Rick Oleson's brilliantly simple fix for dim old rangefinders

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by daniel_iggers, May 22, 2005.

  1. Do you have a rangefinder with a double-image that's almost too
    faint to see? Take a look at Rick Oleson's quick fix:


    He posted a link to this on the rangefinder forum, and acknowledges
    there that for all he knows someone else probably came up with it
    before he did. Whatever. It is simple and really works. I just
    resurrected a Zorki with a nearly too dim to use patch, in 2
    minutes, with a tiny piece of black tape!
  2. Rick! Rick is a mad genius! ALL HAIL RICK! Man, what a brilliant idea! My Yashica patch *is* dim, indeed, but shall not be after today! Excellent!

    Thank you for bringing this link to light, Dan.

    (note to self: spend more time surfing Rick's site.)
  3. Har! Just fixed my dim old Yashica Lynx! Rock and roll!
  4. I haven't looked at the web page and I'm certainly not knocking Rick, but if I'm correct about my guess on this one, blocking off half the window with tape is a very old cure for dim rangefinders. I have done it but I try to replace the beam splitter as soon as possible. The tape thing just bugs me. Too grouchy for tape, I guess.
  5. I hadn't been worrying about the vertical adjustment of my RF, but with the eyepatch it now looks BAD. Guess I just ran out of excuses ...
  6. It's a fine idea for me. There is one thing about my Lynx that irks me and that's the faint patch. I didnt use tape, I used a bit of ink, just enough to do the job. You do have to be careful - go too big and you end up cutting off a good bit of your view where it should slide together. Get it just right and what a`difference it makes.
  7. This is a nice inexpensive "fix" for a camera. It is good that Rick documented this method. I have seen this done long ago using a black Rapidiograph pen; with India ink . Rick deserves as gold star for bring up an old fix that would have probably been lost in the ebb of time. His sketches are cool too. With a small 35mm rangefinder where the eye is close; this Ricks method seems to work well. With my pacemaker 4x5 speed graphic; I tried this once but it doesnt seem to work that well; probably because ones eye is farther away; and the dot more noticeable. With a signet 35; it works well; but just be good with drawing a minature triangle. An "ultra fine point" black sharpie is what I have used when experimenting. With time the sharpie fades aways; due to UV and outgasing. An India ink is more permanent. For most a sharpie is ok. With the Signet 35 it seemed childs play to figure how to get the black triangle correct. With an old shot torn up basket case pre ww2 retina ii; the dot placement and size was experimented with many times. With this camera the beamsplitter was accidently touched with a q-tip while open; and about all its silvering came off in a nanosecond. With many older cameras; they are not worth the cost in repairing; to replace a tired beamsplitter.
  8. With the old Retina II; here the entire main rangefinder window is peppered with microdots; like a gaussian shotgun pattern. This dimming of the entire rangefinder makes the camera seem quicker to focus. This is with a beamsplitter that is almost competely shot; totally unusable beforehand. <BR><BR>
  9. Great ! Another method is to paste a dark orange filter on the RF window. Leitz made such an original accessory for the SM cameras (see example on the picture of my IIIf) ; without any original accessory, a piece of colored plastic or a piece cut in an old gelatin filter will do the same. The result in the VF is similar to what Rick shows up as the splitted image is now orange and contrasty.
  10. Thank you!!! Rick, Daniel and Kelly, thank you! I used Kelly's modification on Rick's idea of a dot matrix patch using a fine point Sharpie. Now I have beautifully visible double image in the rangefinder of the Olympus XA I bought from Daniel.
  11. Congratulations!<br>
    As I always say - this is THE forum!
  12. Rick Oleson...The Genius!!!
  13. Thanks Rick! I've wondered for years why the Fed 5C had that strange black dot in the viewfinder...I suppose this is what they were trying for, but the way the Russians did it, you end up looking under the dot. Neat.
  14. Beautiful! A dear friend left me a Ricoh 500 rangefinder from the mid/late 1950's that was dim. This little "patch" works beautiful.

    Thanks for posting this link! My Ricoh has been resurected!
  15. Amen, it seems to be working well as an "enhancement" to my Foton's RF.
  16. great great great!!! so simple too! my little Oly XA is now more beautiful! thank you.
  17. This is so cool, it worked perfectly with my Ricoh 500G!

Share This Page