Procedure: Dismantling the Kodak Stereo Camera

Thanks to: Alex Klein

Disclaimer: This data is provided for informational purposes only. You must assess your ability to perform the operations described. Neither the individual contributor nor Rocky Mountain Memories assumes any responsibility for damage you may inflict on your camera by following these directions.

What you need are some really good screwdrivers. Don't even try to fool around with your pocket-knife or cheap screw drivers. This is all what I use to repair cameras:

Screwdrivers 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm, 2.5 mm, 3.0 mm, 5.0 mm
Phillips Screwdrivers PH 000, PH 00, PH 0
two pairs of tweezers (one straight, one slightly bent)
two good eyes and good hands
several empty film-containers for small parts

This description is not necessarily accurate. I wrote this purely from memory. Next time I take apart a Kodak, I should probably make a few notes.

It is unnecessary to remove the bottom part. Start with the top part. First, open the camera back and stuff some paper (Kleenex etc.) into the take-up spool (right). Make sure to push the paper upwards. This helps to prevent that parts are falling down into the camera. It's not really necessary as this is nothing "deadly", but it helps to save some time. Then remove the wind and rewind buttons by using a large screwdriver. Make sure not to mess up the parts of the rewind button. Then loosen the two Phillips screws at the outer end of the metal top plate. Remove the top plate. At this stage, you could clean the back element lens of the viewfinder by opening the camera back and lifting off the small bakelite cover, but I suggest you wait with that until you start assembling the camera again. Next, remove the diaphragm and shutter speed dial by removing the two screws holding the appropriate part. The small lever with which you set the diaphragm is held by a tiny screw which has to be removed. Put the lever and the screw in a film container. If you get nervous about the size of the screws: this one is one of the smallest ones. After that, remove the bakelite front part (the one with the Kodak logo) by removing the two regular screws on the bottom (left and right of the serial number; the screws have fairly thick heads) and the two Phillips screws at the top (that's why you had to remove the top)

Then lay the camera on the back and remove the four Phillips screws holding the brown ring round the lenses (the one that says `Kodak Anaston Lens'). The screws also go into a film container. Personally, I use just one big container, but you may wish to use several containers and label them. Numbering the containers is probably no bad idea. Then you know which parts to put where at the right time (working your way back to box #1).

The rings lift off pretty easy, probably you have to take a small screwdriver and lift them off (at one of the two holes, so you don't scratch anything). Next, screw the front elements of the lenses out. It's no bad idea to label them left and right (who knows, maybe they're matched??).

Then remove the two aluminum scales (depth-of-field [right]/arrow [left]).

Now it's time to remove the whole shutter assembly. Open the camera back and loosen the four rather big black screws (they're pretty long). The shutter assembly should fall out. There's NO danger of any hidden springs.

To open the shutter, remove the four bolt-like screws that held the aluminum scales (the screws protrude about 6 mm, so it's quite obvious which screws I mean). The left and right pairs are different. Have a close look!

Now you should have the shutter right in front of you. Describing the whole shutter mechanism exceeds both my memory and my English language skills, but it's quite obvious.

By the way: the shutter can be cocked with the protruding lever. If you want to fire it, a small latch (?) near the cocking lever must be pushed in one direction (hold it like that), then press the shutter release "button".

To clean the shutter, I'm using a special kind of benzene which I buy at the pharmacy. It's extra clean, is usually used to clean wounds (in German, it's called "Wundbenzin" - wound benzene). It evaporates much faster than usual benzene and doesn't smell as badly. By washing the shutter, you remove all old grease and dirt. Then re-lube very carefully. Don't even try to lube the shutter blades...

By the way, I'm using the same stuff to clean lenses (with a special cotton swab).

This description is really just very basic, but it should help you to fix MOST problems of the Kodak, to clean ALL lenses, the viewfinder (also all lenses and mirrors) and to re-focus the camera.

When assembling the camera, simply proceed "in the other direction". At the various stages, check the functions of the camera (i.e. after putting the shutter assembly back, cock the shutter and fire it. Once you screw in the front elements of the lenses (don't forget to clean them!), put a ground glass (scotch tape or thin glass) onto the film plane, cock the shutter, put it on B and screw-in a cable release. Then keep the shutter open ( diaphragm at f 3.5) and focus on a distant object (no accurate focusing at this early time). Then remove the cable release and continue assembling the camera, but leave the two brown rings round the lenses away.

Everything on its place? Congratulations! Now it's time to focus the camera. Keep the shutter open, the diaphragm also. Turn the lens rings to the infinity position. Put one brown ring in place and SLIGHTLY turn in the two Phillips screws. With your fine ground glass and a good magnifier (min. 25 x) adjust the focus to infinity. Then tighten the two screws. Do the same with the other lens. Cross-check the focus of the lenses at infinity. You may have to play around a bit, but you'll soon notice how it works. After re-focusing some 10 cameras, you can do it in 10 minutes.

Rocky Mountain
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