Yashica FX-1 repair anyone??

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by stuart_pratt, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Does anyone out there have any experience going in to a Yashica FX-1? I have recently had some success calibrating the meters of a Yashica TL Electro X and a Fujica ST701, using instructions found on the net, and making adjustments to trim pots. Being a short lived model, there is not much info out there on the FX-1, but it is a nice robust camera, with both aperture and shutter speed shown in the viewfinder, open aperture metering, DOF preview, and access of course to Zeiss lenses. Mine reads at least 2 stops over, but it reacts to light quickly and has little memory. I could (and have) adjusted with the compensation dial, but I’d rather get it sorted properly. It is not conventional from an opening up point of view as the battery is housed in a chamber, underneath the film speed/compensation dial, which is situated in the usual place to the LHS of the prism, so winding off the rewind crank with a stick stuck in the prongs of the rewind shaft doesn’t look appealing.

    Incidentally, the 701 was pretty simple to do, and the meter is now bang on with hearing aid batteries, so I might put some silver cells in there and compensate again for the increased voltage of 1.55v.Sweet camera, based around the Spotmatic, but smaller and with the stop down lever on the RHS. Bought for my 17 year old son, who has decided film is cool, for £10.
  2. The embarrassment of it! Loading up an out-of-focus picture to a photo forum!!

    I have been unable to get the top cover off, but lo and behold, the name plate comes off to reveal 3 pots. One seems to adjust the general sensitivity up/down a central point, another the sensitivity to the aperture (i.e how much the needle moves with each stop. Anyone know what the are designed to do??


  3. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Stuart, I don't have any repair info on this particular camera, but I have adjusted the meters on some other cameras with three variable resistors.

    On the Praktica MTL5, there is one each for adjusting the meter at Low, Mid, and High lighting conditions. The Fujica ST801 also has three; two are for adjusting voltage between test points, and the third centers the meter at a specific EV. Hope this helps a bit.

    It's good to know the ST701 meter is easy to adjust, as it was designed for two PX400 batteries (not too economical to use Wein cells).
  4. Thanks for that info, really helpful
  5. Put simply, they are for adjusting the light meter to make it accurate for that camera, in bright light and low light

    It requires an expert to adjust it, but if you try it yourself, mark the positions of the blades before moving them so you have a reference to fall back to. Your photo can help there as well

    Move the blades with a blunt toothpick one at a time and see what the needle does each time. You'll get lost with it and start pulling your hair out, that's why it's a good idea to get someone knowledgeable about light meters to do the job. The adjustments interact with each other, moving one affects the other/s etc. Without proper knowledge or equipment it's hard to know where you're going with it

    You can though, embark on a lengthy experimental type approach. Move one blade a small amount, making notes, and test it against a meter of known accuracy in low and bright conditions, make more notes. Set the blade back in it's original position and then move another blade, make notes again, and so on and so on until you see which movements are getting closer to accurate readings in bright and low light. An experiment like this could go on for weeks or even months, but if the meter is still lively as you say it is, you should arrive at a combination of settings that will be within 1/2 stop accuracy

    I did this with a three pot Gossen Sixtar cds handheld light meter and managed to get it pretty accurate, and I'm about to start on a two pot Pentax KM SLR which I hope to make accurate as well
  6. Thanks. Not a five minute job then!
    This is a JDMvW 'pizza' camera, so I will not be taking it to a specialist, but I'll enjoy the process of hopefully bringing it back to life after I've brought it close to death.

    Thanks for the info.
  7. Tehre is a guide I think if you look around on line on how to adjust a 3 pot light meter. but figuring out which pot is what will be the trick. IIRC it was written by a lady too. I found this and it might be of some help.

    how to: adjustment of exposure meter of FTb
  8. Thanks, that's really helpful too. I'm also wondering whether that screw, bottom LHS does something. It isn't the normal countersunk crosshead variety that secures the body to the chassis?
  9. Well, I got there in the end, but more by luck than judgement. Each pot has a dial that extends from 7 o’clock to 5 o’clock, so assuming you try all the hour positions ( in reality, very slight movements can make a significant difference) you are looking at the best part of 1000 variations in order to get close. I considered doing that, and setting up a spread sheet in excel, but then I thought, naaah, just wing it! I had the original positions, so assumed that as it was about 2 stops out, something close to that original position would probably be about right. Well I was wrong. The left hand one seems to set the low light response, the middle one the bulk of the middle and the right hand one the bright light response. At least that’s what I THINK they do, I could be wrong. Certainly, the left hand one needed to be right round to 7 o’clock position for me to be able to get to the 2-4 seconds auto speeds, and the right one, over to 3 o’clock to make 1/1000th. I was concerned that the response might no longer be linear, but it seems just fine, and is no more than 1/2 a stop out when compared to my D7000. Sometimes you just get lucky.
  10. That'S great Stuart.. perseverance and logic (luck?) paid off. When the light is right!!

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