Monday, December 15, 2014

Fix that old camera!

My rudimentary mechanical skills dictate a cautious approach to camera repair.  My goal is not perfect restoration, but rather a working camera that will let me approximate the results the camera could yield when it was in the hands of its first owner.

I am indebted for my small successes to advice gleaned from the internet.  One of the best sources for film camera restoration on the web was the Classic Camera Repair Forum (CCRF).  That on-line site for many years provided a place to exchange information on fixing old cameras that was unequaled.  The site's operators eventually ran out of server space to maintain the data, and, fortunately, the information was preserved on the RangefinderForum site.  It is still possible to browse through the vast trove of postings, but new queries cannot be made, and the search link goes nowhere.

Luckily for posterity, making the CCRF archive visible on the web made the data available to indexing by the big search engines.  So, for instance, if you want to do a search on fixing a particular old camera and confine the responses just to postings from the old Forum, you can use the "site:" modifier in your Google search query.  An example of this approach for a search of the archive for all references to "Retina" would be to go to Google and enter the following in the Google Search box: retina

You can substitute any other term(s) in place of "retina" and likely turn up some useful gems of information about dealing with any old camera repair problem.

In the interest of making the search of the CCRF archive even easier I have created a small html form widget in which the desired terms can be entered and the information retrieved by just clicking on the "submit" button.  The search form is over in the right-hand column on this blog.  Just scroll down past the "Popular Posts" listing and try it out.


Jim Grey said...

That's a useful resource. Perhaps one day I'll have time to take advantage of it -- I've had new precut foam light seals for my Canonet QL17 for two years now and somehow can't make the time to do that relatively simple job.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that a couple times, after buying a broken camera, I've simply later bought a working one.

Mike said...

I have a couple of boxes of camera restoration projects that ended up as spare parts. All part of the game.

JR Smith said...

I so wish I had the patience, steady hands and more importantly--the ability to repair my old cameras. Hats off to you!

Mike said...

I really have minimal mechanical skills. If I can occasionally fix some old camera problem, I'm sure anyone can.