I got a rangefinder!

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Mats_A, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    I just bought my first ever rangefinder. Was browsing a flea-market with the missus and found a Yashica Electro 35 GS. Price was not too bad at 5€ so I became a happy owner.
    Battery is dead but otherwise everything seems to be working. Shutter fires at at some default speed and everything is moving. Must try to find a battery tomorrow.

    As this is my first rangefinder I have a newbie question. The rangefinder seems to be working but I suspect it is off focus. When I focus at "infinity" the yellow image is not aligned when focus ring is at max. I need to bring it back about 3-5 degrees.
    It should align at infinity when focus ring is at the "max". Or am I missing something?

    Very happy owner of my first RF

    r

    Mats
     
  2. chrismoret

    chrismoret Member

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    Congrats with your first RF-camera. You will probaly never go back to SLR. :tongue: And considering a Leica M before you know it.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Mats:

    Congratulations.

    Before assuming that the rangefinder is out of adjustment, you should try testing it. The easiest way is to use a tripod, some slow film, a tape measure and something like a picket fence.

    Take shots with the camera set to a wide aperture and focused at different distances, marking each time where you are focussing.

    The pickets in the fence will tell you if the camera is actually focussing closer or farther than it otherwise indicates.

    I attach an example test shot.

    The example would have been better if I had more clearly marked the distance (e.g. using a sheet of paper with the distance written on it).

    I find this much easier than focussing on a make-do facsimile for a ground glass at the film plane - especially if you are doing this for a 35mm camera.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. maderik

    maderik Member

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    This is very easy to adjust: http://www.yashica-guy.com/document/repair.html#six
    Although you may want to take the top off and clean the viewfinder as well to improve contrast/brightness.

    The most common alternative battery solution is a 4LR44 aka PX-28 and a metal spring to make up the length difference (and some cardboard or foam to make up the diameter diff.) The back door light seals may be iffy, so if it came with the lower half of the case, you might want to put this on to help reduce the chance of light leaks. (The default shutter speed w/o a battery is 1/500th so you can use the sunny f/16 rule until you get a battery.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  5. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Another way to test it is to take some frosted celo tape apply it to a piece of clear cling wrap like you use to wrap leftovers in so you end up with a nice flat piece of frosted cling wrap that you can place on the film plane in the camera without ruining it. With the back open fire the shutter in bulb and see if your improvised "focus glass" matches your view through the range finder. if you really want to do it on the cheep you could use waxed paper or baking parchment, but they don't stay in place as well and cling wrap. I'm betting that the infinity stop on the camera is beat up from use.
     
  6. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Mattking:
    Thanks for the tip. I will do that as soon as I get a working battery.

    r

    Mats
     
  7. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    The foam seals are also 90% gone so it looks like I have a CLA in my future.
    Is this camera good enough to deserve paying for one or should I keep it on the shelf?
    What is your opionion?

    r

    Mats
     
  8. maderik

    maderik Member

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    Seals are not that hard to replace. I'd suggest keeping the investment low and DIY the seals (plenty of instructions on the web for foam, felt or yarn seals). If it turns out you like the camera, then either send that one in for work or look for a cosmetically perfect one to have refurbed. Then you can pimp your old one with some fancy covering and even crystals or beads (or LED lights and make it really "Electro!").
     
  9. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Mats, CLA for your new GS costs give or take €70 in Helsinki (www.kamerahuolto.fi is my regular place) but you can easily find a working example for a €50 or so. Light seals are easy to do by yourself but there are two really common faults with these beauties: first is the wire that connects the battery to the system corrodes and breaks and the second is a thing called POD or "pad of death", a small rubber pad deep inside the camera that just melts away and makes the camera inoperable.

    So first thing to do is to check that the battery connects electricity to the camera. The orange and red exposure lights should give you a warning signal if you change the f-stop too much up or down and try to trigger the shutter. The POD is usually (but not always!) okay if the camera gives a clear "clunk" sound when you advance the film. You CAN fix both of these by yourself if you are handy with cameras - there are repair instructions available if you look around - but it's not an easy job.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If it makes you happy it's worth it.
     
  11. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Yashica Electro 35 GS also, an excellent camera!

    Jeff
     
  12. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Finding the right battery will be fun! :smile:

    I also have a Yashica Electro GSN (inherited from my father-in-Law). (Unfortunately, he didn't leave any useable batteries for it.)

    Finding a battery for it was another thing entirely, as it is designed to use a -now discontinued- large, Mercury, 5.6v, compound battery.:sad:

    Howerver, luckily all was not lost :D, because Yashica cleverly designed the electronics of the GSN so that it is capable of working over a (small) range of voltages, rather than an exact, specific voltage.

    So, if you can find a batttery speciality shop (here in Oz, we have the "Battery World" and the "Battery Bar"), they will either have in stock or be able to get for you one of the following (not exactly cheap).

    What you will be able to use is:

    The Exell Photo 6v alkaline A32PX

    Or the Duracell PX32A

    While neither delivers the exact voltage of the original Mercury battery, I have used the first of these with complete satisfaction. They fit the battery compartment exactly and work perfectly. :smile:

    BTW (except for closer than aboout 2 to 3 meters), I generally use my RFs (several) in hyperfocal distance mode. That way it doesn't matter whether the rangefinder works or not and (with a small aperture) almost everything is in focus. :smile:

    Also, check out this link:

    http://forum.mflenses.com/yashica-electro-35-gsn-opinions-t30498.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2010
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy!
     
  14. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. I will try to get a working battery first and take it from there.

    r

    Mats