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Any Camera Whisperers out there?

I bought a lovely little vintageYashica, but the shutter blades seem to be stuck. What to do?!

Photo by stratski

A recent aquisition was this lovely Yashica Half 17 Rapid. I have a soft spot for both Rapid cameras and Yashica, so I was very pleasid with this fine specimen in mint condition. Except when I found out a home that it was not quite that mint: the shutter blades are stuck.

I assumed it was just some old lubricant that had gunked up and stuck the blades together So I disassembled the lens, and started working the shutter with lighter fluid.

Photo by stratski

After a bit of cleaning, I could open the shutter. Closing it again took some working on the mechanism. And then it stuck again. In a previous camera cleaning action (different camera), repeated cleaning would eventually get rid of all gunk and the shutter would open and close freely. But this time, an hour of wiping with lighter fluid brought me exactly nothing. Poking the shutter (gently) with a tooth pick will open it, but then it won’t close until I nudge the mechanism a bit. Just firing the shutter wil produce a click, but no movement in the shutter blades. Everything inside the camera looks perfectly clean, nu old oil or gunk clogging anything up.

So now I’m stumped. What else can I do? Should I disassemble the rest of the lens house to see if I can get to the actual mechanism? I’m not too keen on that, my fixing skills are not that great. I tend to mess up little springs and lose screws… Or am I missing someting else here? I would hate for this camera to be just a pretty paper weight.

Are there any camera whisperers out there who can give me a hint?

written by stratski


  1. clickiemcpete


    This is where I get stuck too. I have dozens of cameras that need servicing for similar issues. I send out the more valuable folding ones to an older German man in Pennsylvania who does repairs. Also, there is a great place in New Jersey that has fixed several cameras for me including vintage Leicas, Fujipets and 70's rangefinders. However, you are in Europe so you need to find someone on your side of the pond. Must be plenty of places...try Googling.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. stratski


    Yeah, I should probably get someone else to look at it. But my inner Scrooge is still opposed to spending money on having a 15 euro junk sale camera repaired... ;-)

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. themindseye


    Great camera find. I once had an Electro 35 GSN and loved it. Here are some references that might help you: http://www.yashica-guy.com/index.html http://www.4photos.de/camera-diy/index-en.html http://www.subclub.org/shop/yashica.htm http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Yashica_Half_17_Rapid And another fellow with the same problem and his solution: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55307 Good luck.
    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. concrete-monstaz


    Okay so this is a long shot as I don't really know all that much.
    Is the lightmeter cell either disconnected or are you in a dark room. I have a later Olympus pen and its shutter will not fire unless it has enough light to correctly expose a photo.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. concrete-monstaz


    I mean like a room with out that much light by dark room.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  6. buckshot


    Ha, ha, "camera whisperers" — love it...! :-)

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  7. stratski


    @themindseye, @concrete-monstaz: Thanks for the tips and the useful links. I guess I'll just clean it some more..

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  8. 4br0k3n3rr0r


    I need a camerawhisperer too ;_;
    My Pentax 110 is paralized and my Ricoh 500G strikes...

    11 months ago · report as spam