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CLE just stopped taking photos! HELP!
Old 09-04-2013   #1
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CLE just stopped taking photos! HELP!

My recent purchase CLE ex Adorama just stopped cold. I knew it had shutter timing irregularities but figured that was just the dirty contacts issue. I sorted the wildly off infinity focus courtesy of my good friend Google. Then it stopped firing the shutter. Meters, battery tests but will not trigger shutter even with cable release. Have removed batteries, replaced with fresh.

A) Anything I can do?

B) Anyone left who repairs these?

I don't think 24 hours of ownership was enough!
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Old 09-04-2013   #2
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PS Shutter and metering were fine as far as I can tell.
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Old 09-04-2013   #3
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I've tried on various shutter speeds and auto. Timer won't start flashing. Its as if there's a broken wire from the shutter switch.
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Old 09-04-2013   #4
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Re no film irregularities I read that somewhere and I do think that'd what must have been the 'problem.' But now its something new.
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Old 09-04-2013   #5
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That's what I'd be thinking, followed by returning the purchase and getting my refund.

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Old 09-04-2013   #6
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Yes, much as it pains me a return might be in order. Will still cost me around $130 in postage all up and camera itself was well below usual price due to 'issues' with shutter that were probably nothing.
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Old 09-04-2013   #7
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I would investigate getting a CLA, especially if you got the camera for a good price. I would think a CLA would be under $130.
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Old 09-04-2013   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.scooter View Post
I would investigate getting a CLA, especially if you got the camera for a good price. I would think a CLA would be under $130.
Who is doing CLA/ repairs for CLEs these days?

I wonder if Belamy (Japancamerahunter) would be worth asking? I might try.
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Old 09-04-2013   #9
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The problem you will run into if it needs a new circuit board which I suspect is the cause is they are no longer available. Most parts cameras have already been robbed of this board..

A word of advise...never buy from autorama. They have a bad track record and don't have problems with selling defective equipment..and they are the KIng of bait and switch..
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Old 09-04-2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
The problem you will run into if it needs a new circuit board which I suspect is the cause is they are no longer available. Most parts cameras have already been robbed of this board..

A word of advise...never buy from autorama. They have a bad track record and don't have problems with selling defective equipment..and they are the KIng of bait and switch..
Thanks Colyn. We'll see. Shots of seen of the guts of the CLE suggest there are plenty of wires and resistors and not many PC boards, certainly compared to the innards of an XG-1. I'm optimistic that something can be done. But then I have to be, don't I?
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Old 09-04-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
Yes, much as it pains me a return might be in order. Will still cost me around $130 in postage all up and camera itself was well below usual price due to 'issues' with shutter that were probably nothing.
"Probably nothing" is now "definitely something". I never would have purchased a CLE with problems. Parts are extremely hard to find due to old electronics.

Hope it all gets sorted out.
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Old 09-04-2013   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
Who is doing CLA/ repairs for CLEs these days?

I wonder if Belamy (Japancamerahunter) would be worth asking? I might try.

Unfortunately Bellamy would tell you that the CLE is unrepairable. I know, because a few months ago I was looking for a cheap M-mount camera with AE and I asked him about the CLE. He advised me to get a Bessa R2A instead. Even Kanto Camera cannot repair the CLE, and they can repair most things.


Edit: here's Bellamy's reply > "The CLE is unrepairable, basically a brick if it dies, and it will. The CL is repairable, but the prices are daft and many of them come with a dead meter. Much better off getting a Bessa."
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Old 09-04-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbg32 View Post
"Probably nothing" is now "definitely something". I never would have purchased a CLE with problems. Parts are extremely hard to find due to old electronics.

Hope it all gets sorted out.
Well, there is "definitely something" wrong with it, but the "issues" reported were exactly what a correctly functioning CLE will do if you test it without film. And since it had been tested without film, there probably were NOT any issues with it on previous testing, as there were not for the 1st 24+ hours I had it. Now it gives a completely different set of "issues."

I knew I was taking a chance, the camera was not selling at a reduced price so I knew others saw it as too risky. If that now appears justified to you, so be it.

My issue is, how do I get it checked? And how do I get it fixed, if it can be? Return may be an option, but realistically that simply leaves me out of pocket with nothing possible to show for it, and the camera will be binned. I'm in the fortunate position of being able to throw (some) good money after bad.
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Old 09-04-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Unfortunately Bellamy would tell you that the CLE is unrepairable. I know, because a few months ago I was looking for a cheap M-mount camera with AE and I asked him about the CLE. He advised me to get a Bessa R2A instead. Even Kanto Camera cannot repair the CLE, and they can repair most things.
Thanks (I think) ;-)
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Old 09-04-2013   #15
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Does anyone have a service/ repair manual for one? I know in years past people have been reluctant to copy them due to copyright issues, but surely they can be considered well and truly "orphan" now? If all else fails I may try to isolate the fault myself and see what can be done, but a wiring diagram would help considerably.
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Old 09-04-2013   #16
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Can someone expand on the 'testing without film' topic? This is the first time I've heard of a camera where this caused problem of this nature. It seems crazy to me that dry firing would cause damage.
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Old 09-04-2013   #17
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I've had three CLEs. Never had a problem with any of them, dry firing and all. Sold them to fund digital M lust. As far as I know, those that bought them, are still using them with no problems. I never heard of a "dry firing" issue before either.

Adorama does give a some sort of warranty on used items. I know it might hurt, but as others have suggested as well, return it.
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Old 09-04-2013   #18
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Doesn't cause damage. The camera meters of the first curtain and the film (depending on the shutter speed) and closes the shutter when "enough" light has been detected. The first curtain is patterned to have a reflectance comparable to film. The pressure plate does not, and depending on lighting etc the camera will respond erratically to the lack of film reflectance.

The other common issue is small amount of corrosion in the contacts on the shutter speed selection dial. This can also cause erratic timing.

EDIT: just read back over my earlier post. I am not saying that the dry firing is related to the present fault. Quite the opposite. There may (or may not) have been in initial fault but the present does not, IMHO, correlate with the described fault. I myself did not observe any difficulty with it in the short time it worked for me. The dry firing may appear like a fault when it is a "normal" part of metering off the pressure plate at slow speeds.
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Old 09-04-2013   #19
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Here are some links for you. Some info for repair in the posts within.

http://justinlow.com/articles/repair-minolta-cle

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...er-repair.html
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Old 09-04-2013   #20
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Bellamy says no-one is even looking at them, to his knowledge.

Bummer.

Adorama are closed for Rosh Hashanah. I'll speak to them about a return after that.
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Old 09-04-2013   #21
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Some links that might be useful:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=127499
http://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
It seems repairers are afraid to repair them, but most parts are identical to Minolta SLR's of the same period. They just have to identify the right parts and the SLR that has this part......
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Old 09-04-2013   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
Some links that might be useful:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=127499
http://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
It seems repairers are afraid to repair them, but most parts are identical to Minolta SLR's of the same period. They just have to identify the right parts and the SLR that has this part......
It's an old chestnut, sadly, Addy.

While the CLE shares some design elements with the XG series SLRs, there are very few interchangeable parts. I have 2 XG-1's, one reduced to parts. If you can recommend a repairer, I'm happy to send the bits. But the internal structure and wiring is completely different. I doubt there would be any part other than the shutter speed dial that would simply slot from one to the other - and even that I am not sure about. For example, the screw-in trim over the advance lever, while conceptually the same, uses a different thread size.
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Old 09-08-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
It's an old chestnut, sadly, Addy.

While the CLE shares some design elements with the XG series SLRs, there are very few interchangeable parts. I have 2 XG-1's, one reduced to parts. If you can recommend a repairer, I'm happy to send the bits. But the internal structure and wiring is completely different. I doubt there would be any part other than the shutter speed dial that would simply slot from one to the other - and even that I am not sure about. For example, the screw-in trim over the advance lever, while conceptually the same, uses a different thread size.
Actually your both sort of right. Repairers are often just too scared to work on them. The response Jonmajiro got is typical of this. If the camera stops working it can be from a number of simple factors you cannot say its completely dead or unfixable without opening up and having a look. But its also true that it is a wives-tale XG parts can be used. The CLE is the only Minolta to meter of the film plane (They actually sold the patent rights to Olympus and they used it instead) and as such the metering cell and electronics are very different to any other Minolta Camera.

The CLE does sometimes have a simple wire break over time from the battery compartment. Also because of the unique battery cover that never comes off unless you break it, the contacts inside that cover never face outwards to be able to be cleaned. You can have corrosion all over them and you would never know. You actually need to remove the baseplate to access the contacts. This is one of the first places I would look. The first however, is the shutter fully cocked? Check the winder and also open the back to check the position of the curtains. Sometimes a film fragment gets cause in the shutter rails and brings everything to a stop. Only after checking this would i consider opening it up and it would be the baseplate not the top I would check under first. But remember once you undo one screw you have effectively voided any warranty or chance of return.

If there is something specific that you need from the manual I can see whats in mine but I am reluctant to copy any part of it sorry. Its written however not like a car workshop manual for home repairs is directly assumes you are a factory trained repairer and understand their specific methods and terminology so often when you read it you just go what the hell does that mean.
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Old 09-08-2013   #24
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Ahhh. The sound of actual knowledge!

Just manipulated the curtain. It slid forward a further 1/4 inch and now all is well.

Wasn't that simple?

I guess there's corrosion or a film fragment but knowing it's just that is reassuring.

Paleoboy, I can't thank you enough!
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Old 09-08-2013   #25
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The CLE isn't the only Minolta that reads off the film. I think the XD series does it, and I'm sure the X700 (X300, X500) does it, as it changes the timing during exposure.

By the way, I didn't say it is the same as the XG series, I understand it also has some XD parts. But to be honest, I'm just parroting what I read on the internet.....
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Old 09-08-2013   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
The CLE isn't the only Minolta that reads off the film. I think the XD series does it, and I'm sure the X700 (X300, X500) does it, as it changes the timing during exposure.

By the way, I didn't say it is the same as the XG series, I understand it also has some XD parts. But to be honest, I'm just parroting what I read on the internet.....
I believed the parts thing until dismantling the xg1. Can't speak to xg / xd differences but wiring in xg1 is custom flat flexible sheet shaped over the pentaprism.

I know the Xx00 series has compatible ttl flashes so you are right re off the film though perhaps there is a different system as neither you nor I knew enough to make the CLE work and Paleoboy did so I am prepared to cut him a fair bit of slack!
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Old 09-09-2013   #27
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Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
I believed the parts thing until dismantling the xg1. Can't speak to xg / xd differences but wiring in xg1 is custom flat flexible sheet shaped over the pentaprism.

I know the Xx00 series has compatible ttl flashes so you are right re off the film though perhaps there is a different system as neither you nor I knew enough to make the CLE work and Paleoboy did so I am prepared to cut him a fair bit of slack!
Me too
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Old 09-10-2013   #28
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The CLE isn't the only Minolta that reads off the film. I think the XD series does it, and I'm sure the X700 (X300, X500) does it, as it changes the timing during exposure.

By the way, I didn't say it is the same as the XG series, I understand it also has some XD parts. But to be honest, I'm just parroting what I read on the internet.....
Yes unfortunately there are many internet myths about the CLE. But I can assure you the CLE's off the film plane metering system is unique within the Minolta range. Think about the main factor in that its not an SLR so its required to have a spotted curtain that simulates the light reflection of film when the curtain is opened with the cell placed directly up front. The requirements of an SLR would require 2 cells, one in the prism to meter before you take a photo then a second to meter off the film plane to then take control of exposure once the shutter and mirror were out of the way. In 1980 that wasnt possible although Olympus did develop Minoltas technology to do this eventually (and much later others were to develop opaque mirror centres to allow light to past through). However back then even if Minolta had such dual meter circuitry, it would be different to the CLE's either way. Below is a photo of a new circuit board from the CLE. I purchased the last CLE parts from a Minolta technician here in Australia. (With them was where the manual came from) You can see the bottom part of the board has the metering cell integrated into it and places it at the bottom of the camera. SLRs of that era the meter cell was up top in the prism reading off reflected light from the mirror.

No one more would love the parts to be interchangeable but sadly they are not. Having bought an XG-1 and disassembled it for just that purpose I try to stand up against the myth so no other sucker like me waste the time and money to buying an XG. No parts from a XD are similar either unfortunately. Even the Shutter mode dial is thinner than that of the X series although I once saw an X-500 dial was used on a CLE as a replacement and it looked funny being way higher than the rest of the camera.

To help with some confusion lol then there is off the film plane flash metering (TTL FLash) you mentioned, which is a different thing again to the off the film plane light metering and sometimes they are both confused for each other. The CLE has both! The CLE was in fact Minoltas very first off the film plane flash metering camera. So as such it laid the specification foundation for their TTL PX flash system of all their subsequent cameras and thats why later PX flashes were backwards compatible.

Glad your CLE is up an running now Scrambler. Check the back light seal if you can the sponge turns to putty over the years and makes the camera prone to light leaks. It can also jam up the film counter reset button and get the false impression the counter has packed it in. So clean any sponge around that area too. Great camera Enjoy!
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Old 09-11-2013   #29
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I do appreciate your knowledge, but according to camerapedia the XD has off the film metering: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Minolta_XD_series

But then again, another source claims it wasn't off the film (see the XD7 entry): http://www.paulfvs.dds.nl/minolta.html

So, I guess I was misguided by the final check metering, I assumed it was during exposure adjusted (and therefore off the film) but it could be just stopped down metering.
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Old 09-11-2013   #30
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Call Sherry Krauter, she's the CL lady! or email DAG...
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Old 09-11-2013   #31
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This one had a shutter curtain ribbon stucked. I had it all back in place and fired it once, then dead again. It's hard to work on the CLE and troubleshoot as you need power to get it running... Really great constructed with a module like concept but with lousy materials everywhere...

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CLE Shutter problems
Old 09-18-2013   #32
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CLE Shutter problems

@ scrambler

I would suggest you to remove the batteries every time you put your CLE in a drawer. Never leave them in the camera for a longer time. This would cause really bad corrosion on the electronics inside the CLE. I´ve learned this after a $400 CLA on my CLE from the repairman.

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Old 09-18-2013   #33
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Thanks. I will make sure I don't leave it alone with batteries in! No risk at the moment though coz it's with me all the time.
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Old 11-24-2014   #34
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I have now had the botttom plate off the CLE which is a simple operation, one phillips screw and the retaining ring for the rewinder - watch out for the rewind button falling out and do not upset the battery check unit. Also, do not let the base plate dangle or it might separate some soldered power wires. I have pictures. The circuit board with the lens for the metering comes off with a few phillips screws - nothing very interesting or appearing delicate. Meter now working but no wind. Suspect something more than stuck curtain. Have moved it gingerly back and forth with no change - still no wind available. Pattern is visible on the curtain from the front. This camera was designed so it could be easily maintained. Beautiful finder. Will keep at it until it operates. Think something like stuck shutter magnets, like the Canon AE-1 has.

Found that moving an interior gear accessible though the bottom of the camera moved shutter just enough to get the whole operation working again. With bottom plate off, looking at base with front of camera facing me [winder side of camera to my right] just to the right side of the metering ciruit board is a black gear box plate with a gray colored lever in the left corner of the box. With a good magnifier and led light , looking into the camera void just under that gray "L" shaped lever, is a gear with what looks to be a counterweight arm on it that when moved just a little also moved the shutter mechanism so the camera could be fully advanced to cock the shutter and now trip the shutter release. Lubricated this and other gears sparingly and reassembled to complete repair. A long process from beginning because of lack of familiarity and trial and error process however success is sweet. Have adapter coming for Canon 28mm f2.8 to use on camera. Minolta/Leica piece of art this CLE.

Last edited by Shafovaloff1 : 11-27-2014 at 16:30. Reason: Update to camera repair description.
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Old 11-28-2016   #35
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Who is doing CLA/ repairs for CLEs these days?

I wonder if Belamy (Japancamerahunter) would be worth asking? I might try.
Wanted to share this with anyone looking for CLE-repair:

A nice japanese guy told me about the likely last CLE-repairman. Prices seem reasonable. You would have to send the CLE to Japan though.

https://translate.google.com/transla...-text=&act=url
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