Minox 35 ML Repair
I have been using a camera as a hobby and professionally for over 60 years. In all that time I never picked up a Minox 35 series of cameras. In my film days, the majority of my work was medium format, so the bigger camera meant the better the photo. Lately, I have been shooting with film cameras and I purchased this camera "lot", which contained a non-working Minox 35 ML.
The camera had four issues:
A very good friend of mine, Michael Boses, told me he had one of these many years ago and they were wonderfully sharp cameras. That inspired me to see what could be done to bring this little camera back to life. I joined a Facebook user group on the Minox 35 ML and found a link to fix the shutter issues. There was this issue with the focus ring, but no one had any idea how to set the infinity focus. Two of the three focus scale ring had broken slotted screws so I scoured the eBay listing for a trashed MINOX. I did find one for parts, but even non-working Minox cameras are pricey and I over-paid for the camera because upon receiving the camera I discovered the internals were a mess of rust and corrosion. However, the distance scale ring screws were in good shape. Below are my steps to resurrecting this camera.
Removing the little bit of corrosion in the battery compartment was straight forward. I did remove the top of the camera to make sure the corrosion did not migrate into the internals of the camera. Everything was fine and just a bit of scraping the terminal inside was all that was required.
Intermittent Shutter Release Issue:
This turns out to be a very common problem with these little cameras. A Facebook Minox 35 user named Poon Tiffany shared this link from "fsixteenrule" on his Flicker account. Minox 35 GT Shutter Repair Fix | Minox 35 | Flickr The fix took five minutes!
ISO Settings Scale
As you can see from the photos below, the ISO setting scale was in bad shape. I designed a replacement sticker for this and printed it on a vinyl self-adhesive label and waterproofed the inkjet printing. You can purchase them here. Minox 35 ML MB ISO 1600 Scale Replacement Label - Vinyl Waterproof | eBayMinox 35 ML MB ISO 1600 Scale Replacement Label - Vinyl Waterproof | eBay
Calibrating the Infinity Focus:
Since the focusing scale was loose, infinity focus was no longer in the proper position. I scratched my head for a while thinking of how to do this. I will admit this was fun. If this was an SLR, the process would have been straight forward. I could not even add a piece of ground glass to the film plane because this camera has no option for a "B" or "T" exposure. To set the correct infinity focus I did the following:
Below This really is a sharp little camera! Time to sell it! Maybe...
To infinity and beyond! Perfect!
My winter bottle tree.
The Watameter said the distance to the little "marble" fence was 35 feet. Did a quick conversion to meters and set the camera lens. Perfect focus!
The closest the camera will focus is 0.9 meters. I set the Watameter to 36" and determined where to hold the camera for focus on the fence. I did stop down to f8.
Can you fix mine now?? Please!
A tip for those trying to adjust the focus ring for refocus on a Minox 35. Set the asa dial to the lowest value and the close the aperture to minimum so that the camera will leave the shutter open for longer. While the shutter remains open, remove the battery. This will give you the necessary time to set up your camera. The shutter remains open for hours .. days ... years !!!
MICHAEL W SHOUP(non-registered)
You sir, are a camera whisperer, extraordinaire..
And I'm sure, your work and subsequent findings, will prove to be priceless when posted to the aforementioned Minox 35 f/book and user sites..
Bravo Jimmy me boy.. Job well done..
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