Unexpected new addition... Werra Mat (Zeiss!)

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Don Simon, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Picking up classic cameras for relatively little money can be rewarding, but you know what's better? Getting them for free :mrgreen:. I was just looking around the loft for my parents' old slides so I could scan them, and at the bottom of a box I discovered a brown leather case that immediately told me "old German camera" :mrgreen:. An odd one this, the film advance is done by twisting a kind of collar on the lens. The camera's definitely seen better days, but the lens is completely clean and... "Carl Zeiss Jena - Tessar 2.8/50"... I have Zeiss glass :D

    Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon. I have Zeiss glass, but I don't have a working camera behind it. The first collection of shutter blades on the lens work fine, but the camera shutter blades behind them (the um, Yin Yang ones, my brain's gone dead so I can't think of the proper term) won't open. AFAIK light being able to get to the film is a rather important part of the whole photographic process, so it looks like this is a non-worker. Somehow I feel even more annoyed than I would if I'd paid for the camera, since finding it like that built up my expectations :( ah such is life... I shall have to end it! Or possibly not. At least it'll be cool to have a Zeiss paperweight :)
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Very interesting camera! Sorry to hear it's not working. Do you have a manual for it? Have you tried cocking the shutter by rotating the wind up ring? If not, the shutter won't fire. I have a few links for you, if interested:

    Werramatic

    Werra_Manuals

    Let me know if you tried already the winding part.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi Mitica, thanks for the links there. I have tried rotating the ring, and when I do this and then press the shutter release, a diaphragm-style shutter opens, however the shutter behind it (consisting of two curved blades) stays closed; I'm guessing that the first shutter is on the lens and the second is on the body, although I still can't understand why one would work and the other not.
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Is your Werramat the type with removing lens? In other words, can you remove the current lens from the body by twisting it either way (a latch might be found, I am not that familiar with this camera)?

    If so, the two leaf shutter thingie will open when the lens is properly seated and locked on. Also, consider other two ideas:

    -does the Werramat run with batteries? (I doubt it, but worth asking...;) )

    -do you have to put film in it to make it work? For ex. the Voigtländer Vitomatics will not fire the shutter unless you have film in the camera. The film engages the sprockets and thus the shutter will work. I'm thinking that your Werramat might have that kind of action.

    Let me know the answers to the above and if that doesn't solve the issue I'll go check with my fellow collectors.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    The lens is definitely fixed, from what I've read online the Werramatic is the one with removable lens, and there's definitely nowhere for a battery. As for the film advance thing, I don't think that's the problem as the shutter release button works without film, unlike with the Voigtlander (it's also possible to fool the Voigtlander into thinking it contains film, and that doesn't seem to help here). This is extremely odd... anyway I'll pop an out-of-date film in there and see if anything happens. Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is weird! Well... I tried. ;)

    Anyway, can you take a pic of that two leaf shutter thingie, I am dying of curiosity! :D
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hehe will do, soon as my digital arrives in the post today :mrgreen:
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I think my description of the shutter was a bit misleading; it's probably a lot more conventional than what I described. Anyway here are some pics, sorry about the poor quality...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Both shots are of the inside of the camera, with the back/base (which is one whole unit) taken off as you would do to insert film. Basically the shutter blades you can see in these photos won't open; while the shutter diaphragm directly in front of them in the lens works fine. :confused:
     
  9. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ha! That looks so strange... OK, I give up! Time to ask the pros. As I mentioned before I belong to a camera collector's internet directory and there are many good know-all people so I'll ask them. It might take a bit o' time though...
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    OK so I got a few responses from my friends:

    "The more recent Werras have a Prestor RVS which is a masterpiece of mechanics. There are two series of Prestor shutter with 5 blade blinding and with 2 blade blinding mechanics. In the first type those blades also acts as diaphragm which is not the case of the second. Werras use indistinctly both types only for blinding light path but the type 2 is commonly used on Flexaret automatic cameras, and Pentina, also the Praktimat and Pentacon Auto electric. In Werras, the shutter is cocked. At this point the rear set is completely closed. the main blades do a movement of see-saw open and close. at this point the rear blades open -completely, or up to the desired preselected diphragm. When you fire the shutter the shutter blades open and close in a single movement, in the end of the cycle the back blinding set of blades close completely the shutter.

    These shutters have a dense quantity of pieces per cubic inches and are prone to humidity which is the common ill of them all. The solution is quite simple. Do not try to dismantle those shutters They are far more complex than Compur shutters. If you can remove the lens, It will be sufficient to put some very fine powder graphite dry lub in both sides of the blades and put it to operate, A blast of dry air must follow to remove the excess and everything will operate perfectly.

    Werra camera was born from Tenax concept and was minded in order to produce a Contax quality at truly affordable prices. It has a complete system for all tecnical and professional uses including close up, reproduction, microscope, telescope, twin cameras and stereo attachment and much more!"
    ===========
    "The Werra doesn't require film to fire the shutter. The shutter isn't
    self-capping -- that is, the shutter opens and closes when tensioned.
    The rear blades act as a blind to shield the film.

    I've found the shutters to be highly complex (for a leaf shutter), and
    it's very likely that the shutter on that Werra needs to be serviced."
    ===========
    "I have two Werras. On one the ring returns to its position by itself
    and the shutter can be fired. On the other the ring must be returned manually before the shutter can be fired. This might just be age.
    I don't know if the Werra Mat differs but you might try turning the
    film advance shaft (the one with teeth at top and bottom) inside the
    camera after winding the ring. If your model requires film that should
    do it. Or use a test film. Both of my Werras have three blade shutters."
    ============


    Zaphod, I would try the first method with the graphite powder and a blast of air to remove the excess. You can get graphite powder at most hardware stores. Give it a try and let me know. Good luck.
     
  11. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I think you're probably right there, the first quote definitely describes the shutter mechanism in this camera and mine says "Prestor RVS" - so at least I know what the heck it is now :mrgreen:. Anyway I'll try taking the lens off (it's not supposed to be removable so this could be difficult) and attempt the graphite powder method. Thanks again Mitica!
     
  12. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm... I would be against that method if I were you. See if the issue can be solved by just adding graphite powder to the other end, the one you have access to. If you must take the front lens off I would definitely look at taking only the lens cells off (usually there's an inner ring holding them in place) and gain access to the front side. Once you add the graphite then, shake it well in your hands and then blow some air so the powder excess is blown away. You might want to give it a strong tap against the open face of your palm. Good luck.
     

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