finder illuminator f

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by johnny_tsang, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. I think the bulb on my finder illuminator f has burnt out. Is it possible to get it fixed?
  2. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    have you checked the battery? you would need to either source another bulb like the original or you would have to convert the Illuminator to LED and then use the battery required for that. A lot of Vintage Audio collectors are going to LED dial illumination to take the place of very hard to find bulbs that work on voltages no longer commonly used.
  3. I echo Mark's thought: be sure the battery is good and that there is no resistance in the circuit, such as that caused by even slight corrosion. But those little lamps don't generally have a long service life.

    The big US wholesale electronics distributors, such as Mouser, Allied, Newark, and Digi-Key, supply a range of tiny incandescent lamps that are not commonly found elsewhere. If you can identify the lamp in the illuminator, it might be available through one of them. You can probably at least get close by determining the lamp's size, voltage, and current draw.

    White LED's generally have a forward voltage of about 3.2-3.3V. I'm not sure what your battery options would be. I'm not personally familiar with the Finder Illuminator F, but assume it used a 1.3V battery like the illuminator in the Flash Coupler L. In an application like vintage hi-fi, which often uses 6.3V lamps, it's easy enough to use an LED with the excessive voltage by incorporating a current limiting resistor, but if your voltage is too low, you'll not even get a faint glow. LED's are also very directional, so you'd need to be aware of how it mounts and where it needs to shine. And they're polarity sensitive; they won't light if wired backwards.

    I think that if you can find a suitable lamp, it will be an easier job than retrofitting an LED in this particular case.
  4. The F-1 and F-1n cameras have CdS meters. In order to get more sensitivity the Booster finder was needed. For this reason I don't often think about the finder illuminator. The F-1 finder shows the shutter speed but not the f/stop. If I am using flash then its important to know that my shutter speed will allow the flash to synch properly. The f/stop would also be good to know but the finder illuminator will not show that. If I know I'll be shooting in very low light and without a flash I will probably reach for a camera with a more sensitive meter. This might be a Minolta X-700 or Nikon FE2 or Konica FT-1.
    In the summer when I'm shooting in bright light I wear a wide hat to keep cool and for protection from the sun. The brim is wide enough that I often can't see the shutter speed in the finder of the F-1 because the the translucent windw on the top plate is shaded. I will ocassionally pull back the brim to see what speed I'm shooting at. I enjoy using the F-1 enough that it doesn't bother me too much.

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