For a while now I’ve had the idea of buying a medium format film camera to play about with and one of the models I’ve had my eye on is the Pentacon Six 120 SLR. The problem is they are quite expensive to buy, and have a reputation for being unreliable, and I don’t want to spend close to £100 for a camera only to find it stops working a couple of weeks after I get it. They also however have a reputation of being able to produce some quite stunning results when they are working correctly.
Then it occurred to me that it might be quite interesting to buy a faulty unit and treat it as a project to get it working again. So, welcome to my ‘Pentacon Six Project’.
I did an ebay search and found this unit which was described as having a sticky shutter. In fact the description was ‘semi working, shutter sticks regularly but probably easily repaired for someone keen to pick one up cheap’. That sounded like exactly the sort of thing I was looking for so I added it to my watch list and kept an eye on the price. It started at £0.99 and by the time it got to the last hour or so it was still only about £12 so I waited until the last minute (well the last 5 seconds actually) and put on a bid of £30. At that time is was at £24 and I managed to get it for £28.
So today it turned up and I unpacked it and it’s actually not a bad camera as a rebuild project. There are a few things wrong which don’t matter in terms of taking pictures (like chips in the prism & focusing screen and a dent in the filter ring), a few which do matter but I think I can fix (like the aperture not closing and general dirt), and one thing which doesn’t work and I don’t know if I can fix it (like the shutter second curtain doesn’t move).
So here I go – I’ve no idea if I can fix this but it’s going to be interesting having a try. I’ll post updates as/if I manage to get things fixed.
Part one – top plate removal and shutter
Part two – removing shutter assembly from chassis
Part three – examination of the shutter assembly
Part four – fixing the viewfinder
Part five – attempted shutter repair