Fixing a Yashica FX-3, mechanical SLR

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ic-racer, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I got another FX-3 free with some other stuff. This is how I fixed it up.

    List of things to do:
    1) General Exterior Cleaning
    2) Viewfinder/Pentaprism/Focus screen cleaning
    3) De-gooping old rubber
    4) Replace old rubber
    5) Re-do exterior grip
    6) Adjust meter
    7) Replace small screw holding the top on
    8) Re-glue rubber grip to the shutter speed knob
    9) Look for any other problem areas

    This is the camera as it came in the mail:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It came with a 50mm f1.7 ML lens. This is a six-element lens. I already have the 7-element 50mm 1.4 ML and the small 5 element 50mm f2 ML. I probably won't use this lens. The meter did not work, but a quick inspection of the battery compartment revealed two new batteries. They were upside-down. By reversing them the meter lights worked. All the foam rubber on the camera was a gooey mess. As is usual for these cameras the outer covering had come off, leaving a slippery dirty fabric.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The FX-3 top comes off pretty easy, though, on this camera the wind lever screw was very tight. The viewfinder was really too foggy to use so I had to get the top off. I needed to cut a groove in the screw and used a flat blade screwdriver. Otherwise I would have not bothered to take the top off. In the end I was able to preserve the screw. This is a reverse thread screw, and I don't have any spares lying around.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The pentaprism came out very easily. The glass surfaces were very fogged, but cleaned off easily. The eyepiece lens was also severely fogged on the inside surface and, again, this cleaned off easily. The focus screen was cleaned only with air or Dust-off. I don't ever touch these things.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    With the top off I could check the meter. There are two adjustments, one for slope and the other for overall sensitivity. The slope adjustment (millivolts change per change in exposure EV) is set by a trimmer pot. The manual specifies a setting of exactly 226mV at the indicated test points. This one came out to 225.9mV so no adjustment was needed. The overall sensitivity can be set once the top is back on.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I cleaned the old goopey foam rubber off and cut new strips from some spools of adhesive-backed black neoprene foam rubber I got from McMaster Carr. A few bucks gets a lifetime supply. I got mine around 2000 but I believe this is the link to the same stuff: # 93625K248

    The adhesive wants to stick to the sides of the channel, so I take some time to get it right. I replaced 9 pieces of rubber, this includes two small pieces on the bottom by the rewind-release button.

    The EXPOSURE CHECK button label is crooked, but there is no smearing of the adhesive, so it probably came from the factory that way. I'll just leave it that way as the sticker is otherwise in good condition.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I will order new covering, but in the mean time I used some spare latex based leather dye on the fabric remains of the covering. Here it is after the work was completed. Nothing needed to be done to the shutter or wind mechanism. If I remember, I'll update this thread when the covering arrives.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The mirror angle was off on this camera. The FX-3 repair manual does not cover mirror adjustment, but the Contax 139 manual shows it well (nearly identical mechanics):
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    To get to the screw I took the front plate off.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    After I took the front plate off I saw that they put two holes in the front plate to access the screws. Its nice to have a lens in place to do the adjustment.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It is a very tight fit but a screwdriver just fits. The angle on the screw is acute so be careful not to strip the head. 1/8th of a turn is all my camera needed.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I ordered "Griptite" covering for the camera, will update when that arrives.
     
  13. pityacka

    pityacka Member

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    ic-racer, Very interesting post re your Yashica FX3, but not for the faint hearted, like me.
    However, I wonder if you have a basic suggestion for a fault on a Yashica FR1, which I have just bought. The film speed dial is locked at ASA/ISO 80[1 mark below the ISO 100 point]. The exposure compensation dial is still working and adjust the viewfinder readings when I alter the compensation.
    The camera appears to have been stored and unused for quite a time. Would 1-2 drops of lighter fuel, or clear alcohol, dropped into the film speed dial, help to free it ? Apart from that the camera is in exceptional condition, and everything else seems OK.
    If it cannot be freed then I can still use the camera with a hand exposure meter, rely on those readings, set them on the camera, and ignore the readings in the viewfinder.
    Hope you can come up with a solution for me.
    Thanks.
     
  14. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    There is always the risk of the numbers coming off. Even on the FX-3 my favorite 'safe' cleaner (409, a common household cleaner) took the orange off the "125" speed on the dial. The white remained underneath so I used a red marker to re-do it. Alcohol may take the numbers off.
    I will say that when I got my first free FX-3 the ASA setting was frozen. I loosened it enough to change the setting with some 409 but it was never perfect again until taking the whole assembly apart and cleaning it.

    From the KYPHOTO repair forum (proceed at your own risk):
    [​IMG]
     
  15. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    Great job. Thanks for sharing
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Finally got the covering material and finished the camera. It really handles nice with the new covering.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2012
  17. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Wow you are the expert...One day I will take the top plate off my FR1 to see if I can fix the common frame counter problem, and you saying "taking the top plate off was easy" has encouraged me.
    thanks
     
  18. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Your FX-3 looks so nice I would like to send you my two bodies. I have only three Yashica lenses. They are all 50/2 MLs. One needs service. I have a Tokina RMC Doubler and a nice 28-85/2.8-3.8 Vivitar in Y/C mount as well as a Tamron Adaptall II mount adapter and, somewhere, a Vivitar TX mount adapter. I will look for reasonably priced Yashica lenses and I would like to get a 50/1.7 or 50/1.4 Zeiss lens.
     
  19. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Nice!!
    The FX-3 was my first camera back in 1983. Served me well.
     
  20. idontknowwhatimdoing

    idontknowwhatimdoing Member

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    help

    I just inherited my Yashica Fx-3 from my grate grandpa, but the focus mirror is scratched. Is there any way i can fix it my self, or will they repair it in a shop. if so would it be expensive ?

    please help :smile:
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    What kind of problem is the scratch causing?