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Help needed to fix a dead Olympus ACE, and a little history...
Old 09-16-2007   #1
fWord
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Unhappy Help needed to fix a dead Olympus ACE, and a little history...

Yesterday I drove for over an hour up to an antique warehouse together with my Mum. It was a place we had not visited in years. The place hadn't changed all that much. The camera store was still there. In the past I wouldn't have even touched an antique camera but the allure is very much alive today.

I saw a couple of things that really interested me...a King Regula CITA III with a fixed CZ Tessar 50mm f/2.8 lens and an Olympus ACE (the one without the meter), amongst many others. As I couldn't make up my mind on which one to buy, I went home, did some research and went back again this morning.

The CITA III was the prime candidate but sadly, after firing just a few shots the thing bit the dust and stopped working. So I settled for the Olympus ACE which I planned to use with a 1960s Sekonic L-38 that came from a local thrift shop. Everything was working well as far as I could tell, so I handed over the cash and took the camera home.

It was only on the trip back that I realized I could throw the lever, cock the shutter and then fire the shutter just fine. But the cog that was related to the film advance lever didn't seem to rotate with the lever. And I could turn this cog easily with my finger without throwing the film advance lever.

So now I'm in deep need of help. Have I bought a camera that's going to cost mega-bucks to fix, or is there something I could try at home to fix it myself? I've heard from a friend at these forums that some mighty repair gurus hang around here.

Hope you will all be able to help me revive what will be my second rangefinder. The first was an Olympus XA which I ditched after hardly any use because it was just so small. The viewfinder of the ACE however, is just awesome...crystal clear and with a lovely blue tinge throughout, and brightlines. I look forward to soon having a workable rangefinder and being able to hang around here, learning more about the art.
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Old 09-17-2007   #2
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Just a small update here...I've managed to get in contact with the camera dealer and he was more than happy to send me a cheque as a refund and have me mail the camera back to him. But more likely, I'll see him again this Thursday and buy something else off his shelf.

Fingers crossed...better luck this time! Thanks to those who took the time to read this.
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Old 09-17-2007   #3
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If I were you, I'd have it repaired. ACE is quite rare, and AFAIK it's a nice camera...
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Old 09-17-2007   #4
Stu W
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Is the rewind button remaining depressed?
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Old 09-17-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderman
If I were you, I'd have it repaired. ACE is quite rare, and AFAIK it's a nice camera...
Thanks for the suggestion. The ACE seems rarer than even the ACE-E, but the former doesn't have a meter, which probably explains why it didn't really reach the masses.

I'd thought about getting it repaired but suspect that the gear which winds the film cog is probably broken. Some fella probably jammed the film by mistake and then forced the film advance lever. If this is indeed the case, the gear is not going to be easy (or cheap) to replace, and will be a fix for someone more experienced. I was hoping it'd be simpler than that.
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Old 09-17-2007   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu W
Is the rewind button remaining depressed?
Hmm...as far as I am aware, the rewind button works as normal. That is, if I depress it and after that, throw the film advance lever, the button pops back out. It also works normally by allowing me to rewind the film back towards the canister. Key trouble is that the film takeup spool (or cog, or what it might be called) on the right (that's associated with the film advance lever) is freespinning.
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Old 09-19-2007   #7
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Sounds like the screws that hold the take up spool is either fallen or broken. Did anything rattle inside if you shake the camera (gently)?

I have the same camera, what I would do is probably locate a good manual camera repair shop. The ACE is probably built using some standard methods, the lens is probably more unique than the body (especially the ubiquituous film advance lever).

Sorry, not much help, but as an encouragement, that camera is a joy to use. Which lens did you get with it?
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Old 09-19-2007   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox
Sounds like the screws that hold the take up spool is either fallen or broken. Did anything rattle inside if you shake the camera (gently)?

I have the same camera, what I would do is probably locate a good manual camera repair shop. The ACE is probably built using some standard methods, the lens is probably more unique than the body (especially the ubiquituous film advance lever).

Sorry, not much help, but as an encouragement, that camera is a joy to use. Which lens did you get with it?
The camera makes a few 'rattlies' when shaken slightly, but that's from all the 'give' in the lens itself, the shutter button etc. When I held as many of these things tight and tilted the camera from side to side, I didn't hear anything that would resemble a screw flopping around inside the camera body.

If it was just a loose screw then it would have been inexpensive to fix, I reckon. But I was imagining that the gear associated with the film takeup spool was broken...that would be a challenge to repair successfully. Glue might hold it together, but only a matter of time before it comes apart again.

The camera came with the standard 45mm f/2.8 lens. It's the most common, from what I've read, nothing exciting like the 35mm lens.

The camera was returned to the seller just this afternoon and I got myself an evil little SLR. Not sure if that still allows me to participate at these forums. The Aires IIIc on the shelves was really attractive but the rear element had quite a good amount of fungus on it.
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