Is it worth to repair?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by MFstooges, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    I bought couple of Nikon corpse for cheap and started to swap parts to make one functioning camera. Things were good and two corpses is now one Nikon zombie. It is almost 100% functioning but lack some parts, so let's just say it's 80% functioning. So I continuously lurk on feebay to grab some parts but all are listed around $5-$15/part which makes buying replacement parts cost ineffective. I tried to look for a broken camera but all of them are 90-95% functioning with small problems like dead light meter, leatherette peeled, etc. Salvaging parts from 90-95% functioning camera to repair an 80% camera is not a good choice either.
    This was a weekend project and I was excited, now I'm a bit frustrated. I wish there is some place like junkbay where people sell real camera junk. That way I can buy one for cheap and pull out couple of parts, save the rest for another project. Am I dreaming?
     
  2. OddE

    OddE Member

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    -I guess the obvious course of action would be to buy a 95% camera, then use parts from the 80% one to make the former 100% (Or at least 99%...)

    Bargains do come by every now and then - so I guess if one took a longer-term approach, one could get a number of F bodies on the cheap, just in case one should ever need the parts.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Here in the UK there's a dealer who sells camera corpses at camera fairs for about £1-£2. I needed a couple of small parts mainly an uncommon reverse threaded part for a Pentax Spotmatic and bought an SIa which happens to use the same part for £1 it was missing a base plate and rewind crank

    My dilemna is I fixed the shutter on the SIa out of curiousity and that's now functioning well so at the next camera fair I bought another SIa for it's rewind crank, base plate and the parts for the Spotmatic. This camera is also repairable so where do you stop :D

    The dealer in question has a store full of good fully functioning cameras at reasonable prices, the cost of repair and a surplus of these functional cameras makes it uneconomic to repair every camera and so they go for spare parts very cheaply. Some have already been cannibalised slightly.

    Ian
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't know how you can stop but I do know how to continue!

    I have an S1a which fires at the same speed regardless of shutter setting. Do you want to have a go at that one or give me an idea of how to fix it?

    p.s. I received your extra pieces of ivory for cutting and etching a few weeks ago. I will try to get them done this week.

    And I notice that you spell dilemna with an n. Is that the way you always spell it? I do too but everyone else thinks I'm crazy!


    Steve.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Dilemna is a misspelling :D But it's one many of use make regularly as it sounds right :smile:

    I'll look at my SIa's tonight & see what I can suggest, the second one is firing at just one speed, and I didn't do much to the first one at all to get it firing again. I have a Spotmatic service manual somewhere in PDF form, it's close enough shutter wise to an SIa, but the SIa's a little easier to work on.

    If there's spare ivory (piano keys) could you do a couple of extra TP shutter badges as well please :D

    Ian
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    As long as they cut properly, I think there's enough there to make two of each type.

    Do you have any pictures of any fitted to cameras?

    And would it be possible to send a copy of that PDF to me at steve.smith.stuff (at) gmail.com ?



    Steve.
     
  7. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    I just bought a non-functional Nikon FG from KEH for $1.99, to get one part. I assumed their price was based on the value of functioning FGs (two cigarettes and half a chocolate bar), but you might try them, anyway. This kind of thing pops up and disappears regularly on their site.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Nothing wrong with the Nikon FG. I have had mine since the early 1980s and has been reliable for all that time.


    Steve.
     
  9. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    You are lucky! How did you do that? Is there a special section for camera corpses?
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If people know you tinker you get given bits and pieces.

    So way back in the 80's I was given an early Pentax (first version after the Ashiflexes) made about 1957 the shutter's disfunctional and there's a ding on the top but I used to leave it out on a self with a lens to be stolen if I was burgled. While the camera needs a lot of work there was a good CZJ 50mm f2.8 Tessar from the late 70's.

    I know Steve's seen it before but this was another donated basket case:

    LFcamera0_sm.jpg

    Now looks like this:

    cam08sm.jpg

    It took me 18 years to get around to the restoration, so maybe it's time I had a go at the Pentax, meanwhile I'll see what else I can pick up for £1-£2 begining of next month :D

    An aside if you really want to see how a good 35mm camera works get a cheap early screw mount Leica or a Russian copy, they are very easy to work on and you see the logic of how a focal pane shutter works.

    Ian
     
  11. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    I'm not dissing the FG--it's my favorite old Nikon, and I have two of them. But the general market doesn't appreciate them. I've got an FM, too, and the FG mops floors with FMs. To me the FG is just a mini FA, complete with the lovely finger grip that I won't live without now, and as such it's a great carry-around camera.

    I usually find that kind of deal through Google, not via KEH's website. The KEH site has all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies where they stuff strange stuff. But once in a while you'll see it right there where it belongs, too--I think the FG was right in there with the rest of the bodies. Every once in a while I'll see off-brand lenses for $1.39, too. It's worth cruising their site for fun occasionally, just in case.