Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Copal 0 Shutter Repair

I purchased a Nagaoka wooden field camera and it came with a Nikkor lens and Copal 0 shutter assembly. The shutter made a rattle sound and did not close all the away. The lens had a very slight fungus in it, nothing that would impact image quality. I figured with all of that it was a write off so I decided to take it apart and see if I could fix it.

So I started to disassemble it, here is the shutter that will not close. Turns out after taking it apart one of the speed escapement screws had come out and wedged itself in the shutter blade grooves.
Shutter is stuck open, it will not close

Here are the shutter blades, they just fell out when I turned it over
Shutter blades

Shutter blades removed
Shutter Blades removed

Here it is pretty much taken apart
All apart

Here is the speed escapement, another problem I found after a couple of weeks of head scratching was the small spring wrapped around the small brass post had come undone. That basically caused the shutter to operate at one of the middle speeds all the time. After I figured out how the escapement mechanism worked I deduced it had a spring problem and removed the whole assembly and saw the loose spring.
Speed escapement spring had come off, this took me some time to figure out. Here it is shown back in place wrapped around the small brass post, before it was spinning around loose

Here is a close up of the speed escapement assembly
Speed escapement

This shows the assembly with the speed escapement removed
Case withe the speed escapement removed

This shows the assembly with the speed escapement and shutter blades installed
Speed escapement installed an shutter blades installed

Time to put it all back together again, here is the speed cam installed. Best to line up the 1/15 first, turn to T and then with a small screwdriver pull out the blade stop lever pin to line it up in the speed cam
Speed cam ring installed. Start at 1/15, turn to T and then with small tweezers or screwdriver pull out the blade stop lever  pin which is just above my thumb and next to the lens threads

Final ring assemblies installed
Speed cam ring installed

Completed lens assembly done and ready to use, speeds all sound good but I have no way to test
All back together again, can't wait to try it out!

****Update 07-30-2014****
Was finally able to get out and use the repaired shutter. The Goat Canyon Trestle in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Arista EDU ISO 100, Nikkor 135mm, f/64, 1/4, Y48 Filter
Seems to work great

Goat Canyon Trestle in Carrizo Gorge. Photo was taken with a Nagaoka 4x5 wooden field camera and a Nikkor 135mm lens, f/64, 1/4, ISO 100 Arista EDU film, Nikkor Y48 Yellow filter


  1. Almost as good as your MacGyver hose clamp fix, Daren!

    1. Still need to get you out to the hose clamp area...hey, maybe Sunday...!

  2. Were you a Swiss Watchmaker in another life?
    That is some major detail work you did.