“Here there be Dragons” – a text said to be found at the very edge of maps a long time ago when the world was still not explored. Said text, I guess, was to discourage seafaring explorers, and land-based alike, not to venture into the unknown, or at least be wary. However I suspect that it actually pushed them to do just that…
Repairs & Cleaning
About a year ago, some Austrian friends handed me a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super that they brought with them to America after World War II. They said it no longer worked, and if I got it going again, I could keep it.
NOTE: I believe it’s the “Super” model rather than the later “Super B” because it has no [A]utomatic setting on its shutter-speed ring or in its viewfinder.
Anyone who’s ever held a Contaflex knows what a gorgeous– but heavy– little machine it is. It’s also so complicated that most repair shops won’t touch one today. So… hey… why not take a stab myself? What could possibly go wrong?
Actually, nothing… I got off easy on this one!
Those who shoot rangefinder cameras on a regular basis are probably aware of (they may even feel plagued by) vertical rangefinder misalignment.
A camera rangefinder works by superimposing a (generally central) patch reflected from a position slightly to the side of the viewfinder into the direct vision viewfinder. When the calibrated rangefinder shows that both images coincide horizontally, we know the object in the patch is in focus. All quite practical, but there can be issues.
To start off, I would like to state that I am neither a professional photographer, nor a journalist of sorts. This will probably help reduce any expectations you may have as a reader. I am just a photography enthusiast/hobbyist who is on his learning journey, but would like to contribute a little to the community along the way.
As I mentioned in a previous article in which I dissected an Old Canonet, I have occasionally taken interesting but non-functioning cameras apart – mainly to investigate, but there have been the occasional times when I’ve managed to fix something.
What I intend to do with this article is to show how fiendishly complicated an SLR camera can be by taking apart an old Minolta SRT 303b from the 1970s.