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Fixing a Voigtländer Vitoret D
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Fixing a Voigtländer Vitoret D Reply with quote

Hi colleagues!

As you know, I like the small compact/rangefinder film cameras, and I've got several Voigtländer Vitorets. Why?. The Vitoret was my first "serious" camera when I was fourteen. My uncle Camilo lent me his during the summer. I keep some pictures taken with that Vitoret, but unfortunately not the negatives. My uncle died long ago, and his camera was lost. I'd have been happy if I could keep it. So kind of nostalgic feeling, I bought my first Vitoret past year.
It's a basic camera with only three shutter speeds, (125, 60, 30) and Bulb. The lens was a Color-Lanthar 2.8/50 with a Prontor shutter. Not too sophisticated, but I was able to shot interesting pictures in the past, so I'd like to try it again, 42 years later.
I noticed a screw missing on the top cover, so I looked for a damaged one for spares. And I found a Vitoret "D" that besides the same basic configuration, added a selenium light meter. It cost me just 1€ (plus shipping), and when I received it I noticed the camera had the shutter trigger stuck. Not a problem with the blades not moving, but no way of triggering the shutter. So I took the screw I needed and left the camera in the stock box.
This evening, after coming back from work, I opened the box looking for something else, and I saw the camera staring at me from the bottom of the box. Could I fix it? I asked myself. (You know, I'm mad for fixing broken things...). For just one €, I could well try it. And maybe my experience could be useful for any of you.
In the first place, there is NO disassemly info on these Voigtländers in the net at all. Maybe they are too basic to be of any interest.



I set my workbench up (the table at the dining room, you know, I live in a small flat).
After looking around the camera and inside it, I saw only two places where it could be accessable: Under the top cover and from the front side, where the lens is. (Internally I could see four screws that had to be screwed from the front of the camera).
Taking out the top cover was easy. Not having the three fixing small screws, the top cover was loose. The only retainer was the rewinding rod. I saw a shim on the top of it that should be glued, so I applied some Isopropylic alcohol to loosen it, and I could take it out. Below was the end of a screw, so pulling it up and holding the axe I could unscrew the top rod and free the top cover:



So I could get inside the top cover. The viewfinder and the light meter were loose, some screws also missing. The previous owner obviously did try to fix it as well, but it seems with no much luck.
From there I was able to unlock the winding crank by pushing on one of the pieces next to the trigger. But the trigger didn't activate.



That meant I had to go inside and do a frontal attack: First step, unmount the shutter trigger by unscrewing the small screw that retains it:



That was the last mechanical part to remove:



Next step was to pull the leatherette out. I used a Q-tip to soften the adhesive, and then carefully pulling the leatherette. It went out quite easily, showing the expected screws:



Both sides showed the same behaviour so I could see the four screws:



Next step was to unscrew them to unmount the lens ensemble:



At this time I felt quite nervous: I was in front of a real camera corpse... The body side seemed to be in good shape.




Now I could activate the shutter trigger without problems. The silver pin on top of the golden part in the front is who actuates the shutter inside the lens, and was moving. So the problem should be inside the lens. Let's look inside it:



Ooops!!!... What's doing these round shim with a paper label on it labelled "15"?. It looks like not a part of the lens ensemble....
I took it out with the pliers.



Voil?!. The shutter now is acting!!!!



Let's reassemble the lens and glue the viewfinder and the lightmeter in place:



And now put the top cover in place:



Well, it does work!!! So, I'm almost done!. The final pass will be to glue the leatherette on, but at this time I'm unsure about which glue should I use...
Any clues?.

I'm afraid that I will even try to replace the leatherette for something more fashion...

Well and that's all by now, folks!

Jes.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guide Jes, many thanks!


PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Nice guide Jes, many thanks!


You're welcome, Attila Smile.

Jes.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Shocked

Jes you are going all the way in! This is a really nice visit to refurbishing this camera. It will be great to see some photos from it Cool

Andy


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

F16SUNSHINE wrote:
WOW! Shocked

Jes you are going all the way in! This is a really nice visit to refurbishing this camera. It will be great to see some photos from it Cool

Andy


Hi Andy, for sure I'll be shooting with it in short, now that the sun has come back to us... Smile

Jes.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to properly finish this story, a new suit was needed for the Vitoret. I was looking for an old agenda that was distributed two years ago at the office. My workmate Javier had three of them and was so kind of supply me with them, so I got a nice leatherette stock in red colour...
It was not difficult to cut the same shapes and to glue it to the body.
This is the final result, isn't it sexy? Smile



Jes.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations, a nice work Smile


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Congratulations, a nice work Smile

Thanks, Orio!


PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:

This is the final result, isn't it sexy? Smile



Jes.


Nicely done, Jes. We'll all be sending you dodgy cameras to work on. Ever thought of setting up as a repair tech?


PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farside wrote:

Nicely done, Jes. We'll all be sending you dodgy cameras to work on. Ever thought of setting up as a repair tech?


Hi Dave,

Thanks for your words!.

According the current regulations, I will be able to retire in some 9 years. I would like then be dedicated to the photography full time. Maybe if I got expertise enough to fix cameras, I could do it for a living, because retirement means an important drop of incomes...

And yes, please. If any of you have a damaged camera that thinks is beyond repair, don't throw it away. May contain good parts that can be used to fix some other. (Ever for small screws).

I'm preparing some more tutorials on resealing some other brand/models, and I'll try to fix the sprockets on the lynx and the Chinon in short, I got some ideas on how to override the lack of spares.

Jes.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your work is always inspirational, and the red leatherette looks rather dashing.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard_D wrote:
Your work is always inspirational, and the red leatherette looks rather dashing.


Thanks Richard, the red leatherette comes from recycling an old agenda's cover. Wink but it serves to the purpose...


Jes.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Fixing a Voigtländer Vitoret D Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:
Ooops!!!... What's doing these round shim with a paper label on it labelled "15"?. It looks like not a part of the lens ensemble....
I took it out with the pliers.


So do you know where it belongs Jes? Won't the camera malfunction without it?


PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Fixing a Voigtländer Vitoret D Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
Jesito wrote:
Ooops!!!... What's doing these round shim with a paper label on it labelled "15"?. It looks like not a part of the lens ensemble....
I took it out with the pliers.


So do you know where it belongs Jes? Won't the camera malfunction without it?


No, Peter. I haven't seen any place where it could fit... Looks like some kind of label, and the camera seems to work well without it.

Jes.