Minox 35 ML Repair Gone Wrong - HELP!

Discussion in 'Minox' started by expired35, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I am sadly in the depths of repair hell so any help would be great. I have no experience with camera repair beyond being a mechanical engineer and mechanism designer. Thus I thought I would be able to tackle this challenge. However I am very stuck.

    Background: I bought a Minox 35 ML in great condition but the aperture ring would not turn past 4 to get to the other numbers up to 16. I was only able to spin it from P to somewhere between 2.8 and 4. I found a posting on here from 2003 that made it seem very simple, essentially just loosen 3 screws and tighten a few others.

    How to repair defective aperture on Minox 35 MB?

    When I loosened the 3 screws, I then removed what I believe is the focus ring and then the next 3 screws (two are large black screws and one is a set screw that is brass) all seemed very tight. At this point I realized that I could hear various things shaking around as if there were loose screws in the aperture ring assembly. I loosened all 3 screws and was able to lift the aperture ring assembly off the rest of the camera. This is where it gets bad. 4 things immediately fell out of the aperture assembly, 1 white plastic piece, 2 tiny black screws and 1 tiny brass cylinder. I don't know where they came from except that they came from the aperture ring assembly.

    I want to put everything back together but I don't know how :(

    I was using the original German repair manual for a diagram but even for me it is too complex to understand. I have uploaded a photo of the relevant diagram but you can download the pdf here:


    Please help. If you need more photo or details please let me know.
    IMG_2892.JPG IMG_2890.JPG Screen Shot 2020-09-12 at 10.38.54 PM.png
  2. Here are some additional details that I realized after looking at the repair diagram:

    I believe the two small screws that fell out are 217

    The brass cylinder is probably 222

    The white plastic piece might be 212

    Current problems:

    1. The main pieces of the aperture assembly (besides the lens itself) seem to be 210, 213, and 219. All three pieces are currently together as can be seen in the second photo (photo without labels). I need to get both 217 screws in between 213 and 219 but I cannot do that because 213 and 219 seem to be attached. Once I can separate 213 and 219, how to get them back together?

    2. Not sure what to do about 212?
  3. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    I once got a stuck shutter working on a 35 ML, but have not done any further repairs on one. They seem to be complex and rather fragile little cameras.

    I recall one or two Minox disassembly videos online by Japanese users (try YouTube). Not sure if they are on the same model, but may be close enough to follow along.

    Thomas Tomosy's first book on camera repair also has a section on the Minox 35 EL. Try your local library or online.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  4. I went thru the same difficulty, eventually I sent

    out to camera repair shop
  5. Hi Dave,

    Thank you for suggesting those resources.

    I tried to watch a few Japanese videos on youtube but the ones I found did not take apart the lens from the front.

    Just by chance I had picked up a copy of Thomas Tomosy's first book only a few days before, so I was able to read that section. It mainly scared me more but I don't think it is all directly relevant. Most specifically he does briefly discuss disassembly from the front


    Anyway, I believe that I figured out how to assemble the small black screws. It is a devious and complex procedure where one must rotate the focusing scale ring, 211, which cannot be disassemble from 213, and use the holes for the large screws to insert the small screws. I would say that it is an elegant design but not simple to understand.

    Sadly, I am still stuck with not knowing what to do with the white plastic piece. Does anyone know what its function is or how to assemble it? A German friend translated it as "spring". It does have a slight bend and two small chamfers on two of its corners but I cannot understand its purpose. It seems to live somewhere inbetween 211 and 213.
  6. And MTC, I don't think I will use a shop but it would be good to know what shop you used. I simply don't think I will be able to afford a shop.
  8. Thanks MTC

    I just spoke to Don at Dag Camera Parts: Featured Products

    He said that the white plastic "Feder in German, Spring in English" is meant to create some friction between the lens elements. He said it is not needed for operation but without it, there is slightly more play in the system. He said that replacing it correctly and using a collimator to refocus is a simple task and would only cost about $25 + shipping.

    I am going to try to replace the small screws and potentially replace the Feder. I will then shoot 1 cheap roll and if the photos come back blurry I will send it in to Don.
  9. Dagcamera had stocked up a lot of Leica and Minox parts

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