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Canonet QL17 G-III - worth repairing?
Old 10-28-2008   #1
edge-t
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Canonet QL17 G-III - worth repairing?

Hello to all, it's my first post and here's a little about myself; I've recently got bitten by the photography bug(again), after my friend gave me a Nikon D60 as a birthday gift. Since then, I've dug out my Old Minolta X-300 and decided to try shooting on film again.

Yesterday, one of my colleague gave me a Canonet QL17. Of course, it's dusty and the Len elements are covered with haze and fungus completely; not to mention the perished light seals pooped black 'droppings' all over film chambers.

The Good:
  1. Shutter works fine
  2. Advance lever works
  3. Aperture, shutter speed knobs work(a little stiff)
  4. View finder's ok
  5. focusing ring is smooth
  6. Battery compartment's clean
The bad:
  1. The lens is covered with Haze and Fungus
  2. Light Seals perished
  3. Film Chambers' pretty clean other than a little black foam from the light seals.
The Hazy lens seems to be the killer here. Don't know if the metering works.

I guess my question--is it worth the trouble attempting a restoration? Should I attempt to tear into the lens myself?
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Old 10-28-2008   #2
dmr
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It's a very nice little camera. In most cases they are worth fixing. However ...

The big issue is the lens, yes, and in particular which elements are affected. The front element is relatively easy to remove and inspect. The middle group is more challenging.
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Old 10-28-2008   #3
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Well, it seems like most of the fungus is on the front element. Well, I've no experience tearing a camera apart--I'm not sure about spending more money than is the going rate for a working Canonet.

Can I use lighter fluid to clean the lens?
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Old 10-28-2008   #4
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You could try searching the Classic Camera Repair Forum for advice - though, if you wait here long enough, a number of its luminaries will probably offer advice*. And searching for Canonet should throw up plenty of threads.

http://www.kyphoto.com/cgi-bin/forum....cgi?pg=topics

If you can sort the lens - this may depend on the fungus, and the cleaning technique, as in both cases some are harmless and some make a terrible mess of your coating - the light seals should be fairly easy. Look for an ebay seller called Interslice - good kits, good price, good instructions.

Oh, and if you fancy a go youself, get some decent screwdrivers. A good jewellers set will probably suffice for most jobs, but JIS screwdrivers will fit most Japanese cameras better. There are few things more frustrating than getting stuck because one screw head has lunched...

Adrian

* waiting is a good policy - get all the advice you can, see if someone else has done the same job before etc, rather than rushing in.
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Old 10-28-2008   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge-t View Post
Can I use lighter fluid to clean the lens?
It probably won't hurt the front element. I've always used isopropyl alcohol to clean lenses. I might be afraid that lighter fluid (naphtha) might attack the canada balsam that's used to cement lens elements together, or maybe even attack the lens coating. They say that fungus, if allowed to grow, will attack the coating and that's the real damage.
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Old 10-28-2008   #6
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Well, I don't have a lot of experience dealing with fungi in my lenses. Anyway, here's a picture of how the fungi spread looks like--maybe someone can give me some advice on how best to proceed--or give up if the fungi is too deeply etched.

thanks for the link to kyphoto.com. Found the repair manual and some useful posts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ql17-01.jpg (191.9 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg ql17-lens-cu.jpg (67.9 KB, 39 views)
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Old 10-28-2008   #7
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The only fungus-infected lens I'v tried to deal with had a white, branching, mycelium that had etched the coating. It looked nothing like yours, so you might be lucky... Once you are confident enough, I'd start on a tiny piece of the lens near the rim and see whether it shifts easily or not. If it does, you're in luck. If not... sit back and have a think!

So who wanted a Nikon, I wonder?

Adrian
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Old 10-28-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
So who wanted a Nikon, I wonder?
Shhhhh... Everyone in my office uses a Nikon--me included(D60). They're going to give me hell if it's a CANON!

I used some vinegar on the front of the lens and it shifts pretty easily, but I'm not too sure about the insides of the lens though. Hopfully it's the same type of fungi.

Now all I have to do is find some jeweler's screwdrivers, and find some lens spanner--make sense of the repair manual. It looks like a long way from operation, but I'll probably try it out this weekend.
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