Tag Archives: shutter

Chinon CE-4

I love this camera. Though it isn’t my best camera or my most sophisticated…it has Spiderman all over it!!! What’s not to love?

I had seen a few of these cameras online with the skin either off or falling off. That made them cheap, so I bought one. I was looking for a replacement body for some Pentax lenses anyway. As soon as it arrived I set to recovering it and just happened to be reading a comic. I wonder??? Could my comic be a new cover? Yes it could. I cut it to the right size and glued it on. Gosh, I hoped the camera worked as I was already enamoured with it.

It was produced around 1980 and this excellent blog post compares it to the Pentax ME Super, which is great as I bought mine as a replacement for that camera. A friend had cheekily asked if I would swap that camera and I was reluctant as the prices are rising for the ME. But at the end of the day I don’t use it and I have lots of others. I still wanted a Pentax K mount, because I am me 🙂 So I decided to get this one. That blog post has all the information you might need for this camera.

I had recently been gifted an Ilford FP4 plus film so loaded that up and then took my camera everywhere with me. I just couldn’t stop looking at it and playing with it. That being said, it took me longer than usual to get through the film…and there were ghosts, trials, and tribulations.

Firstly, I took it to Harrogate and took a few shots before feeling like I was getting a massive migraine. So I headed home very quickly…I was right.

Then I took it to the exhibition in Blackpool, but it was raining so I didn’t take many shots there either. I just took a few inside, making good use of the 1.7 aperture.

Then I thought, well, I bought it to replace the ME Super so why not try out the Pentax lens. So for the next trip to Manchester I swapped the lenses. I was going there to hunt for ghosts as it was almost halloween. I managed to capture one before the mirror locked up and the camera became unresponsive 😦

Just before it died, it acted a little weird, the wind on acted oddly. As you can see the first two frames overlapped. I tried some new batteries, as they were LR44 they were easy to replace. But it had no effect, the camera was dead. I carried on the monster hunt using a Brownie and a very old film which didn’t turn out well either. It was supposed to be an experimental combination not my only camera.

Anyway, when I got home I decided to see if I could reset the mirror somehow. There was very little on the net, no fix that I could find. So I took off the bottom plate and had a look. I found a piece that moved and then tried to turn the electronic winder mechanism manually. Basically I was looking for anything that would move. Low and behold my experimenting worked and the mirror came down.

Here is a diagram of what I did.

A coin fits in the winder mechanism quite well making it easier to turn.

With the batteries back in and the lens back on I tried it a few times before putting the plate back on. All seemed well, but what had happened and would it happen again. I suspected the Pentax lens and with some more experimenting I found the issue. Though it is the same mount, the “A” setting totally confused the camera and caused the error.

I could repeat the error and fix it. In the end I decided to play safe and put the Chinon lens back on for the remainder of the film, which I took on a walk around my house. I also added a red filter just for fun.

And here is where another ghost appeared…I took another camera out on the walk to finish some infrared film I have, a Minolta XG2. That camera also suffered a mirror lock up. When I got home I took off the bottom plate and had a look. It seemed to work in exactly the same way as the Chinon.

Yatta, I have learned something new. So I then went on eBay and bought another Chinon CE-4 with a stuck winder and crappy skin for very, very small fee as it is listed as broken. I will see if this works on that one too, though now after posting this I might not be able to get them quite so cheaply.

Ricoh KR-10

Sometimes, I am enough lucky to be given cameras to try or am offered great swaps. This camera was one of those swaps. It is a basic SLR from 1980. It has manual mode or aperture priority depending on the lens. Two regular button batteries can power the coupled light meter guide in the viewfinder, but does not control the camera.

As you see it looks like a classic SLR should. It would be perfect for a beginner or someone who is not bothered by bells and whistles. You can find a few technical details here. The camera is activated by moving the film advance to uncover the red dot. Without a battery the mirror can lock up if the shutter is activated, but the red X will release it. The film advance has one of the shortest movement I have experienced.

The first time I tried it I didn’t particularly enjoy using it. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. Maybe I foresaw the test photos from an expired film.

As you can see the lens worked fine, but everything was underexposed due to the age of the film. At this point I was not sure if it was the camera or the film. I was using the camera in auto mode.

As everything seems to be working I gave it a second chance. I loaded it with fresher film, Kodak Ekta 100, and tried a different lens. I also put on a shutter release button as I have not tried one before. I thought pimping the camera might make me like it a tad more.

It worked, I enjoyed using the camera much more this time. Ironically, it was only spoiled by the button. It made the shutter much more sensitive. When I wanted to get a light meter reading by a half press, the shutter would fire. I got use to it eventually and stopped being so heavy handed.

Anyway, here are some of the photos from the second test.

Well, much better. If you want to get into film photography this camera is simple to use and cheap to buy. It is basic, no bells and whistles at all, but reliable. It is a Pentax K fit so lenses are easy to get. It is slightly bigger than a Pentax ME Super which I prefer, but much smaller than some other SLRs.

I have many cameras like this so I won’t be keeping this one.

I eventually sold it to a photography student, perfect.

Olympus OM-1

I am so excited by this find. Firstly I love olympus cameras, secondly it is an OM-1, thirdly it was less than $20 (without a lens). Luckily I have OM lenses to test it with. So I plonked on a lens and got to loading a film, that is when I discovered the shutter curtain was jammed shut. Many junk bin camera are in plastic sealed bags so you can’t do the checks you want to. If I have to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I had check it.

But it was now mine and mine to fix. After a bit of internet searching I discovered that this is a common issue with this camera. I am in Japan and there are Olympus service centers, but I didn’t want to pay for it. I found this website and decided, ok in for penny in for a pound and took the bottom off. I couldn’t quite figure it out from the website what to do, but by carefully pressing a few things I found the right lever and pushed it back into place. Low and behold the shutter was free, but when I pressed it again it jammed again. Every time.

IMG_3891

IMG_3885

I used lighter fluid to clean it as it evaporates quickly. I then used a non-greasy, light bike chain oil to very lightly lube the relevant parts. Then just kept cocking and pressing the shutter then pushing it back until it finally went back on its own. I then put the bottom back on and loaded a film. I was so chuffed with this find and fix that I took it to Tokyo and bought a second hand 1.4f 50mm lens to test it with. I can use it on another camera (OM4 which I also love).

This camera was first manufactured in 1972. It has a light meter that uses the old mercury based battery, so if you have one you will need to find an adapter or buy an expensive alternative. I have a few other olympus cameras so I have some adapters. You can use it manually, but I tested this one using the metering system. Basically when you look through the viewfinder there is a + and – with a needle that moves up and down. If it is too low you open the aperture, if it is too high you close the aperture….or change the speed accordingly. When the needle is between the two marks you are good to go. If there isn’t enough light it will still take the shot, it does not lock the shutter.

Ok moment of truth, does it work….

Yes, oh yes it worked. I was so excited by the whole fixing thing that I forgot about the dangling lens cover and it covered the side on a couple of shots, that is the black part on the right of some photos. But the rest are so sharp. The new lens had a bit of dust, but it didn’t affect the photos. I loved using this camera so much that I almost gave up all the point and shoot cameras right then and there. I am going to sell, keep or give away…I have seen this camera for sale in Japan for over $200 so I don’t think I will have an issue selling it. But oh I so want to keep it. I might be tempted to give it to a friend, but not with the new lens, that’s mine, a 1.8f 50mm is more than enough.

Look at me fixing cameras 🙂 (that is a big, fat, wide grin and head wobble)