Rangefinder adjustment on original Contax T

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mike_nunan

I was very happy to become the owner of one of these gems a couple of weeks ago, and I have been carrying it around non-stop ever since. I was very UNhappy, however, when on Friday my partner dropped it good and hard onto a stone surface. Apart from some cosmetic damage to the corner top plate, which I can live with, the main problem is that the rangefinder is now way out. Looking at the two rolls I'd shot before the incident, I'm not sure it was very accurate in the first place, but now it is worse and shows some vertical misalignment too.

The top cover is only secured by three screws so I removed it to have a look. I was hoping to find a nice obvious adjuster for the rangefinder, but I suppose on a camera this small it was a bit optimistic to expect that not to be buried in the gubbins somewhere. If there is such an adjuster, I suspect it is beneath the viewfinder assembly itself, which would make it a bit of a mission to get to. If anyone knows for sure whether there is actually an adjuster, then I might give it a try. I know this is a real outside chance, but can anyone provide any hints or tips (apart from "take it to a repairer" ;))

TIA

-= mike =-
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
What very bad luck Mike. I don't suppose that an insurance claim is an = option and look for another one? although I know they are rare.

John
 
M

mike_nunan

Hi John,

Thanks for the vote of sympathy. An insurance claim is the back-up option, and that's the only reason I'm willing to attempt a DIY repair. They are indeed rare these days, especially in black. Also, it would break my heart to see a fine camera like this end up on the scrap heap unless there is absolutely no other way.

-= mike =-
 
M

mike_nunan

PS. I assume you were referring to finding another camera rather than finding another girlfriend ;o)
 
W

writing4me

Mike, my sympathy for you on the injury of your T.
Check out this page: Contax/Yashica Repair Info
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List of a couple books, and a discussion (email) group. I belong to the email group even though I'm not ready to bravely open up any of my own gear yet. It's a very LOW volume list, but good. I was given the name of a repair guy who I might send my FX-103 to for a good CLA. This is what was said about him: (quote
Mark Hama,
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, used to work for Yashica in Japan and now has a repair place in Georgia. For a simple internal cleaning he may be overkill, but he is well respected.(end quote) Good luck! -Lynn
 

sparkie3977

New Member
I have a contax mount 200mm f3.5 Zeiss telephoto lens. I don't have the manuels on this lens, I 'm wondering what style it is, a mm or ae lens. It was purchased new in 1983. Can anyone let me now what style it is? Thanks
 
M

mike_nunan

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for that link; very useful info on there. I've ordered the Thomas Tomosy books from Amazon, as they look generally useful (I've got two old cameras that are out of action at the moment, so if I'm going to start wielding the screwdriver I may as well see what I can do with them too). Unfortunately I'm in the UK so Mark Hama's a bit far away from here.

Best regards,

-= mike =-
 

leo_jar

Member
I do my repair to my COntax T
There are three adjustments you need to do.
1.vertical aligment
you need not to open up the top. Just remove the plastic plug which just behind the winding handle and adjust the screw inside.
2. infinite setting
I don't think you need to do this. However, mis aligment between the lens and the viewfinder may present. focus the lens to infinity and chk if the rangefinder is ok or not. If not, adjust the screw inside the lens house (left top, you may need to remove the film rail and the light block )
Hope you can fix this gem...
 
M

mike_nunan

Hi Leo,

Thanks very much for that information. I hadn't noticed the adjustment screw behind the winding lever, so I will have a look at that as soon as I get back tonight. I did have a quick look in the lens housing, hoping there would be an access hole into the underside of the viewfinder, and I didn't see anything promising, but then I hadn't removed the parts you describe.

There is a mis-alignment at infinity, but it appears to be fairly small. With the lens set to the 4m mark, the RF shows an object to be in focus when it is around 3.5m from the camera. I'm not sure whether to measure from the lens (or the nodal point) or the film plane for best accuracy, or indeed whether the lens barrel markings can even be relied upon. (I know that to get this really right I should check the image on ground glass at the film plane, but I don't have a suitable piece of glass to use.)

Anyway, thanks again for your help, I'm very grateful indeed. I'm off now to continue our interesting discussion on scanner resolutions in the other thread!

Best regards,

-= mike =-
 

leo_jar

Member
Hi Mike,
I am living in Hong Kong. SO here is a night time. May be I can take some photos showing you where to adjust the focus and how to perform the adjustment of this loving camera. It is good if you can take care of this camera by yourself since you are the most reliable repairman. You can train yourself be the T expert. It is easy!
enjoy using contax T
Leo
 
M

mike_nunan

Hi Leo,

I've just opened it up for another look and I've found the vertical alignment screw. Unfortunately, the second image is still slightly above the main image even with the screw fully out (or rather, it stops having an effect after a while and becomes loose -- I didn't want to remove it completely). There is plenty of scope to move the second image further upwards, which is the wrong direction, but in fact it's relatively close in the fully out position, so I won't worry too much about this.

I've looked in the lens housing, and there is nothing there that might allow for adjustment of the rangefinder. I've removed the frame with the guide rails as you suggested. I have some time tonight, so if you've already turned in then I will be brave and take the PCB off the top so that I can have a proper look at the viewfinder assembly. In the meantime if you read this and have any further tips, please let me know.

Many thanks,

-= mike =-
 
M

mike_nunan

Well I had a go at removing the PCB, but there are wires soldered onto it on all sides so it's not possible without an extensive de-soldering operation from what I can see. I'll try that if I have to, but I'll wait for your photos first, in case I've missed something (probably, knowing me!)

-= mike =-
 
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