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More Home Camera Repair

Posted 2009.10.16 16.55 in Hobbies, Photography

The codeine buzz didn’t last long, so in an attempt to draw my attention away from the unbearable seething agony in my mouth, I decided to have a go at repairing another camera.

Hanimex RangefinderToday’s victim subject was my Hanimex Rangefinder. I’ve looked high and low on teh interwebz but have yet to find any more information on this camera. I’m confident that it works like the Hanimex zone focus ZF35, and is almost certainly made by whomever made the ZF35. I have parts of the ZF35 manual, and between that information and what I’d ascertained when I originally disassembled part of the Hanimex, I am confident that a) my RF35 is functionally equivalent, b) the mechanical shutter operates at full speed when there is no battery power, and c) the metering system (when it works) uses an electromagnet to delay the shutter closing.

In other words, the shutter is cocked and released in a fully mechanical fashion. However, there is a small electromagnet (basically a small relay coil) next to an armature which, when released, closes the shutter. This armature has a small steel weight attached. Without any power whatsoever, the armature moves unimpeded and its maximum speed is probably 1/300th of a second. When the small coil is powered, this magnetically holds the armature in place until the current is removed. This delay is what allows the camera to employ slower shutter speeds.

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Home Camera Repair

Posted 2009.09.20 15.43 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather

Hey, how hard can it be, right? Today we’re going to be working on an ‘antique’, a ~37 year old Canonet GIII QL17, mechanical manual-focus rangefinder camera.

First thing is, make sure before you get started that you’re fully prepared. Have all your tools ready, any spare parts or supplies that you’ll need, and for goodness sake, make sure your beer is handy. A clean and tidy well-lit work area is important too, though in a pinch, just shove stuff off to one side of your dimly-lit desk and keep a flashlight handy for when you need some light.

Camera Repair 1

Step two, dive right on in. Cameras are fairly simple things, as you can see in the pictures. Really it’s just a pound of metal and glass. It only seems complicated because they take that pound of metal and make it into about eleventy-million little springs and levers and ratcheting doo-hickeys. At the end of the day though, metal is still just metal, and glass is still just glass. Except when they make it out of some funky rare-earth crystal stuff.

Camera Repair 2

So once the camera is fixed, just put it back together by reversing the disassembly process.

That’s it – it’s just that easy.

Road Repair Rage Rant

Posted 2009.09.15 20.21 in Pointless Blather

Wow it was hard work getting home today! I live very close to the office, under 10km. Normally it takes me just a few minutes – most of my commute is actually spent at the drive-through coffee shop. Lately though… it’s making me crazy. There’s this one major thoroughfare that I don’t even have to drive on, I just cross it. But they’ve been tearing it up, laying it back down again, I don’t know what they’re actually doing. Maybe one side is done and they’re just flipping it over, one bit at a time.

Anyhow, so I’m trying to get home and trying to avoid the major intersections. I came through a residential area, side-streets, to cut across the main road where there’s a set of traffic lights, from one residential area to another. OMG what a mess.

At first I tried to be patient, calm, etc. but the minutes kept ticking past with hardly any movement. I could see a growing line of cars behind me. Eventually the line would scoot ahead a carlength, then stop a while longer. Finally after about a half hour I was near enough to see what was happening.

Whenever the lights went green for us, the construction crew would kick into action and move equipment infront of us. See, they were trying to minimize disruption to the main street, so when the main street had a red light, they’d go out into the intersection and do their thing.

Road Rage

Only, uh, WTF about the rest of the traffic? I mean ok, the lady with the stop/slow sign couldn’t see how huge the backlog of cars was – how could she, when she was so very careful not to turn around and look.

What was happening was now and then, when we had a green light, one or two cars would get a chance to sneak through. Then we’d miss 2 or 3 lights while they were dumping dirt, or pushing dirt, or pointing at dirt that needed to be pushed, or pointing at dirt that needed to be dumped.

WTF goes through their minds? I mean if they were going to effectively close the road, then just close the f-ing road! Don’t let it back up all the way to the next major intersection.

Sheesh!