Saturday, May 29, 2010

Score card

I've been posting about fixing cameras for a while, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a list of successes and failures so far. Without further ado:

Yashica Electro 35 GT. I cleaned the rangefinder and replaced the seals. The battery compartment had some corrosion leading to a poor connection that had to be re-soldered. But somehow in the course of cleaning it, I managed to throw the rangefinder out of adjustment. Since I work slowly and carefully, getting it adjusted properly was a time-consuming job.

Canon Canonet G-III Q17. This one had a dinged front ring and stiff exposure controls. It went to Tulsa Camera Repair for that because I wasn't comfortable doing it myself at the time. I replaced the seals - a constant refrain on these old cameras - and re-glued the battery test switch from inside the top cover.

Olympus XA. Gosh, I was happy to get this one working! It had a bent fork that operated the aperture. After some head scratching, I figured out how to get to it, and a little judicious bending set it right. Replaced seals again, and the camera worked very well until I dropped it two weeks ago. Now, the meter doesn't work and the case has a crack in it. Dunno if I can fix it, but I sure want another one.

Olympus XA2. Seals and a battery got this one going.

Olympus Auto Eye. Surprise! This camera doesn't have seals! I cleaned the rangefinder and it works well, though there may be an intermittent in the exposure control. I'm not certain yet.

Olympus OM-1. New seals.

Canon AE-1 Program. New seals.

Pentax MX. I have two of these. Both needed new seals.

Konica C 35. I admit defeat on this one. It has extensive internal corrosion from battery leakage and acid flux used to solder the wiring.

Rollei 35 S. I managed to open this camera, and it too shows much corrosion. It's a very nice camera, though, so I may send it out to a specialist for evaluation.



Upcoming cameras.

Yashica Lynx 5000. This is a fully manual rangefinder. At present, it doesn't wind and the shutter is inoperative. I haven't disassembled it yet.

Minolta HiMatic 9 (or is it a 7? I don't remember). This one has an inoperative shutter too. It has not been disassembled.



The wish list.
These are cameras I'd like to get someday.

Yashica Lynx 14E. If I understand correctly, this offers both manual and automatic operation, but the real appeal is that 45mm f 1.4 lens hanging off the front. This thing is big and heavy, but I've always been a sucker for fast glass.

Nikon F4. Yeah. Dream on.

German rangefinder. It would be nice to have a Leica, a Voightlander, or a Contax, but the CycleDog budget may only extend to Russian copies like Kievs, FEDs, or a Zorki. Sorry, but Chinese copies of Russian copies of German cameras are right out. But you never know. I may stumble into that yard sale where a disgruntled ex-wife is selling her husband's old Leica, right next to his Klein track bike and Norton Manx - all for $200!

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8 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Gronow said...

Nikon F4's are pretty cheap on ebay...

3:20 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Andrew, the problem is that I'm cheaper! All my lenses are Pentax, so I'd have to get some Nikon mount lenses too. And I could probably do that, but there are always other things higher up the priority list. Just now, the ones pushing toward the top are a replacement dryer and a new weed eater. My 'toys' lose out to stuff like that.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Ham said...

If you want maximum bangs for fixing bucks, do try 120 folding cameras. Cheap to pick up, easy to work on, enormously satisfying when you first take a shutter apart and get it back together.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Thanks for that, Ham. I do have a Voightlander Bessa that may be a pre-war model. It's another camera I've hesitated to get into because I like it, and I'd hate to screw it up. But the idea of a folding 120 camera has great appeal, and before the shutter quit, it took some nice photos.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Ham said...

If the shutter quit, chances are it is the old oil clagging up the mech. All you probably need to do to fix that is to clean with lighter fluid to bring it back to life. Having said that, I recommend practising on a $20-30 one of eBay first, especially to set up the focus.

Here's the results from one of the first ones I did http://picasaweb.google.com/londondailyphoto/AgifoldTestFilm#

4:36 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I'll post some photos of the Voightlander later today. Right now, it's stinkin' hot and all I want to do is sip at an iced coffee for a bit.

The Bessa is a scale focusing camera, so the whole lens standard should be fairly easy to repair, if it's true that old oil has gone gummy over time.

I have a 50mm f1.4 Pentax lens that has sticky aperture leaves from oil seepage. It's probably the sharpest lens I own other than the ones on the Rolleicords.

(Damn! This coffee is GOOD!)

I'm going to have to break down and buy a proper lens spanner for some of these, and I'll have to make some friction tools for cameras like that Yashica Lynx 5000.

4:52 PM  
Blogger John Harris said...

Will be carrying the Nikon D300 and an old Graflex view camera for my bike tour out west in Montana and Wyoming. Nothing like large format!

5:39 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

John - long ago I had a Graflex Crown Graphic in 6x9 (I think) and it had a pair of Singer backs for 120 rollfilm. It was a wonderful landscape camera, but kids came along, we needed to raise cash, and so my toys were the first to go. The kids are worth it. I've never regretted selling my old camera stuff.

5:22 PM  

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