Kodak Retina Reflex S shutter repair

Having stripped down and successfully cleaned and re-assembled the film advance mechanism on my Kodak Retina Reflex S, the next part I needed to get working was the shutter, and this post documents how I did that.

These pictures can be viewed full sized here.

Again I am indebted to the article on the Retina Reflex site which explains how to carry out the strip down and rebuild of the retina reflex s shutter.

With the shutter unit off the camera I first had a play around trying to cock and release the shutter and found that I could actually get it to work but since I had a good set of instructions, and since the shutter would probably need a service anyway, I proceeded to strip it down and get everything properly cleaned out.

As it turned out it was probably a good idea that I did strip it down and clean it all out because when the slow speed unit was out of the lens I could see there was quite a bit of oil contamination underneath it which presumably is better removed so it can’t gum up the mechanism.

The only problems I had during the process was with the fitting of some of the very fine springs around the shutter release area and a problem with the front assembly lever which was missing its cap.

The springs were really just a question of being so very fine I had trouble seeing them, even with the large illuminated magnifier I use to see the shutter. Also, they are actually quite difficult to manipulate because it always feels as if they are going to pull out of shape.

Once I’d gone through the whole strip down and was completing the final reassembly I found that the lock lever (which is one of the last items fitted back into the shutter) didn’t properly work. I had everything back and was testing that the shutter would cock and fire properly but I found that the cocking ring wouldn’t latch and the shutter fired itself as the ring returned to its rest position. This turned out the be a very fine spring at the bottom of the post the lock lever sits on which was not pushed over the bottom of the post into its channel but instead was holding the lock lever very slightly proud. It was a microscopic amount, but it stopped the cocking ring from latching! Once I got it correctly positioned everything was ok.

The other issue I had was with the lever on the front assembly which sits under the flash sync switch. It has a small plastic cap which had fallen off, and I had to stick it back on with super glue. A pair of tweezers and an elastic band proved very useful as a jig to hold it in place while I did this. Once that was on everything seemed to work properly again.

With the shutter now working and back in the front assembly I have two jobs left to do. The first is to restring the exposure meter because the original string has broken, and the other is to reassemble the camera and get the timing of the shutter and film advance set up. Both jobs are quite arduous – the first because there is no guidance and the second because it is a fiddly and time consuming process. Hopefully my next post will describe how I restrung the exposure meter.



Categories: Kodak, Photography, Repair, Vintage

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