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  1. #1

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    Inoperative rangefinder on Fuji GW690

    I recently bought a Fuji GW690 (first model) from a Japanese seller on the bay. It arrived in much better condition than I had expected: near mint, actually. Unfortunately, I now know why this camera hasn't been used a lot: the rangefinder appears to be broken. The yellow rangefinder patch is stuck at infinity and the superimposed image will not move at all when focusing the lens.

    First off: is there some kind of a magic trick that I'm not aware of? I have worked with rangefinders before, but maybe this one's special. Please tell me I'm doing something wrong!
    Second: if it is actually broken, can this be repaired? I would think that an experienced repairman can fix a rangefinder, but then again, spare parts for this camera are rare.
    I would hate to return the camera to Japan, it's such a beauty. Not to mention the shipping costs both ways amount to a substantial sum of money... The guy I bought this from (shiroshiba) was very helpful with everything and a really nice man in general, I don't think he was selling a broken camera on purpose. Still, I'm stuck with a beastly camera that is rendered useless because of a mechanical error that wasn't mentioned in the description when I bought it

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    I wouldn't attempt the repair yourself, because if I recall, there's some taping and special screws used to make sure people don't take them apart. Fuji should still service these cameras. I had one serviced about 4 years ago without much issue. Maybe consider having your seller from Japan foot the bill.....that seems very unreasonable to sell a RANGEFINDER without a rangefinder!
    K.S. Klain

  3. #3
    Sparky's Avatar
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    I have a GW690III but I hate rangefinder focusing anyway -and don't find the RFs in those cameras all that sure... why don't you just do what I do and use the distance scale on the lens?? works great. It's never failed me yet.

  4. #4

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    I actually like rangefinder focusing, I find it very convenient.

    By the way, something strange happened. I held the camera on its side for a moment, and when I returned it to a horizontal position, the rangefinder suddenly worked! I don't know whether I should be worried or happy. Some gear or mechanical part must've fallen into place. Anyway, it works for now. I should probably have it recalibrated though, provided it keeps working.

  5. #5
    Sparky's Avatar
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    i guess just give it a quick shake if it's not working next time...? yeah - I dunno - the double image thing doesn't seem so 'sure' to me... most of the time it takes me 15-20 mins to set up for a shot and it's on a tripod anyway-unless i'm doing aerial stuff and it's just 'set it at infinity' - so for me setting the focal distance manually maybe makes more sense...

  6. #6

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    It's very likely it's old lube. I don't want to tell you what the fix is 'cuz I see it all the time. here's a clue though. It starts with a "C"
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    It's very likely it's old lube. I don't want to tell you what the fix is 'cuz I see it all the time. here's a clue though. It starts with a "C"
    Oh, I get it.

    I've asked around at camera repair places and have gathered a few addresses that I can turn to should this problem reoccur. I've also had a very helpful reply from the seller. I would like to stress again that the seller, shiroshiba, had no intention of selling me a bad camera. He's actually the most dedicated and helpful eBay seller I have ever come across.
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  8. #8

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    It may have sat long enough for a little oil to create something like surface tension between the lever and housing. If that's what it was don't store the camera focused at infinity, close, OK but not at the mechanical stop just short of it.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.



 

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