Minolta-35 – top

This camera is one of those that I have repaired/restored numerous times. For some reason or another I ended up with three of these, and I have this feeling that is not the end of them. All of them needed at least a cleaning and two of them required some much additional servicing. The Minolta-35 model II version A and B is described in this document. The differences are slight, and I have mixed up images from both of them (I did not thoroughly document either of the repair jobs as I went a long.).

Tools: screw drivers … lots and lots of screwdrivers, Ronsonol, Q-tips, pliers, rubber band.

Let’s start from the top …

There are a number of things that need to be removed before you can get the top plate off, so have your handy trays available to keep all the loose screws and components.

Starting from right to left …

For the winding knob you have to loosen the lock screw (you do not need to take it out) then unscrew the knob counter-clockwise.

Remove the shutter button collar, unscrew counter-clockwise.

The shutter speed dial on both the A and B version differ on its removal:

Ver. A – Loosen the single lock screw. Unscrew, counter-clockwise. If it is really tight do NOT force it, as there is a register pin underneath that will get snapped off if you put too much force on it. To be on the safe side … lift the speed dial and use an elastic band and pliers to keep the column from rotating, then you can apply some force to unscrew the speed dial.

Ver. B – Loosen the three screws on the shutter speed dial and pull off.

Remove the diopter:

Ver. A – There is a recessed screw on the left side of the body that you will need to loosen before pulling out the diopter.

Ver. B – Turn the diopter, it will extend to reveal the three screws around the outside. Loosen the screws and pull off diopter.

To remove the rewind knob, open the back and use a stick to keep the column from rotating, then unscrew the knob

Ver. B, is securing with a locking collar with a screw (as illustrated above). Ver. A does not have this.

Pull off the washers and spacer that is under the counter dial if you had not done it previously.

Pull off the winding release lever.

Remove the three screws that secure the top plate.

Remove the four screws from the flash shoe. When you pull off the shoe there will be a metal piece underneath that goes with it.

Unscrew shutter release button (you might have to hold the column with small pliers to).

Pull off top and watch out for the spring by the film takeup spool hole that is located on the left side (not sure what the function of the spring is).

Pull off the rest of the parts under the winding column and you can also put the shutter release pin aside.

Now you can clean the prisms and lenses.

If you view the camera from the front, the rangefinder prism is on the left and the viewfinder split image prisms are on the right … with the eye piece behind it.

If the rear face of the rangefinder prism (on the right) looks dirty, or you got fluid behind it, you will have to remove it by unscrewing the three lock screws. If the rear of this prism is not clean then it will lower the quality of the image reflected into the viewfinder. Use Acetone or nail polish remover if it has lacquer on them.

Clean the inside of the top plate (and inside ports) before putting it back on.

If you intend on going further with the inside cleaning then just secure the top plate with the three screws and leave the rest unassembled.

5 thoughts on “Minolta-35 – top”

  1. Dang, I wish I’d seen this piece before I took my first minolta 35 apart. Especially the part about the register pin on the shutter speed dial. Snapping that little thing off complicated the repair process considerably.
    Almost as dispiriting as finding out what that little spring by the take-up spool does… I had triumphantly reassembled the top after my first re-curtain job only to find that without the spring, the door latch wouldn’t stay closed. I held the door shut with gaffers tape for two weeks before finally undoing all the tiny screws and pulling the top off again to put the spring where it belonged.
    Anyway, thanks Dennis. Fantastic bunch of information. Delighted to have found it.

  2. Dennis, many thanks for documenting and sharing the disassembly instructions. It has been most helpful.

    Just a question, did you notice that the rangefinder patch went out of alignment after you removed the top cover? Any advice on how to realign it?

    1. Hmm, I noticed that I did not post info about that.

      Alignment is best done when the top cover is back on.

      Remove screw beside the viewfinder window to access lateral adjustment screw.
      Remove the rangefinder window cover to be able to turn the inner window.

      1. Thank you very much! I also found that out after consulting the alignment procedures of the Zorki. Seems like they are very similar, both being Leica clones.

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