Franka Super Frankarette slow shutter speed regulator repair

Today I received a Franka Super Frankarette Rangefinder camera which had a few problems with the slow shutter speeds not completing and therefore leaving the shutter open. This camera is fitted with a Prontor-SVS shutter so the fix I carried out should also be appropriate for any other camera fitted with this shutter.

Franka Super Frankarette Shutter Images

It turns out this is a really easy problem to fix because the slow speed component can be simply lifted out of the shutter and cleaned and then dropped back into the shutter.

The way to get in to the shutter is to first unscrew the front lens element and then turn the lock screw which is revealed a half turn to allow the lock ring to be undone. When the lock ring is removed, the trim can be lifted off and the shutter speed ring is shown. I took several pictures here to make sure I knew how it was fitted and then took it off as well.

With the speed ring removed you can see the shutter components. In the photo above, the speed regulator is to the top right and is held in with two screws, both black. One is positioned at the bottom of the speed escapement and the other is a long pillar which is shown in the centre right of the picture. The shutter needs to be cocked to reveal and undo the top screw.

Franka Super Frankarette slow shutter speed regulator repair 1
Franka super frankarette / prontor-svs shutter slow speed component removed

With these two screws removed the component can be lifted out of the shutter and cleaned by flushing it with a dirt removing solvent. I used acetone for this.

When I say the component can be lifted out it was actually a bit fiddly because the outer ring of the lens on my camera was not completely round and I had to move the component round towards the cocking cam, but in the end it came out.

After it had been flushed with solvent and was working properly, it was just a question of fitting it back. Again it was a bit fiddly, but eventually I got it to fit. The important thing is to make sure the far end of the speed component engaged properly with the other component if fits in to (which I believe is the self timer) as it is pushed into place. I actually ended up bending one of the control pins on mine, so when I got it all in place the shutter wouldn’t work at all, so I had to remove it again, find the problem and reshaped the pin.

Once it’s back and the shutter has been cocked and fired to make sure it’s working, just refit the speed setting ring and the rest of the components. I had to have several attempts to get the speed setting ring right, even though I’d taken several pictures, because the B setting didn’t work, but after a few attempts I got it fitted and the shutter now works at all speeds.

7 Replies to “Franka Super Frankarette slow shutter speed regulator repair”

  1. ‘First unscrew the front lens element’. Could you explain how you do this please. I have no idea :). Thanks!

    1. Hi – unfortunately all my cameras are in storage at the moment so I can’t get this one out and try removing the element to write a better explanation. From memory you need to grip the front of the lens with something which will give you friction and then twist it until it starts to unscrew.

  2. Thanks Simon, I managed to follow your instructions (refitting the speed setting ring was the toughest bit until I realised that there is a small round cam that needs to be lifted slightly into the notched groove in the speed ring) and now have a perfectly functioning camera! There is a lot to be said for the longevity of these old clockwork mechanisms! :). Really appreciate you taking the time to post this info on the web.

  3. One other thing. I don’t suppose you know how to recalibrate the rangefinder do you? It seems to be slightly out. Thanks.

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