View Full Version : Konica S3 - help needed !!
a new to my Konica S3 in very nice shape was delivered to me today. It was not really cheap (130 €), but I really like the way it looks and would possibly keep it for a long time if it works well.
However - it seems to have some issues I would really need some advice about:
+ looks like new, so scratches, paint chips, etc.
+ lens has not spots and only very little dust (shine-through)
+ viewfinder is clear and clean
+ rangefinder seems contrasty and
+ exposure meter seems to work fine (to be confirmed)
+ it even smells like my good old Beirette I had as a boy ... :)
-- somebody before removed the old light seals, but did not put nay new there - so that is an obvious job to be done. I did that before so I do not expect problems there (though some instructions would be nice).
-- the lens barrel is a bit wobbly relative to the body
-- the focusing is a bit stiffer between 5m (15 feet) and infinity.
1) is the lens barrel supposed to be a bit wobbly or should I suspect some loose screws? It is fraction of a millimeter, but still not something I would expect on fixed-lens camera. It just does not feel good.
On the focusing. The scale is in both meters and feet. The numbers indicating 5 m (15 ft) are in green. This is also exactly the point where (when focusing from close towards infinity) the focusing gets a little bit stiffer - however still smooth (no strange sounds or something). The question is - is it MAYBE supposed to be like that - it kind of works like a semi-stop that is very easy to set and could be used to prefocus the camera. Also the speed of 1/125 is green. If I consider sunny 16 rule with 100 ISO film and check the DOF calculator I get hyper focal focus dostance of 12 feet - very close to those 15 which are also green.
If you thing that either (1) or (2) is potentially a serious problem I would really appreciate a contact to some good CLA in Germany. The point is - I would like to have the camera in perfect shape in 5 weeks latest (invited to spanish wedding !)
I really need your help here, thank you in advance!
Many/most Konica Auto S3 have a slightly wobbly lens. Mine did, common issue. It does not effect performance. I wouldn't worry about the stiffer focusing either. Get yourself a light seal kit, and enjoy your excellent camera. The lens on that thing is awesome for the price. Build quality is "meh" but it really is a fantastic camera.
I've noticed a lot of my Yashicas have slightly wobbly lens barrels. However, it's not actually the lens barrel -- because they have in-lens leaf shutters, often what is in fact wobbly is the shutter speed selection rings and all of the extraneous bits and bobs built around the lens.
The stiff focusing at that point is probably some congealed grease on the focus helicoid. If it's sat around for years in one position (quite likely as it's in such good condition?) it would be plausible that grease on the exposed part of the threads has hardened somewhat?
Gosh €130 is a lot to pay for a fixed-lens rangefinder! I suppose if it's in beautiful condition as you describe :)
About the wobbly lens, if it is anytjing like the Auto S2, there is a retaining ring for the lens assembly that you can access through the back of the camera. You might want to check if it is tight, even a small amount of looseness there can cause a slight wobble.
Right, screws holding the feint plate and the retaining ring in the lens tend to be the S2 issues. I dealt with one a few weeks ago. I'll take pictures and get them up later today or tomorrow.
Concerning the wobbling - it is indeed the whole lens with shutter and everything. It is easy visible from behind - everything that is round moves as one part. The flange is tight (I have adjustable spanner wrench). This can only mean that the screws holding the whole lens in place must be loose. But as far as I understood they are supposed to be hidden behind the leatherette from the front. Now how to access these screw without destroying the leatherette?
I do not have any way to work on the focusing, that will be left for a possible CLA if the camera will turn to be a keeper.
But new light seals are nearly ready. Tomorrow I would like to expose first few films :)
There are screws behind the leatherette that fit the whole lens assembly to the body. However, these screws fit through a flat metal plate on which the lens assembly is mounted before fitting.
If those screws were loose, you would see someting (i.e. that flat metal plate) move underneath the leatherette around the lens mount when wobbling the lens about.
If you can't seen anything move, it must be the barrel parts that came loose, not the plate. In that case, carefully peeling the leatherette back would not solve your problem because the plate would still be fixed to the body.
Hope this helps a bit in deciding what the problem is.
Now wish I took some pictures back in the day when I worked on one. Also, I sold one to a fellow RFF member a few weeks back (he never received it, mail gone wrong?)so I can't help you out with pictures...
More details from my side:
When looking from inside - the whole lens assembly moves including the focusing so from inside it looks like the lens moves relative to the body.
When checking from outside the whole lens seems to wobble as well.
I have peered a bit under the leatherette (just under "S3") and the metal plate than can be seen below does not seems to move.
So it looks like a CLA job after all ...
Since the camera wasn't cheap i'd say a CLA wouldn't make much sense.. I have a Minolta Hi-Matic 7SII which suffers from wobbly lens, it's a bit upsetting at first, but you get used to it, it has no effect on the pictures whatsoever, my focus was a bit stiff too, but a tiny drop or two of good ol' zippo lighter fluid did the job for me... i don't know if i took too great a chance by doing that, but it worked.
My viewfinder on the other hand is cloudy, the patch is dim, and so are the apperture readings on the right.. so congrats on the condition of yours.
I have the same camera and the same lens 'wobble'. It has never made the slightest difference to the quailty of the pictures. The lens is fine; it is a known idiosyncrasy of this camera - if you can live with it, then you will have a great time from the off.
Wish you well
Thank you all.
After reasonably successful work on the light seals I am shooting first film with the camera (Provia 400X - we have no sun over last days) and BW will follow as soon as the shipping from fotoimpex will arrive (I realized too late that I have NONE BW film in 35mm at hone :eek:).
The camera is nice to use - I will see how the focusing will work - seems quite OK. From my limited experience I would only wish that the shutter release would not need such a deep push to get triggered. But it is a nice camera and sits well in hand.
I will keep you updated.
Thank you all.
From my limited experience I would only wish that the shutter release would not need such a deep push to get triggered.
I will keep you updated.
I agree with that. Has anyone tried a soft release on this camera?
I just test shot a roll through a Canon Canonet QL 17, and the first thing I thought of was to put a soft release button on it due to the long throw on the shutter. But by the time I got done with the roll, I decided not to spend anymore time or money on the camera. Just not my cup of tea. And I've got better cameras to use anyway, but it was nice to be able to use the full manual feature. But yes, a soft release will do wonders for the handling of any camera.
My 7SII had a similar problem, in fact it was so wobbly that it chafed through the meter wires. Tedious fix!.
Just dug out a Vivitar 35. has a wobbly lens too!
Hi, I'm new on the forum and I've a problem to solve:
I've bought a Konica Auto S3 some month ago and all seems was ok. All speeds are ok, like diaphram, loading film, focus ring, etc. When I seen the first photos I've noticed that not all of them was ok. So, now I know the reason is the infamous wobbly lens barrel. When I shoot, the lens barrel moves a little and between 1/8 and about 1/60, the photo is affected. I think it's really a shame because the good photos are really beautiful, not sharp as other lens, but really plastic ad with 3d effect.So, I ask if there are someone had and solve the problem of the wobbly lens barrel. I read there are a retainer ring into the film gate but I don't understand where it
I post an image with the inner of the camera:
image number explain:
1 metal structure of the camera2 thin metal mask under the metal structure. it don't wobbles.3 a large ring/cover. it can pull of for 2 mm but I can't remove it completely 'cause it's hold by the thin metal mask. this n. 3 is wobbly, 'cause it's united with the
lens barrel. I think under it could be "my" screw ring to solve the problem...
4 metal screw ring. I can't turn it but is wobbly with the lens barrel.
5 strange tissue rectangle that is stuck on the n. 3. There are 2 of these and I don't know their function.
6 another metal screw ring, very close to the first glass lens. I can't turn it but is wobbly with the lens barrel.
Where do I act???
What should I do???
If there is someone able to solve the problem, let help me, please!!!Or someone know where find a Konica Auto S3 repair manual or of the similar Konica C35.
I really hope to solve the problem.
Many thanks at all, regards!
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