I've gotten in the habit of checking out the local Value Village after dropping my wife off at work. I went on Friday, didn't find anything, and guiltily went back on Saturday. Sitting at the top of the bin of cheap/garbage cameras was a Olympus DC35 for $10. My obsessive compulsive side pays off for a change.
Cosmetically, it was in great shape. The glass looked good, the meter seemed accurate and the shutter fired nicely. However, the rangefinder patch didn't move while focusing. Nine hours later, I have it working again. The mirror pivot just needed some cleaning as it was stuck from old lubricants from the looks of it. I did some cleaning while I was in there - the rangefinder is now nice and bright.
It still needs new light seals (I haven't done that one yet - I'd like to learn how without using a kit) so it isn't quite ready for use. Just holding it though, I already prefer it to the Hi-Matic E. I think the 35DC maybe replacing as my automatic rangefinder.
You need lots of high quality close ups of the old seals before you remove them.
You need blue tack or children's modeling clay to judge the thickness of the seal when compressed. You only need isolate blobs. Vernier caliper to measure.
Craft knife set, steel rulers, mouse mat material, and rubber solution for repairing inner tube punctures. It is not very sticky but wont come undone unless you tug at it. You cut the material with several steel rulers, a clamp(s) to hold the rulers might help but I don't bother.
That is all I ever use the mouse is more and more worried...
Cocktail sticks (chisel pointer with craft knife and zippo to remove old material.
I have found (through trial and error) that the self-stick Foamies from the local craft store work better than anything else out there. No glue to fool around with and the results are terrific. I use a 6" flexible scale (rule) to stuff the material into the slots on the camera. Toothpicks and Windex help to remove the old material. Don't worry too much about removing all of the old material, just get the large chunks out of there. The Foamies will work with the small stuff left behind. The 3mm Foamies are a little too thick for most applications, so I use the 2mm thick for best results.
Seals are terribly easy to replace. For the upper and lower seals I use a thin foam rubber with an adhesive backing. I use a large paper cutter to cut the rubber, so the seals are perfectly straight. For the larger areas around the hinges, I use black felt-type seals that I recycle from old 35mm film canisters. I cut them to size, and attach them with rubber cement.
Thanks for the support all. I did the seal replacement and have had a great time with the camera. I ended up going with the interslice kit for it which was a piece of cake.
Here are a few shots taken with it:
This lens got me really interested in the RD, though the price was a deterrent.
The camera gods blessed me again though and in a single large buy, I picked up an RD, SP and RC (for about $3 each). Both the SP and RD have lots of oil on the blades so it may be a while before I work up the courage to fix them (or send them out - the RD in particular as i can get to the SPs blades more easily). I'm extremely excited to use them though!
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