I noticed in my hometown paper that I have been part of a recent consumer trend: increasing demand for outdated equipment, like wind-up watches, and film cameras. I’m trendy, all right, guilty on both counts!
If you happen to be fond of excellently made but technologically obsolete cameras you may be interested in the following tips for keeping your mechanical shutters healthy. For this information I’m indebted to Paul Ebel, one of the Web’s recommended Rolleiflex CLA technicians. CLA stands for “cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment”.
- Fire the shutter at least every few weeks. This will keep it nimble.
- In storage, leave the shutter uncocked and set the shutter speed to 1 second.
- When shooting, set your speed before cocking the shutter.
- Don’t leave the camera in high heat, like the trunk of a car in summer. This will cause the lubricants to run.
- Mechanical shutters work best at room temperatures. When outside in the cold, carry the camera next to your body and blanket it with an outer garment. Keep it as warm as possible.
- Protect your camera as much as possible from dust, sand, water, and oils.
The shot below was taken with the camera shown above, a Yashica Mat 124, a cheaper but nevertheless excellent Japanese copy of the stellar German Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera.