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.
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.