Kiev 6C – Shutter curtain sync blues

I have my little flaws. Everybody does.

One of them is about buying something and then discover it does not work, is not complete, whatever…
A few months ago I bought a new tablet and a memory card. Back home I could not wait to get the tablet up and running and pushed the memory in the tablet.
The wrong way that is.
Clumsy me.
Then I lost it and felt very bad and angry. Not to mention very stupid.
So I had to go to a repair shop and they got the card out and I had to pay 40€ and then I felt even more stupid. It was my own fault and obviously had nobody else to blame but myself.

The fact I discovered after the first roll of film that the curtain of my Kiev 6C has a synchronization issue above 1/60″ did not trouble me at all. It did not make me unhappy or nervous or angry and that was a first one for me. It even surprised Sweetheart.

I have a very good contact with P. whom sold me the camera and I was very confident a solution would be found.

So a few days ago I visited P. and he did some adjustments showing and explaining me what was done.
I had explained to P. I wanted to be able to do some minor repairs on my old cameras. It is like driving a classic car and having to call a garage keeper for every small glitch.

Past Monday I mailed a photo I had made of the adjustment wheels asking P.’s confirmation about which wheel and direction to turn.

I really don’t have much experience with doing this kind of adjustments. Hell, I even had to get a set of small screwdrivers. This is how well I am equipped to do this kind of work.

With one small screwdriver I had to push the small lever up and then move the wheel one click and do this 5 times.

So how hard can it be? Maybe I had to do one or two clicks back after developing a test roll. So close we were in getting the curtain synchronization correct for all speeds.

How hard can it be?
One click.
Second click.
Third click.

Still two to go.
Fourth click and then it happened.
Before I got the small lever back in place my screwdriver slipped.
So now I know there is tension on the shutter curtain as I saw in one awful millisecond the little wheel unwind itself.

Without tension the shutter curtain does not work and after half an hour I had enough tension build up to see the shutter go open again.
Of course I have no idea how to get to the correct tension needed for 1/1000 of a second.

I can count on P. to help me out but I want to try and do it myself first. This morning P. mailed me a 17-page document about Focal-Plane Shutters and how they work.

Now I know what to do with my free time.
I’ll also have to think about a method to test if I have a correct exposure without sacrificing a 120 roll at every attempt.
I have an idea for this but I have to check if it is doable before writing about it.


Kiev 6C A and B are the tension wheels for the curtains.
Kiev 6C
A and B are the tension wheels for the curtains.