Topcon Wink E Mirror strip down – part one

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Topcon Wink E Mirror 35mm slr for a few pounds on eBay and I spent a couple of hours today stripping it down to fix a problem with the shutter cocking.

When I first received the camera I cocked the shutter once and the camera seemed to work properly. However, once I tripped the shutter I couldn’t get it to cock again, and the shutter blades were closed, so I started to try to find out what was wrong with it.

These pictures can be viewed full sized here.

The Topcon Wink E Mirror is a 35mm SLR camera with a fixed lens and a leaf shutter. This design is more complex than a standard 35mm slr because the shutter is in front of the mirror which means to focus and compose a picture the shutter has to be open and the mirror down. Since the film has to be kept dark at this point, there is a light shield behind the mirror which is in place during the focus and composition phase of picture taking. Because of this fact, I knew that taking it apart and fixing it was bound to be more complex than a ‘standard’ slr.

The easiest place to start was the bottom cover which was just held in place with four screws – you don’t need to remove the screws around the tripod bush. With the four screws out I could see that there seemed to be a problem with the shutter release catch because it was locked out of position. I think it is simply that the spring which holds it in place is not in the right position and it’s easy to fix, but that is only a side issue – moving it into the correct position only locked the film advance, probably because the film advance wasn’t moving it’s full extent.

Since I couldn’t find anything untoward in the bottom of the camera I turned my attention to the top cover and removed that. Again, this was relatively easy although taking the top off the film advance was a bit tricky. It has no holes or screws, it just needs to be gripped and turned but using any sort of gripping tool will damage it. In the end I used some very strong carpet tape wrapped round some rubber strip and that provided enough grip (and stick) to unscrew it. Once that was off the rest of the top was easy enough. Unfortunately, there was nothing obviously wrong under the top cover, although I did find the light meter marker was stuck and freed it up just by moving it with a pair of tweezers.

Next I removed the trim from around the front of the lens by taking off a retaining piece at the bottom of the lens and removing two screws at the top which were under the cloth trim. I hoped that with the trim removed I could see more of how the shutter cocking mechanism worked but removing the trim didn’t really make much difference, so I had to remove the shutter unit from the camera.

The Wink E is similar in construction to the Rank Auto-Lux in that the shutter and mirror box can all be removed from the camera body in a single piece. I peeled back the camera covering from the front and removed the 4 screws which held the front in place and, once the linkage from the bottom of the camera had been unscrewed, the whole of the shutter, mirror box and focusing screen came out.

With the unit out of the camera body I tried to cock the shutter again using the linkage on the bottom of the unit but found that the action wouldn’t complete properly. In fact, as I moved the linkage, the light shield in the back of the camera start to wind down which is actually the movement I would expect for the start of releasing the shutter!

So at the moment I am working out what is wrong with my camera but I thought that it would be worth publishing some pictures showing how I got it apart since I’ve not found any information on the web for his camera.

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