How do I lube the Konvas Magazines?

Lube Konvas Magazine
Lube Konvas Magazine
Maintaining your Konvas often becomes part of the job of owning one. Oiling the magazine is not that scary, I've taken apart the magazine and oiled the gears myself a few times. To do so, remove the screws from the plate that covers the gears (be careful not to lose any of them, as they are rather tiny!) and drop a dot, or possibly two, of Camera oil (you may want to try the same oil used in the Arri 2C) into the various gears.

The original Konvas recommended oil/grease is most likely no longer being made, so you'll have to make do. Olex Kalynychenko had this to say on "I use Russian modern oil and grease from natural oil stock."

You may also try using gun oil or sewing machine oil if you can't find camera oil that works for you, but you may need to clean the gears and inspect the magazine more often. Note that the proper camera oil is preferred!

Konvas magazines also have ball bearings in the take-up reel and film rollers and they must be greased as well. Since 35mm film rolls through at 16 frames per foot (and at 24 frames per second, that can get pretty fast), they need to be properly lubricated or else the friction could damage them.

A few more thoughts:

  • Don't over oil your magazine! Too much oil can be extremely bad, so be careful!
  • Don't oil your magazine right before using it (you may accidentally get some oil on your negative!).
  • You'll probably want to clean and oil your magazine if it hasn't been used in over a year.
  • Be sure to (lightly) oil the magazine after you've run about 15,000+/- feet of film through it.
  • Make sure not to go overboard with the oil, and clean up any accidental excess drips immediately.

For a more detailed step-by-step guide, Steve Larson has a great page on his site with pictures on lubing the Konvas magazines.