Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Konica Auto S2

I managed to repair the Konica Auto S2 that I fumbled a couple of months ago. The impact broke off the wind lever, leaving a broken threaded stub down inside the shaft that winds the film. The photo above is from the donor camera. The top end of this shaft has the frame counter assembly, and it's possible to remove this as a unit.

These are the two springs that have to be detensioned and moved. The small one around that brass screw in the corner is attached to a lever that resets the counter when the camera back is open. It has to be moved in order to get to that larger coil spring around the shaft. You can just see the end of it hooked around the casting behind that brass screw.

The frame counter has been removed. There are just two screws holding it in place, and from this view you can see the two springs very well.

This is the bottom of the camera. That large screw on the right holds the bottom end of the film winding shaft. The big U-shaped spring on the left has to be removed, as well as the small circlip next to the end of the shaft. Then the brass retainer can be bent back and the big screw on the shaft will come out. It's a very thin slotted fastener, however, and it would be very easy to strip. If I did this regularly, I'd make a dedicated screwdriver just for this task. I very nearly gorfed this one.

Reassembly is fairly easy. Just watch for clearances and see that you retract some of the mechanisms to get the shaft installed. It's not rocket science. Just work slowly and carefully being careful not to force anything.
Here's a 'while-you're-at-it' job. The dustcover over the rangefinder is held on with a screw, not glued on like the Canon Canonet or Yashica Electro. Take out that single screw and you have access to the beam splitter.

In the full size shot, you can actually see some of the crud on the back side of that beam splitter - the diagonal piece of glass across the width of the rangefinder. I used a bit of cotton held in a pair of tweezers for cleaning because a Q-tip is too large. I used a lens cleaning solution from my eye doctor because I know from experience that it won't damage anything. This is another spot to work slowly and carefully, because you don't want to scratch anything.

All in all, I'm impressed with the Konica. It offers both automatic and manual operation much like the Canon Canonet. And the viewfinder is much brighter than either the Canonet or the Yashica Electro. But the most critical thing is how the lens performs. That will probably be something to investigate this weekend.

By the way, all these macro shots are from a refurbished Olympus FE-320. It has a macro and "super macro" that focuses as close as 2 inches. And it's roughly half the size of my Canon A590IS.



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