Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am a bad, bad man....(updated)

I went rooting about in a bin at a flea market, finding tons of old Kodaks, Polaroids, and for some odd reason, Minolta autofocus cameras, when I spied this way down on the bottom.

The battery leaked and corroded the battery compartment. Most of that is plastic so it shouldn't be a major problem. But I read Matt's Classic Cameras about repairing these, and his unit had corrosion all along the negative lead from the case, requiring replacement of the wire. There's a lovely photo on his site of the disassembled camera.

Of course, the seals are a gummy mess. At the bottom of this photo is a small roller that's part of the back. It's supposed to make winding a little smoother, and it's a nice touch on a camera that was meant as an inexpensive but decent quality photo taker in the days before the auto-focus, auto-everything camera killed off the rangefinder market.

Oh, there was also a Canon AF35ML in that bin. It's an automatic camera with a comparatively fast f 1.9 lens. I have one around here somewhere and I bought it new back in the 1980s. That model had two major problems. First, the battery compartment door had a tendency to break off. This was a shoddy design decision in what was a high end point and shoot. The other problem is the camera is gawdawful noisy! Honestly, I've never heard another one like it. It takes great pictures, but it's gratingly LOUD.

The one at the flea market had very badly corroded batteries. It went back into the bin.


I took the C35 apart this afternoon. It was worse than I expected.

This is the exposure mechanism inside the top cover. The rangefinder is to the right, and the frame counter is that wheel to the left. Those wires attached to the little white plastic box in the center come from the battery. See that gray blob at the end of the red wire? It's corrosion from battery fluid that traveled through the wire via capillary action. The wire will have to be replaced, but here's hoping the corrosive didn't find a way inside the exposure control mechanism, or this camera will just be a pretty paperweight.

But there's more. The battery compartment is plastic as I mentioned earlier. A pair of screws hold it in the cast aluminum camera body. One of them goes all the way through to the back of the camera, inside the film compartment. I found corrosion in there too. Hopefully, I'll be able to remove it with the assistance of some penetrating oil and maybe a soldering iron.

I can see some brackets that look like supports down inside the camera body. They're corroded. Most of the internal parts appear to be brass, though those corroded pieces may be steel.

Regardless, this camera is going to be a more involved project than I'd hoped. It's going to take a considerable amount of dis-assembly to fix this. I'm glad I only have five bucks in it.

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Blogger Steve A said...

The title of your post says it all. Blame it on Wally...

2:26 PM  

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