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Lubricating Compur shutter on Vitessa L
Old 02-20-2018   #1
dmitrizzle
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Lubricating Compur shutter on Vitessa L

Hey guys,

I'm working on my shutter and got a question about lubricating it. I know I'm using a crude method but I wonder what you think repercussions may be.

I took the lens apart and disassembled the leaves to keep them dry and away from oil. I then I sprayed "cutting" oil, similar to WD-40 into the clockwork.

I've tested the speeds and they seem to be fairly accurate, no problems so far. The plan is to clean and dry every visible surface and get rid of excess oil before assembling the shutter leaves again.

I've read some threads with many diverse opinions on types of lubricants and the amount that needs to be applied. Obviously what I did isn't as thought-out.

What kind of issues do you think I could have down the road?


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-d.
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Old 02-20-2018   #2
Arbitrarium
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I thought Compur shutters were meant to run dry... if anything I'd just use graphite but I'd imagine if everything is clean and dry it'll run as it should without lubricant.
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Old 02-20-2018   #3
retinax
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I'd still be concerned about it getting into places it doesn't belong. If not the shutter blades, then it still could dilute more viscous lubricants and it might outgas and fog nearby lens surfaces. At least give it some time for volatile compounds to evaporate before you put things back together.
Here's how it's supposed to be done... several pages of lubrication scedule... http://www.suaudeau.eu/memo/rep/comp...air/12-02.html
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Old 02-20-2018   #4
dmitrizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
I'd still be concerned about it getting into places it doesn't belong. If not the shutter blades, then it still could dilute more viscous lubricants and it might outgas and fog nearby lens surfaces. At least give it some time for volatile compounds to evaporate before you put things back together.
Here's how it's supposed to be done... several pages of lubrication scedule... http://www.suaudeau.eu/memo/rep/comp...air/12-02.html
Yeah giving it couple of days in the air. Seems like a right idea. How about having the supposedly improper oil indiscriminately over timing mechanism vs instructed two specific types of oil in very specific locations?
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Old 02-20-2018   #5
retinax
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I'm hardly an expert, but my thoughts: Worst case is the stuff gets sticky over time. Cutting oil certainly isn't formulated with long term stability in mind, so that probably will happen at some point. The oil you used is probably rather light, I guess if the slow times run alright it's not too viscous. The other lubricant that's supposed to be used would be a type of grease. Oil will probably lubricate sufficiently to avoid strong wear is the camera isn't used very heavily, but it might run away.
If you decide to leave it and air it out, protect from dust!
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Old 02-20-2018   #6
02Pilot
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You don't want oil in the vast majority of the shutter mechanism. You need to flush with solvent - Ronsonol, naptha, kerosene - and get that oil out of there. Gently blow dry to get any grit or stubborn grease/sludge deposits out of the nooks and crannies.

Running dry is the easiest way to go here, and it will work, but ideally you want a tiny bit of lubrication in a couple places. Using a needle oiler, apply a microscopic amount of synthetic oil to each gear spindle in the slow speed escapement. Then apply the thinnest possible layer of moly grease to the contact surfaces of the speed selector ring (the layer should so thin as to be invisible to the eye).
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Old 02-20-2018   #7
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Yes. Better to do it right.
I've read about molybdenum grease in this context before, but I doubt it's necessary - AFAIK the molybdenum sulfide is added to lubricants to provide an extra safety for when the fatty/oily component shears, burns, disappears or otherwise fails, none of which is to be expected in a shutter, it's hardly a high load application. Just use something that doesn't migrate or separate into different phases.
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Old 02-20-2018   #8
KoNickon
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And whatever you do -- do not use WD-40. It really isn't a lubricant at all, but performs water displacement (hence the WD). And it will eventually gum things up.
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Old 02-20-2018   #9
dmitrizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
You don't want oil in the vast majority of the shutter mechanism. You need to flush with solvent - Ronsonol, naptha, kerosene - and get that oil out of there. Gently blow dry to get any grit or stubborn grease/sludge deposits out of the nooks and crannies.

Running dry is the easiest way to go here, and it will work, but ideally you want a tiny bit of lubrication in a couple places. Using a needle oiler, apply a microscopic amount of synthetic oil to each gear spindle in the slow speed escapement. Then apply the thinnest possible layer of moly grease to the contact surfaces of the speed selector ring (the layer should so thin as to be invisible to the eye).
Does it matter which kind of synthetic oil? My shutter assembly doesn't actually give me access to all the gears and contacts.
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Old 02-20-2018   #10
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Originally Posted by dmitrizzle View Post
Does it matter which kind of synthetic oil? My shutter assembly doesn't actually give me access to all the gears and contacts.
Eh? The only reason you wouldn't have access is if you haven't gone that far with disassembly. Assuming you haven't, and you don't want to, then forget about lubrication and just flush with solvent.

Should you decide to go further, you want a very light, stable synthetic. I use Breakfree CLP, which is a firearms lubricant, but there are plenty of others. More important is to keep it solely on those points and away from everything else, especially the shutter and aperture blades.
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Old 02-20-2018   #11
farlymac
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I use a brand called Super Lube. Comes in a grey tube at the hardware store (depending on where you live), and the tube full will last well beyond your lifetime unless you repair cameras every day.

Clean the entire mechanism with Ronsonal lighter fluid, or the good pure naphtha you get for thinning paints. I apply a little bit under the drive if it's a model that is wound when the film is advanced (like on a fixed lens rangefinder), sometimes down in the B lever area where things tend to drag, and very rarely to the ends of the spindles in the slow speed mech. I figure if you have to lube the spindles, then perhaps the mechanism is worn out.

The Synchro-Compur is the only one I've ever seen a lubrication chart for, and it is so specific about what types go where I'd think you'd find it hard to get equivalent lubes today, so a synthetic is the best choice.

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Old 02-20-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
Eh? The only reason you wouldn't have access is if you haven't gone that far with disassembly. Assuming you haven't, and you don't want to, then forget about lubrication and just flush with solvent.

This is what I see in front of me. Removing the two screws that you see in this photo does nothing (the block is still non-openeable). I'm assuming the rivets are permanently holding it together.

Question. Would soaking this mechanism in alcohol or lighter fluid do any damage to the glass?

The plan is, I guess is to dissolve all that oil as per group's suggestion and get synthetic oil for some pin-point application (though I'm not sure I can do this part right since the mechanism seems to be sealed-in).
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Old 02-20-2018   #13
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What does the other side of the shutter look like?

If it's non-accessible, just flush with naptha (not alcohol), blow out with hand blower, gently clean glass (can you get the lens elements apart? what lens is it?), and be done with it.
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Old 02-20-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
What does the other side of the shutter look like?


Here's the other side. It's a Voightlander Ultron f2 from Vitessa L.

So leaving it lube-free would actually be a better idea than having oil in it? Are there any potential issues running it dry?
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Old 02-20-2018   #15
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OK, that's what I suspected. You've got to go in through the front. Looks like you've got the front optical group out. I can't tell from that photo exactly how to proceed next, but basically you need to remove the ring that's marked "Synchro-Compur" - the workings are under that. You've clearly contaminated the glass with oil already, which suggests the blades are as well, so you need to get it apart and service it properly or you'll very likely have recurring problems.
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Old 02-20-2018   #16
dmitrizzle
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Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
OK, that's what I suspected. You've got to go in through the front. Looks like you've got the front optical group out. I can't tell from that photo exactly how to proceed next, but basically you need to remove the ring that's marked "Synchro-Compur" - the workings are under that. You've clearly contaminated the glass with oil already, which suggests the blades are as well, so you need to get it apart and service it properly or you'll very likely have recurring problems.
Really can't tell how to take that ring out - not a clue. The glass has oil on the surface that I can wipe and the blades are out and dry, separate from this mechanism. Do you think I still have to find a way to get in? Or should I just flush it with naptha?
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Old 02-20-2018   #17
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Yeah, if the blades are out and dry, then just flush it, blow it out, and call it done. Personally, I'd rub the blades with powdered graphite before reinstalling, but that's just my preference.
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Old 02-20-2018   #18
farlymac
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There is a bit of difference between a Compur, and a Synchro-Compur, so make sure when you ask for advice to correctly identify the mechanism you are working on, so you don't get the wrong directions.

I've never taken a Vitessa L apart (wish I still had mine), but similar construction of the shutter/lens assembly would indicate that the second element is just sitting there, and is probably stuck because of all the lube contamination.

It also appears that the shutter speed ring is halfway off, so just lift it the rest of the way. You'll find the method the cover plate is attached after doing that.

Since all manufacturers used different ways of putting the shutter/lens assembly together, it helps to study several versions to see what you are up against.

Here are some I have worked on:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjCbMYma
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjyUvJs5
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjGwBS2D

Take your time, and don't force anything.

PF
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Old 02-21-2018   #19
dmitrizzle
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Related question. The reason I took the shutter apart is because it had trouble cocking and was not firing properly. After cleaning and flushing it would produce correct shutter speeds, however it wouldn't cock or stay cocked. What I mean is that it wouldn't catch to stay cocked and fire immediately after cocking mechanism is released without waiting for trigger.

I noticed that this mechanism was taken apart before me by someone, my guess is that they tried to fix it but failed.

Have you experienced a Synchro Compur shutter not staying cocked? Do you think it could be fixed?

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Thank you so much for your help guys!
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Old 02-21-2018   #20
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitrizzle View Post
Related question. The reason I took the shutter apart is because it had trouble cocking and was not firing properly. After cleaning and flushing it would produce correct shutter speeds, however it wouldn't cock or stay cocked. What I mean is that it wouldn't catch to stay cocked and fire immediately after cocking mechanism is released without waiting for trigger.

I noticed that this mechanism was taken apart before me by someone, my guess is that they tried to fix it but failed.

Have you experienced a Synchro Compur shutter not staying cocked? Do you think it could be fixed?

-
Thank you so much for your help guys!
I think I saw similar symptoms on my Retina, that were related to the "transmission" that cocks the shutter from the body, it was cocking it too far. That's probably not what you're seeing as you have the shutter removed from the body...
Btw, the blades that you definitely don't want any trace of oil on are the shutter blades which are inside the assembly you're showing to us, the ones you've removed are the aperture blades, not as critical.
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Old 02-22-2018   #21
dmitrizzle
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I think I saw similar symptoms on my Retina, that were related to the "transmission" that cocks the shutter from the body, it was cocking it too far. That's probably not what you're seeing as you have the shutter removed from the body...
Btw, the blades that you definitely don't want any trace of oil on are the shutter blades which are inside the assembly you're showing to us, the ones you've removed are the aperture blades, not as critical.
I've removed the shutter blades also and re-assembled them now - they're clean. They open up and work no-problem, except for that they do the action as I release the cocking "plunger" immediately

There is a tiny notch that is supposed to move into place when the cocking mechanism reaches the end - but it seems like it's missing a spring or something. Someone before me took this apart...
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