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01-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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Sticky shutter in an old H (or S) 2

So I picked up an old Honeywell Heiland Pentax H2 for $8 a couple of days ago. The camera is in great condition with one exception: the shutter tends to stick open, preventing the mirror from coming back down and completing the exposure. Any suggestions on how to fix this (or if it's even possible)?

01-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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Unless you want to do it yourself I would highly recommend sending Eric an emai at Home
01-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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The camera is going to need a CLA or if you are looking to tinker with it, you'll need some sort of manual that lists the lube points. I've not worked on an H2 yet, but on a S1a that had a similar issue was a technique of shaving an lever slightly to allow for wear and it gave my shutter a easier path to slip off from expose mode to mirror return mode. I would first start with cleaning before hunting for a fix. Besides the hanging shutter have you tested the slow speeds 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and so on? Otherwise, I agree with LesDMess, Eric is the guy.
01-01-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip, I might contact him at some point, but unfortunately I don't have the money for a repair at the moment (poor college student). The sticking effect seems to be worse at lower shutter speeds. At high speeds it either closes fully or gets about 90% there before getting stuck. at lower speeds, it seems to stick at a wider opening, about 60% open or greater. the shutter curtain seems to have "creases" in it, and im guessing this is what is preventing a clean action.

01-01-2012, 09:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nsolarz Quote
The sticking effect seems to be worse at lower shutter speeds.
The mechanism for the slow speeds is different than that for the high speeds and with many cameras is often more prone to issues.


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01-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nsolarz Quote
...the shutter curtain seems to have "creases" in it, and im guessing this is what is preventing a clean action.
Probably the symptom and not the cause.


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01-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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There can be lots of reasons for a slow shutter, and a wrinkled curtain may be rubbing on a surface enough to cause that. The last SV I got had the identical symptom, but was caused by a fragment of film rolled up in the first curtain, causing a drag on the roller. Once I removed the fragment the binding was gone, and it hadn't damaged the curtains. (getting at it required removing the mirror box) It sounds like yours will need a curtain replacement, which is an exacting task. Eric will give you a free estimate, and it will likely be less than you would expect.
On the other hand these early models are fun to work on, and repair manuals are readily available. If you are a mechanical type and like to tinker, reprints of the official Honeywell repair manuals are on eBay. Pentax was used a LOT in the training of the "National Camera" school, and Don Marr still provides their manuals, and some Pentax parts. They have an excellent training manual that talks you through complete disassembly and assembly of the K1000.
As you noted, you can pick up these things needing work very cheaply, and "learn by doing" with low risk. I've turned a number of broken Pentax, Canon, and Minolta cameras into working units. (And a couple of working units into "parts.")
01-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Out of curiosity, any idea how much the camera is worth in working condition? Not looking to sell it, just wondering if its worth putting money into it.

01-02-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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I am sure it depends on who is buying. I mean someone from Pawn Stars will offer you a fraction - if at all, as opposed to someone who just plain wants it. You never really know until it sells so look up completed listings on ebay.
01-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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I had an S3 some time ago doing the same thing. I was able to repair it myself with the suggestions of some others here and the service/repair manual. Here's the thread for you (including someone posting about fixing their S2): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/108231-sticky-...ggestions.html. I used copier oil/lubricant, similar to sewing machine oil. Many others have suggested a specific kind of lighter fluid, but I didn't want to oil my camera with lighter fluid!

Here's where you can pick up a service manual for the S3: Pentax Manuals. They don't have the book for the S2, but this is probably about as close as you'll get.
01-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nsolarz Quote
Out of curiosity, any idea how much the camera is worth in working condition? Not looking to sell it, just wondering if its worth putting money into it.
According to Cecchi the H2(S2) was really the breakthrough camera body for Asahi Pentax in the US. It had some improvements over the K (single shutter speed dial, fresnel focusing screen) but oddly had only a 1/500 maximum shutter speed. The comparatively low cost opened SLR photography to the emerging middle/upper middle class hobbyist at a time of rapid economic expansion.

You would likely sell to a collector of the 50's and early 60's Pentax bodies, so the market is fairly thin. That being said, collectors are accustomed to having their new acquisitions immediately CLA'ed, so the mechanical condition is not really a negative as long as there isn't a real problem with the shutter or curtain, or gross cosmetic abuse. You might be between $50 and $100, or maybe more for the right camera and the right collector, plus $75 or so if Eric has CLA'ed it (and you have the Invoice).

One thing about Eric Hendrickson - if you send him the camera for an estimate ($9.60 Priority Mail Flat Rate) you are under no obligation to pay him anything. He will diagnose your problem for you and quote a firm price to repair it to new specs. If you refuse the estimate he will return the camera to you no charge, shipped at his expense.

How can you go wrong with that?.
01-03-2012, 10:23 PM   #12
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ok as I am a complete noob, what does CLA mean?
01-04-2012, 05:37 AM   #13
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CLA means Clean, Lubricate, Adjust. On these old cameras the "Clean" means removing all the old, dry or gummy remains of lubricants as well as the dust and junk that collects. It's often the longest part of the job. Eric once sent me a picture of my H1a in process - and everything that could come apart was spread out on his bench. Many techs just flood solvent in mechanisms to wash out lubes, but Eric does it right, yet charges less than the other guys.
01-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
. . .

Eric once sent me a picture of my H1a in process - and everything that could come apart was spread out on his bench.
I have a box ready to ship to Sharps Chapel, TN with a recently relocated SV and H1a inside
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