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Moskva 5

So they say bigger is better, is it? An interesting camera that is an interpretation of a classic.


The Moskva 5, in a series that are based off the Zeiss Super Ikonta, a dual format camera that does both 6x6 and 6x9 format. An interesting camera that captures a truly huge negative image. The best part, it has a Coupled Rangefinder!


First thing, let's get the shutter mechanism out. We'll need to fabricate a special tool to undo the threaded collar that holds the shutter to the lens board. Measure the distance between the notches, 36mm.


Go to the hardware store in the plumbing aisle and find a pipe that is as close to 36mm in diameter as you can.


Using a hacksaw or Dremel motor tool, cut the pipe to make two teeth that will engage the notches in the threaded collar.


Carefully undo the threaded collar making sure you do not cut into the bellows or compromise the light tight condition of the bellows. You will have to make a series of 1/4 turns to undo this threaded collar.


Remove the shutter as a whole assembly. Make not of any shims that are between the shutter and the camera body.


Shutter Mechanism

Let's get inside the shutter. First place the focus at infinity and then loosen the three screws around the focus ring.


Remove the focus ring. Note the slot in the focus ring that mates up to a tooth that actuates the focus.


The other part of the focus mechanism is under this focus wheel. The next series of images show the steps.


The whole deal revolves around this drive gear coupling.


Going further removing these gears accesses the flip-up mechanism for the rangefinder prism assembly.


Don't forget this little ring spacer.


OK, enough screwing around, let's get the lens elements our of harm's way.  This front one just unscrews.


This next one could be a bit tougher to unscrew. Use a rubber mat or even a rubber stopper that fits snugly over the lens block to get a good grip.


Remove and put in a safe place.


Might as well remove this guy while you are at it.


Let's put this lens in a safe place as well. Now we have no glass present to accidentally foul up.


Back to the focus prism assembly. Remove these screws.

Remove the cover.


Make sure before you do anything else you place at least one screw back in to keep the rangefinder prisms from falling out. You can't believe what a bitch it is if these two prisms get out of alignment with each other. Place a couple marks with an indelible fine point marker just to show the relationship between the two geared prisms and the adjoining body. Trust me on this one, I didn't take the precaution and the prisms fell out and I'll need to learn how to re-align these. Ugh!


Disconnect this spring...

And, remove the mechanism. Note how I don't have any screws to keep the prisms from falling out. This is a disaster waiting to happen.


Remove these two screws and the backing plate will come away.


For this next step you can fashion a tool to fit in these holes in the fastening cam, or you can just jam anything in there to rotate these to clear. Meaning, rotate these so that the flat side is adjacent to the lens barrel.


Rotate the whole base plate to clear the keyed notches.


Lift base plate off. This base plate will only go back on one way as the keyed notches are not evenly spaced around the lens assembly.


Big picture to show the details of the shutter with the speed selector in place.


Another big picture to show the belly of the beast. Looks complicated but when you peel it back like an onion it becomes pretty simple.


Shutter trip lever just lifts off. Note the position of this spring. When replacing the Shutter Trip Lever this spring will need to be pushed aside to clear the shouldered boss on the underside of the trip lever.


This view shows the position of the springs for reference.


Remove the Booster Spring.


Trip lever is next.


This next part gave me a little trouble but I will describe it anyways. This Catch Lever is held by this screw but it is pressed into a locator hole in the shutter base. Mine was stubbornly fused together and would not give way with any reasonable amount of force, so I decided to leave it in place and continue. You may have better luck.


This is my attempt at removing the Main Shutter Spring from the post while dealing with the Catch Lever still in place.


This part is the business that runs the whole mess.


Another screw, another lever...


Disconnect the spring from the slot on the Shutter Leaf Actuator/Flash Contact. This part does two duties. It trips the shutter itself and provides contact for the flash.


Remove the Shutter Leaf Actuator/Flash Contact. Notice the Actuator Post that engages the Shutter Leaf Actuator. This operates the shutter by moving as indicated by the arrow. You can grab this post and move it to feel the operation of the shutter. Is it smooth? Does the shutter snap open and shut briskly?


Remove the three screws holding the Escapement mechanism. The Escapement mechanism can now be removed and cleaned separately in clean solvent.


You'll need to fashion a special tool to get this one screw on the Delay mechanism.


Again, remove to clean separately. That's pretty much got everything from this side of the shutter assembly. (With the notable exception of the stubborn Catch Lever left in place as mentioned earlier.)


Turn the assembly over and remove three screws.


This will allow the the Shutter Base to be removed as a unit.


Flip the Shutter Base over to reveal the three leaf shutter mechanism. You may operate the shutter by moving the same Actuator Post to inspect the movement of the Leaf Shutter.


Let's turn our attention to the Aperture mechanism. Remove this plate and now you may clean the Aperture mechanism. I don't recommend removing any more parts as for the most part it is needless to gain access to the individual leaves of the aperture. A good cleaning is all that is needed here.


Remove these three screws to remove each individual leaf of the shutter.


There, done down to the skeletal bone. Now you can clean each part and start to reassemble the shutter mechanism.


Body Chassis

There's four screws that hold the film track part on.


Interesting to note the pronounced bow in the film track. Not sure if this a quality issue but definitely something to check to see if it affects the planarity of the film against the film back.


Looking closely at the film transport rollers we see a very poor situation with pitting from oxidization. This would surely scratch the delicate film surfaces.


Some buffing followed by a polish improves the problem. See the difference?


I don't know why but I want to take the bellows out. To do so, remove the array of screws around the fastening base. If you need to make a repair to the bellows it may make it easier to remove the bellows to work on it separately.


Got to get inside the top casting? Body casting top removal starts with removing the eye bezels. Take a piece of rubber to help you grab onto the bezel to unscrew it. Try to resist using pliers on these parts as they will look like hell after the pliers get done.


The film type dial is next...


Lift the top away to reveal a rather spartan interior.


A simple glass beam splitter.


This is the advance with the multi exposure prevention mechanism.


More than likely the grease in the advance spindle will be dried and stiff. Push this part out, clean it and re-lubricate with grease.


Re-assembly and Other Issues

Here's a quality issue that needs to be worked out. See how the rangefinder prism are is not square and straight with the film plane? There is so much slop between the shaft of the rangefinder prism and the cylindrical hole allowing the prism arm to move out of being square and true.


One way to remedy the sloppy shaft is to build-up enough material to take up the slack room. Here, I build-up consecutive layers of thin aluminum wrap from the kitchen to make a snug seating in the hole. I used a couple layers tightly wound then secured with some Crazy Glue type of adhesive.


If you find that the moving image rangefinder is out of alignment then have a look at this site for reference:  http://www.dantestella.com/technical/superfix.html

If I find a better procedure to do this I will post it.

OK, here is my procedure for aligning the rangefinder, it is very much like the procedure outlined in above site. As shown above, I mark three sets of prism gear teeth with a fine tip marker for reference. Now hold the assembly such that the rangefinder arm is extended in its working position and in the correct orientation. Actuate the rangefinder and observe the action of the moving image. It should move horizontal and not deflect at an angle either up or down. To adjust, move the relationship between the prism gears by one tooth at a time until the moving image behaves normally.

More info on aligning for focus at infinity. http://www.dvdtechcameras.com/info/1.htm


More than likely the grease in the focus helical will be gummed up if not turned to a solid consistency which will make focusing hard. Carefully clean the helical grooves with some solvent, making sure you do not get any on the inner lens as shown.


When satisfied with the degree of cleanliness, add some lubricant to the focus helical. I'm not totally happy with my choice of grease, it is a little too thick or dampened which makes focusing a bit stiff. I will be changing this out for my other favourite helical grease, (Loctite 30530 White Lithium grease).


Shown, is the actual performance graph for this Moskva 5. With lots of fiddling around and judicious applications of lubricant with retesting, this is the best I can get out of this shutter. It is such a large shutter with lots of internal friction and mass of parts, coupled with materials and the finish of the moving parts, it is surprising to expect anything close to the speeds marked on the front bezel.

The trend line immediately on either side of the center line is +/- 1/2 stop and the two outer trend lines are +/- 1 stop.  The solid line is the actual as measured values.


A real beauty! Impressive in size and sure to garner some attention when stomping around the streets. Now to find a lens hood and a couple filters for B&W film. Some say a 40mm Series VI adapter will fit onto the focus ring. All I have to do is find a Series VI adapter...

For more information of the Moskva 5, check out the following site. There is an amazing amount of info here on the Moskva 5.  http://www.westonmaster.com/moskva5/index.html


April 07, 2009