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Repairs Underway | by Brian Auer
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Repairs Underway

OK, so this isn't as bad as it looks. I was just doing a little camera repair on my rangefinder (Minolta AL).

 

When I bought this camera, the rangefinder mechanism wasn't working (which the seller didn't tell me because he didn't know). So I finally worked up the guts to tear it apart and see if I could fix it (after seeing what my buddy Joe is up to with his camera).

 

All I have to say is that the guys who desinged these things were freakin amazing. There are so many clever little mechanisms in there -- It's like doing a really hard 3D puzzle just trying to get the thing apart, and every piece has at least two unique functions with most parts doubling as a fastener of some sort.

 

Once I got the top off (after a lot of fiddling and head-scratching), I checked the viewfinder and the rangefinder was working all of the sudden! I don't know what I did, but it worked. Before putting it back to gether, I thought I'd check to make sure it was working "correctly". And it wasn't.

 

The rangefinder worked fine from about 10' and up. Once the focus came below that point, it would get stuck. So I located the pivot for the focusing aid, and it felt a little stiff. A small bit of lube on the joint and poof -- it works like new!

 

Now I just need to run some film through it to make sure the shutter is working properly!

 

More photos of this little project can be found here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

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Taken on October 2, 2008