Category Archives: Shutters

QL17 … the final frontier

After I figured out the shutter release and cleaned up the gears, I still had a problem with the aperture … so part III.


  • Screw driver
  • Soldering iron
  • Spanner wrench
  • Dental spatula
  • Ronsonol
  • Lots of Q-tips

The first thing to do is to remove the two leatherette pieces from the front of the camera. Have patience and you will be rewarded with singular pieces. Start from the outer edges and work your way in towards the lens.

Remove top cover. Then remove four screws holding the lens assembly, and pull it off.

Flip it over.

Remove the two screws that secure the baffle.

Pull off light baffle.

Unsolder the wires. Note that the longer one is on the left.

Unscrew rear lens group first. Then you can unscrew the retaining ring that is hidden underneath. This holds the lens/shutter assembly to this plate.

Pull off lens

There are three rings here.

Dark one sets the shutter.

Spacer in between

Silver bottom one trips the shutter release (in this image it was moved off the pin).

Remove them.

OK, now down to the nitty gritty (whatever that means).

The aperture blades are gummed up. The red arrow points to the arm that is moved to open the aperture. The green arrow points to a (pathetic) spring arm that pulls it into an open position.

I washed out this area with Ronsonol … then exercised the aperture … then did it again. Use Q-tips to clean off the blades. Continue the cycle.

Let it dry

Continue the clean, wipe cycle until it flows like butter, or at least until the little spring can pull its weight.

The best way of cleaning the blades is to take the whole thing apart and individually clean everything … I am not that ambitious.

… I would like to thank a couple of Japanese bloggers that posted their experience with taking this camera apart, the photo’s helped (but the translation failed).


Shut(ter) up … Part duex … full frontal.

OK, so I actually started the repair of my Canonet from the front … seemed logical as the shutter was not operating.


  • Spanner wrench
  • Rubber grip
  • Screw drivers
  • Soldering iron
  • Ronsonol

The lens/shutter is layered.

There is a thin outer ring that holds the name plate on … first to go.

After removing the name plate it will reveal the light meter ring … remove that.




Now we have to remove the front lens group.

This just unscrews … so get a grip.






This layer is held on by the three brass inner screws.

Warning … watch out for the wires.






Underneath that you have the … brown, that has wires, and electrical contacts, on a lever thing, plate.

Remove the three large screws.

This is where the soldering iron may be needed if you pull the wire too hard … like I did.



Ok, getting close.

At this point you may just want to wash out this whole thing with Ronsonol … then just exercise everything.

I am going to continue … by removing the retaining ring, then pulling off the speed cam.




… and there it is.

After getting all this way, I figured out that there is a problem with the aperture … it was not opening. I can move the blades, so it was not jammed … this meant that the mechanism that moves it open is broken ?

That is part III.

Baby Yashica (44)

The Yashica-44, as described earlier is a 127 format TLR … and this one had a problem that the shutter mechanism was jammed.

In order to get to the shutter you have to take the front panel off and that means revealing the screws. The leatherette is brittle (like the Primo-Jr) so you will not be able to salvage it. You will need to take off the leatherette underneath the shutter cocking arm and the sync lever.

Remove the four screws from the front plate. Set the sync to between M and X. Carefully pull off the cover … and note that the flash port has a wire attached to it, so you will not have much play … tilt the left side of the cover plate up and then shift the cover to the right.

Now typically the problem with shutters is that they get gummed up with something … and with a lot of cameras with Copal shutters you can just unscrew the front lens element and then flush the shutter with Ronsonol … I decided to take a closer look.



Since the shutter was jammed I took the covers and speed cam off of the shutter and took a look. The shutter would cock, and the release released … but not much happened. I cleaned up some gummy stuff and put some Ronsonal on the shutter blades. This helped a bit, sometimes the shutter would release but most of the time not. Hmm, confusion … so I searched the web.

There appears to be a problem that plagues certain Yashica TLR’s … the shutter jam (and not the blueberry kind). In researching the disassembly/repair of the Yashica-44 I came across a number of forum posts concerning shutter jams. In most cases there is a warning from others about forcing the self timer lever if the camera is set for M Sync, or if the shutter is gummed up.

I added some arrows to point at different levers that line up with the speed cam

I took a really close look around the self timer mechanism and discovered … wait for it … still wait … a bent arm. A shutter release arm/lever moves down when the shutter is released, and normally fits into an open slot of the self timer arm. If the self timer is engaged the shutter release arm/lever will will stop at the self timer arm until the slot turns around to the correct position … thus letting the shutter completely release. I am guessing the shutter arm/lever (whatever you want to call it) was bent by the action of someone forcing the self timer lever while the shutter mechanism was partially engaged (possibly due to gummed up shutter blades).

Note: when the sync lever is set to M, a metal cover comes up to stop the self timer arm from engaging … so don’t try to force it, because it is supposed to not work.

Remember to check the pins after putting the speed cam back on … also the shutter release lever is on a spring so it will need to be pushed down a bit when putting the front cover back on.

Yashica-Mat EM – lens and shutter

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I got this as a parts/repair item. The shutter does not move, the camera is covered in stuff, levers are stuck, finder is falling apart, and the focus knob is falling off … a complete tear down is needed.

Tools: dental chisel, screw drivers, qtips.

The first thing I did was remove all of the leatherette, and as expected some came off easy while other parts needed chiseling.

Safety tip: always hold the camera so that your hand is not positioned in front of the chisels movement … otherwise you might end up with a deep gash (I only did this once to get the hint) … don’t point the sharp end at parts of your body !!

Soooo, let’s start with the front.


There are multiple sets of screws holding the different plates on.

The outer four are the largest, and they secure the entire lens assembly to the focus rails. Remove the four large screws and pull off the assembly from the rest of the camera.


The next four set of screws holds the alignment/cover plate on. Remove those and pull off the outside plate. This plate also has the shutter button attached.

The last inner cover is secured by five screws. This cover holds the gears for the aperture and shutter speed dials.

This tends to get stuff gumming up the works, so I give it a good wash of Ronsonol.


At the top of this cover is a clear plastic window that displays the aperture and shutter speed. Most of the Yashica’s that I have encountered have a lot of crap stuck under the window and it has also yellowed over time (though I am not sure if it was slightly yellow to begin with).

Set the aperture and shutter to B / 22 or 500 / 3.5 (as you rotate both dials you can see the movement of the inner rings) … then scribe some reference marks on the bottom rings

Use a spanner wrench to remove the locking rings (note these will be on tight so you may not be able to take them off).

You can then remove all the pieces and do a good cleaning … just remember how they go back.

Set the inner ring aligned with your marks while putting the top set back in.

Now back to the other thing …

The front element group of both the viewing and the taking lens can be unscrewed.

In order to get to the shutter mechanism you need to remove the taking lens front group.

Unscrew it counter clockwise.









If you are here just to clean the shutter or aperture then you do not need to go further. You can access both now.


There is a small screw on the left that will need to be turned in order to unscrew the ring that secures the top plate.


Note the red dot should like up with the screw (in this image it was not aligned yet.



Remove the cover plate.


The speed cam plate aligns with a couple of things underneath so make a note of its position before removing it.


The three slots and shapes set the shutter gears underneath to the various positions for the different speeds.



Now you can clean out the shutter mechanism.


The slow speed set in at 2 o’clock.

Self timer is at the bottom


Shutter cocking is at 11 o’clock.

Shutter release is at 8 o’clock.


In most cases a good dose of Ronsonol and some exercise cleared things up to get everything working again.


Concerning the back end of this …

The shutter is held on by the circular light baffle. You can unscrew this, though it really is not necessary to do so to work on the shutter.

Note: for cameras that have an electronic flash sync (like this one) there is a wire attached to the shutter section that can easily be broken off … so take care.

The shutter release cam will fall off so you may want to detach the spring first. You can now clean this area … and you can access the rear taking lens elements for cleaning.


When putting the front cover piece back on (over the shutter) make sure to set the shutter speed and aperture to fast/wide open, then set the front cover to match … this will align the two pieces. If you turn the dials you should feel the click stops of the shutter speeds and you can view the aperture from the back side.



Mamiya Six type III

This Mamiya Six came as needing some cleaning.

The first thing I noted upon receiving the camera was that the remaining leather covering needed to be removed … which is too bad as it is embossed with the Mamiya labeling. The bellow were fairly worn in the corners and had some yellow mold growing on it. Time to strip it down and completely clean it.

The first thing is to take off the lens. Open the back and use the spanner wrench to loosen the circular retaining nut.

Open the front to extract the lens.

Continue to unscrew the circular retaining nut and then pull the lens off.





The lenses looked fogged so I had to take it apart … and also it give a good opportunity to clean out the shutter gears.

The front cell just unscrews counter clock wise.




The front cell has an outer cover. Loosen the screw in the side then pull it off.

The front cell can then be unscrewed counter clockwise.

Use a rubber tool to unscrew the front element. You can now clean these.

Flip the shutter over.

The rear cell also just unscrews.

Remove it.

Clean the lens.

This image shows the front cell (in the upper left).



To get at the shutter gears … unscrew the thin retaining nut.

Pull off the cover.

Remove the shutter speed cam.

Remove the outer dial.




The lower set is the self timer.

The set in the upper right is the slow shutter speed.

Put some Ronsonol on everything.

Exercise the shutter and aperture.

You can clean crud off the shutter and aperture blades.


Put it back together and set aside.

Open the back.

The film/focus guide moves in/out with the focusing.

It is held in by two tension springs.

Pull the film guide out at the top. You will be able to see that the springs are clipped on.

Gently pull the spring off the clips.

Remove the two springs.

Clean out the back.

The bellows is held onto the body with four retaining clips that are accessible from the back. It is also glued to the the body. Carefully separate it from the inside … don’t just pull it off.

I examined for light leaks using a flashlight … inside and outside.

Patch any holes with liquid electrical tape.

The leather was quite worn so I used a tincture that worked quite well on blackening and also conditioned the leather so it was softer.

Maybe I should have used the tincture first before fixing the holes.

Now lets look inside the top.

The winding knob is removed by unscrewing it counter clock wise.

Take off the single screw to remove the cap.

Four screws around the outer edges need to be removed in order to pull off the top. Flip it over and clean the inside.

The counter dial on the left can just be pulled off. There is a spring underneath it.

Turn the focus dial and note how everything moves.


The lens release button and the shutter button are not secured to anything so you can just pull them off.

View front the front showing the light path.


Clean the mirror, silvered glass, and all other things up there including the red exposure warning arm.

Put the top back on.

Clean out the front door and mechanisms.

Glue the bellows back on and put on retaining clips.

Screw on the front shutter/lens.

Put the film/focus guide back on.

I stripped off all the old leather … the front square piece has the S M logo on it so I made sure to keep it as intact as possible.

I put new leatherette on the body … I recommend  semi soft leather / leatherette as there are curves/bends in the body. I shined up the rusty chrome metal on the front which reveals the brass underneath … I did not do this for the rest of the body so I left the rust there.

Yeah the S M leather piece doesn’t exactly fit with the leatherette, but it needed to be there.

Sadly my Mamiya Six is missing two parts … one the springs holding the film/focus plate is missing and one the knobs on the bottom (to release the film spools) is also missing.

I figure I can make a spring but the knob is something I cannot reproduce.

Time to find a parts camera to complete it.




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