I bought a new Miranda camera this week – a Miranda D-r which unfortunately had a few issues, the most pressing of which was the shutter release which fired once when I first received the camera, but then stuck with the film advance frozen. I managed to find out what I needed to do to repair it this afternoon so this is a short post describing the procedure. To view the pictures either click on the gallery below or follow this link which shows the pictures in full size.
I had already taken the bottom off the camera and given the mechanism in there a light coat of oil, because I found this fixed a similar type of problem with my Sensormat cameras. However in this case it wasn’t doing anything, so I decided I needed to go a step further and look around the actual shutter button mechanism. This was a little more scary because it meant peeling the front covering off the camera and removing panels without really knowing what I would find or what was behind them. Still, the camera is useless unless the shutter fires so I thought, ‘why not?’
So, with the bottom cover removed I peeled back the covering around the shutter release button to reveal a small panel held on with two small screws. I removed these and tried to pull the panel out but found it was quite tightly fixed under the lens mount cover. So I removed the three small screws holding the chrome lens mount cover in place and pulled that off the front of the camera. With that off I still couldn’t remove the panel, so I also removed the three small screws around the shutter release button itself.
With those removed I found I could prise the panel up with a small screwdriver pushed into the corner of the panel – it came up with a pop and the two screws which I had left sitting in their holes disappeared behind me! Fortunately I was able to find them again.
With the panel removed I could lift the shutter release button out of it’s position and look at how the shutter mechanism worked. It was actually quite difficult to see what was happening because I was starting from a position of the shutter being locked to start with so I couldn’t fire it a few times and watch it working.
Eventually after a bit of prodding about I found that the shutter works by pressing down (towards the bottom of the camera) the large metal plate which is screwed to the brass rod in the pictures above. What was/is happening in my case is that the brass rod is going down and staying down rather than springing back up.
I added a small amount of light oil to the top and bottom of the brass rod to see if that will stop it sticking, and it has in about 50% of occasions but it still sticks the other 50% of times. What I can’t yet work out is if it is simply dry and needs the oil to work through or if the spring which should return it is weak. I’ve decided to work the shutter a few times to see it it improves, and if it doesn’t try to see what should be returning the rod.
A day later and the shutter still sticks after firing so although I know what is causing the shutter to stick I don’t yet know how to repair it. There must be something which returns the bar to the initial position, but I can’t yet figure out what it is so I’m going to see if one of my other Miranda cameras with a front mounted shutter release has a similar arrangement and try to figure it out that way.
I took the bottom plate and front plate off my Miranda F donor camera to see it I could see how the shutter bar is returned. On the model F there is a small spring mounted in the bottom of the camera which pushes on the end of the shutter bar to apply some pressure and push the bar back. However when I took that spring off and fitted it to the model D it didn’t apply enough force to return the bar after the shutter is triggered, and interestingly, removing it from the model F didn’t stop it from working properly, so I don’t think my model D is simply missing that spring. Next item on the agenda is to get the top plate off the camera.