Age - Just A Number?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by mad_malteaser, May 31, 2005.

  1. mad_malteaser

    mad_malteaser TPF Noob!

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    I have to admit, I don't frequent this part of the forum very often so I hope I'm bringing my query to the right place.

    On my recent trip home my Dad surprised me by giving me his Dad's camera. It's an Agfa Billy Record, as far as I'm aware it's pre-Second World War, my grandad bought it second-hand in the 40's.

    It's an absolutely gorgeous camera but as far as I can gather, it's not been used since at least 1970, the case and exterior of the camera are extremely weather-beaten (rust on the outer metal casing mostly). I'm not an expert with cameras, let alone old ones but the main parts all look in fairly good condition.

    My question: Are there facilities or services on the British Isles that would take this camera and clean it up and check it's all in working order for me? I daren't try it myself, for fear of breaking it.
     
  2. lazarus219

    lazarus219 TPF Noob!

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    Old cameras are still used alot,
    The main thing youll need to check is the shutter- these are usually the first to go, or they can get 'stuck'
    There may also be light leaks which need to be checked- you can only do this by runing a film through it

    You said there is rust on the outside, this could mean it has gotten inside as well, try putting a roll through it and see how it works,

    lazarus219,
     
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  3. John the Greek

    John the Greek TPF Noob!

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    I got an old Yashica from 1969 handed down to me from my father but it doesn't work... I even put some money in it to buy a battery adapter to get rid of the mercury battery it used to use.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    It's nigh on the same as my Zeiss Super Ikonta as far as I can tell. The main thing that's likely to have gone wrong is the bellows. You can check them by opening the back and using a torch in a darkened room (to look for pinpricks of light).

    Other than that, it's all good-quality clockwork, so a tiny touch of suitable oil and you should be ready for a roll of film.

    If you're in the South of the UK, you could always drop by me & Spike at ukphotographs and we'll have a look FOC for you.

    Rob
     
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  5. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    check onyour own if there's no rust in or around the shutter... it may broke apart whne pressing then :(
     
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  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I purchased a Billy Record a few months ago (has the Jgestar lens) and although it came in pretty good shape I cleaned it successfully. Shutter was good, it's a very simple shutter and not many things can go wrong with it. The lens is the most critical part when it comes to cleaning. I assume it's not coated, which can make your life a little better. I usually take the front lens off the camera and clean the elements very well. The rear elements can be accessed from the back, with the front closed and with the shutter on 'T' from the front. The front elements get a nice cleaning with lens cleaning fluid and a fine microfiber cloth. Be gentle on the lens though...:wink:

    The bellows can crack easily if they're old. Don't clean them with anything harsh, I use Windex here in the US, you could probably use any glass cleaning fluid you find in the UK. I would dilute it 50/50 with water though.

    Now, for the most interesting part, the rust... I use a Dremel tool fitted with a soft brass wire brush. That will take the rust off and make the metal shine again. Don't do it though on any of the chrome or nickel parts, for that I use a felt tip attachment for the Dremel and a little bit of the Jewelers Paste for shinning it.

    The black paint can be chipped as well but I fix that with either a black appliance nick repair or simply some black nail polish found at any grocery store. There is also Testors paint to be found at any hobbyist stores. That works well too.

    I would have said send it to me and I'll restore it for you free of charge but you live too far and the postage would make it too expensive. :)

    Good luck with your project.

    Oh... BTW, the lens is pretty good, I took some shots recently and they came out quite nicely. Not your Tessar but quite decent.
     
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  7. mad_malteaser

    mad_malteaser TPF Noob!

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    You're right, the best way to check is to give it a test run. My film is in and ready to go! Thanks for the advice.
     

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