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New member
Username: David_nebenzahl

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh boy, my first SLR camera repair. Up to now I've only worked on "easier" cameras: SovCams (Zorkis and FEDs), and others, all either rangefinders or viewfinders.

Today I got a SRT-101 for five bucks at a local secondhand store, and I've already got the top off. Thanks to some earlier posts here, I'm confident I'll be able to fix the few problems with this camera. It's in remarkable good shape considering how little I paid for it. Probably the worst things, at least cosmetically speaking, were the dents on the top plate, which I've already (literally) hammered out. It appears to be in perfect shape mechanically.

I must say that this camera is a bit more daunting than the ones I've worked on up to now, what with all those cords and pulleys going this way and that. But I'm going to proceed carefully, not take anything off that I'm not prepared to put back, and I think I'll be fine.

So the main problem is that the mirror doesn't return after firing the shutter. Thanks to those who have come before me, I've found that this usually requires cleaning and oiling a gear on the bottom, which I'll do once I get that off. I was also thinking that the 2nd curtain sounded quite wimpy, which apparently contributes to the mirror-not-returning problem, so I plan on cranking up the tension as well. Just to be sure: a picture at the top of this page seems to show the two curtain-tensioning screws with little ratchets: I assume it's just a matter of turning the screw to a new ratchet position: is that correct?

The mirror was filthy, natch, but a cleaning first with Windex, then with acetone, pretty much fixed that. Weird, though: the mirror was covered by this kind of slimy-looking green stuff. Anyone seen this before? I was thinking it might be some of the goo from the decaying light seals or some such. Anyhow, acetone is such a nice solvent; leaves a really sparkling, pristine surface behind.

I'd also like to take out the slow-speed escapement mechanism and clean it. It looks as if it's only held in by two screws and should be easy to remove and reinstall. Is that so?

Another question: What's with that light shield in the front, on top of the mirror, that appears to ride up and down and contact the edge of the mirror when it comes up? Is it really supposed to hang down like that until pushed up by the mirror? It appears to be very lightly sprung. Very strange.

I have no idea if the meter works on this camera, but judging by my visual inspection, it should. The two photocells are firmly attached to the pentaprism, all the wires are intact, no corrosion in the battery compartment. What's the easiest way to power this: Wein cell? or install a Schottky diode? (I think I could just manage that, even with my fat fumble-fingers.)
New member
Username: Sardines

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 04:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a repair manual thingy for the 101 on this website at http://www.rangefinderforum.com/classics/repairmanuals.html if that helps any.
New member
Username: David_nebenzahl

Post Number: 23
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 06:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks. But with all due respect, that ain't nothing. I found those pages here too. Then I found this page, which is the complete SRT-101 service manual (in JPEG format, each page in a separate file). The link you gave only has 4 pages in poor quality; this guy has scanned the entire manual (almost 100 pages) in good quality. Everything you need to completely tear down and rebuild the camera (which is far more than I intend to do!).
New member
Username: David_nebenzahl

Post Number: 26
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 10:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, good news: using the information I found here (primarily the tips on this page of Mike Willegal's), I have a functioning SRT-101 (which I got today for just $5). I squirted a little naphtha on the gear at the bottom that kicks the mirror up; no luck. So I wound the 2nd curtain up just a couple notches: now the camera fires correctly every time.

Have no idea if the meter works, but I'll get a 625 cell tomorrow and test it out.

I must say this is one hell of a well-built camera, one which, as someone else here said, will outlast me.

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