The continual search for a tripod … it’s orange this time, not so flexy … MeFOTO, youPhoto.

So … as you know the GorillaPod was not the tripod that worked best for me. It is still a pretty interesting tool, especially for those people that will use a lightweight camera … the ability to wrap the legs around things actually is pretty handy. For my SLT and Macro lens, it was just too much for it.

I have been keeping an eye on Mefoto. Recently they just released their new Air series. I like them, but not enough to spend that much money on them … I mean for my need of a small tripod, for cheap (I already have a Manfrotto tripod). Knowing the need for people to upgrade or change, I have kept an eye out for those wanted to get rid of their old ones … so I ended up getting a good price on a MeFOTO Daytrip.


The MeFOTO Daytrip is (what I consider) a mini-tripod … cause it is small, even at max height it’s still small. The photo above shows a comparision to my GorillaPod, and due to the positioning and angle of shot, it looks like the Daytrip is much taller … it is in fact the same height when I took this shot.

The last time I took out the GorillaPod I was hunting mushrooms in Algonquin Park. I noticed that it was just not steady enough … the great things about the Gorilla is that I did not even notice I was carrying it (weight), and the legs can wrap around things … but for my shots had too much camera shake, and because of that I had to look for something else (I was hoping it would be sufficient).

When I was first hunting for my macro tripod I did consider the Daytrip … but the cost was just too much. I was hoping the Gorilla was good enough.

That was last year … MeFOTO has made a new series of AIR tripods, which look great, and I was hoping that this would drive the price down on the older stuff. Just last week I did find a mint used Daytrip (now discontinued) for less than the price of the GorillaPod !!!

Construction is solid. The small ball head locks without any drift … and is secure. The rotating locks feel like they do the job. Overall this tripod is made very well.

I slapped my Sony A77II with the Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro on it … snapped some 20s (yeah, full seconds … not 1/20s) exposure shots.  Even with full centre column extension it did well. I think this is the one … well for now. The middle leg position seems to be the best overall for steadiness and low height. Note that the leg locks are not spring loaded, so you got to push them in to lock. Not sure if it was worth it putting the sand bag hook on the bottom, as there is not much room down there … possibly for those who actually crank this thing to full height (in which case I would suggest getting a different tripod).

So for those of you looking for a steady tripod to shoot close to the ground, or even just something very small … I suggest you give this MeFOTO Daytrip a consideration, and keep an eye on those used ones … I think many people going to upgrade to the Backpacker AIR.

The Gorillapod would be great for not so long exposures, just enough to steady, or selfies, or if you just like wraping legs around something … and if you have a mirrorless camera (it would be a great companion for my Sony NEX-6).

Below is a shot (yeah not the best but you get the picture … literally) of it attached to my Lowepro Transit Sling 250. I could have folded it to its most compact size, but it was too short for the upper strap.


Some thoughts to start 2017 …

Oily oily oxen free …

Have you noticed I have not used any “oil” yet ?

I mention it in my section of tools.

I am not actually sure if any oil was used in the creation of cameras. Yes, there is the use of grease on many moving parts … especially on focus helicoids and the focus mechanism of TLR’s … but I don’t think oil is needed.

From the many discussions on the web … camera shutter mechanisms/gears are designed to run dry. Without access to the manufacturers service manual, you really do not want to guess what parts can be lubricated with oil, better safe than sorry.

If you add too much oil or the wrong type of oil, to escapements they can slow down … throwing off the timing of the shutter. If you add too much oil then it can leak onto the shutter and aperture blades … which is something you really do not want to gumm up.

I have used watch oil (though I never stated it) on heavy movement arms … but never anything close to the shutter, or apertures blades. When I do use it … it gets applied with something like a metal pin/needle.

Many of the cameras/lenses that I have encountered do have gummed up shutters or aperture blades. Most of the time is comes from old helicoid grease that degraded, liquified, and has leaked into the wrong places … sometimes it is just crud … and sometimes a DIY job.


Can’t get enough of that sugar crisp … or at least screwdrivers.

I am always needing screwdrivers. For some reason or another I tend to need one size/type that I don’t have … or is not exactly the right shape … length … etc. Now most of the drivers that I have are ordered online, since they are of very small point size I can’t get them easily … but recently I was at the local hardware store for something and noticed a cheap micro screwdriver set. It was the Home Depot brand, the Husky 8-in-1 Ratcheting Precision Screwdriver.

It comes with eight (yes, as the name says) reversable snap-on tips.

Slotted: 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm Philips: 0, 00, 000 Square: 0 TORX:T7, T15

After using this, I have found that I am using it half of the time … and the Torx is great when I am working on Laptops. The quality of the metal tips is pretty good, and you can get a good grip when necessary. The only thing I really have not used the ratchet, as I keep forgetting that it has that feature. They do make a version without the ratchet and added a twist top (handy for small thin drivers), but they did not have that at my location … and all for $9, yes less than 10 bucks (for you Americans it probaly means $5) !!!


QL17 … the final frontier

After I figured out the shutter release and cleaned up the gears, I still had a problem with the aperture … so part III.


  • Screw driver
  • Soldering iron
  • Spanner wrench
  • Dental spatula
  • Ronsonol
  • Lots of Q-tips

The first thing to do is to remove the two leatherette pieces from the front of the camera. Have patience and you will be rewarded with singular pieces. Start from the outer edges and work your way in towards the lens.

Remove top cover. Then remove four screws holding the lens assembly, and pull it off.

Flip it over.

Remove the two screws that secure the baffle.

Pull off light baffle.

Unsolder the wires. Note that the longer one is on the left.

Unscrew rear lens group first. Then you can unscrew the retaining ring that is hidden underneath. This holds the lens/shutter assembly to this plate.

Pull off lens

There are three rings here.

Dark one sets the shutter.

Spacer in between

Silver bottom one trips the shutter release (in this image it was moved off the pin).

Remove them.

OK, now down to the nitty gritty (whatever that means).

The aperture blades are gummed up. The red arrow points to the arm that is moved to open the aperture. The green arrow points to a (pathetic) spring arm that pulls it into an open position.

I washed out this area with Ronsonol … then exercised the aperture … then did it again. Use Q-tips to clean off the blades. Continue the cycle.

Let it dry

Continue the clean, wipe cycle until it flows like butter, or at least until the little spring can pull its weight.

The best way of cleaning the blades is to take the whole thing apart and individually clean everything … I am not that ambitious.

… I would like to thank a couple of Japanese bloggers that posted their experience with taking this camera apart, the photo’s helped (but the translation failed).

eBay … Autocord.

Hmm, was just hunting eBay for Minolta Autocords … I don’t know why I keep looking for these cameras … and I notice that the price has been really jacked up.

I just saw one that commented on a fugly one that it has great patina ? Really ? It really is need of a thorough CLA … and it has the classic bent focus knob … way too much $$$ for a starting price.

I wonder if this has anything to do with my blog … hmmm, maybe I am thinking too highly of myself … but I do constantly see that my Autocord posts are still the most actively viewed ones.

Yes, it is a great camera … but not worth that much (that some of these people are asking), its almost like Rollei prices.

FYI: for those that want a great TLR, you should hunt for a Ricoh Ricohmatic 225 … it has a great lens and can still be found cheap (most of the time). I still keep my eye out for one with the Color-Back 225 35mm film adapter kit.

Shut(ter) up … Part duex … full frontal.

OK, so I actually started the repair of my Canonet from the front … seemed logical as the shutter was not operating.


  • Spanner wrench
  • Rubber grip
  • Screw drivers
  • Soldering iron
  • Ronsonol

The lens/shutter is layered.

There is a thin outer ring that holds the name plate on … first to go.

After removing the name plate it will reveal the light meter ring … remove that.




Now we have to remove the front lens group.

This just unscrews … so get a grip.






This layer is held on by the three brass inner screws.

Warning … watch out for the wires.






Underneath that you have the … brown, that has wires, and electrical contacts, on a lever thing, plate.

Remove the three large screws.

This is where the soldering iron may be needed if you pull the wire too hard … like I did.



Ok, getting close.

At this point you may just want to wash out this whole thing with Ronsonol … then just exercise everything.

I am going to continue … by removing the retaining ring, then pulling off the speed cam.




… and there it is.

After getting all this way, I figured out that there is a problem with the aperture … it was not opening. I can move the blades, so it was not jammed … this meant that the mechanism that moves it open is broken ?

That is part III.

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