Kiev 6C – Shutter blues continued


I spent about two hours trying to adjust the shutter curtain synchronisation on the Kiev 6C.
First though I had to find a solution for the most important problem: testing.
I had no intention in using an entire roll of 120 film every time I wanted to check the results of the adjustments I had made. That would be extremely expensive and time consuming.

Then I came up with the following idea that I tested with some exposed 35mm film.

After cocking the shutter I would open the Kiev 6C and tape a piece of 35mm on the two spools at each side of the exposure window, all this in complete darkness. Then I would close the camera, shoot one frame and develop the piece of film. For having 1/1000 of a second as a shutter speed I used the blue sky to photograph. P. told me if I got that one right all other shutter speeds longer than 1/1000 would be okay.

I my darkroom (the bathroom) I lay out a roll of Ilford FP4 Plus 35mm, scissors, tape and the camera, memorised everything and switched off the light.

Test bank
Test bank

It just worked fine.
The first test strip showed I was still very far from having a perfectly synchronised curtain. Only half the frame was exposed and had lines over it where the curtain lost speed. When I continued adjusting my screwdriver slipped and the sprocket for curtain A lost its tension again. I am not going to write down the words I used to express my emotions.

The second test strip was just a wast of time and the curtain was nowhere near being synchronised at all.

I continued patiently putting tension on the curtain, cocking the shutter, pressing the shutter button, shake my head and continue winding up the sprocket. At a certain moment I had the impression the curtain went in one fluid movement open. Hard to see of course but I cocked the shutter and pressed the release button a zillion times. Yeah, I was sure I was very close to a correct synchronisation.

So in went test strip number 3 and after 8 minutes of developing and a few minutes fixing I opened the developing tank. There was 6 centimeters of darkness that looked fairly uniform. I let the strip dry and scanned it and some darkening at the right of the frame but it is almost unnoticeable.

I send a jpg of the teststrip to my friend P. whom had send me an email yesterday evening to encourage me. He also wrote that I would learn a lot by doing the adjustment myself and it would create a special bond between me and the camera. Wise words from my new friend and well appreciated.

I hope I am close to having fixed the curtain synchronisation issue so I can finally go out an shoot with this wonderful and very sharp camera.

Attempt 3
Attempt 3
Test strip 3. White is the exposure made with the Kiev 6C
Test strip 3. White is the exposure made with the Kiev 6C
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2 thoughts on “Kiev 6C – Shutter blues continued”

    1. And one I needed all my patience for! I learned a lot, mostly about the camera but also a little about myself. That are the truly great moments.
      Shot a roll this morning and the synchronisation problem is almost undetectable. I am a happy man 🙂

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