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Eyemo Ick!


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#1 Patrick Neary

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:02 PM

Hi-

I've been tearing apart and cleaning an eyemo I just picked up for a song, and it was full (and I mean FULL) of this fine metallic "glitter" - like someone took one of those bottles of silver glitter you get at a craft store and just dumped the whole thing into the innards of the camera.

It turns out that it's coming from the spring; it's shedding tons of this fine metallic cr*p. Like a blizzard every time you wind it.

Has anyone come across this phenomenon before? What the heck is this junk, detritus from H-Bomb tests at Bimini? Has anyone had the spring completely replaced in their filmo or eyemo, who did the work? (I'm not going near that thing) :blink:

Thanks for any insight...
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:18 PM

Never heard of that. Used a few Filmos in school many years back. Dang, Patrick. I was about to bid on that thing. Does it glow in the dark or anything?
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:14 PM

I'll check tonight to see if I'm glowing in the dark!

I've also had a few filmos and another eyemo (among other spring-wind contraptions) and never seen anything like this, it's just weird.

and messy.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:59 AM

Sorry to hear of your troubles, Patrick. Can you pull the spring works out of a cheaper Filmo and put them in your Eyemo?
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#5 Patrick Neary

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:45 AM

Oh this isn't trouble, it's fun- especially after 6 hours of breathing naphtha fumes!

I would guess the filmo and eyemo use the same spring (everything else seems to be the same inside) but the shop manual shows a special B&H tool you need to pull and install the thing without the threat of sudden decapitation.

I wonder if there's a single soul left on the planet who works on these things, and more importantly, has spare parts.

The other thing I could do is put on a bomb-disposal suit, pull the offending spring and install a hand-crank in the main drive shaft (this one doesn't have the lower motor-drive socket) and fully commit to hand-cranked shooting once and for all.
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#6 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

I would guess that stuff you're talking about is flake graphite.

All movie camera spring motors are lubricated with this.

You should leave it in. It's what prevents the coils from sticking to one another and to the mechanism plate.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:38 PM

Graphite. I had no idea. I hope you saved the pile, Patrick. Also, can you make or have made the spring tool? I would imagine that the few known to exist are in the hands of techs that would rather hang on to them.
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#8 Patrick Neary

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Jean-Louis, that must be it!

I didn't know that it was possible for flake graphite to go bad, but this stuff is like 10-year-old mayonnaise. It looks like the real problem was a bad back-plate seal that let the graphite into the gear and film chambers, and the camera's oil/grease into the spring chamber. The spring is very sticky, so next step is to pull the mechanism as a whole and see if I can dunk the spring in solvent to clean it up (without removing it from the backplate), then re-lube it with fresh graphite, and re-seal the whole mess on assembly.

If you don't hear from me again, assume that something went horribly, horribly wrong.
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#9 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 03:44 PM

Thanks Jean-Louis, that must be it!

I didn't know that it was possible for flake graphite to go bad, but this stuff is like 10-year-old mayonnaise. It looks like the real problem was a bad back-plate seal that let the graphite into the gear and film chambers, and the camera's oil/grease into the spring chamber. The spring is very sticky, so next step is to pull the mechanism as a whole and see if I can dunk the spring in solvent to clean it up (without removing it from the backplate), then re-lube it with fresh graphite, and re-seal the whole mess on assembly.

If you don't hear from me again, assume that something went horribly, horribly wrong.



Hi Patrick,

You are correct. Dry graphite doesn't go bad but when contaminated by grease or oil, it becomes a sticky mess. In order to completely remove the mainspring, I believe you would need a special tool.
Despite having repaired movie cameras for close to 30 years, I have never attempted this as I hardly ever see any Filmos in my neck of the woods. Mostly Bolex. Good luck anyway.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#10 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:07 PM

I may have pictures of the device in a service manual I bought for mine, if I remember correctly it is a jig with two pins and a clamp which slide onto the spring and compress it slightly so that it can be pulled from the body. I know for a fact that the Eyemo spring is not the same as the Filmo one, it is about twice as thick. I doubt that the filmo spring could pull 35mm at 48fps! I dissasembled my Eyemo and re finished the case without removing the spring as it was dry and the (brass?) plate between the spring and movement was not damaged at all. Be careful with that spring it could really hurt you if let loose.

I will look for a pic of that rig...

-Rob-
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#11 Patrick Neary

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 08:03 PM

Thanks everyone for the valuable input-

I've got the spring mostly uncoiled, but still attached to the back plate (I let the mechanism run out while containing the spring in a 400' film can :) )- I can wipe down most of it this way. My entire garage is coated with this stuff now.

Does anyone have a suggestion for what kind of graphite to use to re-lube this thing once it's clean? Bicycle-shop stuff maybe?
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#12 Patrick Neary

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:42 PM

Well it's done and on to film testing.

For anyone interested, I've attached a couple before and after shots; the first shows the flake graphite which was coating everything inside the camera- My best guess is that someone attempted a quick-and-dirty repair many years ago by squirting gobs of the stuff straight into the camera. It's really only supposed to be on the spring, and that compartment is pretty well sealed to keep it contained. In this instance, it was glopped all over and ultimately had frozen the shutter. That junk is hard to clean, but each gear and washer and screw, etc. got a naphtha wipe-down and re-grease. It's a great way to get to know a camera.

[attachment=4435:Gunk01.jpg]

The second shows my best stab at controlling the killer-spring (note cord tied around most coils to keep it from exploding in a catastrophe of flying razor-wire.) I left it attached to the camera's back plate in a kind of compromise between pulling the whole thing off -dangerous without a B&H tool but better for cleaning, and leaving it attached which is easier to manage but not as easy for thorough cleaning. I really highly don't recommend messing with that thing, its potential for pain and destruction is terrifying.

[attachment=4436:eyemospring.JPG]

And finally the finished, clean, purring Eyemo. :)

[attachment=4437:done02.jpg]
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#13 Paul Bruening

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 04:03 PM

Hello Jean-Louis,

Can an Eyemo be converted to 2-perf?

How is the film speed regulated in both Eyemos and Filmos? Is that regulation done in the spring cavity or outside?
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#14 Patrick Neary

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 06:35 PM

Hi Paul-

The governor in most eyemos sits behind the 1st cover plate (as you're looking into the film chamber) just right and below the feed spindle. This diagram shows the flip side of the plate as you've removed it (the parts numbered 4, 6, 7 etc.)

[attachment=4444:EyemoGov_1.jpg]

Older Eyemos and Filmos put the governor under the front turret- (it was that goofy round bulge on the left, just opposite the lens, that looked kind of like a covered lens mount.)

I can't answer for Jean-Louis, who will certainly give a more qualified assessment, but I was looking at mine (as it sat in pieces) with an eye to 2-perf, and have to say it looks like it would be at least a relatively easy conversion, the movement is so simple. You'd have to move the little pivot pin (which moves the pulldown claw up and down) closer to center to shorten the vertical movement, and also regrind the disc it rides on (which moves the pulldown claw in and out) so that the claw would drop below the aperture plate, then pop back up to pull the film at the right interval. Then fashion your 2-perf aperture plate. I guess the other piece would be the feed and take-up roller-sprockets, which you'd have to slow down so they weren't trying to push and pull 4-perfs worth film at every cycle- I would assume a modest re-gearing would be in order. You wouldn't have to mess at all with feed or take-up spindles.

[attachment=4445:EyemoShutter_1.jpg]

Really good free Eyemo repair manual here:

http://www.intervalo...om/bh/index.php
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#15 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 07:40 PM

You'd have to move the little pivot pin (which moves the pulldown claw up and down) closer to center to shorten the vertical movement, and also regrind the disc it rides on (which moves the pulldown claw in and out) so that the claw would drop below the aperture plate,



About regrinding that disc I believe it is titanium so a bit hard to do....not impossible though.

-Rob-
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#16 Paul Bruening

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 08:12 PM

Thanks, Patrick,

I like the idea of getting 40 seconds of take per winding in 2-perf instead of the 20 seconds in 4-perf. I like that a 100' daylight load could last 2.11 minutes. I especially like the idea of not having to hand hold my Mitchell.
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#17 Patrick Neary

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 09:09 PM

Actually with the scheme I mentioned above, you'd still only get 20 seconds per wind (it would be the same number of revolutions of the shutter, the claw is just doing tighter circles, but maybe with longer dwell times at the beginning and end of each pull-down?) but you would still obviously get the longer time per 100' roll.

As for hand-holding the mitchell...

[attachment=4447:HHmitchell_1.jpg]
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#18 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:17 PM

The front mechanism of the Eyemo is interchangeable so I would think that you could have a 2-perf, 3-perf and 4-perf front and change as necessary. Sounds like an interesting idea. I am going to send my NCS Revolution motor back sometime soon to get it upgraded to sync (I just bought the timelapse one that does up to 6fps) with that motor ( www.intervalometers.com ) and modern glass ( mine is Nikon mount but I wonder about PL ) the eyemo can be a great multi purpose specialty camera.

Love to see a 2-perf in action!

-Rob-
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#19 John Sprung

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:00 PM

Relocating the pin to half its original radius from the center is all you'd have to do to the front. I don't see any reason to re-grind the cam that moves the claws in and out. Re-gearing to double the rate of rotation for the cam looks like the bigger part of the job.



-- J.S.
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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:54 PM

As for hand-holding the mitchell...

[attachment=4447:HHmitchell_1.jpg]



Holy cow! It hurts just to see that.
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