repair advice on some older family cameras

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by karissa_walker, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Before I begin, as a long time lurker I'd just like to say how much I enjoy reading the stories people have posted about their cameras and the images they take with them. I know there's a lot of expertise to be found here and hope people won't mind taking the time to give an opinion.
    First, a little background on the cameras in question. I had an elderly relative who recently died and his estate was coming up to auction. He was a great story teller and I have fond memories of visiting him as a child. I wanted something to remember him by so with the family we took some vacation time and went down. I knew he had an interest in photography and thought it might be nice if I could get his camera. I was a little surprised to find that he'd owned (and kept) several. I lost out on the Nikon F401 which I think is the one I remembered, but I did manage to pick up an old Rolleiflex and a Super Ikonta.
  2. An old stardard 622 (I think) and a Super Ikonta C.
  3. I guess there weren't too many film enthusiasts because after a few others were sold the rest were lumped together in one lot. So for $5 I found myself the proud owner of 3 Prakticas,
  4. one snappy olympus,
  5. and, I was happy to see, that funny-quirky slr I'd noticed earlier that for some reason also had a viewfinder window.
  6. SCL


    Very sweet. They may not be in need of repairs. I would inspect each, see if there is any sign of corrosion or rust, check to see if the shutters fire at each speed and the diaphragms work properly. Then I'd look at the inside of the backs and see if the seals have turned into a gooey substance. Lastly, I'd shine a flashlight thru the lenses and see if there are signs of haze, fogging, mold, mildew, scratches or circular cleaning marks. Once you have gone thru this exercise with each camera, you are in a better position to determine if you want to sell the cameras (don't bother having work done, you won't recover the cost), or use them or display them as is, or have somebody repair them (CLA - clean, lube & adjust). Once you reach that point, come back here and people can give you specific advice on repair persons.
  7. Despite being stored in their ever ready cases they were fairly dirty. When I got home I gave them a bit of a wipe.
    I haven't shot a lot with film but I really want to learn to use these cameras -- I'd find it a bit sad just to have them sitting around as decoration. I know they all need a cla, the Rollei especially as the shutter sticks below 1/25. What I could use is a recommendation for good repair people -- in Canada preferably. The other thing I could use some advice on is what type of glue to use to reattach leatherette. the backing has come off the f.x 3 and I'd like to stick it back on. Would regular epoxy do the trick or is there something else I should use?
  8. many thanks for responding so quickly Stephen -- you got back before I finished posting :)
    The interiors look pretty good but the mirror is pretty dirty on the Rollei and the lens of the Ikonta has some haze. I've put some film into the Alpa and the Ikonta to see what kind of result I get. I haven't used (or developed) film in a very long while so this should be interesting.
  9. The Alpa is quite valuable. I'd guess around $1000. I'd love to use one of those things, just once.
  10. The lowest asking price I could find for that model Alpa with that lens was over $1300. Couldn't find any sold.
  11. You have some excellent cameras there! I particularly like the Olympus LT-1.
    Check out Mike Butkus' great orphaned camera website and you can read owner's manuals there. If you find it useful you might leave a Paypal donation.
  12. Yes, the Alpa was a little bit of a shock :) I thought it would be nice to see if I could find a lens hood and maybe another lens -- until I was rapidly disabused of the notion when I poked around ebay. That was unexpected. I realize I know next to nothing about classic cameras but that really reinforced the feeling. I'm looking forward to shooting with it but learning the value has made me a little nervous. It's a heavy beastie too. Neatest depth of field indicator I've ever seen -- these little orange dots appear as you change the aperture on the lens. I've read some nice write ups on the switar; I just hope I can do it justice.
    Any ideas where to send it if/when I want to do a cla?
  13. Hi! Karissa W,
    for sticking the leatherette back on to the body, please do not use epoxy. Try some latex or butyl rubber-based solution. They are flexible and can be peeled off again. Epoxy dries hard and becomes brittle.
    The Prakticas are easy to do a CLA on; you can do it at home with a few miniature screw drivers, some alcohol or petrol for cleaning and a little watch oil for lubrication. If you are interested, please, email me via I shall send you some pictures and text on how to do the CLA on the Prakticas.
    Best, sp.
  14. It's getting harder and harder to find repair people willing to work on older cameras from any maker. I wouldn't trust an Alpa to just anyone!
  15. The best non-harmful glue I've found for sticking leatherette back on cameras is something called "Alene's Tacky Glue," which you can get at craft stores. It's a water soluble white glue, not too unlike Elmer's, but it's stickier, so it holds without clamping, and remains somewhat elastic when it dries. It holds nicely, but it's very easy to peel later.
  16. Congrats on a wonderful set of cameras. I can't wait to see your results. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. Er... where in Canada?
  17. many thanks to everyone who took time to offer comments and suggestions; they were greatly appreciated.
    I would like to get Rollei looked at as the shutter sticks open below 1/25 and I think it could stand a good CLA -- so if anyone could suggest someone good to take a look at it I'd be grateful (I'm assuming that if anyone had a recommendation for a good place above the 49th parallel they would have already let me know). I'm not looking for it to be made to look like new, but I would like someone who has the skill to make it work properly again.
    @Rob -- I've moved around the country a fair bit but I've been in Ontario for awhile now
  18. Karissa, never use epoxy or be tempted by the convenience of a "crazy glue" substance.
    Technicians use "Pliobond" for leatherette coverings, and "Pad & Cork Cement" for real leather.
    In my opinion, the Alpa, Rolleiflex and Zeiss Ikon cameras are the real gems...
  19. Karissa, I'm very late to this thread, but I have take the haze off an Ikonta's Tessar lens. See for the story. Basically I just unscrewed the front and back elements by hand. No going into the shutter etc. Just be sure when you unscrew those elements to mark somehow where each unscrewed ring came out of the threads, so that you can then screw them back into exactly the same position after cleaning, and thereby avoid potentially having to re-collimate the thing. Also: I recently got an iPhone shutter tester apparatus (based on a chap's advert here that he almost got banned for). It works. You have just picked up enough old cameras that it might be worth the modest cost, in your case. (I'm a satisfied customer, not affiliated with the seller at all.) You could then measure the shutter speeds on all these machines, determine which ones need their shutters fixed, and save the cost on those that don't. I have now been shooting with my 531/2 for awhile and concluded already, based on results, that its speeds must be close to right; but now that I measure them, indeed I find the speeds are correct in the middle of the range, and not far off at the slow and fast ends. Not bad for a 75-year-old device that may or may not have ever been maintained before I got it.

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