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Rodenstock Heligon 50/2 Agfa Karat 36 Rangef. - Stiff focus
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Rodenstock Heligon 50/2 Agfa Karat 36 Rangef. - Stiff focus Reply with quote

I've bought this wonderful piece:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/281093595230?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
Wonderful item! Comes with interesting Rodenstock Heligon 50/2 lens.
Camera has nice haptics, very nice build, it's compact, it has an large and bright all-in-one-viewfinder/rangefinder.
All imho much better than Fed, Zorki, etc.
According to some German forums it was mainly used by reporters/press in Germany because it was an good alternative to Leica M3 due the lower price but similar haptics and compactness and decent quality.
Once it was comparable expensive (~400DM which are around ~1000 today incl. inflation) but still cheaper than Leica M3.

Cosmetically my copy is a dream! Rangefinder and lens optics are also clean an clear. Shutter is working ok, fast times online a little unaccurate.

But the focus of my copy is extremly stiff! Sad It takes 30s to focus from infinity to 1m. Not usable!
Any idea how to make it working again?

To slaughter the lens would be a huge sacrifice, as it's in a like-new condition except the stiff focus.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2023 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

many years later, I have 2 f these now in working condition
The stiff focus is the result of the agfa green grease curse in the helicoids
The only way to cure it is to dismount the lens/shutter assembly and clean the focusing helicoids.
Use some moly or lithium grease (very little) after that to lubricate the assembly but t keep it tight and not super easy to move



PFMac has a very good set of photos in flickr showin the process, I didnt go so deep but got it working
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjyUvJs5

Andof course you can also follow Chris Sherlock's super detailed service videos
https://youtu.be/DBQeIHMq4Ws?si=HVf-s1S1hRtdSbI_