Miranda Sensorex Shutter Capping Issue

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noahsmith

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Hi all,

I have a Miranda Sensorex that recently started having what I think are some shutter capping issues. The last few rolls I have developed showed a quarter and sometimes half of the image unexposed. I wasn't using a flash for any of these rolls and was shooting from speeds of 1/60 to 1/1000.

I've opened up the bottom of the camera and tried to put a little bit of oil to some of the cogwheels, hoping that would help but it hasn't. I've attached images below of the bottom of the camera, does anyone have suggestions on how to fix this issue? Thanks!
 

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narsuitus

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Please forgive me if I sound bitter but I am. In 1967, I saved enough money to buy my first SLR, a brand new Miranda Sensorex. That camera broke three times within the first two years of its three-year warrantee.

Be thankful if shutter capping issues are the only problems you have had with this camera.

Good luck repairing yours. Even Miranda's certified repair shop had difficulty repairing mine.
 

RichardJack

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Hi,
I own several Sensorex cameras and have never had that problem. Somewhere buried I think I have a repair manual but it would take a serious search to locate it. My point here is I was able to buy a copy of the manual on the web about 10 years ago, do a web search and you might find the guy who is selling them. If it wasn't for the fact that your black body is rare I would of told you to buy another and be done with it. I usually use Ronco Lighter fluid to free up moving parts. Repeat this post in the repair section.
Maybe this might help: http://www.photobooksonline.com/books/manual19.html
good luck,
Rick
 

E. von Hoegh

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Your camera is what, 50~ years old?
A capping shutter is a common symptom of degraded lubricants, and your camera most likely needs a complete overhaul - meaning disassembly, cleaning out of old lubricants, and reassembly/relubrication. Many lubrication points are not accessible when the camera is assembled, nor can it be properly cleaned when assembled, hence the popularity of the lighter fluid kludge. If you want a camera that smells of lighter fluid and still doesn't work, by all means, try it.

I have an earlier Miranda Fv that has been a very reliable camera, it's never been serviced and 1/1000 is starting to cap. This is what old cameras do, be they cheapos or Leicas.

Buying another means you will be dealing with the same or similar issues sooner or later.
 
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John Wiegerink

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I bought mine in Vietnam and it never missed a lick there and I used it when I got home for more than 25yrs. Gave it to my son and have no idea where it's at now. It was a good camera, not great, but good. The lenses were very good too.
 

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I'm glad to see someone still shooting with a Miranda. While not the best SLR of the era (even though "Consumer Reports" magazine said it was the best SLR back in 1969, it was a pleasure to shoot.
They are dirt cheap now, but their lenses are difficult to mount on other cameras (but why would anyone want to?). They were ahead of their time in several ways, the meter was built into the body and could meter with any finder, a feature not found on a Nikon until 1980 and the F3.
I hope the thread author has fixed his problem, it's still a fun camera to run a roll of film through now and then.
 
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noahsmith

noahsmith

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Thanks for the helpful suggestions everyone. It sounds like this is a problem I won't be able to fix myself unfortunately. The weird thing is, when looking at the shutter curtain with the backdoor open, I don't see anything unusual. I wish the problem was more obvious so I could know for sure. I've attached an image from the last roll I developed which makes me think its a shutter capping issue, can anyone else confirm?
 

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shutterfinger

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With no film in the camera open the camera back, set the shutter speed to B, cock the shutter then position the camera so that you can see the shutter curtain clearly and trip the shutter and hold it open. Observe how the first curtain moves, smooth consistent speed or jerky, release the shutter observing the second curtain movement, is it smooth or does it speed up or is it jerky.
Set the shutter to 1 second and observe the curtain movements. Continue up the speed settings observing that the slit between curtains gets smaller with the increase in speed and should stay a consistent width across the image plane.
Most can monitor the curtain slit up to 1/60 second.

The product discussed in this thread (there was a url link here which no longer exists) may be the ticket you need.
 
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noahsmith

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With no film in the camera open the camera back, set the shutter speed to B, cock the shutter then position the camera so that you can see the shutter curtain clearly and trip the shutter and hold it open. Observe how the first curtain moves, smooth consistent speed or jerky, release the shutter observing the second curtain movement, is it smooth or does it speed up or is it jerky.
Set the shutter to 1 second and observe the curtain movements. Continue up the speed settings observing that the slit between curtains gets smaller with the increase in speed and should stay a consistent width across the image plane.
Most can monitor the curtain slit up to 1/60 second.

The product discussed in this thread (there was a url link here which no longer exists) may be the ticket you need.

Thanks for the info, I've just recorded a video testing out the shutter starting from Bulb all the way to 1/1000 second with the lens off facing my computer screen and the the camera backdoor open.



I'm not familiar with this kind of stuff but it seems like the curtain is sporadic with the width. Thoughts? Can you let me know if you think this might be fixed by spraying some of that WD-40 into the cogwheels? Or, if you think this is going to be a lost cause?
 

shutterfinger

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More light on the camera would have helped but you definitely have an uneven running shutter.
Looking at the lower speeds there is an evenly lit frame then it becomes distorted at the 4th trip of the shutter when the lower left third of the frame goes dark while the top stays light and gets worse thereafter.
Will spraying the shutter drive with a dry lubricant help, I don't know. The sticky drive components are either side of the mirror box and not accessible without at least a partial teardown.
Lighter fluid, Naphtha will do more harm than good.
With the shutter locked open on B check the curtain guides, the thin gaps that the curtain travels in, and clean out any trash/goo that may be there with a cotton swab and 90% Isopropyl Alcohol. Remove any cotton fibers left behind with tweezers.
 

albada

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This is what old cameras do, be they cheapos or Leicas.

My Retinas are old, and none have capping. And they never will! Leaf shutters are wunnerful... until oil creeps onto their blades and makes them sluggish or stuck.

Mark Overton
 

Jim Jones

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The Miranda I bought new in 1966 soon developed slightly irregular shutter travel and a few less serious problems. The Nikon that promptly replaced it performed flawlessly. At least the three Soligar lenses with the Miranda seemed fine. Miranda's ads were better than their cameras, and the advertised fairly extensive range of accessories weren't readily available.
 

David Lyga

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On all SLRs there are two adjustment screws on the bottom of the camera (under the base plate) which govern the tension of each curtain. The capping is caused by the first shutter curtain not moving 'out of the way' fast enough for a proper exposure to be made. You must slightly increase the tension of this first shutter curtain.

The two screws are near to each other and are usually held in place by either a ratchet wheel or piece of metal which meets the serrated wheel of the screw adjustment. The particular screw which governs the FIRST shutter curtain is located closest to the BACK of the SLR. - David Lyga
 

shutterfinger

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On all SLRs there are two adjustment screws on the bottom of the camera (under t
If you watch the video you'll see that the second curtain releases from the top only or the bottom only and the released side may travel 1/3 to 3/4 of the frame before the other end releases. Changing the speed tensions will not help this shutter!
 
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noahsmith

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If you watch the video you'll see that the second curtain releases from the top only or the bottom only and the released side may travel 1/3 to 3/4 of the frame before the other end releases. Changing the speed tensions will not help this shutter!

I think it might be time for me to just use this camera as a display piece. I have a Minolta XG-M that is more reliable but I was just hoping this would be a fairly easy thing to fix. I'm probably going to try out a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 which has a vertical metal shutter.
 

shutterfinger

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This is the remains of a Yashica TL Electro shutter curtain mechanism. One piece goes on each side of the mirror box.
The tensioning springs rotate on a shaft and are tensioned by a gear on the top plate.
Any camera with a horizontal travel cloth focal plane shutter will be similar.
DSC_2675_00002.jpg
DSC_2676_00003.jpg

The photo on the right is the parts reversed so that both sides can be seen.

I have no clue as to why curtains stick together or release unevenly other than chemical contamination of the shutter cloth or dirt/corrosion in the mechanism.
 
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noahsmith

noahsmith

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This is the remains of a Yashica TL Electro shutter curtain mechanism. One piece goes on each side of the mirror box.
The tensioning springs rotate on a shaft and are tensioned by a gear on the top plate.
Any camera with a horizontal travel cloth focal plane shutter will be similar.
View attachment 181589 View attachment 181590
The photo on the right is the parts reversed so that both sides can be seen.

I have no clue as to why curtains stick together or release unevenly other than chemical contamination of the shutter cloth or dirt/corrosion in the mechanism.

Thanks for sending, definitely helpful to see a visual. So tightening/loosening any of the screws under the baseplate of the camera probably is not going to help with this issue? I don't think I am qualified enough to access the inside of the mirror box, I tried to remove the top plate of the camera and wasn't really able to, I think there are other screws that are not visible.
 

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David Lyga

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OK, I did feel badly about not being able to help you. I dug up an old Miranda Sensorex and managed to correct the curtain tension. Look at my photo. See the TWO screw-sets (each set has two screws, a larger and a smaller) are along the vertical line that is implied by my red arrow, leading from camera rear to camera front. You will see a screw-set near the rear of the camera (right near the red arrow) and the other screw set (identical) closer to the front of the camera. There are two screws in EACH SET with this camera: the larger screw governs the tension and the smaller screw ALLOWS that larger screw to be turned.

The set you are concerned with is the one closest to the REAR of the camera, as this one governs the tension of the FIRST curtain. Your middle photo (which you sent me in a PM) does show these two screw-sets, albeit a little hidden. They are in the SAME place as mine are. Miranda curtain adjustment.JPG

This is important: on each set of screws, the larger one governs the curtain tension and the smaller screw allows the larger screw to be loose of tightened. Turning this larger screw counter-clockwise increases the curtain tension for the curtain you wish to work with. Now, if you simply loosen the smaller screw the larger screw might quickly unravel, so you want to hold that larger screw as you loosen the smaller screw so that you will be able to turn the larger screw only as much as you want. I would suggest then turning that larger screw about half a rotation to increase the first curtain's tension only a bit. Then tighten that smaller screw (to prevent the larger screw from turning) and check to see if there is an improvement from capping. If so, but not yet a full improvement, turn the larger screw another half rotation and check again. Remember, each time that that larger screw is turned (counter clockwise to increase tension) you must first loosen that smaller screw (while holding that larger screw with another screwdriver!), then turn that larger screw, then re-tighten that smaller screw before you check.

This particular camera is a bit harder to adjust than others, but, with patience, you will be OK. If all fails and the larger screw is not held while you loosen the smaller screw, you can turn the larger screw many times (counter clockwise to increase tension) to restate its original tension, but since you do not have the experience to judge just how much tension is normal, it might be difficult to do this. See next:

That said, I would suggest, before you do anything, that you cock the shutter half way to get the curtain ends visually half way into the film aperture in the back of the camera. Then carefully, gently without bending anything, use your finger to move each curtain "individually", to judge how tense each curtain is in the back of the camera. You might aid yourself by taping the mirror up and using BOTH the front and rear of the camera to gently move each curtain, so that you will have an idea of how much tension each curtain has. Usually, each curtain has the same tension as the other. Your problem is that the FIRST curtain (the one that opens the exposure when fired) is lagging and needs to be a bit more tense.

Price: $5,000 for this advice.

Seriously, it is difficult to type all this out. Call me: 215.569.4949 if you wish to talk quickly about this. If you call and I am out, I will call back, but then will hang up and YOU will call me right back because it is only fair that you pay the toll charges for the duration of the conversation. - David Lyga
 

E. von Hoegh

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OK, I did feel badly about not being able to help you. I dug up an old Miranda Sensorex and managed to correct the curtain tension. Look at my photo. See the TWO screw-sets (each set has two screws, a larger and a smaller) are along the vertical line that is implied by my red arrow, leading from camera rear to camera front. You will see a screw-set near the rear of the camera (right near the red arrow) and the other screw set (identical) closer to the front of the camera. There are two screws in EACH SET with this camera: the larger screw governs the tension and the smaller screw ALLOWS that larger screw to be turned.

The set you are concerned with is the one closest to the REAR of the camera, as this one governs the tension of the FIRST curtain. Your middle photo (which you sent me in a PM) does show these two screw-sets, albeit a little hidden. They are in the SAME place as mine are. View attachment 181627

This is important: on each set of screws, the larger one governs the curtain tension and the smaller screw allows the larger screw to be loose of tightened. Turning this larger screw counter-clockwise increases the curtain tension for the curtain you wish to work with. Now, if you simply loosen the smaller screw the larger screw might quickly unravel, so you want to hold that larger screw as you loosen the smaller screw so that you will be able to turn the larger screw only as much as you want. I would suggest then turning that larger screw about half a rotation to increase the first curtain's tension only a bit. Then tighten that smaller screw (to prevent the larger screw from turning) and check to see if there is an improvement from capping. If so, but not yet a full improvement, turn the larger screw another half rotation and check again. Remember, each time that that larger screw is turned (counter clockwise to increase tension) you must first loosen that smaller screw (while holding that larger screw with another screwdriver!), then turn that larger screw, then re-tighten that smaller screw before you check.

This particular camera is a bit harder to adjust than others, but, with patience, you will be OK. If all fails and the larger screw is not held while you loosen the smaller screw, you can turn the larger screw many times (counter clockwise to increase tension) to restate its original tension, but since you do not have the experience to judge just how much tension is normal, it might be difficult to do this. See next:

That said, I would suggest, before you do anything, that you cock the shutter half way to get the curtain ends visually half way into the film aperture in the back of the camera. Then carefully, gently without bending anything, use your finger to move each curtain "individually", to judge how tense each curtain is in the back of the camera. You might aid yourself by taping the mirror up and using BOTH the front and rear of the camera to gently move each curtain, so that you will have an idea of how much tension each curtain has. Usually, each curtain has the same tension as the other. Your problem is that the FIRST curtain (the one that opens the exposure when fired) is lagging and needs to be a bit more tense.

Price: $5,000 for this advice.

Seriously, it is difficult to type all this out. Call me: 215.569.4949 if you wish to talk quickly about this. If you call and I am out, I will call back, but then will hang up and YOU will call me right back because it is only fair that you pay the toll charges for the duration of the conversation. - David Lyga


Increasing the spring tension to treat a lubrication/dirt issue will not work. You also lose ground zero, i.e. the original setting.
 

David Lyga

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The first curtain needs to 'get out of the way' so that the film aperture is fully exposed for film exposure. Increasing the first curtain's tension will do that. Of course, if dirt is the issue, you can flush out the mechanism with lighter fluid first. - David Lyga
 
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noahsmith

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Hi everyone,

I gave up on this for a while as I couldn't get it to work. Decided to try and take another crack at it.

I wanted to send a video of what the shutter looks like in slow motion to get a better idea of what's going on.

Here is a video of what it looks like at 1/60s:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/vzQdcZEithVUdCgk6
It seems like the curtain moving from right to left is a little slow. This doesn't happen everytime, it was sporadic.

Here is a video of what it looks like at 1/500s:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/CnDTEfjvA6twy7j3A
It looks like at this speed, the curtain moving from left to right is slow. This was also happening sporadic.

Any thoughts on how to move forward? Should I just try adjusting the tension screws for the first and second curtain until they look like they are working properly?

Thanks.
 

narsuitus

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Just out of curiosity, why are you trying to repair this particular camera?
 
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