Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Simple repair of a Minox 35 GL

For some 30 years ago, tired of heavy photo equipment, I bought the smallest available 35mm camera, still having a good image quality and it was a Minox 35 GL. I don't know what happened to the camera but since my wife got cancer, I lost the interest in photography and cameras and films were closed somewhere. Well, she died in 1998 and I still have her Nikon EM, but my Minox is lost. Now, I found out that my interest for photography is still alive and I would like to have a Minox again. At ebay they are cheap enough but they are mostly not working properly. I bought one and it had an issue with the shutter. The shutter needs the batteries to work, it has an electronic shutter with 2 coils, one opens and the other closes, quickly or slowly according to the light measured by the cells and the speed and aperture you adjusted at the camera.
But, the shutter of this camera I bought was working like this: when you wind up the film and without pressing the shutter button, the blades oppened and stayed oppen until you press the shutter button.
It is useless to oppen the camera and try to repair it inside. I learned this by doing it. But I also discovered that the camera could be repaired without the need of oppening it. The procedure is the following:
Change the batteries for new ones, attention to their correct polarity. Then press the shutter button and wind up. Repeat several times until the camera works correctly. That's all folks! If you have one of these wonderfull Minox, don't give up if they don't work like they should. I suspect that they enter the «broken state» when the batteries are weak and they need then a kind of reset to work in the «normal state» again. In this case, there must be a lot of them not working correctly and sold as broken at ebay. It is worth to have a look at ebay and see.