Rollei Repairs By Harry Fleenor
Oceanside Camera Repair
909 Aviation Blvd. Ste. 4
Manhattan Beach, Ca 90266
310 374 6506 - email -

A Rolleiflex TLR CLA?

Rolleiflex TLR 220 Modifications

Need a brighter screen? Click here!

Which Rolleiflex Should I Buy?

Rollei 35 batteries


Applause from customers

Books, Users Manuals For Sale.

"Date your Rollei TLR" chart

Cleaning Lenses

Rolleiflex WWW links

Return to Oceanside main page

Rolleiflex 3.5F

Rolleiflex CLA or overhaul

Oceanside Camera Repair

What is a CLA on a Rolleiflex TLR?

The term “CLA” is a new buzzword. But what is it? What do they do in a “CLA”?
The letters C L A stand for clean, lube and adjust. This is a very vague term. Do you know what happens in a CLA? Is this just taking a cover off, cleaning the mechanism superficially, placing some lube here and there, making some adjustments and closing it up?
I believe that some “kitchen table mechanics” do exactly that and nothing more.

The following story happened recently and similar stories have happened many times over the years.
A customer brought in a Rolleiflex. The shutter was hanging and the transport wasn’t working properly and the front controls were out of adjustment. But - this Rolleiflex was just returned from a “CLA”. The place that did the “CLA” advertised a low price and a fast turnaround. The customer with the Rolleiflex had already sent it back, since it wasn't working right, and had to wait several months. After all that it still didn’t work.
I looked at shutter blades and they were oily and dirty. Obviously the shutter blades weren’t cleaned! The transport wasn’t working. So I wondered exactly what was Cleaned, Lubed and Adjusted!

I have been repairing Rolleiflex cameras since the late 1960’s for Honeywell (the Rolleiflex distributor at that time) and then for Rollei of America, when they became independent of Honeywell in the early 1970’s. In 1982, when Rollei went bankrupt I was able to obtain the test equipment, special tools and a parts supply from the west coast division. So I started Oceanside Camera Repair in 1982.

I have been using the old fashioned term “overhaul”.
What I do in a shutter overhaul, for example, is to, (using Rollei factory tools where needed), disassemble the mechanism, including the shutter blades. Yes I clean the shutter blades on every Rollei TLR shutter overhaul!
I clean all of the parts, including the shutter blades.
Shutter blades are very light and very thin. So a drop of oil acts like glue. It can completely freeze the shutter closed. There has to be some lubrication in the shutter mechanism and when the camera is exposed to very hot conditions this lubrication sometimes breaks down and runs onto the shutter blades. This can cause trouble. A very small amount of oil on the blades usually doesn’t cause a problem unless the weather is extreme,(cold or hot). However this muck has to be removed from the shutter blades.

After cleaning all of the parts, I polish mechanical surfaces that have become rough or worn. I replace small parts, if needed. I then apply Rollei factory lubricants where they are needed. Then I adjust the shutter with the Rollei shutter tester.
Wow, I just did a CLA plus polishing. But I’m just getting started. I re-assemble the Rolleiflex making sure that all of the linkages are correct. (I receive many Rolleiflex TLR’s that have the front installed wrong - so the shutter, transport and/or meter linkage is off. So you can't access certain settings.) I also clean the camera externally. Check all functions including the flash sync. and clean and adjust the viewfinder.
This was a rough description of a shutter overhaul or shutter CLA +++.

I personally examine and custom estimate each Rolleiflex TLR. In addition to the shutter overhaul it may need a transport overhaul or small repairs, such as a sticking viewfinder hood, bent back door, etc. Focusing repairs are also estimated separately. Repairing the focusing on a badly impacted camera is very different from cleaning and re-lubing a rough focus knob. The typical shutter overhaul on a Rolleiflex 2.8F is $159.-- plus parts and shipping.

Thank You,
Harry Fleenor
Oceanside Camera Repair
909 Aviation Blvd, #4
Manhattan Beach. Ca 90266

Repairing Rolleiflex TLRs, (including Rolleiflex 2.8F, 3.5F, Rolleiflex 2.8E-3, 2.8E-2, 2.8E, 2.8D, 2.8C, , 2.8B, 2.8A, Rolleiflex 3.5E-3, 3.5E-2, 3.5E, 3.5, Automat X, 3.5 Automat MX, Automat MX E-V, Tele Rolleiflex, Wide-Angle Rolleiflex, Rolleicord Vb, Va, V, IV, and Rolleiflex T)   Rollei SL66 and Rollei 35.

Return to Oceanside main page