Which film cameras can you buy brand new?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Thomas Keidan, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. FoidPoosening

    FoidPoosening Subscriber

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    Very curious, where did you obtain this knowledge as to how to fix such things? :smile:
     
  2. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    I'm sorry that your OM-3 has given up the ghost. Curious: beyond price, is there a difference between having a 30 yo unused camera CLA'd, foam seals replaced, etc. and a 30 yo camera that has seen regular use (not abused) and has received the same CLA, foam replacement, etc?

    My second point is that if sitting unused is worse/near certain death for a camera, then the predictions of a near endless supply of used film cameras is well an over-estimate! Even now I doubt that most of the film cameras coming up on ebay, etc have been used in the last ten-twenty years.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The overwhelming majority of used cameras out there need servicing, if you disbelieve this get a shutter speed meter and test a few dozen. Out of 35 or so cameras bought used, exactly one was accurate at all speeds, a Nikon F2 which had been serviced prior to me purchasing it. My OM is not dead, it needs what any 30 year old camera needs - a complete overhaul. I have a Contax II which probably spent 50 to 60 years idle, after stripping it to the bare casting and cleaning every single one of over 600 parts, it looks great and works as it should. I have shutters from the 1890s which are more reliable than much newer, unserviced shutters. Machinery needs maintenance, the smaller the machine the more often it needs service.
    Edit: Of the "35 or so" cameras mentioned above, only three or four were unuseable, the rest would have been described or were described as "shutter sounds good at all speeds" or some similar nonsense. I assume that anything I purchase will need work and pay accordingly. Often I buy stuff at yardsales, or described as "not working, for parts", or "shutter sticks on slow speeds". Nothing has ever been actually broken, just old dried out lubricants.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  4. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Well, that is good to hear about your OM3 not being dead. Since you said it was useless, I assumed you meant it had no use.

    Of the Nikon FEs I've purchased, the shutters have all worked well enough that exposures seemed fine. I have not clocked them. The same with more modern FM3a's I've purchased. I agree that 'sounds good at all speeds' is idiotic at least beyond the slower shutter speeds.

    NOS cameras often command a much too high premium in my opinion, however, I wouldn't hesitate in buying a NOS from a reputable dealer for a 20% or so higher price, over a used camera of uncertain provenance . YMMV.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    "Useless" meaning the foam will get all over the interior if it's used, bits of foam could be what's causing the shutter problem.
    Nikon really got lubrication down to a science in the 70s and later on, I've yet to see an FM series with sticky slow speeds. Even my yet-to-be serviced very late F2A is ok on all but the two highest speeds which are useable for negative film, even though they'll be much more accurate after a thorough cla.
     
  6. albada

    albada Member

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    I'm not FoidPoosening (what a name!), but I've also repaired many cameras. I've been a tinkerer since childhood and teen-age, taking apart everything mechanical, such as watches and clocks, and a Canonet. I've done the same with electronics. With all that experience, I know how things work, and how to repair them. If you want to learn to repair cameras, I suggest buying some appropriate tools and a few worthless cameras, and then enjoy disassembling them to see what's in there. For a camera with built-in flash, my only warning is to be careful with the large electrolytic capacitor that powers the flash-tube. It charges up to about 300 volts, and if you short its wires together, the spark sounds like a gunshot. BANG!

    I've had bad experience with electronic cameras. For example, an OM-G has uneven speeds, and yet it has no electrolytic capacitors to dry out. The timing-cap is ceramic or similar. The remaining parts are resistors and ICs. None of these parts should deteriorate, so how can such a circuit be flaky? Yet it is. Strange.

    Mark Overton
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    ICs can go bad too. (But not if unused, in contrast to electrolytic capacitators.)
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Electronic shutters still need the mechanical components to be clean and properly lubricated.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I NEVER BOUGHT A RANGEFINDER NOR WOULD I; I want to see what he lens sees.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    You see that when you develop the film :smile:
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Too late for me. I need to see the depth of field before I take the photograph.
     
  12. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    This approach, if feasible, is good news. These days, it seems as if there's little interest in repairing printed circuits, and instead just replacing the whole thing. The only thing that I might be troubled about repairing an existing PC in a camera is the fact that most these days are flex circuits. I can't help but wonder if a flex circuit becomes brittle over time. In which case w'd be dealing with increased fragility the older a camera becomes. Original Canon AE-1s are over 40 years old now. Original Canon A-1s are 40 years old now. II wonder how their flex circuits are holding up . . .
     
  13. Yon

    Yon Member

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    Hi Are you interested or offering maintenance and repair services for medium format cameras and lenses purchased secondhand in the UK ?
     
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  15. FoidPoosening

    FoidPoosening Subscriber

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    Hi Mark - Thanks :smile: Any suggestions on what tools you'd suggest as a starter kit, and what cameras you thought in taking apart helped you understand the most about this topic? IE practice disassembly camera.
     
  16. 4season

    4season Member

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    I haven't (yet) served an AE1, but I just worked on a Pentax P30T which is about 30 years old. I saw nothing to suggest that the flexible PC material was deteriorating, and exposed switch contacts were heavily gold plated and shiny. The part that failed were lubricants which had dried out.

    In my (limited) experience, improper storage (dirty, dusty, too humid, etc) is the biggest problem affecting all cameras, although problems may be more obvious with electronic cameras.
     
  17. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

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    A better direction would be not so powers that be who work at powers to be leave the company and create an old camera refurb biz that includes repairs and making new parts. There are still a ton of good used cameras and lenses out there and if a company like this were to be made, the world would simply never even need brand new cameras.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    As long as the youtube taught do-it-yourself-at-the-kitchen-table-with-lighterfluid-and-a-breadknife brigade exists, there will be a constant loss of cameras, and that's not taking into account all the cameras going to the landfill because "you can't get film anymore".

    A repair business which fabricates parts and repairs electronics will need to charge real money for their work. Most are not willing to pay realistic rates to get their camera proper maintenance, which will forestall most repairs.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Today we keep film cameras working. In a decade or two there will be more and more people taking old cars and trucks and keeping them working by playing with gasoline and diesel engines.
     
  20. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    It's well accepted in the old car restoration community that while you can keep a 1908 Ford going forever, because any unavailable part can be relatively easily fabricated, today's cars will all be static displays in 50 years or so due to the electronics dying. Engine parts are comparatively pretty simple to replicate, even for "modern" engines.
    Anyone who thinks the electronic processors (albeit very simple ones) in cameras will be an economically viable proposition to repair is either very badly informed, or willing to work for a couple dollars per hour.
     
  21. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

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    I’m talking about mechanical cameras. By the time the world starts to truly run short there will then be demand for restorations. There will also be new technologies that allow for this.

    I’m surprised people can not see that far ahead. I’m also surprised at how cheap people seem to think used film cameras will remain. I have seen a steady increase in the price of my bread and butter Hasselblad the 501CM. So I now have a small army of them to make darn good and sure I am in business for years down the road.

    I bet the sea change in the need for restorations happens a lot faster than people on here think it will.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Ah. Mechanical cameras are a different animal. But, you'll still need the services of very good machinists to make the parts, many of which cannot be made by CNC processes, and 3-d printing has several lightyears of progress to go before it can make miniature precision parts of the strength and finish needed.

    As I mentioned above, regular maintenance will prevent most failures and a great deal of wear. But, folks think "I'll just get another one when it stops working, they're cheap".
     
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