Welcome to a new series we are hoping to be doing on our website blog! We repair and service lots of film cameras every week, and wanted to show what we get up to behind-the-scenes.
DISCLAIMER: these posts are not intended to be a how-to on repairs. We recommend booking a repair or service in with us, rather than taking apart your beloved camera and risking further damage.
We missed last week's post (sorry!) and so we are back this week with a few repairs that have come across our desk. The past couple of weeks have been very busy with the shop, and so most of the repairs we have done have been refurbishing and repairing 35mm film cameras for the shop.
We'll start off recapping some of the simple things we did, such as the viewfinder cleaning on this Pentax Espio 120Mi. These cameras are not weatherproof, so over time the viewfinders fill with dust and debris. All of the cameras that come across our website are cleaned and this viewfinder was no exception. Below you can see the before and after.
The next job on our desk this week was a classic light seal replacement. The camera in question was the Canon Demi, which has some large seals in the back door as you can see below. Replacing the seals in this particular camera is no easy feat, especially as the viewfinder hole needs to be cut out.
Once all the old light seal material is removed, new light seals can be added. The old material is often lots of small particles, almost like dust. The material can be made a little stickier using isopropyl alcohol and this helps it to be cleaned out of the camera easily. Below shows the new light seals.
The most of repairs and refurbishments this week have been on the Olympus Trip 35mm film cameras. A lot of the Trips we receive, whether they are from customers or for the shop, are filled with sand and debris from years of use. This causes issues in the mechanisms and in the lens. Below is an example of a particularly sandy Trip lens ring.
Another common issue with the Olympus Trip cameras are dented front lens rings. These are often caused by the camera being dropped or bumped. Whilst the rings can be straightened out to allow filters to be used on the camera, they are hardly ever perfectly circular again, and so replacements are needed.
By using the lens vice shown above, the lens ring can be forced out to near the original shape of the lens ring.
One camera that we really enjoyed working on this week was a customer's Olympus Trip that had stopped working correctly. When we received the camera, it was obvious that there was some botched repair work carried out on the camera previously.
The selenium meter was soldered incorrectly with the contacts points in the wrong place and this was making the meter needle erratic. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it would not.
The biggest concern with the camera, however, was the oily shutter blades, which were causing the shutter to not be able to close fully or open fully. We could see the oily blades through the back of the camera, but in order to repair this successfully and properly, the entire camera had to be opened up.
The Olympus Trip shutter blades do not need oil on them, so how these shutter blades came to be quite so oily is a mystery to me.
The oil from the shutter blades had also migrated to the aperture blades and were causing these to be stuck as well.
The two images above show the shutter blades before and after cleaning.
I apologise that this week's repair post has not been as vibrant and interesting as the last two weeks. We would love to hear your feedback on the posts so far, and hear your suggestions for making the posts better and more interesting!
If you like what we do, but can't buy a camera from us, please consider buying us a cup of coffee! It helps us to keep these resources free, consistent, and accessible.