How to Assemble a Horizon Kompakt


I stumbled upon a dismantled Horizon Kompakt and set to work building it back up again. This is my version of events in the hope it will help other people. This guide can be used for the dismantling too, you just have to read it backwards!

I have been buying broken LC-A and fixing them and wanted to go on to bigger and more adventurous things. I then spotted a somewhat fully dismantled Horizon Kompakt for £25 on a popular auction site. With a constant eye for a bargain/challenge I bought it. I then realised there is next to no information on the repair of a Horizon Kompakt on the internet. Thinking I had dropped a clanger, I very un-optimistically set to work repairing it and somehow, with the occasional help from my boyfriend, I now have a fully assembled* Horizon Kompakt!

*The camera came with the cocking lever broken so I had to improvise with an eye screw.

Before I begin, I will first apologize for the quality of the photos. I used my camera phone to document the repair (as the cost in film would have been horrendous). Secondly, I’m sharing the only website I was able to find help along the way which documents the dismantle and repair of a Horizont, which is a slightly similar set up for the Perfekt. Thirdly, I will say that this repair is completely made up. I am not a professional, I just persisted for a month til my camera was working again.

Please read through all of this guide as there are some things you should know about before you dismantle your Kompakt. This camera is fully mechanical, meaning its momentum is spring-loaded. You will need to know where the spring is so you can avoid it.

My camera started out as a shell. The only things still attached were the two winding knobs on the top of the camera. The first thing to do is attach the gold cog mechanism to the bottom of the camera, using 3 screws.

Then, insert the gold plug into the hole in the bottom of the camera next to the gold mechanism.

Then, drop the large cog inside the barrel of the camera, and mount it on the top of the plug.

The holes on this cog match up with the prongs on the bottom of the camera barrel. Drop the barrel into the camera shell, on top of the cog, and rotate it until the prongs engage with the holes in the cog and the barrel drops into place. The barrel should now be engaged with the gold cog mechanism and the two should rotate with each other.

Inside the bottom of the barrel is the spring. This is wound and kept in place by the gold plug pictured above. Because my camera was already dismantled I had to wind the spring and secure it in place myself. If you can avoid it, do not unscrew the gold plug from its place on the camera. If you do, the last screw will launch off and the spring will unwind. It is extremely hard work trying to engage the plug with the spring again.

To engage the spring with the plug, you have to remove the plug from the camera shell and reposition the spring so the end of it meets the middle prong. I have tried to illustrate this in the drawing below. Once that is done, you need to line up the cut outs in the sides of the plug, with the spring, and push the plug onto the spring, hopefully trapping the spring in one of the cut outs of the plug. You now need to wind the spring up by using a small Phillips screw driver to insert in the screw hole at 1 o’clock and winding the plug anti-clockwise. Continue winding and if the plug starts to unwind then you know that you have engaged the spring correctly.

Keep winding until:

a) you feel a change in resistance;
b) you can’t hold the plug anymore (as it will be trying to unwind).

Use three screws to secure the plug in place, starting at 12 o’clock and using each alternate hole. You should find if you cock the barrel by hand, it should recoil. It should also be affected by using the speed switch. You should have one fast setting and one slow setting. Make sure the barrel reaches the end of its travel, and that it doesn’t slow down at all. If it slows then this may mean the spring needs winding more.

Now, you have the spring mechanism working you need to work on rebuilding the top of the camera. Using a small screw and a very flat washer, screw the odd shaped piece of copper to the blue cog, in the position shown.

Use another small screw to secure the coil of wire on the blue cog. The longer side of the wire will hook under a flap in the copper.

Place the circle piece that has 3 screw holes and a prong, onto the long prong of the blue cog. Secure it in place with 3 screws so the prong is above the larger of the two circles in the blue cog. Now mount the blue cog into the top of the barrel. A small thin prong with protrude from the barell and slot in the curved slot of the blue cog.

Using a small screw, screw the shutter release button to the back wall of the camera.

When you manually cock the barrel, the barrel should lock into place. If it doesn’t, you may find the black centre of the gold plug at the bottom of the camera needs tightening. That will move the barrel up more so the shutter release button properly engages with the small prong on the blue cog.

Now screw the tiny metal “P” shape to hole at the front of the camera, above the blue cog.

Mount the large metal piece with the arced hole onto the long prong of the blue cog and screw it into place using 3 small screws.

Now, screw the L shaped piece of metal to the screw hole in the large metal piece, making sure the small prong that is sitting in the arched hole of the blue cog sits in front of this piece.

Place the black cocking lever disc onto the top of the long prong coming from the blue cog, and secure it into place with the small metal screw/washer.

Your camera should now work fully. Check that the lens at the back of the camera is covered whilst cocking, but is uncovered once the shutter release is pressed and the barrel is taking the picture. If it is, you are ready to put the housing back on.

Screw the silver door latch and black cover onto the side of the camera. The silver latch should butt up to the winding knob, and when you lift the knob, the latch should lift.

Mount the back door of the housing to the back of the camera shell by using the silver pins.

Remove the shutter release button from its spring. Slide the back housing onto the open door and push the hinge into place.

Replace the shutter button by watching it onto the spring from the front. Screw the back housing into place with 4 screws in the given holes. Put the viewfinder in its place, partially cock the camera and slide the cocking lever through the gap in the front housing. Put the two silver latches in the sides of the camera housing, these are for the strap.

Snap together the front housing to the back, screw the circle cap into the top of the housing above the viewfinder, and secure the front housing to the camera using the two screw holes provided. If your door latch is not complete, screw the small silver “T” bar to the inside of the door and that acts at the latch.

Voila! That is your camera back in one piece again!

I had a couple of bits left over; if you have any idea what they are, please let me know!

I didn’t get an instruction booklet with this camera, so I have no idea how the counter works, but it seems to be a manual thing. Can anyone confirm that?

I hope this tutorial helps someone in the future, it was fun getting to the bottom of this project!

written by hazy_baby on 2012-04-11 #gear #tutorials #kompakt #camera #tutorial #repair #tipster #horizon #lomography #fix #assemble


  1. hazy_baby
    hazy_baby ·

    I have worked out the counter so to speak. You wind it clockwise to advance the film, and it will lock into place when it reaches the next frame. However I am still not sure about if it resets to 0 when you remove the film or if you have to do that bit yourself?

  2. jackpumpkinhead
    jackpumpkinhead ·

    Like a boss! x

  3. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Amazing! I completely broke the pressure plate on my Mamiya C330 when all I was trying to do was change the light seals. I have much respect for anyone who can rebuild a Horizon from scratch! I hope you enjoy the camera!

  4. hazy_baby
    hazy_baby ·

    Thank you very much! I do greatly enjoy the Horizon, I had wanted one for quite a long time but they had all been out of my price range. To find one for £25 seemed a hard oppurtunity to miss. I am really glad I did it, believe me it was hard and there was a lot of times I almost gave up, but each time I solved a problem I was stuck on it just gave me the will to carry on. I knew once I had finished that I had to write it all up just so other people have the help I didnt.

  5. crazyglinc
    crazyglinc ·

    a wonderfully scruffy camera, i hope that your not being cheeky with a backwards article :-)

  6. sobiksaabik
    sobiksaabik ·

    You might spray the whole body, when you had it disassembled, it looks quite bad...

  7. hazy_baby
    hazy_baby ·

    Re colouring it is the next plan, for the time being I think I will relish in actually having fixed the camera. In the grand scheme of things I think the fact the bodywork needs a retouch is just a drop in the ocean, thanks for pointing it out tho...

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