View Full Version : R/F vertical adjustment
For those with strong constitution ;)
I finally bit the bullet and decided to adjust the vertical setting of the R/F myself, after checkout out other people's experience on the Bessa R/F on the web. Turns out to be very easy to do.
There's a thin black metal cover in the hot shoe that has to be eased off to the rear of the camera, and then the hotshoe is removed by undoing four small cross-head screws (the Bessa R has 3 of differing lengths; these are all the same).
Under the hot shoe is a hole, with various bits visible. The screw I needed is a large grey flat slot screw, sticking up over to the right, so you have to lean the screwdriver in to get it in the slot. I don't think you can get at it straight on unless you take off the top plate, which I wasn't prepared to do! A small clockwise turn (only a few degrees) brought the images into coincidence and Voila! - saved a trip to the repair shop. Now I know what you guys were talking about when you say that the image becomes 'clear' when it's in focus. Couldn't see that before.
So far I haven't seen any bad side effects. If you do try this, please don't blame me if it goes wrong!
ps there are a couple of other screws in there... I think they do infinity focus and image clarity, but I didn't touch them so I can't really say. Personally, I would NOT try to fix focusing problems myself.
Having just a bit stronger constitution than Phil I also perfected my focusing problems along with the vertical setting of the rf. ;)
The two other screws are just as stated above for infinity focus (the one to the right) and for clarity of the rf itself (the one to the left). A forth screew for adjusting the rf is said to be located on the left side of the viewfinder but needs quite an operation to be adjustable (including taking the top plate off...).
It took me some time to adjust focusing perfect, very small changes makes a noticable difference, on the other hand the changes are easily evaluated with a digital cam. Everything is of course done at ones own risk, but from my prespective the only really sweaty part was to get the black metal cover off the hot shoe without scratching the body (there is a special tool, never even think about using metal!).
If everything turns out alright you have yourself a wounderful camera, and if not you will probably never forget yourself..!
well done Rocamadour... I sometimes dream of getting the proper tools <sigh>
(there is a special tool, never even think about using metal!).
Toothpick? I think that's what I used on my Bessa R...
Rocamadour.....Thanks for sharing your adventure. I went through 2 bodies, myself. Now that I see some have been brave enough to make adjustments on their own or have gone to DAG, I am contemplating a third (second one was returned to Epson for cash). What was the nature of your focusing problems before? I'd like to gauge it against my experience. If you've already posted it here, what's the link? What did you use as a guide for adjustment technique?
I've had my hot shoe off so often I can use my fingernails to remove it.
Here is what to do. The top of the hot shoe is a piece of spring metal, held on by crimped edges front and rear. It is easily popped off, revealing some screws underneath. To pop the spring metal, place your fingernails under the rear edge of the hot shoe's plate. With a little upwards pressure, you can free the right and left sides. Then use a fingernail to pry up the front edge of this spring. With a little practice, perhaps aided by a strong toothpick or the like, you should be able to slide this spring place backwards and off.
Underneath are 4 small phillips-head bolts, easily removed, along with most of the remainder of the hot show. Under this is a small hole. With your flashlight and/or magnifier, identify 3 adjusting screws under the hole. As seen from the back, the screw on the right is tall, and the other two are shorter. This tall screw is the vertical RF adjustment. Luckily it is the easiest to adjust of the three, being very smooth and precise, whereas the other ones are finicky.
Focus your RF at the sort of medium distance target that you find to be "off" vertically. Turn this screw a small amount and see if the images fuse. If you have turned it the wrong way, no matter, go backwards the other way and recheck. Somethimes it is easier to mage a small adjustment, then check the RF. I usually place the camera on some sort of support like a tripod, You'll need the flashlight to see this screw, most likely. If everything is now adjusted, put the parts back together and that's that.
If you can't make the vertical adjustment really any better, there are 2 courses of action. The first is to get it like it was before and send it off to Epson. The other is to understand the full RF adjustment system. As you probably recall from my postings, there is a screw near the RF itself, not available at all even to a clever user. This is the close focus / RF base adjustment. The 2 screws that you haven't touched under the hot shoe, are, left to right, first the infinity adjustment, and then some sort of final optimising / focusing adjustment. This middle screw swings a small lens array in an arc; you can actually see this through the hole with your flashlight. This is the srew which might need to be reset if the vertical adjustment screw doesn't work. I feel comfortable doing this adjustment, but in can be complicated, throwing off both horizontal and vertical images a bit, and requiring tweaking of all 3 screws.
Hope this helps.
My focusing issue was somewhat selfemade, or should I say bad timing...
At the time I only had my Summicron 2/35 available and noticed how the focusing was out (I had to focus behind the object to get it sharp). I decided to adjust it as I figured it was a lot like a Bessa, but later understood that it was the lens which was the week part, because of its bad communication with the r-d1 body... I did however also fix the alignment of the r.f.
Ed describes the operation above, my focusing problems where corrected by turning the middle screw just a bit counter-clock wise. As object I focused on a number on a ruler in 45° angle.
What problems do you have?
P.s. Maybe everyone thinking of adjusting their body themselves first should check out this symptomatic description... (http://www.pgallery.net/cvp/99.html)
Nice advice) I just got back from a job in Ukraine where i knocked my verticals out too.... bought a jewellers screwdriver earlier and fixed mine in 10 mins flat. Great news! Thanks guys!
My problems with the R-D1 were a little different in that I had problems with 3 M lenses and a 40mm Rokkor CLE (Minolta). The results varied with the 2 bodies I had. The 40 was consistently off, front focusing by an inch. See this link at Photo.net for a recap of what happenned. That second body I refer to in the post, was returned to Epson for a refund. I am considering a third, if the success some have had with making adjustments (self or by DAG) proves to be applicable to what my experience was.
Let me know what you think.
Even when getting my body back from DAG with all 4 screws adjusted, there were minor problems in that my old 35/1.4 and 75/1.4 still close-focussed. After I put on the Nikon eyepiece magnifier and found that the vertical was still a hair off, I readjusted the 3 accessible screws and everything became perfect.
If one has just one lens "off" on the R-D1's RF, then perhaps it is the fault of the lens. If 2 or more are "off" similarly, no matter how many appear to focus correctly, then it is likely to be RF adjustment issues.
That makes sense, Ed! I think we're getting somewhere. What has thrown me off is that when you send a product (especially an expensive one) back to a manufacturer you assume that they are in command of the situation and when they send a new product back to you they'll make damn sure it is an improvement. Not the case at Epson. Outside of Japan, no one knows what this rangefinder thing is, so it's an out of control situation. Thanks to the efforts of folks on this forum and some astute folks at Epson's APS, we're figuring out what the heck is going on....Michael
Epson is looking into the possibility of working with an expert rangefinder repair center in the USA to make adjustments on USA cameras that are off. So, the situation may improve and it was a topic of conversation when I conferenced with Epson on Wednesday. Phil Amato at Epson is listening to these concerns and taking them seriously.
Just had email contact with DAG and he has yet to hear from anyone but users like ourselves. Sounds like he would be happy to hear from Epson, but says he'd do best with al repair manual.
Tom Abrahamsson had given DAG's pictures of the RF to Cosina in Japan last month with the request that they provide a repair manual, so we'll see what comes of this.
I just sent the contact info. for DAG to Epson this afternoon. I'm sure something like this needs to be discussed in various departments of the corporation, etc.
I gave Epson's APS this info early this week. They are having a meeting next Tuesday with Mr. Amato and the whole epson CR, APS, and repair teams to discuss the various issues with the camera and a course of action to take. They will also draft a report to the Japanese engineers on the troubles and some of the fixes of the camera. He said that it would have to be worded carefully. It will be interesting to talk to him late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning to find out what will happen. One of the course of action is to enable a person like DAG to do some of the repairs so they do not have to keep swapping out cameras.
He said that Epson will now monitor this forum to improve customer relations with the R-D1 owners.
Just remember now Epson is listening!
"One of the course of action is to enable a person like DAG to do some of the repairs so they do not have to keep swapping out cameras."
Exactly, that was my suggestion to Philip Amato on Wednesday. I told him that most owners I've heard from would prefer to have their (otherwise functional) cameras adjusted rather than start fresh with a new camera that might or might not have other problems.
At least we're dealing with a responsive company.
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