aireis viscont 35mm rf
I just picked up an Aries Viscount 35mm rangefinder in beautiful condition for only $35. While it was described as in perfect condition nobody checked the focusing and the ring and lens are frozen in the infinity position. KEH now wants $205 flat fee for rangefinder repair which is not too practical for a 35 dollar camera ,Short of using a vise grip any suggestions?
At that price you can afford to have a go at a repair yourself. If it does.t work, well you have a new paperweight.
A pretty common problem. Agfa cameras are famous for frozen focus. Try the following:
Aireis cameras aren't all that common, but you might try a google to see if anyone has advice for your particular camera.
Sometimes the helical just won't come undone - I have repaired many a frozen Agfa, but I have one where 2 years of soaking in acetone/methanol/MEK/xylene/pure hasn't loosened it.
Tried lighter fluid and that loosened the ring ,only to discoivere that the rangefinder was not coupled, This is becoming a major tear down and overhaul which of course
is out of my league, But what the heck for $35 it 's worth a shot.
Even if you cannot get the RF to couple, you can use scale focus. These cameras were better than most ever thought. These lenses are utterly superb.
What I would do: First, I would remove both the front and rear element sets. (This also gives you the opportunity to really get the inside of the glass immaculate.) Then I would carefully (and sparingly) drip a bit of lighter fluid onto where I thought the focusing helical was (outside the main body of the lens and aperture, of course). Once that helical gets wet (and hopefully ONLY that and not the aperture blades or shutter blades) you can begin working it back and forth with the focus. NOTE: if you do get some fluid on those blades it is not the actual fluid that is bad because it can be dried off with a hair dryer, but the fluid mixed with the helical lubricant that you are trying to remove can cause a sticky aperture or shutter once the fluid dries and the oil remains.)
Of course, it would be better to be able to remove the lens helical completely but that is tough, even for one experienced somewhat such as myself. Ideally, what you want to do is wet the helical with the fluid and then somehow draw that dirty liquid off and do it all without invading much else. I say to remove the lens elements so that any fluid that gets caught inside can much more easily be removed. Of course, don't get ALL the lubricant off: leave a bit on so that there is not grinding on the brass.
At least I have provided a theoretical paradigm here but, of course, practice might prove harder.
The top of the body is where the focus adjustment should be: usually a couple of screws that control the horizontal and vertical matching (ghost) image that you see in the RF. At this point I cannot give specific info for this particular camera even though I am certain I must have worked on it at one time. - David Lyga