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Resurrection of a Rolleicord V
Old 07-23-2015   #1
Filzkoeter
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Resurrection of a Rolleicord V

So a couple days ago I bought this Rolleicord V from eBay for the great sum of 37€ and it arrived today.

There's a problem though... I suppose some day quite early in its life, it took a hit to the front... or someone sat on it... or whatever. It resulted in some bent focusing arms and some up/down play of the front. And well, the slow speeds are hanging.

But there are also positive things. It DAMN clean and smooth. The focusing is smooth as hell, the lenses are propably the cleanest of all my lenses. There's no haze, no cleaning marks, no fungus, NOTHING at all
Okay, the viewing lens has some 'Schneideritis'
The mirror is not mint but pretty good.


It came to me partially disassembled because the pre-owner wanted to fix it but got too lazy ;P



I thought I'll start a small documentation here how I'm trying to bring this beautiful 'Cord back to life

1. Shim the lens board & adjust it for parallelity.
2. Adjust the up/down play of the focusing mechanism.
3. Clean the shutter to bring the slow speeds back to life.
4. Clean the mirror and focusing screen.
5. Reassemble.
6. SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT!



1.

I aready found some shims that got me to 90% right. Both taking and viewing lens are now reaching infinity at the same time. I suppose the viewing lens is still adjusted to the taking lens, so I left it to be. If the 'Cord would reach infinity focus at the film plane and on the focusing screen, I knew I would have chosen the more or less right shim sizes.



Stay tuned and wish me good luck.
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Old 07-23-2015   #2
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Good luck and respect!

I have fiVe now after trying and letting go of many TLRs. It is a keeper.
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Old 07-23-2015   #3
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Took the front lens elements out, opened the shutter, exercised it and cleaned the shutter blades with some lighter fluid.



Every speed fires now fine and sounds accurate enough.

I also played around with some other shims and I got the lens board amazingly parallel. It's a little bit hard to measure with a caliper, but every corner seems to be within ~0.1-0.05mm of each other (the factory tolerance is 0.05mm).




The focus of viewing vs taking lens looks great. Both are focusing the same. I'll reset the focusing knob because it's focusing a tiny little bit behind infinity now.... I only have to get that damn locking nut in the center of the focusing knob open, it's really tight
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Old 07-23-2015   #4
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To get the parallelism correct you really do need to either use an autocollimator or a more precise method of physically measuring the parallelism. The factory specification for adjusting the parallelism is less than 0.05 millimetres deviation across diagonal corners of the lens board. I check this with a dial gauge and stand which is placed on a small surface plate, the film rails being supported by two small parallel blocks to clear the rear of the camera body. A depth gauge would also be fine if available. The last one I set (a Rolleicord Va) I got to under 0.02mm and I was really pleased with that, but it did mean a lot of checking and replacing shims and even sanding various grades of steel or brass shim stock down to size to get it that close at both infinity and minimum focus settings. You are on the right track re-shimming the lens board to get it plumb again if the other components are not damaged however you do need to increase the resolution of your measuring system. Do you have a copy of the factory repair manual? These assume a high degree of familiarity with repair procedures however they do still contain some instructions that are helpful and, critically, tolerances such as the above for setting and adjusting various parts of the different TLRs. The Rolleicord V is not covered, however it is close enough in design (focus knob location not withstanding) that you can refer to the procedures for the Rolleicord Vb, in most cases, including focus setting. You can download a free copy of the repair manual, which is about 60 megabytes and 400-odd pages, here.
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Old 07-23-2015   #5
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Thanks Brett
Yes, I've got the repair-manual already. I was planning to do exactly what you described, to build some stand with a depth gauge to check the paralellism.
I wasn't sure if it even will be possible to bring that 'Cord back to life. But it looks great so far. The focusing arms were really badly bent (you can see that I used a at least 1mm thick brass nut as a washer on the left side)
I'm amazed how smooth the focusing action is. Nothing seems damaged beside the arms. Everything works great. This camera only needs some serious shimming
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Old 07-23-2015   #6
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Set-up as shown in an earlier Rollei service manual about a Rolleiflex 3.5F :


Rollei Dial Gauge Bench Sketch by Hans Kerensky, on Flickr
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Old 07-24-2015   #7
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Yep, respect!
I had a Rolleicord V once and miss it. The Schneideritis --- well, file that under "proof of being an original Schneider lens" ;-) Won't impact your pictures noticeably, in my experience.

Keep up the good work, and all the best for your project! Even though there were many Rolleicords produced, the number is finite, and these days we have to take care of each and every of these fine critters! :-)
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Old 07-24-2015   #8
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Thanks for your help Hans

So, I think I'll assemble it back and run a test roll through it. It's maybe not 100% perfect, but 90-95%. I can always take the front covers off and reshim it if I want to.
I've run backsighting tests against a ground glass at the film plane & some binoculars (set to infinity). The grainy structure of the ground glass was sharp at infinity. Alright, the very very sides and the corners got a little bit mushy (but still in focus, only with some abberations)... I guess that's what one can expect from a Tessar type lens wide open
The plane of focus seems to be fine... the test roll will show it... but there's no corner that's less sharp then the others, all look pretty much the same.
It's funny, through backsighting with a telescope or binoculars the magnification is so big, that you actually can see the lens' abberations.

My Rolleicord II has "way more" play and is "way less" parallel then the V... and still takes great and sharp pictures
It should be fine for handheld shooting with iso100 - 400 film.


Ljós: the Schneideritis is only in the viewing lens The taking lens is perfect in every way. Looks like it could be 5 - 10 years old (not 60)
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Old 07-25-2015   #9
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Look how nice I've done the clearance of the lensboard-cover at infinity (without shimming it )

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Old 07-25-2015   #10
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Nice job. Well done !
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Old 07-25-2015   #11
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And I've got only 2 shims left after reassembling the camera (I guess they were for the "Abschlusskasten", the lensboard-cover). But since its upper mounts were slightly bent towards the camera I didn't need them anymore

....but one single part was missing in the package the locking "lever"/part for the hinged backdoor (left side, mounted to the strap-lug thingy). The door locks and holds fine though. I'll only need to watch out whilst opening the camera, so the back doesn't fall off :P
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Old 07-26-2015   #12
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Tuning in for more progress, my III says hi.
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Old 07-27-2015   #13
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nice - now sell all those Rolleicords and get a 'flex LOL
seriously .. nothing better than a job well done with some cold beer to celebrate
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Old 07-27-2015   #14
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naaah kay, I kinda like the weight of the cord and especially the right hand focusing, feels comfortable (though I've never used a flex).
I'll put my first roll through it today, let's see if I succeeded
I guess this cord was a steal for under 40eu. Especially that it really looks and feels like it could be only 10 years old. Its clean, the viewing screen is quite bright, the focusing is very smooth and the glass is mint.
My guess is, that it was only used for a short time and then put into good storage after the accident.
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Old 07-28-2015   #15
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...it works! And looks fine to my eyes







first two wide open, last one at 5.6 or 8.0

Tri-X at 1200 in Diafine
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Old 07-28-2015   #16
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Miko,
Excellent job.
I won't dare nor have the skill to do what did here.
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Old 07-28-2015   #17
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Well, there was this up & down tilting motion I couldn't get rid of (and I think I threw my focus off in some shots)... and since I was bored today....




(I'm glad that 'cords are so straight-forward to disassemble and reassemble )

One arm is straight again. I'm a little bit reluctant to take the other out (since there's all this counter and winding stuff in front of it)... but I'm drinking beer at the moment... maybe I'll do it if I'm a little bit more tipsy


....btw. those focusing arms are _really_ sturdy. I don't know how someone managed to bend them
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Old 07-28-2015   #18
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The up/down thing can have a lot to do with some wear in the rails the focus struts slide in, and perhaps the struts themselves. It's usually possible to adjust it out by carefully re-setting the lower rail and locking wedge. It's generally a product of excessive clearance between the strut and the rails. The cams promote rotational movement of the struts, if clearance is excessive. If the clearance is correct, the struts will simply slide smoothly in and out, as intended. But if there is too much clearance, as well as sliding in and out, the struts can twist up and down a little with the cams as they rotate. Of course, in this case, as the struts themselves were bent, this might also have some bearing on the stability of the plane of focus throughout the focusing range.
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Old 07-29-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filzkoeter View Post
naaah kay, I kinda like the weight of the cord and especially the right hand focusing, feels comfortable (though I've never used a flex).
I'll put my first roll through it today, let's see if I succeeded
I guess this cord was a steal for under 40eu. Especially that it really looks and feels like it could be only 10 years old. Its clean, the viewing screen is quite bright, the focusing is very smooth and the glass is mint.
My guess is, that it was only used for a short time and then put into good storage after the accident.
Lucky you!

You are right with the weight and the focusing (btw the Va/b don't have the comfy right hand focus anymore). My 3.5E is slightly above a kilo while the V was something below 800grams if I remember that right (I've written that down somewhere)
The advantage of the flex is it's planar - one of the best lenses in MF really - I think that only the mamiya7s 80mm (and from my feeling the 65 too) is sharper. Another thing I like about the flex is constant frame spacing - something you'd appreciate when using a Nikon scanner.
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Old 07-29-2015   #20
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I'm a lefty; I love the left hand focusing of my MX-EVS. Each to his own. Nice job on saving the Cord!
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Old 07-29-2015   #21
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works even after my brutal straightening

~f5.6
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Old 07-31-2015   #22
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worst thing: not knowing what to expect from a Xenar, so I can't really judge its performance :[





you're not supposed to see pin point sharpness right to the borders and edges at f5.6, right?
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Old 08-08-2015   #23
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Missing hinge successfully replaced with a DIY part

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