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  1. #1

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    The basics of camera and lens dismantling/adjusting/cleaning

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for resources that will help me to understand the basics of camera repair. I don't aim to become a mechanical engineer, I just want to know the essence so that I can do the most basic CLA. Good repairmen are hard to come by where I live, and sending my gear out for CLA is very expensive. Last week I had a local camera dealer look at a sticky shutter in my Zeiss Super Ikonta. He told me he'd fix it and he did, but he did a very bad job. There are scratches on the lens coating and there's a lot of dirt and lighter fluid residue (I assume that's what he used) inside the lens. The camera is unusable as is, I ran a roll of film through it and the results look like they come from a Holga. That's not what I want from a Zeiss Tessar lens.
    As I see it, all I have to do is dismantle the lens and clean up all the crap this guy left behind (he must be blind not to notice). Obviously, this is going to be much harder than it sounds. That's why I'm looking for a good guide that'll help me understand the basics of camera and lens mechanics. By the way, I do have a disposable (SLR) lens to practice on first.

    In a nutshell, I want to be able to perform basic CLAs on my own cameras and I need good sources that can teach me the knowhow. I want at least to be able to do the following:
    - clean the interior of a lens
    - clean sticky shutters and aperture blades
    - calibrate rangefinders
    - apply lube where necessary (eg. squealing mirror on a Canon A-1)
    - I have already replaced light seals and mirror foam (yay for me!)

    Suggestions are most welcome
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  2. #2
    lxdude's Avatar
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    My first suggestion is to go back to that "repair" guy and smack him on the back of the head.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    My first suggestion is to go back to that "repair" guy and smack him on the back of the head.
    I'd do that, but he's a 70-year old paranoid cripple who recently announced in a local newspaper that he would personally chop off the legs of thieves with an axe he always has at hand (his store was broken into repeatedly). I know from experience that this guy cannot be argued with, and I'd rather not have him look at the camera again.
    Last edited by dnjl; 11-02-2011 at 04:15 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  4. #4

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    Pick up a copy of Tomosy's Camera Repair and Maintenance Vol 1. You might later wish to get hold of Vol 2 as well, but I wouldn't worry about it until you've familiarised yourself with the contents of Vol 1. You'll recover the cost of the book the first time you clean a lens or un-jam a camera, but beware - you'll soon find yourself buying all kinds of duff cameras that you'll feel an uncontrollable urge to fix!
    Best wishes,
    Steve

  5. #5
    guitstik's Avatar
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    I have been trying to locate both volumes but it seems that they are no longer in print and the secondary market hasn't been fruitful either.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  6. #6
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltereegho View Post
    I'd do that, but he's a 70-year old paranoid cripple who recently announced in a local newspaper that he would personally chop off the legs of thieves with an axe he always has at hand (his store was broken into repeatedly). I know from experience that this guy cannot be argued with, and I'd rather not have him look at the camera again.
    Like I said, smack him on the back of the head-that way he won't see it coming!
    Then run--what's he gonna do, chase you?
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    Pick up a copy of Tomosy's Camera Repair and Maintenance Vol 1. You might later wish to get hold of Vol 2 as well, but I wouldn't worry about it until you've familiarised yourself with the contents of Vol 1. You'll recover the cost of the book the first time you clean a lens or un-jam a camera, but beware - you'll soon find yourself buying all kinds of duff cameras that you'll feel an uncontrollable urge to fix!
    Best wishes,
    Steve
    Thanks! That sounds like the exact thing I was looking for.

    By the way, I managed to clean the Ikonta. Apparently all I needed to do was unscrew the back element, open the shutter and clean all four surfaces. The lens looks clean now, though the scratches remain. I hate myself for trusting that guy, I really do. He actually filed down the slots where the lens spanner wrench goes and painted over the damage with black ink so that I wouldn't notice. I mean, come on
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  8. #8

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    Google is your friend. There is so much information on the net that you can become an expert just by joining forums n asking questions. So many old repair guys are willing to help, even post pictures for ya.

    Check these out....

    http://www.kyphoto.com/cgi-bin/forum...e=ON&where=all
    http://www.nelsonfoto.com/SMF/
    http://photographic.co.nz/cameraworks/
    http://www.btinternet.com/~g.a.patterson/
    http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/retinalist.html
    http://www.jollinger.com/photo/cam-c...s/manuals.html

    Just to name a few.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  9. #9
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Try this:
    http://www.fargo-ent.com/learn.html
    they may be helpful.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  10. #10

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    Your Super Ikonta is likely a good place to start slowly getting a feel for this, though I don't know exactly which version you have. The Tomosy books are a nice reference, but not easy to follow if you don't already have some experience (and then sometimes not).

    You can see the Tessar lens design here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessar
    Front is on the left.
    Last edited by Mark Crabtree; 11-03-2011 at 11:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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