Originally Posted by giganova
I took one of my Minox ML apart because it was broken anyway. Easy to disassemble and putting it back together. But OMG, its all super flimsy plastic inside, nothing of substance. No wonder that they break so easily. Or I should better say: getting out of alignment. The fatigue of the thin material is what kills them. Most screws are tiny plastic screws into tiny plastic threads. You take out a screw and it will never be secure again and needs Locktite to hold in place. With skills, you can bend things back into shape again, but that requires knowing how things are supposed to be. They are build to such low specs that barely makes them work in the first place!
I would probably state that as "They are built to very lightweight specs such that they barely hold together in the first place!"
If the specs were "low", they likely wouldn't work at all. Despite the very light materials and tiny, plastic screws, they seem to hang together well if not abused. They not really meant for being taken apart and put back together again... a mostly disposable camera once damaged in any way.
Mine is, what?, about 21 years old and has shot a couple of hundred rolls of film, still looks/works like new despite living in my pocket sans any kind of case for days at a time over the years. I take care not to bash it around too much, not to drop it, and I store it without battery in a dry, cool place when not in use.
I'm sure the Ricoh FF-1 is similar, if perhaps not so lightly built. I had similar fragility issues with my Olympus XAs and Olympus Infinity Stylus cameras as well.
Rollei 35s are more easily repairable but are also a bit more liable to be dented/lens scratched/etc when being carried due to the lack of a front door covering the lens ... I always keep mine in a case when it's in my pocket, and keep a clear optical filter on it (because it's so darn easy to lose the $30 lens cap!).
Fun fun fun...