Author Topic: The Isolette III Restoration  (Read 3310 times)

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jharr

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The Isolette III Restoration
« on: February 02, 2016, 11:31:57 PM »
Sorry for just linking things here (not sure if that's kosher), but to copy all of the text and photos would be onerous.



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Rafael Morales

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 09:47:00 PM »
 Great article! I have an Isolette but the lens looks a little blue hazy. Is this normal?  :o is there a way to get it clean safely? Btw my bellows appear to be fine. I looked for holes with a very strong flashlight in a dark room.

jharr

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 04:27:58 AM »
Thanks Rafael. My lens is hazy also (inside of the front element). I think that whatever coating they put on there didn't stand up to the cleaning I did, but it doesn't seem to have affected the images, at least to my eye. If it is affecting your images, then I would go ahead and take off that front element and see if you can clean it. Of course that means you will have to collimate it once you put it back on. It's not hard. If the haze is on the back element,even better. That one comes out pretty easily with the spanner (get a cheap one from China on an auction site). That one just screws down tight. No collimation required.

You are lucky on the bellows. If they are original, keep checking periodically. I haven't heard of one yet that didn't need replacing. Keeping the camera unfolded will probably extend the life of the bellows as well. I don't know if there is any kind of leather cream or anything like that recommended for camera bellows leatherette to keep it supple. It might be worth looking into.
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Sandeha Lynch

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 08:02:48 AM »
That's a great write up.  [thumbs up]  :)

Nigel

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 09:12:30 PM »
Hi James, I have a Isolette III, with a jammed rangefinder and a sticky shutter, that's been sitting on my shelf for at least 5 years so this seems like the ideal February project. I thought that before I start I'd get the lens tool on order as I guess that's going to take at least couple of weeks to arrive, do you have a link to the one you ordered?

I'm tempted to have ago at making the bellows but I do have a set of Sandeha's lovely bellows on my Isolette I and seems a shame for this camera to have an inferior pair - I'll have to think about that one!
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jharr

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 11:05:48 PM »
Sounds like yours is in the very same condition as mine was. The range finder is the easy part. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't take apart the aperture blades. That took too long to get back together. Another thing I learned, but I can't remember if I wrote it in the blog is that the lens elements might come apart fairly easily and then refuse to go back together. I have found this to be the case on a few different lenses. Once apart, the threads need to be meticulously cleaned with lighter fluid and cotton swabs and toothpicks and whatever else you can get in there. Then just the tiniest touch of lithium grease and they will go back together nice and smooth. If there is any old grease or dirt in the threads, you will spend hours trying to get them to line up, thinking you cross-threaded them, etc. Save yourself the grief and take the time to clean them.

I find this style of tool to work best.

http://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Professional-pointed-Spanner-Repairing/dp/B00J5F6O92

I like that it has an extra set of holes to put the bracing bar through in case I need a little more depth.

Good luck with your project. I will help where I can. Also Jurgen at Certo-Six is a fount of information and helped me with this restoration. He's a really nice guy too.
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Nigel

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 08:46:41 AM »
Thanks James, I appreciate the advice. I'm sure I'll be coming back to you for some more at some point.

Lens tool on order. I'll start to look at the rangefinder at the weekend.
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imagesfrugales

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 11:16:28 AM »
Great article, James. You're the bravest man making a new bellows yourself and it looks so nice.

2 points to discuss:

I love the Prontor-S shutter, it is reliable and easy to work on. According to Jurgen Kreckel (again and who is a very kind man) the Compur shutters are 8 times more often unrepairably broken. Did you open it from behind? I would never open the shutter from behind if not needed. When all lens elements are dismantled, it's easy to open the shutter from the front and clean it. No hassle with the aperture blades, they all stay in position. No loose parts fly away. Let sit the opened shutter for an hour in the cleaning bath, I use isopropanol, it's much less agressive than lighter fluid. Cock and fire the wet shutter and move the aperture, it will clean most probably everything. Repeat the process if neccessary. When the shutter is again well dried, some tiny drops of machine oil may be necessary applied at the axle of some gears. Wipe off immediately any excess. Cock and fire the shutter with the speed ring held in position to see if everything works. Before re-mounting put a tiny wiff of oil on the shutter disk and speed ring for smooth handling.

If you have a well collimated lens it's not neccessary to recollimate it again. Mark the infinity position of the front lens after removing the focusing ring and mark the position of the lens when it comes off. Mount it at the same thread position and screw it in completely, then screw out until the mark for infinity matches. Infinity is usually a small fraction of a turn back from the completely screwed in position. The second and the rear lens element are simply screwed in as far as they go. Of course after dismantling the film mask and replacing the bellows a new collimation is needed, but if you only want to clean the shutter and the glasses it's not necessary if the lens had a good infinity focus before.

Good luck with your fine Isolette, she could survive all of us.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 11:20:39 AM by imagesfrugales »

jharr

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 02:48:17 PM »
Thanks Reinhold. I should have contacted you at the beginning of the project!
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Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 08:50:50 PM »
I can vouch for the Prontor-S' "repairablity"... if that's a word.
It's the shutter I have on my Meopta Flexaret IIIa. When I got the camera, the shutter was pretty well seized. And since I like my cameras to work, I opened it up to see what was binding. All it needed was about 1/2 a drop of sewing machine oil on a few pinions. I used a syringe with a needle to put the oil on.

If it's the same as on the Flexaret, to open it, you remove the front lens, remove the collar making sure the locking half screw is in the correct position. For me, that was the hardest thing to do. The only drawback is that once you loosen the front element, you loose your infinity focus mark. The focus is set with a collar that is tightened against the front element. You really need a spanner for that part...
Francois

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Nigel

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 09:13:47 PM »
My Isolette has the Synchro-compur shutter, which the Google tells me isn't so easy to work on.

I have found this however: http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/synchro-compur.html

And this for the rangefinder:

http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/topplate.html

http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/html/rangefinder_service_1.html

In a slightly geeky way I've taken to clipping all these things into Evernote (other all-purpose-data-storage-systems are available), in case the site disappears at some time.

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Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2016, 09:25:54 PM »
Wise decision. I used to rip the sites with Acrobat for the same reason.
Francois

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jojonas~

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 11:22:33 AM »
My Isolette has the Synchro-compur shutter, which the Google tells me isn't so easy to work on.

I have found this however: http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/synchro-compur.html

And this for the rangefinder:

http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/topplate.html

http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/html/rangefinder_service_1.html

In a slightly geeky way I've taken to clipping all these things into Evernote (other all-purpose-data-storage-systems are available), in case the site disappears at some time.





I followed that for mine.
though I don´t seem to be able to remove the film adv knob :/ so the RF is still stuck
/jonas

jharr

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2016, 04:13:20 PM »
I followed that for mine.
though I don´t seem to be able to remove the film adv knob :/ so the RF is still stuck

I mutilated the film adv knob on mine until I realized it was reverse threaded.  ::)
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Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2016, 02:18:26 PM »
Yikes!
Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2016, 05:02:49 PM »
Yikes!



Well mutilating might be over stating it and it's really just the screw on top.
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Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2016, 02:00:33 PM »
Pfew... At least it didn't turn out like a few of the cameras I "repaired" beyond any chance of repair  :-\
Francois

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2016, 02:54:26 PM »
whoa! that looks scary :O
yeah, I understand that it's reversed. I'm gonna try and loan some better tools and give it another go sometime.
/jonas

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2016, 08:42:05 PM »
Pfew... At least it didn't turn out like a few of the cameras I "repaired" beyond any chance of repair  :-\

Been there. Recently  :P

Nigel

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2016, 10:00:13 PM »
Following James's instructions I thought I'd start on the rangefinder, it seemed the less daunting part of the process. The adjustment was almost jammed solid. With a few drips of isobutanol and a bit of wiggling back-and-forth it soon loosened up as good as new. I've added a couple of drops of oil and cleaned off an surplus.

I'm cleaning the top and then on to the lens - there I'm not quite so confident.
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jharr

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Re: The Isolette III Restoration
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2016, 12:13:01 AM »
Following James's instructions I thought I'd start on the rangefinder, it seemed the less daunting part of the process. The adjustment was almost jammed solid. With a few drips of isobutanol and a bit of wiggling back-and-forth it soon loosened up as good as new. I've added a couple of drops of oil and cleaned off an surplus.

I'm cleaning the top and then on to the lens - there I'm not quite so confident.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a properly functioning range finder. Congrats on the first step Nigel.
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