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Old 24-03-2005, 04:40 PM
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Question Camera Cleaning Advice Needed

Hi folks,

I own a very old fujica st605n 35mm SLR film camera which my dad purchased at the markets for a whopping $15 I recently tried to clean the darn thing as I noticed some of the foam that protects the mirror (or something like that, not sure what function the foam has actually... ) had crumbled off onto the focusing screen and the mirror. Well, you can guess what happened next...I made it worse . I now have black smudges all over the focusing screen I am yet to find out whether this has affected the image quality (need time to get the roll developed) but it shouldn't really I suppose.

I just need to find out if anyone knows of a reputable camera repair shop that could clean the gunk out for me. I did get one quote from a Sydney repairer in the city and they wanted to charge me over $200 for it

Even if anyone has any suggestions on how I might safely try to clean the insides of this most loved camera of mine, then it would be much appreciated.

On a side note, this camera has been a wonderful addition to my gear and I would never part with it. It takes fantastic day shots that look better than what my digital camera can produce - the colours just seem so much more vibrant and real. It is also very well suited for astrophotography. So this is why I would dearly love to get this beautiful little vintage camera fixed, even if the images aren't ruined because of it. And the marks just looks so ugly, I just have to get it cleaned...ummm, it's a female thing

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.
Clear skies,

Last edited by silvinator; 24-03-2005 at 04:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 24-03-2005, 05:32 PM
gbeal
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Silvie,
an old Fujica huh? I had one like this many years ago.
It will do the goods, just as it is.
The grubby marks on the focus screen will not affect your image, as the mirror flips up, and covers the screen during exposure so no drama there. Be careful that this crap doesn't get onto the shutter blinds though, as this will cause you some conternation.
Find an older camera repair sorta guy, and appeal to his sense of history. At the price you paid for it, it will cost a bomb to fix, but if you are in love with it then maybe it is worth it.
As far as I can tell the foam is to provide a buffer for when the mirror hits the bottom of the screen/pentaprism area. I am sure you could live without it, as long as the crud isn't everywhere inside. I know what you mean about being sticky though.
Gary
P.S. You have to be an old fart to remember these old cameras.
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Old 24-03-2005, 11:38 PM
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Silvie, Try, D.A.W. Optical Services, at 10a Henley St., Homebush West. 97643476
Ask for Wolfgang. L.
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Old 26-03-2005, 10:42 PM
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Thanks Gary, I am very much in love with it so I might have to fork out the cash to clean it up. It really is very ugly to look at, very distracting when focusing.
Thanks for that rajah, I will certainly try them after the easter break. That's not too far from me either. Do they have a website?
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Old 27-03-2005, 02:01 AM
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Not that I know of, Silvie. L.
ps. It's been a few yrs. since I used them.
Might have moved by now!

Last edited by RAJAH235; 27-03-2005 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 27-03-2005, 01:25 PM
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Hi Silvie, I was just raeading your post and remembered that Michael Covington in his "Astrophotography for the Amateur" mentions this specific problem (foam rot). He says that he fixed it himself, but then goes on to say on page 159

[quote]
Complete foam replacement is a tedious job best left to a professional, but you can do piecemeal repairs yourself. I made a nice mirror pad for the camera in Fig. 9.4 out of some brown foam furiture padding from a hardware store. Since its not in the image-foming light path, the brown color does not matter.
[end quote]

Unfortunately he doesn't go into details If you can get this book at the library you maybe able to pick more details out of it.

ps Mike how does one turn these things into proper quote formatting as I've seen in ohter postings. (computer language illiterate)

Last edited by [1ponders]; 27-03-2005 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 27-03-2005, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for that Paul, I do have that book you mentioned as a matter of fact and I do remember that part in the book. I will certainly give that a go. But I still need to figure how to clean off the gunk on the focusing screen too
With regards to making the quote an actual quote, where you have typed
Quote:
[end quote]
Just type in instead: [/quote]
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Old 27-03-2005, 07:07 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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So how come it didn't start quote: when I typed [quote]?
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Old 28-03-2005, 12:55 AM
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Silvie, I think you need something along the lines of "white spirits" to clean optics & remove the gunky foam.(& cotton buds). Same thing happened to my Canon AE+ program. L.
Paul, from experimenting: From the main page(Don't know correct terminology),if you click> quote,(bottom right of window), the reply window opens up with the quote already displayed. You simply have to add your bits in. I think this is the way it works. L.

Last edited by RAJAH235; 28-03-2005 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 28-03-2005, 01:03 AM
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What about replacing the whole focusing screen with a low light version? I think this was mentioned in the same article IIRC.

Last edited by Vermin; 28-03-2005 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 28-03-2005, 05:57 AM
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This is a good plan, AS LONG AS THE OLD ONE COMES OUT.
If it does indded remove, then take it out, and clean it GENTLY, in something like warm soapy water, with a good rinse off afterwards. If that doesn't shift this stuff, then maybe something like alcohol, but be careful of the plastic. They are very tender and sometimes cleaning can make more mess than there was to start.
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Old 28-03-2005, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for all your advice fellas. I believe though that this particular camera's focusing screen does not come out.
I still haven't tried that homebush place yet but will soon.
I actually just won an auction off ebay for a set of film cameras that included a fujica camera body for $45. I'm planning on selling the rest though as I don't need them. So this will be my back up camera in case I totally stuff up trying to clean my current one...well, stuff it up even more I mean! Fingers crossed...
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:45 PM
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Any smudges on the focusing screen will NOT affect the quality of the image taken unless it is so bad that you cannot focus correctly.
What might be a problem is that if the small liece of foam has rotted, the focal length via mirror onto focusing screen will be slightly longer than the focal length to the film plane. Not much but if focus is really critical it might make a difference.

I have heard of ground glass plates that you can slot where the film usually goes to get perfect focus, with the back of the camera open, then you remove the plate and load your film and hope that the focus knob is locked nice and tight.
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