Monthly Archives: January 2017

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).

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