Camera Cover & Tests

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ken Cashion, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. Ken Cashion

    Ken Cashion Guest

    This is a promised follow-up message.
    Newsgroup folks have always given me good advice.
    I posted here a while back complaining about RF cameras that
    took photos when they wanted, not when I wanted.
    I had dug out my old Yashica FX3 SLR and decided to use it as
    a throw- and lug-around all-purpose camera. It is a mechanical camera
    with built-in exposure meter driving three LEDs. (We both can operate
    if the batteries fail.)
    The camera covering was pealing horribly and the inside
    light-trap foam was gunky and these would have to be replaced.
    I thank Doug Payne for giving me the link to I got the highly gripable checkered cover material
    like was on some of the earlier cameras. (Since my Yashica FX-D had
    the same terrible covering as the FX3, I got a recover kit for it at
    the same time.)
    These kits are superb. I cannot recommend Morgan Sparks at and his covering kits more highly. His site is worth
    visiting just to see the magnificent Argus C-3 in red lizard snake
    The checkered covering went on beautifully.
    The hardest part of the camera rework was getting the gunky
    light trap foam and goop out of the camera (and off the pressure plate
    and film rollers!). I finally used Xylene for this. (Don't get it on
    I cut some 3/32"-wide strips from "Foamies" sheets (thanks to
    Mike Lipphardt for the idea) and filled the light trap grooves on the
    camera back. I also covered the bottom of the camera with "Foamies"
    (except for battery cover, tripod socket, and rewind button). I will
    not be using this camera in a case and thought this padding a good
    I had some soft, open-cell foam I used for the mirror cushion
    and light trap.
    To make the camera more useable, I got a cheapo 28mm - 80mm
    zoom lens and have since gotten a small fabric bag for it, strobe, a
    few favored filters, and rolls of film.
    To test the light seals, in the dark, I loaded a roll of 800
    positive film in the camera and with black tape covered the back edges
    of the camera.
    With the lens cap on and taped, I exposed the camera back to
    bright sun for five minutes, then advanced the film and pulled the
    tape off one end of the camera and exposed it for five minutes, then
    advanced the film and pulled the tape off the other end -- I did this
    same procedure for the top and bottom edges, knowing that the first
    exposed end of the camera had direct sun for 20 minutes.
    Then inside the house, I put the camera on "bulb," and under
    bright lighting, held the shutter open for ten seconds. This, I
    thought an adequate test for the view-finder/mirror light seal.
    I still had the lens to test.
    With camera on tripod, I focused on a cross-illuminated raw
    brick wall which filled the frame. This sort of target permits me to
    determine extent of curvature-of-field, corner acuity fall-off,
    vignetting, and general acuity. I took photos of the wall at near and
    far focal lengths and at max. and min. apertures.
    After doing the above at 50-mm on the zoom, I made exposures
    through my good 28-mm and 50-mm fixed lenses.
    I finished the roll with strobe indoors and far distance
    The results are that I had no light leaks and the zoom lens
    was almost as good as the better fixed lenses. The images looked
    perfectly fine at the extreme focal lengths but the 80 mm distance
    photographs looked a little soft but this was hand-held and could
    have been image motion. I will check this further. I used a light
    box and x 5 eye-loop on the negatives.
    The cheap zoom is a Phoenix and maybe it was $90 from Smile.
    However, if I would be taking serious photographs for
    publication or hanging, I would use my other cameras and lenses.
    I just thought some members might like to know how all this
    ended up.

    Ken Cashion, a happy camper.
    Ken Cashion, Aug 3, 2003
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