Have You Ever Attempted To Fix Your Camera - Then Regret It?

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DF

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There's this You-Tube video demonstrating how "easy" it is to clean the viewfinder of a Minolta SRT 101 (my camera), and yes, it does look very straight forward - except for just ONE factor: all those wires sticking out/wrapping around left & right.
I'm afraid they won't go back or "get in there" where they're supposed to be. Seems so fragile and delicate. 50 year old camera, so how can I be sure not to pull - push - insert a wire too hard so it'll break off...??
 

BrianShaw

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Once. Maybe twice.

Canera repair is a skill that must be learned… like many other things that you hire a professional to service.
 

Kino

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If you are not comfortable doing the repair, don't do it. It's dust; you can ignore it.
 

Paul Ozzello

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One of the most important things to consider is having the proper tools - good quality micro screwdrivers, spanners etc. Never make do with an inappropriate tool - you’ll just butcher the part you’re working on. Use an ice cube tray to hold disassembled parts and screws, and take lots of pictures with your cell phone throughout the disassembly process. Service manuals are very helpful and should be thoroughly read before proceeding. I’ve successfully repaired many cameras, shutters, viewfinders and replaced Epson inkjet heads but you need to be patient methodical and never use excessive force.

On the other hand if you’re all thumbs you might just want to have it serviced by a professional :smile:
 
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DF

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I've no problem taking things apart/putting them back together. Utilizing micro small screwdrivers to unscrew tiny screws are no issue here, but like I said: those wires - getting them in place - their proper place after the top lid is back on.
My viewfinder seems to collect alot of dust/particles for such a small amount of time of use, and it is what I want to do - give that area a needed dusting & brushing. Camera was undoubtedly refurbished when purchased just a few months back.
 

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Also, using an inappropriate tools or cheap ones may harm your gear. it is best to use the right tool for the right job in order not to butcher your part. when repairing a Japanese equipment, it is ideal to use a Japanese industrial standard. To avoid being confused with the whole screw, service manual are very helpful and one of the best guide to repair your camera.
 

benjiboy

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I have found over the years that if my equipment develops a fault it's easier quicker and cheaper to let a camera technician fix it than to buy the necessary tools, take the time to attempt to repair it, and have the attendant aggravation.
Amateur camera repairers are like incompetent surgeons, they bury their mistakes, you only hear about their successes, never their failures.
 
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Cholentpot

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I've attempted many fixes. If it's simple I have no problem, anything beyond new light seals and light cleaning I don't bother anymore. I don't really bother with light seals anymore either.
 
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Well attempted many, fixed a few. I regret touching some of them, particularly some lenses. By the way, there this Konika Hexanon on my desktop right now that is begging to be dissasembled :tongue:
 

Saganich

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All the youtube vids are carefully orchestrated, you never see the rehearsals where the conductor throws his baton at the second violins. No one shows you how to overcome the 10 "fragile and delicate" problems you encounter with the seemingly simplest repair. I've attempted enough delicate repair work to know not to bother unless I'm OK with destroying whatever it is i'm working on. The key is patience and organization. The vids I hate the most are the ones where some dude takes 100 little screws and bits of stuff, strewn all over his desk, puts a dab of oil on something in the next second it's all reassembled, and then with a David Attenborough tone of confidence says, "That's all there is to it."
 

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Fewer people should attempt camera repair.

It’s not ok to butcher an otherwise perfect camera because of a stuck shutter or a cloudy rangefinder.

It takes lots of specialty tools, lots of knowhow, and most importantly basic mechanical empathy.
Many people completely lack the last.

Save it until you have the money for a repair or can pass it to someone who has the skills.
How much money you happen to have had the unfortunate luck to have sunk into it matters not.
 

4season

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There's this You-Tube video demonstrating how "easy" it is to clean the viewfinder of a Minolta SRT 101 (my camera), and yes, it does look very straight forward - except for just ONE factor: all those wires sticking out/wrapping around left & right.
There's some BS involved in a lot of camera-repair videos, such as showing a camera that's already had trickier fasteners loosened so they come off without a fuss in the video, using only the most primitive of tools. But reality is rarely so tidy! In fact, the maker of that video also struggled, and you can see it right after the rewind knob is removed (easy). Look at the chrome disk below it: It's initially untouched, but a moment later, it's scratched and a bit mangled, but the actual incident has been edited out.

If you want to learn camera repair, start with something crappy that you won't feel too bad about mangling a little (or a lot). And if you don't know how to solder or deal with small wires, now's the time to learn.
 

Bill Burk

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I have had an SRT opened once and I broke the rope to the shutter speed indicator. Or maybe I took it apart to fix that. I put some random string in. I bought and have kept a coil of coated steel wire since that day. Never got a chance to use it. So be cautious and patient. A good goal is to try to leave no tool marks. Or dress tool marks if you make them (Dremel with a polishing bit but be careful things fly).
 

Sirius Glass

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I have learned several things over the years:
  1. Assembly code is best written by others.
  2. Machine code is best written by others.
  3. Camera and lens repairs are best done by professionals for my equipment. YMMV
 

momus

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Cue up the Frank Sinatra record. Regrets....I've had a few. Ha!

Actually, think about it. How else are you going to learn anything? 'Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment', this is the truth from Dr Kerr L White, whoever that was. But, you can hang your hat on that, it is exactly how the world works. However, like most people, I have rarely if ever made what one would call a "mistake", unless you count marrying my second wife, and I have other ways of describing that which are not very useful here.

But in all other areas including camera repair, things just didn't work out as planned or hoped for. That's not a mistake, that's just life. In fact, I have "fixed" perfectly good cameras and lenses until they were "broken". That's always fun, and a good test of how we function when those things happen, and they WILL happen. Pretty much everything on earth that I really, really know for sure about came from mistakes, or sub optimal events in time and space. Those were invaluable as learning experiences.
 

Helge

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Cue up the Frank Sinatra record. Regrets....I've had a few. Ha!

Actually, think about it. How else are you going to learn anything? 'Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment', this is the truth from Dr Kerr L White, whoever that was. But, you can hang your hat on that, it is exactly how the world works. However, like most people, I have rarely if ever made what one would call a "mistake", unless you count marrying my second wife, and I have other ways of describing that which are not very useful here.

But in all other areas including camera repair, things just didn't work out as planned or hoped for. That's not a mistake, that's just life. In fact, I have "fixed" perfectly good cameras and lenses until they were "broken". That's always fun, and a good test of how we function when those things happen, and they WILL happen. Pretty much everything on earth that I really, really know for sure about came from mistakes, or sub optimal events in time and space. Those were invaluable as learning experiences.

There is not enough cameras around, that every curious thrifty, intrepid kid can be taught by experience.
At some point, better sooner than later, you have to learn to by other peoples experience and warnings and take heed.
Try disassembling and assembling something just as complex and fragile, but cheaper and more common. A mechanical clock, an off brand Walkman or just a radio comes to mind.
If you can't do that, you are not fit to touch the innards of a camera.
 
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Sirius Glass

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Cue up the Frank Sinatra record. Regrets....I've had a few. Ha!

Actually, think about it. How else are you going to learn anything? 'Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment', this is the truth from Dr Kerr L White, whoever that was. But, you can hang your hat on that, it is exactly how the world works. However, like most people, I have rarely if ever made what one would call a "mistake", unless you count marrying my second wife, and I have other ways of describing that which are not very useful here.

But in all other areas including camera repair, things just didn't work out as planned or hoped for. That's not a mistake, that's just life. In fact, I have "fixed" perfectly good cameras and lenses until they were "broken". That's always fun, and a good test of how we function when those things happen, and they WILL happen. Pretty much everything on earth that I really, really know for sure about came from mistakes, or sub optimal events in time and space. Those were invaluable as learning experiences.

I did not need experience to figure out that other than changing light shields on film backs, I can save money by sending cameras and lenses out for repair than doing it myself.
 
OP
OP

DF

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Perhaps I'll get a cheap, $30 SRT body off Ebay and practise on that.
 
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