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Russian Turret Finder - CLA
Old 07-06-2011   #1
wolves3012
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Russian Turret Finder - CLA

This thread is intended to cover a CLA on the russian turret finder. It also shows the arrangement of the internal prisms. Many people take these apart to clean out dust etc, only to find that various bits fall out unexpectedly and they are then unsure how to reassemble them. This thread will also show you how to put them back together!

Firstly, a couple of words on the finder. It comes in two varieties, one for FED/Zorki and one for Kiev. The only difference is that the two types are mirror-images of each other, therefore the CLA is essentially the same but with obvious reversals of components. The finder has a "turret" that revolves to provide views for 28, 35, 50, 85 and 135mm lenses and has some, limited, parallax correction. The FED/Zorki type looks like this:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict01.jpg (23.1 KB, 139 views)
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by wolves3012 : 07-06-2011 at 04:37. Reason: Postings completed
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Old 07-06-2011   #2
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To CLA the finder you'll need a jewellers screwdriver set, some cotton swabs, some pure alcohol (or something similar, to clean the lenses) and some clean cotton gloves - and yes, you really will need them! A dab of grease will also be needed, the type is not critical. Finally, you'll need a bit of patience and to realise that you will NOT get it perfectly clean (unless you have access to a cleanroom!). The finder is not dust-proof either, so in use it will become dirty again in time. Bear in mind that most of, if not all, the lenses and prisms are coated glass - treat them as you would a camera lens, with care.

Ok, here goes!
Step 1: Place your thumb over the detent ball on the side of the round part of the turret. Remove the screw holding the ball-retainer. Take the retainer off and tip the ball out (If you lose it, don't blame me - use a tray to work over!)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict02.jpg (18.7 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg Pict03.jpg (16.1 KB, 123 views)
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by wolves3012 : 07-06-2011 at 06:00.
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Old 07-06-2011   #3
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Step 2: Hold the finder eyepiece upwards. Remove the three screws holding the eyepiece/cover in place. Remove the cover.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict04.jpg (17.0 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Pict05.jpg (22.3 KB, 117 views)
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-06-2011   #4
wolves3012
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Step 3: Carefully, tip out the first prism and round spacer, then the second prism. Handle the prisms with cotton gloves - they are coated glass and very easy to mark or damage, you have been warned! The second photo below is the crucial one for those who took the finder apart without realising that it's not as simple as they thought. This shows the correct arrangement of the prisms for re-fitting them. Clean the prisms carefully and set them aside somewhere where they won't get damaged or disturbed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict06.jpg (18.7 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg Pict07.jpg (17.7 KB, 186 views)
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-06-2011   #5
wolves3012
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Step 4: Turn the finder over and slacken the tiny grubscrew set into the large middle screw. Don't take this out, just loosen it a turn or so. Next, remove the large centre screw, making sure that the fibre washer behind it comes with it or is not lost.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict08.jpg (21.7 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg Pict09.jpg (21.5 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Pict10.jpg (18.7 KB, 102 views)
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-06-2011   #6
wolves3012
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Step 5: Remove the turret, it simply pulls off. This now allows you clean both ends of all the lenses on the turret and also the lensed side of the viewing frame (in the main, black, part)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict11.jpg (23.4 KB, 130 views)
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-06-2011   #7
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Step 6: Clean the viewing frame from the eyepiece end of the finder. It's quite recessed, use an alcohol-moistened cotton swab to clean it and a blower to remove the debris and dust. Be aware that that it will take some patience to get it satisfactorily clean and dust-free. Use an eye-loupe or magnifying glass to satisfy yourself that it really is clean enough, hold the finder over a white target to get a clear view. I can't stress enough that you need to be thorough here or you'll be disappointed when it's reassembled. Also clean the eyepiece lens.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pict12.jpg (28.6 KB, 117 views)
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by wolves3012 : 07-06-2011 at 05:57.
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Old 07-06-2011   #8
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Step 7: Put it all back together! As in the best manuals, reassembly is simply the reverse of disassembly. Note the following, however:

Clean the shaft that the turret revolves on and put a small amount of grease on it to make the action smooth. Likewise, a *very* tiny amount on the ball-track is helpful, although not crucial.

Take great care when replacing the prisms. Place the smaller, triangular-shaped one first, with the small flat section facing the bottom of the finder and the "point" pointing towards the eyepiece - refer to the photo above again and double-check. Next drop the spacer so that it sits at the top, then carefully insert the larger prism, with the "roof" downwards. When the prisms are in place, check very carefully that the rear face is flush with the back of the finder. Tap the housing gently to settle the prisms. If it's not flush now, firstly it is not assembled correctly and secondly you will crush the parts when you re-fit the eyepiece and cover.

It is possible to remove, disassemble and clean each of the lenses and also the viewing screen (which can also be rotated if it's out of alignment). To do so will require a small lens-spanner and I do not recommend this unless you are experienced and it's absolutely necessary. If the lenses are disassembled, I suggest these are done one at a time and re-fitted before moving on to the next. This will prevent incorrect reassembly.
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by wolves3012 : 07-06-2011 at 05:56.
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Old 07-06-2011   #9
Peter_Jones
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Excellent tutorial.

I have been through this, and much trial and error was required as, you guessed it, I mixed up the prisms. lol
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Old 07-06-2011   #10
rbiemer
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Thanks for this excellent thread, wolves3012!
Mine is fine now, but will eventually need this.

Rob
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Old 07-09-2011   #11
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Many thanks for sharing your experience.

I'll put it to good use on my dirty finder.
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Last edited by geoffox23 : 07-09-2011 at 02:12.
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Old 07-09-2011   #12
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I don't have one of these, but appreciate your diligence and effort in putting it here. We need more of these "tutorials."

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 07-09-2011   #13
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This is great! Just what I need for a recently purchased finder. Thanks very much.
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Old 07-09-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012 View Post
Many people take these apart to clean out dust etc, only to find that various bits fall out unexpectedly ...
Ah so it's not just me. I have a Zeiss turret finder, and when I tried to clean it up I lost the little ball bearing. Anybody have an idea about where one could find a replacement?
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Old 07-10-2011   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamer View Post
Ah so it's not just me. I have a Zeiss turret finder, and when I tried to clean it up I lost the little ball bearing. Anybody have an idea about where one could find a replacement?
The bearing is 3mm but you could get away with anything 2.5-3mm. Find your local ball bearing stockist and ask them. Ask nicely and I doubt they would bother to charge for a single 3mm ball.
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-10-2011   #16
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Wolves thanks a lot for the info, I'll have to look around for a 3mm bearing next week.
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Old 08-12-2011   #17
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I'm going to clean mine this weekend, will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 11-17-2011   #18
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Done! thank you so much for this howto, really helpful. Today I received a misty turret and after the CL(A?) I find it a way better.

By the way, it came without the small ball...
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Old 11-18-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pordiosero View Post
Done! thank you so much for this howto, really helpful. Today I received a misty turret and after the CL(A?) I find it a way better.

By the way, it came without the small ball...
Someone's probably lost it before it got to you then. As noted above, a 2.5-3mm ball bearing is fine, it should not be too hard to find one.
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

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Wegena viewfinder
Old 06-02-2012   #20
hoddy
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Wegena viewfinder

Hi

I have recently acquired a turret finder for my Zorki which needs a CLA but its not Russian it's a Wegena made in Germany. Do you know if the procdure is likely to be very different?

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoddy View Post
Hi

I have recently acquired a turret finder for my Zorki which needs a CLA but its not Russian it's a Wegena made in Germany. Do you know if the procdure is likely to be very different?

Thanks
Not a clue, sorry. Unless it's a clone, like the FSU is a clone of the Zeiss one.
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Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-22-2014   #22
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hi again,

I was wondering if it's normal that my turret is not totally straight, meaning that it's leaning towards its left side a little bit, like 1-5. I have checked some pictures on eBay and some other samples look the same, although I don't really get it. Was the design tilted on purpose or it there was a large bad batch like this.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-23-2014   #23
Bill58
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Russian mfg. quality was/ is not the best. I'd get my $$ back if I were you and get a Japanese finder. Those sold by Cameraquest (the RFF sponsor) are awesome. They're spot on and clear/ bright.
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Old 07-23-2014   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill58 View Post
Russian mfg. quality was/ is not the best. I'd get my $$ back if I were you and get a Japanese finder. Those sold by Cameraquest (the RFF sponsor) are awesome. They're spot on and clear/ bright.
The problem is that I got it like more than 2 years ago

The funny thing is that once is mounted on the camera, the line guides seem to be pretty horizontal, may be not perfect but almost.
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Old 12-19-2014   #25
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Great info. I just have a Turret finder now but it seems to be OK.
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Old 03-16-2016   #26
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Thank you for the qood CLA guide! I cleaned my turret finder today and managed to get it clean and dust free. There was no black spacer above the prisms but all seems to be totally correct with the finder. ☺
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Old 04-12-2016   #27
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Thank you very much for this CLA guide. My turrent finder is free of fungus at last.
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