Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Because all of our cameras have been rebuilt. 

Consider the cost of an eBay camera at $25 to $75+. It  will typically be in non-serviceable condition. Okay to collect or put on the shelf, but not good for filming. Most of the cameras bought off of eBay will have something wrong with them. All will need to be serviced. After 35 to 50 years of sitting in a closet, the grease and oil will have dried up. That means total disassembly, cleaning and rebuilding.

If you buy an eBay camera, the chance of getting one with all the major assemblies in working order are slim. Usually one of the following will be present:

Fungus in lens or viewfinder
Dirt or rust in viewfinder
Broken spring motor
Light meter inoperative
Battery leakage damaging something
Spring Motor left wound- now unusable
Grease so hard the gears won't turn
Speed regulator faulty
Parts missing
Previous owner tried to "fix" the camera
Leather bindings loose or missing
Plastic dials cracked or missing
No single framing
Film unable to pass through gate
Lightmeter inaccurate
Speed control not working properly
Enter problem here_____________________

If additional parts are necessary in order to fix the first camera, a second camera will have to be purchased. No new parts for these 50+ year old Swiss cameras. Cross your fingers that the second camera doesn't have the same problems as the first. 

Disassemble both. Select the good parts. Clean, lube and replaced all damaged parts. Recalibrate light meter, etc. Clean case and polish. Add all the money you just spent. Don't forget 2x postage, insurance, etc. Multiply the total hours spent to learn and do the work. Add that to the camera parts. What's the camera worth now? $200, $500 – more?

Oh, I almost forgot. Be sure to add the tools, manuals and skills necessary to do the work. The learning curve isn't very long.  Of course, you'll make some mistakes. Loose some parts. Get frustrated.

Maybe that camera at Bolexrepair was a good deal after all!

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