All this talk of how to shoot film led me to think about sharing what I do when I see a handsome looking camera tucked on a shelf at the brocante or lounging on a flea market table. So this is pretty much what I do before I decide to go for it or walk away. And I do like a bargain!
Check the camera all over for surface dings and dents, not neccessarily a bad thing. My Spotmatic has a magnificent dent in the top of the prism that doesn't effect it at all. But my old Olympus had such a big dent on the side of the lens I couldn't fit a lens cap or filter on it.
Find the battery compartment, take out a coin and unscrew it. Check for corrosion. A little can be cleaned up with white vinegar or alcohol but badly corroded compartment is a real headache as the battery will probably not work and bang goes your light meter and in some cases, shutter speeds too.
Open up the camera back, check the seals around the edges of the door. Even if they are perished, it's a straightforward enough d-i-y job. You can get replacement seal kits cheaply from ebay.
Does the shutter fire ok? Wind on? If the shutter is a cloth type, check it as you wind on for damage. Could be a costly repair.
If the lens is unremoveable (some rangefinders and viewfinders for example) set shutter speed to bulb (B), fire shutter and keep it open while you hold the camera up to the light to check the lens for scratches, fungus etc. An unremoveable lens that's knackered; put it down, walk away.
Close the camera and unscrew lens if possible. Hold lens to the light and check it is clean and clear, no scratches or fungus. If all else but the lens is well and the price is good, you could consider buying a new lens from ebay.
With the lens still off, look into the camera body at the mirror. Check it flips freely when you trip the shutter, and check the mirror pad. (If it is sticky or perished, it is again a do-able d-i-y job.)
Finally screw lens back on and check the focussing and aperture rings on the lens move smoothly.
Voilà! But beware. You too could end up with Gear Aquisition Syndrome and it's sadly uncurable.
Romy and I rarely get time alone these days, and I miss it desperately. Last weekend she wanted to test her new Canon AE-1, I wanted to test this little Ricoh rangefinder and found some very expired Kodak b&w film lurking in the back of the fridge with the limp celery and the jar of jam wearing a green fur coat. So we went to a dead-in-winter local town to find some photo action. Pfft. Nothing much doing there. But hey, we found a horse and a washing line! And the cameras both work a treat!
as I walk in the hills above my village, the world becomes garrigue; a mix of thyme, rosemary, lavender, broom and various other spiky and scrubby plants growing out of the very stony ground, dotted with crumbling ancient stone walls and shepherds' shelters.
The new Fujica given to me, mentioned in my last post. It's good isn't it? I am a very lucky girl indeed.
This winter (I know I'm going to deeply regret saying this) has been incredibly warm and sunny. So after making a vow to shoot 400 and stocking up on film for the winter months, I'm getting really niggled by it! No pleasing some people, eh?