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  1. #1
    Mats_A's Avatar
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    I got a rangefinder!

    I just bought my first ever rangefinder. Was browsing a flea-market with the missus and found a Yashica Electro 35 GS. Price was not too bad at 5€ so I became a happy owner.
    Battery is dead but otherwise everything seems to be working. Shutter fires at at some default speed and everything is moving. Must try to find a battery tomorrow.

    As this is my first rangefinder I have a newbie question. The rangefinder seems to be working but I suspect it is off focus. When I focus at "infinity" the yellow image is not aligned when focus ring is at max. I need to bring it back about 3-5 degrees.
    It should align at infinity when focus ring is at the "max". Or am I missing something?

    Very happy owner of my first RF

    r

    Mats
    Digital is for communication, film is for documentation.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiopirilo

  2. #2
    chrismoret's Avatar
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    Congrats with your first RF-camera. You will probaly never go back to SLR. And considering a Leica M before you know it.
    ....took the red pill, and just buckled up....

    Chris

    flickr&blog

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Mats:

    Congratulations.

    Before assuming that the rangefinder is out of adjustment, you should try testing it. The easiest way is to use a tripod, some slow film, a tape measure and something like a picket fence.

    Take shots with the camera set to a wide aperture and focused at different distances, marking each time where you are focussing.

    The pickets in the fence will tell you if the camera is actually focussing closer or farther than it otherwise indicates.

    I attach an example test shot.

    The example would have been better if I had more clearly marked the distance (e.g. using a sheet of paper with the distance written on it).

    I find this much easier than focussing on a make-do facsimile for a ground glass at the film plane - especially if you are doing this for a 35mm camera.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails focuscheck1b.jpg  
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimoda View Post
    The rangefinder seems to be working but I suspect it is off focus. When I focus at "infinity" the yellow image is not aligned when focus ring is at max. I need to bring it back about 3-5 degrees. It should align at infinity when focus ring is at the "max".
    This is very easy to adjust: http://www.yashica-guy.com/document/repair.html#six
    Although you may want to take the top off and clean the viewfinder as well to improve contrast/brightness.

    The most common alternative battery solution is a 4LR44 aka PX-28 and a metal spring to make up the length difference (and some cardboard or foam to make up the diameter diff.) The back door light seals may be iffy, so if it came with the lower half of the case, you might want to put this on to help reduce the chance of light leaks. (The default shutter speed w/o a battery is 1/500th so you can use the sunny f/16 rule until you get a battery.)
    Last edited by maderik; 08-18-2010 at 03:04 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  5. #5

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    Another way to test it is to take some frosted celo tape apply it to a piece of clear cling wrap like you use to wrap leftovers in so you end up with a nice flat piece of frosted cling wrap that you can place on the film plane in the camera without ruining it. With the back open fire the shutter in bulb and see if your improvised "focus glass" matches your view through the range finder. if you really want to do it on the cheep you could use waxed paper or baking parchment, but they don't stay in place as well and cling wrap. I'm betting that the infinity stop on the camera is beat up from use.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  6. #6
    Mats_A's Avatar
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    Mattking:
    Thanks for the tip. I will do that as soon as I get a working battery.

    r

    Mats
    Digital is for communication, film is for documentation.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiopirilo

  7. #7
    Mats_A's Avatar
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    The foam seals are also 90% gone so it looks like I have a CLA in my future.
    Is this camera good enough to deserve paying for one or should I keep it on the shelf?
    What is your opionion?

    r

    Mats
    Digital is for communication, film is for documentation.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiopirilo

  8. #8

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    Seals are not that hard to replace. I'd suggest keeping the investment low and DIY the seals (plenty of instructions on the web for foam, felt or yarn seals). If it turns out you like the camera, then either send that one in for work or look for a cosmetically perfect one to have refurbed. Then you can pimp your old one with some fancy covering and even crystals or beads (or LED lights and make it really "Electro!").

  9. #9
    mablo's Avatar
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    Mats, CLA for your new GS costs give or take €70 in Helsinki (www.kamerahuolto.fi is my regular place) but you can easily find a working example for a €50 or so. Light seals are easy to do by yourself but there are two really common faults with these beauties: first is the wire that connects the battery to the system corrodes and breaks and the second is a thing called POD or "pad of death", a small rubber pad deep inside the camera that just melts away and makes the camera inoperable.

    So first thing to do is to check that the battery connects electricity to the camera. The orange and red exposure lights should give you a warning signal if you change the f-stop too much up or down and try to trigger the shutter. The POD is usually (but not always!) okay if the camera gives a clear "clunk" sound when you advance the film. You CAN fix both of these by yourself if you are handy with cameras - there are repair instructions available if you look around - but it's not an easy job.

    Best of luck!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimoda View Post
    The foam seals are also 90% gone so it looks like I have a CLA in my future.
    Is this camera good enough to deserve paying for one or should I keep it on the shelf?
    What is your opionion?

    r

    Mats
    If it makes you happy it's worth it.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

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