Agfa Karat Art Deco film advance repair

A few weeks ago I bought an Agfa Karat Art Deco camera with a few faults, and this post is an update on the steps I took to try to restore it to a fully working condition. There were several faults with the camera, but the first and probably the easiest to fix was the film advance, so this post deals with the Agfa Karat Art Deco film advance repair.

I’ve worked on the film advance of the Karat series of cameras before and found them to be fairly easy to get working, and since the Art Deco Karat was the first in the series I expected that to be the easiest of all. The pictures below show the strip down process, and I’ll also describe the problems I had with my particular camera.

To recap, the film advance on this Karat was quite stiff to operate and had no click stop action, so you could basically wind through a complete film without the advance stopping so you could take a picture. I guessed this was likely to be dirt and old grease clogging up the mechanism, and although that was partially the problem, I also found a fault which unfortunately I’ll need to buy a donor camera to fix.

The pictures above show the steps necessary to get the top off the camera and strip down the mechanism. Fortunately, it’s an easy camera to work on and really doesn’t have any complexity when it comes to removing parts and cleaning them. I removed all the components in the pictures and cleaned them with cotton buds soaked in acetone to remove the old dirt and grease.

Once everything was clean I then applied a small amount of grease to the components which move against each other, such as the film advance cogs to and bottom, and the barrel which I’ve called the film advance follower, and refitted the barrel. The shutter release latch needs to have a tiny amount of grease applied to the parts that move, and you need to make sure the spring is fitted to the movable latch so it operated correctly – the picture above shows the correct position.

Once all the components are back in place, the top can go back on the camera and it should all work but you need to make sure that the end of the spring on the film advance shaft fits into the slot in the camera top which is cut for it.

Unfortunately, on my camera, the spring which acts on the shutter release latch (the phosphor bronze strip spring) is broken at the point it is attached to the camera, so the latch isn’t correctly moving. I believe this is why the film advance is not stopping correctly at each advance.

I’m going to need to replace that in order to get the advance working properly, although the stiffness and grittiness in the advance is gone and it’s quite smooth to operate.

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