Zenit E help?
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05-10-11, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
This can be several problems, although the shutter mentioned by others does seem to be the likely culprit. Open the back, set the shutter speed dial to B and fire the camera, you should see the first curtain open, then when you let the button go the second curtain will close. Wind the film advance lever on and you should see the curtains travelling back to the start point (which I seem to remember is the top).
If it passes both these tests then it's unlikely to be a shutter problem. Next remove the lens and fire the shutter to make sure the mirror is flipping up out of the way. This would be an unusual fault, but not unknown.
Replace the lens and set the aperture to something small like f16 and operate the shutter on B or 1. You should be able to see the aperture diaphragm operate.
The next thing to look at is the film advance mechanism. When the film advance lever is being operated hold your thumb on the sprocket drive, apply a little pressure to make sure it's not slipping under tension. Also, make sure the take up reel is working.
Lastly, check that the film release (which I think is a knurled knob that you twist on the Zenit) is a) in the 'Advance' position and b) is not stuck in release mode.
If it passes all these tests, the last remaining cause is likely to be film loading. Pull sufficient film out of the cassette to make sure it's firmly attached to the take up reel and the sprocket holes on both edges of the film are engaged. Wind the film back into the cassette to take up the tension and carefully close the back. Watch the rewind knob while you advance the film and fire the shutter twice. As long as the rewind knob rotates you know the film is advancing properly.
I can't think of anything else that could cause this problem. Zenit's are pretty simple and robust bits of kit.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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