Tools, tools, tool.

I frequently mention tools … because without them I could not do all this stuff. I am always encountering a situation when I think, crap I wish I had a <enter tool name here>. There will always be a time where you don’t have the best thing to do the job, so you make due, or you get the thing you need … or at least the closest thing.

One of the reasons the Yashica-MAT EM took so long was the seized screws and also some screws where the heads have been sheared off by a previous owner. The best way I could think of was to drill out the brass screws. I tried using my Dremel handheld … that didn’t work so well, as either I was moving too much and broke the bit or drilled out too much of the sides of the hole.

I needed a drill press. Well I looked and mini drill press’ are not easily found or cost too much … or where too big. Then I found that Dremel makes a Workstation. A drill press that I can attach my Dremel to.

I also bought a bunch of micro metal drill bits, a mini vise, and a mini tap and die set.

With the new tool I was able to deftly drill out the brass screws without damaging the threading !!


My latest victims …

The Yashica-MAT EM had been sitting on my workbench for the past two years … finally got assembled today. It came to me in rough shape, the focus knob was almost falling off, the winder was stuck, the shutter was jammed, broken screws, etc.

The only thing I could not fix was a glitch in the winder release mechanism … sometimes after winding the crank it will not complete, so you have to press the shutter button again to engage the winder release. Also I could not get into the light meter because all the screws were jammed. I don’t think I will continue to restore it with new leatherette, as I have grown weary of it.

The Canon IV sb with lens, was rusting all over … and I took the chance on buying it on the hopes the lens did not have haze/fungus.

The Canon IV sb and the Canon Serenar 50mm f/1.8 were a lot easier to handle. The IV sb needed a cleaning and removal of the top plate. Rusted/seized screws prevented me from going further, so I could not check the shutter for leaks.

The lens was completely disassembled and cleaned. The lens did not end up with any haze or fungus … but I did discover some decementing of the rear elements starting to occur.


The family of Yashica TLRs and Canon Barnack type rangefinders are all very similar in design, so if you have worked with one model the rest are almost the same … including lenses and shutters.

Well, my fixer upping will be going to slow down for a bit as it is becoming economically more difficult to get cameras … I will keep hunting for BB (broken bargains.)

Ah, forgot about this …

One thing I should have added about the Yashica restoration … stuck shutter button.

Now it is not a difficult thing to pour Ronsonol around the shutter button to free it from being pressed down … it is another thing if the shutter button does not come back up. This requires getting behind the front panel.

There are three levers that push against the shutter release button.

The first lever pushes against two others. In the picture, look at the bottom section. The farthest left lever trips the shutter, the furthest right releases the winding mechanism (note that the shutter button lever is in the middle … I forgot this part and could not understand why the cover with the shutter button could not be attached properly.)

If these levers are gummed up they will not move freely. To clean up the crap you need to take this apart and clean it.

First remove the upper spring from the large cam so you do not stretch it.

The light baffle ring behind the lens just unscrews counter clockwise.

After that is remove you can clean up.

When putting it back together, remember the shutter button lever is in the middle.