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  1. #1
    Lowenburg's Avatar
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    Recommended tools for Russian rangefinder repair?

    I'm interested in learning how to repair the Russian rangefinder cameras: Feds, Zorkis, Kievs, etc. Can anyone recommend a list of tools that would be helpful? Also, if there are any repair manuals available, websites, etc.

    I've never worked on cameras before, but I'm reasonably mechanically minded, and I have a friend who restores old folding rangefinders as a business, so I can get some pointers there. I figure at the prices these cameras are available, why not have some fun and learn something?

    Please share your experiences and pointers. I'm looking forward to learning a lot.

    Bill
    http://www.crashburnlove.com

  2. #2
    ZorkiKat's Avatar
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    Hello Bill

    For the elegant FED and Zorki, the tools you need to repair or calibrate them are few and simple. Here are some of them:

    1 .Jeweller's screwdrivers. Flat heads whose tips start at 1 mm to around 5mm are all you'd need. Philipp's and cross screws weren't used in these cameras.

    2. Small needle-nosed pliers. These can be used to grip parts. You must sheath the tips with rubber to protect the metal parts though. You can even file of the tips of really small pliers to fashion spanners out of them.

    3. Tweezers or forceps. Have two types handy- the fine-tipped variety. One straight, and the other curved.

    4. Small files.

    5. Small insulin-type syringes for injecting cleaning fluids and lubricants.

    6. A plastic fuse pliers. Round off the jaws with a file. You can use this to turn RF/VF bezels.

    7. Toothpicks and Q-tips.

    8. A small child's toothbrush. Used is better.

    9. Lighter fluid or watchmaker's cleaning solution for removing old lubrication.

    10. Various lubricants. Watch oil is good. Or you can thin ordinary fine sewing machine oil with lighter fluid. For grease: moly grease or Synco "Super Lube" grease.

    11. Rubber mats. You can cut of pieces from an old inner tyre tube.

    12. A Dremel or Dremel-like tool with various tips. Not really necessary and you can do without this.

    If you do get a FED or a Zorki, basic adjustments for calibrating rangefinder,
    rangefinder camming, and shutter can be found [COLOR=Red]here[/COLOR]. The principles involved in doing these remained the same even as the models changed. You can even repair or replace shutters.

    Jay
    FED ZORKI SURVIVAL SITE
    RANGEFINDERFILIPINAS
    Zorkikat.Com

    "不管黑猫白猫能抓到老鼠就是好猫。" 邓小平
    It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.-邓小平

  3. #3

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    That's a very good list. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, Radio Shack sells a nice 17-piece screwdriver set that is excellent.

    Three other things:

    -- Plain white unscented facial tissue. Get as big a box as you can. Make sure it's plain white and unscented. The store brand is usually a great deal.

    -- Optical cleaner. Eckerd sells a large bottle for a few bucks that will last for several years or a small bottle that will last for about a year.

    -- Saddle soap and shoe polish for treating the leather.

    At some point, you'll want to pick up a spanner wrench.

  4. #4
    desertrat's Avatar
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    I recommend Jay's (Zorkikat's) site for repair and adjustment info. It gave me the confidence to replace a damaged shutter curtain strap in a Zorki-1.

    I got this tip from a website on repairing old watches and clocks as a hobby:
    Get a table or bench that is fairly high, or a chair that is lower than usual. This will put you closer to the work where you can see the small parts better. You might consider a magnifying visor for working on the really small parts. Get an old bedsheet and fold it as many times as will allow it to fit over the top of the table or bench. When you drop a tiny screw, ball, or spring on the sheet, it will stop right there instead of bouncing or rolling onto the floor or rug. If a part lands on a hard floor, it can roll a long way. If it goes onto a rug, it won't go far, but you probably won't be able to see it. Tiny balls, screws or springs are usually made out of steel, so you can sometimes get them out of a rug by passing a strong magnet slowly over the rug where you think they landed. Don't ask me how I know this.

    Working on these cameras can be a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it!
    Happiness is a load of bulk chemicals, a handful of recipes, a brick of film and a box of paper. - desertrat

  5. #5

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    Oh, I forgot. Unless you have good close-up vision (and even if you do), get a pair of reading glasses. And make sure you have good light. That's very important.

    And if you have a cat -- a rolltop desk so he won't jump up and bat the parts around.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrat
    If a part lands on a hard floor, it can roll a long way. If it goes onto a rug, it won't go far, but you probably won't be able to see it.

    Working on these cameras can be a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it!
    LIES, ALL LIES. They don't stay in the rug. They go into hiding with the individual socks that disappear.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7
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    A Hammer and Sickle, I'm sorry someone had to say it. Try this website http://cameras.alfredklomp.com/ or http://www.mattdentonphoto.com/cameras/index.html

    James,

  8. #8
    ZorkiKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm
    Oh, I forgot. Unless you have good close-up vision (and even if you do), get a pair of reading glasses. And make sure you have good light. That's very important.

    And if you have a cat -- a rolltop desk so he won't jump up and bat the parts around.
    When I started tinkering with Russian cameras four years ago, I could work with them without glasses. It was so easy to see the smallest screws and fit pins in the tiniest holes. Now, I couldn't even read the numbers on a shutter dial without using some form of lens or another. Got to admit it- I now NEED reading glasses!

    I also didn't have a cat in my workplace. Now there's always one sitting or sleeping next to the mouse (er, should I say cat?-) pad on the table where I also do the camera repairs...

    Jay
    FED ZORKI SURVIVAL SITE
    RANGEFINDERFILIPINAS
    Zorkikat.Com

    "不管黑猫白猫能抓到老鼠就是好猫。" 邓小平
    It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.-邓小平

  9. #9
    Lowenburg's Avatar
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    I'm in about the same shape as Jay. My vision has gone completely to hell in the past five years. I can't even make out the numbers on my watch without glasses these days and my vision used to be 20/15. No matter, carry on is all we can do.

    Ok, I just bought three FED's: a 2, a 3b, and a 5V. All, of course, are claimed to be in remarkable condition. Anyway, the price was right... I hope that at least one of the three is working when they arrive so I can have some fun shooting while I try to get the others going. And that may be some time, given my lack of experience.

    While I think of it, how go you guys recondition the outside of your cameras, the metal and the leather or whatever covering is on the body?

  10. #10

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    If you find out how to clean and lubricate the rangefinder coupling on a Fed 2, please let me know. Ive got one that must be all gunked up.

    Thanks!

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