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Disassembling a Quarz 1x8C-2


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#1 Bobby Nansel

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:55 AM

I've recently received three apparently working Russian Quarz 1x8S-2/1x8C-2 cameras, with two more on the way. One of the remaining two was listed as nonfunctioning, so I'll use at least that one for parts when I get it. However, I want to do a CLA for the ones that do work, so I need to learn how to take these cameras apart.

Does anyone know how to remove the fps and the winding key on the left side of the camera? I've already removed the two screws inside the film compartment and carefully pried up the polka-dotted metal plate. This has left the left shell tantalisingly loose with only the two knobs cited seeming to keep it from coming free altogether.

I've tried *very* gently to pry up the fps select knob, but it doesn't seem to want to move. A cursory examination of the knobs shows no obvious evidence that there are screws hidden under their trim, but peeling those off will be the next obvious action unless I can get a better idea, or until the dead Quarz shows up, which I can be more forceful with, (which ever happens first).

-Bobby
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#2 Bobby Nansel

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

OK, it's not for the ham-fisted or faint of heart, but this is what I've found out so far:

Preliminary Disassembly Procedure

1) Yes, indeed, you do need to remove the aluminium trim from the knobs and the winding key in order to remove them. For the knobs where this matters, first mark the orientation of the trim piece with respect to the knob body by making a small scratch across the trim onto the knob rim; this will allow you to put it back together with the correct orientation. Next, look for any tiny gap or notch between the trim piece and the knob, someplace where you can wiggle in the tip of a hobby knife to pry up a little bit. All you need is a gap large enough to allow some methylated spirits to wick in to loosen up the glue. Alternate between prying and squirting meths, taking care to deform the trim piece as little as possible; a little bit of a curl is OK, but avoid introducing any sharp bends or kinks that would be hard to re-flatten. You'll be able to worry the trim pieces away in very little time with this method. Finally, using jeweller's screwdrivers unscrew the central screws you find beneath the trim and pull the knobs off. The winding key has quite a substantial screw holding it in place, so you'll need to use a larger screw driver. The slot is much narrower than a flat-blade screwdriver of that width normally is -- the blade is too thick; you'll either have to custom grind a thinner blade on a standard screwdriver or use the largest screwdriver with a blade thickness that will fit and take it very easy so as not to damage the slot.

2) The left shell of the camera can now be removed, revealing the clockwork motor mechanism. Remove the four screws that are screwed into the thick support pillar bosses of the camera chassis. The clockwork will now be loose, but the projection of the film transport claw into the film gate will still prevent removing the clockwork module. It may be that simply removing the two screws holding the film gate in place could be enough to get the claw to clear, but there's still the matter of the shutter disk. It seems to be necessary to open up the front of the camera so you can rotate the shutter to the open position by hand to get the clockwork to come out (with much wiggling and jiggling).

3) In order to turn the shutter, I removed the front shell cover, and this requires, among other things, removing the large trim piece on the front of the camera body. This is done the same way as for the knob trim pieces, though first you must remove the zoom lens (simply unscrew the body) as well as a thin retaining ring threaded on the outside of the barrel that the zoom lens screws into. I was able to do this with my fingers. The daylight/tungsten s elector lever must be removed from the right side of the camera, with the trim-removal procedure as above. Under the front trim plate there are two slotted screws on diagonal corners, and once these screws are removed the cover shell will now slide off.

4) I removed the viewfinder beamsplitter assembly, though I'm not sure yet this is essential. Three screws hold it in place.

5) Underneath the beamsplitter assy. is the automatic/manual exposure control assembly. This is quite a delicate bit of kit since it is essentially a moving coil galvanometer movement. Note particularly the iris vane is very thin and easily deformed, and the viewfinder exposure indicator needle diametrically opposite the vane is also easily bent.

6) Four screws hold the prime focus lens. There are four screws holding it. On mine there were two screws with very thin metallic shims sandwiched between the mounting bracket and the moulded mounting boss. Be sure to write down the number of shims you find under each of these screws so you can put the correct number number back. Otherwise the prime less will be out of alignment when you retighten the screws.

7) At the back of the camera on the lower left corner is the film footage counter dial. To get the clockwork module out you must move the FPS select circuit board mounted over the film counter out of the way. I did this by removing the inner screw and loosening the outer screw so I could pivot the board out of the way. Be sure not to lose the washer from the inside mounting boss.

I think that's it. I'm pretty sure some of these steps aren't strictly necessary for removing the clockwork module, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll post revised instructions with photos once I've had a chance to reassemble the camera.

Observations

There's a lot of room left over in the casing, particularly in the upper left corner of the clockwork compartment. There are two circuit boards located there with a number of resistors, two diodes, and one electrolytic capacitor. I believe the light meter/exposure control could advantageously be tweaked to use readily available cells to replace the mercury cells. This could be done by fitting a micro-power voltage regulator or even a charge control and power jack for rechargeable cells.

Another interesting idea might be to use a super capacitor charged by a small externally mounted photovoltaic panel. I reckon a PV panel the size of the top of the camera could supply enough power to run the EE control; if there's enough light to properly expose the film, there should be enough light to power the modified camera. That would make the camera completely independent of battery power.

Summary

With care the Zenit Quarz 1x8S-2/1x8C-2 Super 8 can be disassembled by mere mortals. The build quality inside looks to be exceptional, and it appears that this camera will give up all its secrets without too much trouble. Besides being able to understand and service your own camera, this knowledge could lead to all sorts of interesting tweaks/hacks/mods for the Quarz, including rechargeable light meter cells, solar powered light meter, maybe even extending to providing a frame synch output for a sound recorder. Wouldn't that be a gas, being able to record frame-synched dual system sound. (Hmmm ... I wonder if an audio cassette recorder could be hacked to run from a Quarz clockwork motor ... :) )
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