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Olympus 35SP slow shutter blade cleaning
Old 11-01-2010   #1
Brian Legge
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Olympus 35SP slow shutter blade cleaning

The Olympus 35SP has a great reputation but I haven't seen much info about working on one.

If you have one in good condition - or not so good condition - think long and hard about sending it to a good repair person like Zuiko.com before embarking on fixing it yourself.

Mine came to me with a shutter that wasn't firing consistently. Sometimes it was slow, sometimes it didn't do anything at all. I assumed it was just oil on the shutter blades.

This kicked off a mission to clean both the back and front of the blades. It turned out one of the rings that moves with the shutter when it fires also needed cleaning.

I stopped before opening up the rear of the shutter as it was working earlier than that. Opening the front of the shutter was challenging enough.

I haven't had a chance to shoot a roll, but it is looking very promising.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134410011/

Access to the front blades is relatively simple with this camera.

First, remove the retaining ring. A suitable spanner wrench would be useful here if it is tight. Fortunately mine came off easily. Once this is unscrewed, you can remove the nameplate. Once the name plate is out, the front element lens can be screwed. At this point, you have access to the front of the shutter blades.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134410229/

Here is what the camera looks like with the ring, plate and front element removed.

You'll see some tempting screws in front of you. Be careful about going further. Under this ring is a few rings followed by the shutter. I'd suggest leaving the shutter intact if at all possible. This ring is safe to remove but the layers below it get a bit more hairy. You know when you hit the front of the shutter when you see a series of 6 screws. These can be removed but then you'll likely have to deal with putting elements of the shutter back together as they move freely rather easily.

If you need to clean the blades, I'd recommend holding off until the rear glass is removed. No need to coat it in Ronsonol which we'd just have to clean off later. If you want to take a chance, you can drop a bit on now and very gently try to clean it off.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134410421/

To get any further, we need to remove the top and bottom.

The top is secured by the advancing lever and the winding knob.

To remove the advance lever, unscrew the cap. Again, a spanner wrench may be useful here. These parts are very visible and easy to scrape, so weigh use of force with other approaches (ie you can try using Bolt Off, Liquid Wrench, etc to loosen the ring before unscrewing it)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134410553/

Taking the lever off, you see the cap, a spacer, the lever and the part the lever drives. Put these aside as it will be a while before we get back to them.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135010366/

Under the advance lever, we have a retaining ring. This ring is one off two which hold the top over down.

Another good candidate for a spanner wrench. Take this off and set it to the side.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135010548/

We can now shift our focus to the rewind knob.

This comes off rather easily. Put something in the fork so it can't turn and screw the knob off.

You don't need to remove the screw on the rewind knob; it just holds the folding lever in place.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134411237/

Again, we have a retaining ring under the rewind knob. Unscrew this just like the other.

Once this is off, the top can be lifted off gently. This may be tight - try not to use too much force as a wire connects the hotshoe to the shutter. If you pull too hard, you'll rip that wire off.

Reassembly note: The wire likes settling on the viewfinder, blocking the view. Consider taping them to the top when putting it back on.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135011000/

Picture of the top off for reference

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135011196/

To separate the lens and shutter assembly from the body, we need to remove the bottom plate as well. Fortunately this is easy by comparison.

Remove the three screws. Remove the bottom plate. Remove the rewind button if it didn't fall out on its own.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135011364/

And here we are with the bottom off. I put the rewind button back on just to illustrate its position in case it fell off when you removed the bottom and the position wasn't totally obvious.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134412039/

To access the blades, we need to separate the lens and shutter assembly from the body.

To do this, we need to remove four screws which hold it together. These screws are under the leatherette.

I found the leatherette relatively easy to separate; if you work very slowly and gently, you may be able to do this without needing to recover the body.

Peel back the leatherette on both sides of the camera until you see the screws. Go further than you need to so you have enough working space without bending the leatherette at a steep angle when we remove and later reinsert the front.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135011878/

...and here is the position of the screws on the other side. Remove these as well.

Again, I should have loosened the leatherette up further in. I fought with it too much later when reattaching the lens and shutter assembly to the body..


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012152/

And finally we're set to remove the front. Take this slowly. Don't force anything. Gently pressing the shutter part way down helps the needle trap next to the rangefinder window, move under the window..

Ressembly note: This step is a pain - and one where it is easy to being parts. Again, take it very slowly and don't force anything.

I found focusing such that the rangefinder arm was retracted as much as possible, positioning the plate against the screws on the right side (ie under the rangefinder window) and then sliding down slowly worked best. Again, pressing the shutter part way down was helpful in sliding the needle trap under the body, near the rangefinder window. make sure you see where the needle is and don't somehow pin it in place.

The biggest challenge I had was getting the rangefinder arm to connect correctly. If it was slightly out of place, the camera would click as I focused to infinity and back while holding everything in place. Backing out and starting again seemed like the best way to deal with this, though I'm sure there are more robust approaches.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012420/

We now need to separate the shutter and the lens. This is one of the more complex parts of this process due to the layers of rings below.

To start, remove the retaining ring inside the slot where the stick is. You don't need to unscrew anything else - just the inner ring which is buried deepest..



http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134413151/

We now need to separate the shutter and the lens. This is one of the more complex parts of this process due to the layers of rings below.

To start, remove the retaining ring inside the slot where the stick is. You don't need to unscrew anything else - just the inner ring which is buried deepest..
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Last edited by Brian Legge : 11-17-2010 at 22:05.
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Old 11-01-2010   #2
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134413647/

When you reassemble this, note that you'll need to get these two bits aligned. reconnecting the shutter assembly is a bit of a pain. In addition to these parts, you'll need to get the cocking lever in place.

The best approach I found was to manually cock the shutter and then slide it back into the housing, making sure both of the parts in this picture were aligned, along with the shutter advancing lever being in place (explained in later photos).

Once this is done, fire the shutter so you don't accidentally attempt to reattach this to the body with the shutter cocked.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134413977/

Here you can see the front and the shutter/lens assembly separated.

I went further here and cleaned the helicoid, as it looked like the oil was separating and spreading all over. I relubricated it with lithium grease which seemed to be working well enough.

I didn't document this process. I also botched the alignment initially and caused myself a fun 2 hours trying to find the correct positioning to get the right focus. if you can get away with cleaning what you can reach and relubricating it without further disassembly, go for it.

Reassembly notes:

At the bottom of the front, you can see a ring with a fork at the bottom. this connects with the bar at the bottom of the shutter.

The cut out slots on the inner most ring go over the smaller pair of screws on the shutter. This can be a challenge to line up. Take your time and make sure you get it right. This can be challenging as the rings on the shutter also move freely. They need to be centered when the these parts are reconnected so that the shutter and front are flush.

Lastly, the focusing lever has a slot taken out of the plastic in the ring. This needs to fit with the metal tab in the 7 oclock position of the shutter. Make sure these are aligned.

All of this is made more challenging by the fact that the a for mentioned ring inner ring with slots and the cocking arm both slide separate from the body. I'm not sure what the best way to deal with this is frankly. You can try to reattach it this way if it these parts stick to the front or remove them from the front, place them appropriately on the shutter and try to position the shutter. This is challenging as the slotted ring can fall out of alignment easily.

Again, take your time and don't force anything. It will likely take a few tries to get everything aligned appropriately. Once you do have it together, try manually cocking the shutter and firing it to be sure everything works.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135013594/

Here is a close-up of the slotted ring and the cocking arm.

As noted, this can be separated from the front. When the shutter fires, the cocking arm and ring rotate rapidly.

In my cameras case, I needed to remove these parts and clean them. They basically looked coated in graphite, though I think it my have just been finely ground metal. This and oil (likely from the helicoid) gave this enough resistance that - along with oil on the blades - the shutter wasn't firing consistently.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135013720/

And here are our rings. Mine were coated in oil and needed to be cleaned.

Reassembly note:
I don't know if these should have any lubricant on them - specifically the cocking ring.

At least for me, running dry worked appears to give me the correct speeds though I can't tell if this is causing unnecessary ware.

If you know, please pas the info on and I'll update this entry.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135014092/

Just a reference shot for the front without any of the shutter related rings attached.

Reassembly note:

If you elect to place the cocking lever and the slotted ring on the shutter when reconnecting the front, this is what you'll be trying to align. Note the slots - these obviously need to connect with the slotted ring.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135014336/

The first step in accessing the blades is simple - remove the already loose shutter triggering ring.

The left side of the ring, which activates the shutter, does so by pressing upwards on the barely visible lever at the 10:30 position.

To test this, you can cock the shutter by moving the bar at the 9 oclock position to the right, clocking the shutter. Then press upwards on the lever at the 10:30 position so the shutter can fire. This should make the positioning of the ring more obvious.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135014520/

ignore the shutter firing ring - I put it back on while testing.

At this point, you can unscrew the rear element. the entire black ring containing the glass comes off. At this point you'll have access to the rear blades.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134415479/

Note that you can separate the glass in the rear element at this point. The retaining ring , barely visible above, will let you do this.

if you don't have bit problems here, I'd suggest leaving this as is. As with any lens, getting it as clean during reassembly as it is challenging.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134415685/

At this point, you can use Ronsonol or your cleaning or choice to clean the blades. The glass is off on both sides so the cleanup is simple.

As noted earlier, you can fire the shutter by manually moving the cocking lever and then the firing bar.

I stopped my exploration here, as my experiences with the front of the shutter were stressful enough and everything seemed to be working again.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135015396/

At last we're set to reassemble the lens. This is is basically the reverse of the process we've gone through.

There are notes about reassembly throughout the disassembly. Take your time, don't for anything, think about how you can test it as you go so you don't have to undo steps.
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Old 11-01-2010   #3
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Brian,

A great how-to, and really clear shots. I'm into a 35SPn at the moment, well, trying to put the lens panel back on actually, and have a problem. I lost my note of where the green (or is it blue) wire should be soldered on. Your series doesn't show that sadly - could you help me out?

I would love to have this working again, it's a really ugly user in terms of the body, but the glass is great.
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Old 11-01-2010   #4
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Both wires were already disconnected when I started unfortunately. I didn't say anything about it as I didn't want to pass around bad info.

Which ends of the wires are disconnected?

Green wire:
One end is soldered to the shutter itself. I don't know where exactly - I'm think I stopped my shutter disassembly before getting to the contact.

The other end clips into the screw/fork seen here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012420/

White wire:
I believe one end is attached to the second clip, seen a little lower in the picture above. The other end it soldered to the underside of the hotshoe.

Again, both of these wired were disconnected and taped out of the way in my camera so my info is incomplete - in particular where the wires should be threaded and the green wires contact. Sorry I can't be of more help.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012420/
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Last edited by Brian Legge : 11-02-2010 at 21:59. Reason: Corrected wire color to match what shipped in the camera
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Old 11-01-2010   #5
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A great piece of work Brian - super instructions and very clear photos.
It's the screws under the leatherette I have problems shifting!
This is a very impressive posting - thanks.

jesse
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Old 11-01-2010   #6
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Brian,

It's the body ends that I'm stuck with Thanks anyway - I'll see if I can contact Mark Hama, he should know
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Old 11-01-2010   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse1dog View Post
A great piece of work Brian - super instructions and very clear photos.
It's the screws under the leatherette I have problems shifting!
This is a very impressive posting - thanks.

jesse

Thank you! I've gotten a lot of help here (and on APUG) with other cameras - it was the least I could do to give back.

Have you tried using a solvent like Liquid Wrench or Bolt Off to loosen the screws? I messed up a few screws a while ago trying to force them.

That said, I have a few cameras I've set aside where solvents haven't worked yet and I'm afraid of messing them up. I definitely understand the frustration.
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Old 11-01-2010   #8
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Brian, would you like to have a 35ED? Send me your address via PM and it is yours. It LOOKS in great shape but I cannot get any sort of batteries to make it light up. If nothing else, it will give you something for a new tutorial ...
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Old 11-01-2010   #9
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I'm relatively weak on the electronic side, but I'm up for giving it a shot. I have quite a few cameras I'm slowly working on so I might not get around to it for a while.

If people find these write ups useful, I'll keep doing them. I'm a total amateur at this though so I expect I'll get info wrong part of the time.

...at least this way someone will call me out for it (hopefully) when I'm missing something!

I'll send you a PM with my address.
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Old 11-02-2010   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse1dog View Post
A great piece of work Brian - super instructions and very clear photos.
It's the screws under the leatherette I have problems shifting!
This is a very impressive posting - thanks.

jesse
Jesse,

It could be that the threads were secured with a little adhesive - have you tried heating the head of the screw with a soldering iron for a few seconds and then using the screwdriver? Applying easing oil as the screw cllos can help too - the contraction can draw the oil into the threads.

Just a thought - it has worked for me in the past
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Old 11-02-2010   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
I'm relatively weak on the electronic side......
Brian,

A thought occurred to me - if you don't know where the wires go on the SP, what is your end goal with it, other than experimentation? It's a while since I used one, but wasn't it designed as aperture priority?

Not a critiscism, just curious as I may have to go the same way if I can't relocate those wires
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Old 11-02-2010   #12
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The SP is manual, shutter priority and program. These work without the wires being attached. The wires just trigger the flash (both the PC connector and the shoe).

The automatic modes works by trapping a needle - it is a mechanical connection between the body and the front (communicated to the shutter).

To the left of the shutter button - above the lens - in this shot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012420/

...you see a spring loaded metal piece. This is what traps the needle on the body to control the aperture. When you press the shutter button, it pushes down on two parts. The top - the peg in the hole - controls the aperture when in shutter priority. The lower part, pressed by the two prong part, activates the shutter itself.

...or at least that is what I deduced from this.
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Last edited by Brian Legge : 11-02-2010 at 21:57. Reason: Corrected mode comment
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Old 11-02-2010   #13
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Most 35SP name rings have only one notch and that is because it is glued in, not screwed. Insert hook into single notch, pull plate up if you can. Nice work so far, you'd still have to take the shutter plate out of the lens assembly, removed the individual blades, degrease all and rebuild. Exposure is full manual, shutter priority, aperture priority AND program mode (set both rings to A). Green wire goes up to the sync contact, which should also have a white wire soldered to it. In a separate email, you mention a blue wire but my SP shutter assy doesn't have one. John
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Old 11-02-2010   #14
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And this is why it will cost you $125 or more to have a camera serviced -- even if you only spent $25 on the camera.

Excellent work on the writeup.
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Old 11-02-2010   #15
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Where is the sync contact? I assumed that the green wire was meant to go into the round hole and connect somewhere in the shutter, but I wasn't sure where.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5135012420/

I'm guessing someone replaced the white wire in my camera with a blue one. That explains the confusion. I'm assuming the white wire is meant to be soldered to the the lower contact (the fork which is screwed in but doesn't have anything touching it).

Maybe next week I'll open it up again and see if I can finish the job properly.

I'll correct my earlier statement bit later to avoid confusion. Thats what I get for posting before using the camera.

Thank you for all the info! I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-02-2010   #16
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Green wire is attached inside shutter, comes out through hole in back and is solder to tab on back of sync contact which screws into front plate. Blue wire i've seen comes from battery box. SP has gotten very popular recently. Had another email from someone that had a camera that had already been partially taken apart with wires unsoldered. Once a camera is taken apart to this severe degree, or shutter is completely stripped, I won't work on them for any price. $125 (more like $175) applies only to cameras that have not been taken apart. John
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Old 11-02-2010   #17
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It was pretty obvious someone had messed with camera before junking it. The self timer was disconnected - meaning someone poking around in the shutter. The wires were a mess when I took the top cover off to clean the glass and fix rangefinder alignment. It looked like it has also been dropped once or twice as the top was dented.

This was a big part of the reason I sent you the 35RD instead. Still loving the camera though I haven't had as many chances to use it as I'd like, Seattle weather and all.
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Old 11-02-2010   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hermanson View Post
Most 35SP name rings have only one notch and that is because it is glued in, not screwed. Insert hook into single notch, pull plate up if you can. Nice work so far, you'd still have to take the shutter plate out of the lens assembly, removed the individual blades, degrease all and rebuild. Exposure is full manual, shutter priority, aperture priority AND program mode (set both rings to A). Green wire goes up to the sync contact, which should also have a white wire soldered to it. In a separate email, you mention a blue wire but my SP shutter assy doesn't have one. John
John,

Many thanks for your input - the other guy was me too The SPn that I have was going to be painted black by its previous owner, but once he had the top & bottom off and popped the lens plate he lost interest.

To be honest, the top plate could use attention from a lump hammer to get it straight again, but it is supposed to be a shooter.

Brian,

I knew it was a long time since I last shot a SP - I had forgotten that it was manual, and the control was by the trapped needle method. Must get out more

Thank you both for suffering a nutty Limey
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Old 11-03-2010   #19
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Any tips on how to fix a stiff focusing ring/lever?
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Old 11-03-2010   #20
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Again, I'm far from an expert here. I'm particularly bad with terminology so I apologize in advance if I get anything here wrong.

That would require a big chunk of the tear down described above. Basically, it probably needs the helicoid cleaned and relubed. That would mean tearing it down to this point:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5134413977

...and, unscrewing removing the parts which prevent the helicoid from being removed, noting exactly where it went in (as there are many grooves where it can screw in - get this wrong and your focus will be off), cleaning it, relubricating it and reassembling. Based on recommendations I've seen from Sweeney, I used lithium grease on mine though I don't know what the ideal one is.

If the camera is in decent condition - and particularly if you haven't done this before - I'd suggest paying someone to do it. This degree of disassembly isn't trivial. There are much easier cameras than the 35SP to start with.
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Old 11-04-2010   #21
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When you take the focus helicoid apart, you will lose your focus settings. Mark the two halves when the come apart as most helicoid threads have multiple starting points. John
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Old 03-05-2011   #22
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I just realized I hadn't posted any photos taken with the camera after the rebuild. I really love this lens. I understand why the camera has such a great reputation.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5382040350


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5389687508


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5273647824


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5383591612


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5387047562
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Old 10-22-2015   #23
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just had my first roll of film back from my 35sp and super disappointed
allmost every shot is out of focus.

Here is an example and it isn't even the worst one.

the camera is focussed om me but the road 75 meters further is coming in to focus.

If I look at the top of the camera the lens seems to be on the camera at not a perfect right angle, as in not perfectly parallel to the body. Is this normal?

It's not the adjustment of the rangefinder. I think the previous owner has been messing with the focus ring which is held by 4 retaining screws. How did you know were to fasten this ring? It controls the outward movement of the lens but you can fasten these screws were you want.

Maybe you could measure the exact distence the lens protrudes from the body at a certain focus setting. This would give me a nice benchmark to start with.
I there is another way to figure this out, please let me know.
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Old 10-22-2015   #24
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Just discovered this detailed step-by-step. Many thanks to Brian Legge for:
a) sucessfully overhauling your SP
b) taking the time to share your knowledge in such a clear way.

This provides me motivation to embark into the repair of my SP, bought for 10 or 20€ with shutter blades stuck by oil. Then I can find out for myself if the SP lens is better than the RD.
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Old 10-22-2015   #25
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i don't believe that Zuiko.com services these cameras any longer. i looked it up a while back because I wanted mine checked over.

thanks for the service manual, but does anyone know of another camera service company which will CLA mine? i just don't have the time or expertise, much less the tools.


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Old 4 Days Ago   #26
ftw1952
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hobart, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
Thank you! I've gotten a lot of help here (and on APUG) with other cameras - it was the least I could do to give back.

Have you tried using a solvent like Liquid Wrench or Bolt Off to loosen the screws? I messed up a few screws a while ago trying to force them.

That said, I have a few cameras I've set aside where solvents haven't worked yet and I'm afraid of messing them up. I definitely understand the frustration.
If you ever have screws that are frozen take a soldering gun and place the tip on the head of the screw for 2 minutes providing the screw is into metal and not plastic. It will come off very easy this way
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