Wednesday, August 08, 2012

My OLD Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera

Flexaret IIIa 
(1951–1956), Twin Lens Reflex (TLR, WiKi) Camera
Made by Meopta in the former Czechoslovakia

  • Shutter: Prontor-S (B, T, 1–1/300s) synchronized shutter.
  • Viewing Lens: Anastigmat 80mm 1:3.0.
  • Taking Lens: Meopte Mira II F80mm 1: 3.5 to F22

This camera been in my possession for near 30 years but as the dates above show this camera is around 56 years old or as near as I can figure with the dates given. This camera was born about the same time when I was born. While in my possession sitting on a display shelf neglected for the 30 years the poor old thing had stopped working, it's shutter wouldn't operate. 

I would have to look inside in order to diagnose the problem and to see if I could get this little bit of 'history' working. After some research on the NET I was informed in order to get at it's shutter mechanism all I needed to do was to unscrew it's 'Taking' lens. The research also suggested the typical cause of shutter malfunctions in these particular cameras was it's gummed up works due to old age of the lubricant used. So I unscrewed the 'Taking Lens' and after looking at it's shutter mechanism I found it was indeed as the advice suggested. All she really needed was a little cleaning as the old lubricants had solidified thus stopping the shutter from operating smoothly. After cleaning with Isopropyl Alcohol and re-lubing with a light machine oil I was now able to operate the camera leaving the issues to deal with was the dirt on the view screen and lenses (inside and outside) and the cosmetic issues seen on the outside. 

Fantastic now the camera is working like new, would only need to find some FILM (that 'strange stuff' put inside cameras before Digital Cameras), clean the lenses and we would be "off to the races" as they say. 

Now the camera proved itself can work I would really like to get it's exterior looking like it was when new. As we see in the photo it's looking a little beat up after being neglected for so long. However I have no clue on how to proceed or how I'm going to get that job done remains to seen?

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