KODAK EKTRA Back to main page
Over 50 Kodak Ektras have been made fully operational again by Bald mountain.
Typical repair cost for a complete not severely damaged Ektra is around $634.00 which assumes the making of new curtains as part of the repair. Repair of damaged magazines and lenses will sometimes be quoted separately from the camera body.
If you are considering using a restored Ektra here is a partial list of how use will differ from most other cameras both new and vintage. Noted also are ways the camera is vulnerable to damage when changing or installing film magazines.
When removing a film back the camera must be either securely fully wound ready to fire or fully tripped without any slight wind partially started.
This is to be certain the coupling drive is aligned perfectly to allow removal [ or re mounting ] on the body. Any slight mismatch will damage the ratchet teeth on the body main wind drive.
[note: over half of the backs I have restored have already occurred this damage].
When a film back is in the "unlock" position which draws the darkslide over the film and allows removal of the magazine from the body. An internal brake acts to also secure the body drive coupling in the correct "safe" position for removal or remounting on the body.
Unfortunately in The Ektra design this brake is only supported by the film back casting which in this location is as thin as a sheet of paper. Attempting to wind the back firmly against the brake either on the body or off while "unlocked" breaks the casting leaving a hole and defeats the brake action permanently.
This feature can not be repaired once broken and makes the film back likely to damage the body when being mounted unless for maximum safety sake the back is only installed with the film loading door open. [For those owning an Ektra with only one film back this is not a problem]
All speeds can ONLY be changed when the body is FULLY wound. The high speed dial also can not be changed unless the slow speed dial is SET TO 0 FIRST.
The effort to wind an Ektra due to the design varies considerably with the shutter speed selected.
All speeds take the most force at the end of each wind. The slowest speeds take the most effort with the 1/25 and slower subset taking the greatest effort.
An Ektra will not trip unless FULLY wound and using the slow speeds it is sometimes easy to not finish the last bit of wind.
The force demanded is the effort required to expand the size of the curtain slit against the resistance of a friction clutch. [ This resistance is also what you feel and must overcome when you change speeds from higher to lower speeds when you set speeds ].
Most Ektra bodies are stiff to wind the slow speeds with noticeable variation between individual specimens. some are much easier than others but all require extra effort.
When using or changing the higher speeds make sure the slow speed set is off. ["0"]
Never attempt to set a change in shutter speed when the body is NOT FULLY wound.
Call if you have any question about your Ektra,
Early B&W images below are from Kodak literature
The copy for using the Ektra flash add on is from Mathew Hargreaves
Of the various versions of the Ektra that have passed through here being repaired
only two didn't need new curtains.
Normally the average charge for making an undamaged body run correctly with new curtains is C. $634
Lenses and camera backs to be used with the unit should be sent at the same time for
proper matching during adjustment, minimally one lens needs to be sent in any case.
Each loose item should be individually boxed within the main shipping box to
prevent one part from accidentally damaging another in case the packing material fails
to maintain separation of various units during shipment.
If you have any question you might
call during my regular phone times to
talk about it.
9/5 wed./ Thurs. 9/noon Fri.
Best wishes .... Ken
Top deck with cover removed
Speaking generally about Ektras:
Most Ektras need new curtains when repaired. One of these that still had good curtains was
bought new in 1940 and was used by a real estate agent every week for over 50 years.
Most damage to Ektras comes from botched repairs and from not being used.
Parts broken from botched repairs include chipped prisms, broken wind stop dogs, broken
slow speed spring arms, broken wind ratchet teeth, modifications for flash, bent or missing
curtain shrouds, and worst, missing parts.
Chips on the rangefinder prisms due to tampering usually remain visible unless
damage can be mitigated by reorientation of the prisms or replacement.
Cosmetic condition of the plating is critical as it can not be improved.
Magazines frequently have the lock mechanism broken by forcing the wind, evidence of
this is usually visible as a portion of the casting breaks out just to the right of the upper film
There are two common variations of the body and it is normal to see the earlier version have
the lead curtain appear slightly tipped during winding.
Typical repair cost for a complete not severely damaged Ektra is around $595.00 which assumes the making of new curtains as part of the repair. Repair of damaged magazines and lenses will sometimes be quoted separately from the camera body.
Some Ektra links Back to Main Page
The Ektra flash instructions