these two pictures:



The first one is with the shutter cocked and the second one with it released. If I remember correctly the long black linkage that pivots in the middle of the camera (closest to the lens barrel in the picture) is where things were hanging up. You can see the cutout in the end of that linkage where it latches on another part.

Your problem could be something completely different, but it's another thing to consider.
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Old 05-16-2010   #16
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My macro shot isn't terribly clear, but it gives an idea of the corrosion. This looks like it resulted from sweat or salt water. I learned to avoid carrying a camera in a bicycling jersey pocket for this reason.



I'll see about taking the bottom off later today.
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Old 05-16-2010   #17
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I recently managed to un-jam an OM1 by comparing the jammed camera with a working one, both with their bottom plates off and finding the difference.
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Old 05-16-2010   #18
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Here's the bottom side of the camera. I tried to remove the small brass screws, but they're much tighter than any similarly sized screw should be, and since they're brass, I'm trying to be careful about stripping them. It's another job for the bench tomorrow.

Note too, the corrosion along what appears to be a steel plate just behind the camera's front.



I'm trying to avoid gorfing this up.

Last edited by CycleDog : 05-16-2010 at 13:16. Reason: added text
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Old 05-17-2010   #19
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Partial success today as I managed to remove the bottom cover. The top one remains stubbornly in place. You can see the corrosion. This camera doesn't stink like it was immersed in seawater. It may have been stored in a very humid area. But I think the repairs are beyond my limited ability.

I've had two recommendations for repair services. My thanks for that.
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