Wish us luck!

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by JamesD, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    My Minolta Hi-Matic 9 Easy Flash is going into major surgery to, hopefully, repair a sticky shutter. The surgeon in charge will be yours truly.

    This camera was given to me by the owner of a camera shop I frequented in Alabama. Although they specialized in repairing cameras, it was decided that this particular unit was not worth the time and effort required to make it good again. As such, it was presented to me, after I showed them my (beloved!) Argoflex E, upon which I had operated and restored to full health.

    Hopefully, this operation will go as well... if so, this will be my first rangefinder.
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good luck with it. Even if you don't succeed, you will learn new things.
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Ain't that the truth! :lol:

    I got it disassembled down to the shutter timing and control mechanism, but the actual shutter itself is underneath that, and I can't figure out how to remove it without running the risk of forgetting how all the really intricate parts go back together. Without a manual, I'm not running that risk LOL.

    Failing anything else, I flushed it with alcohol. Normally, I'd use Ronsonol lighter fluid, but I can't seem to remove the rear lens element without further disassembly, and I don't want to have to deal with trying to remove the petroleum film if I can avoid it. Right now, it's drying out; we'll see how well it works when dry (functions perfectly while wet), and if necessary, I'll move on to the Ronsonol and deal with the cleanup.
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As a rule, everytime I disassemble a camera I take digital pictures. That way I'll know exactly how to reassemble it. Making drawings also helps.
     
  5. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    I do the drawings thing, since I don't have a digital camera. However, it all seems to be working quite well. The hardest part was getting the rangefinder aligned. I'll run a roll through it tomorrow to check the focus and shutter speeds.

    I did a meterectomy on it, and also wound up cutting the wire to the hot shoe and the PC port. Chances are the meter doesn't work correctly anyway (and I've never seen a battery quite like that...) but I'll get around to reconnecting it all later. Looks like some of the light seals also need refurbishment. We'll see how it goes.

    There was one casualty of this operation. My cable release sprang. The tip came flying off, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to get it back on and secured. Oh well.
     
  6. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Got the first roll of negatives back from the 1-hour lab.

    Exposure looks really good in the negatives. I was shooting ISO 100 film (Walgreens Special) using the sunny-16 rule, and everything is a consistent density overall, easily within 1 stop (the camera adjusts exposure settings in 1-stop increments, of course). So, it looks like the shutter repair went quite well.

    Focus is another issue. At smaller apertures, everything is pretty sharp, especially for far-focus shots. At smaller apertures, it starts to get a bit soft. Also, in midafternoon sunlight, I noticed that I didn't quite get the vertical alignment right in the rangefinder, which makes it a little harder to focus (especially in portrait-orientation). Focusing on vertical lines, however, makes it much easier; however, it's clear that it's still a bit off. I did find the service manual, but it doesn't say much about aligning the rangefinder. A google search turned up some stuff, but mostly forum postings with no pictures, so I was pretty much on my own.

    I have discovered that I don't like shooting with this camera, for the simple reason that now I have two lenses to keep my hands away from. Shooting horizontal is okay; shooting vertical is a royal PITA, since I've become accustomed to holding the camera with my right hand on top, and left hand under the lens for support, focusing, and exposure adjustment. Naturally, this position places the rangefinder optics at the bottom left corner of the camera, right behind my left hand. Also, the lens barrel showing up in the lower right-hand corner of the viewfinder is annoying, but bearable.

    I'll play with it some more, see what I can do with it. Even if I never use it, I can still put it up on the shelf as a conversation piece. "Yeah, had to operate on that one... took it all apart and resurrected the shutter...." :lol:
     

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