King Regula IIb Camera Servicing
The CameraI came across this camera by coincidence. I bought a small lot of cameras where this one was totally insignificant, until I closely looked at the lens. It's Gethaldus Zagreb Ghenar. The fact that was attractive to me was that it was apparently made in Yugoslavia. Or not?
There can be little found on the internet about this simple machine, however, the company whose name the lens wears still exists in Zagreb, Croatia. It is in a prescription glasses business and one can find information that some other fractions of the once united optical company exist as well. They actually have a lens production facilities so it is possible that the lens isn't just rebadged.
Former Yugoslavia's import duties were very high to encourage domestic production. However, the fact was turned into profit by some firms with importing partly assembled goods and finishing them inside the country. Ghetaldus may have establish that kind of business deal with West German camera manufacturer Regula-Werk King KG that made the camera line named Regula. To which extent the camera was actually made in Yugoslavia is unfortunately unknown to me. On the bottom of the camera it is actually written "Made in Germany".
- Ghetaldus-Zagreb GHENAR lens 45 mm F/3.5
- 3 elements in 3 groups
- Single coated
- Focus 0.9 m to infinity
- Minimum aperture F/16
- 10 aperture blades
- PRONTO central leaf shutter 1/25 - 1/200 s + B
- Self timer
- Flash sync
- Auto cocking during film advance
- Double exposure prevention
- Deducting frame counter
The ProblemsWell, it was stuck with self timer set and not moving. I don't have plans on using Regula extensively in the future nor am I delusional about it's performance, value or rarity (despite the fact that its production was localized for sure and thus somehow rare). However, it appeared to me as a nice project that can go wrong without significant loss. And I like to have working cameras in my collection.
On the other hand, Pronto shutters can be found on many other cameras so this information may be usable also for non Regula IIb camera owners.
For the tools I use you can refer to the Horizont Camera Servicing blog post. Fortunately nothing special was needed for the Regula.
Unscrew the four screws that hold the metal rim with the engraved shutter speeds and F numbers. It's just a decorative metal plate and removing it is not necessary, but it is easier to clean the lens if removed.
The camera looks very sad without its shutter assembly. On the right there is the shutter cocking and and on the left the shutter release coupling.
The aperture should be now opened to the position where 3 screws are revealed. But be careful since they are not all of the same length. The third one is longer (on the picture on the left). The aperture rim should be turned further to reveal an additional screw that is the same length as the first two.
Here is a detailed view of the shaved screw that holds the metal rim in position once screwed.
When I opened the second Regula IIb I realized that in the first one one part is missing - the shaft visible on above photo. It blocks the use of the self timer when B shutter speed is selected. If it is absent, the B setting with self timer operates like a 1/25 s was selected. This shaft is not held in its place and may fell out of the mechanism during camera disassembly.
These are the main parts of the mechanism as far as my knowledge goes:
- a) Shutter release lever
- b) Self timer power spring
- c) Self timer mechanism block
- d) Self timer lever
- e) Shutter delay mechanism block
- f) Shutter speed selector shaft
- g) Delay mechanism trigger
- h) Shutter cocking shaft
- i) Rusted trigger shaft that was stuck
Chris Sherlock's document I discovered the reason for the misplaced third spring. The longer of the four screws that holds the aperture assembly protrudes to the shutter mechanism and supports this spring. To get it back in place, back part of the shutter assembly should be put back together.
Other steps of putting the camera together are reversal to getting it apart. Don't screw the shutter assembly covers too tight since the B shutter setting may not work in that case and the shutter speed selector may be stiff.
Be careful not to mess or, even better, check the infinity setting with the ground glass just before mounting the focusing knob on the front lens element assembly.
The ResultAnd here are some photos taken with the repaired Regula IIb. I find the zig-zag pattern of the picture edges very appealing. They may be a kind of signature of this camera since I haven't seen them elsewhere. The cause is the shape of the light shaft in the film chamber.
Overall the camera now purrs like a kitty, clicks like a mouse and looks very well.