I had a busy day at work but found some time to download a manual for the Leicaflex SL and read a few articles about the history of the camera.
My colleague had told me her father hadn’t used the camera for ages because the film transport system was broken.
When I opened the camera and cocked the shutter everything seemed okay. Well, maybe that is because there was no film to be transported and with film loaded the gearwheels and what not could overshoot.
But the film winding spool or how do you call it seemed a little odd but then work intervened and I forgot all about it.
During my lunch break I did some more research and opened the camera again. Cocked the shutter. Everything seemed okay and I could imagine the film being wound up gradually after every shot.
Then it dawned on me. This could not work there was nothing to pull the film on the spool.
Googled the Leicaflex SL for images and then found the one I needed.
In my camera the spool where the films winds up on misses something compared to the few photos I saw online. Like this one.
Could it be that simple?
* * * *
Back home I did the thing I always do first: firing up my computers.
Then I opened the camera, got a roll of Ilford FP4 and some tape.
Fixed the film on the spool that was missing the thing that grabs the film, I have no idea how it is called.
Cocked the shutter, fired.
Cocked the shutter again.
The film advanced flawlessly.
With a huge smile I closed the back of the camera and got my light meter.
The camera uses banned mercury batteries. I know I could get some Weincells on eBay but I’ll use my vintage Selenium light meter instead.
I took about 6 or 7 shots near my apartment. No Pulizer prize material, but I wanted to know if the film advanced correctly and if the shutter was still reasonably precise.
I made a shot with my studio flash too.
In my dark room (bathroom) I opened the camera and cut off the piece of exposed film and got it in my Paterson tank.
Twelve minutes later I opened the tank again.
I was extremely curious…