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,
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
Remove the shutter as a whole assembly. Make not of any shims that
are between the shutter and the camera body.
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
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
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
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
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
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
You'll need to fashion a special tool to get this one screw on the
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
There, done down to the skeletal bone. Now you can clean each part
and start to reassemble the shutter mechanism.
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
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:
If I find a better procedure to do this I will post
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.
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
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
For more information of the Moskva 5, check out the following site.
There is an amazing amount of info here on the Moskva 5.
April 07, 2009