I spend a lot of time very pleasantly doing this. The picture above is of a rather battered SRT 303b being broken up for spares, as the prism was damaged and there is a huge ding on the top right-hand, back corner of the top pressing, as can be seen in the picture. Maybe sometime it will also be repaired, who knows?
There is a lot of satisfaction and pleasure (and sometimes a little frustration from time to time) in getting something that is broken or not behaving properly, to work again as it was originally designed to do – or even better.
I do non-major repairs and so-called CLA (clean, lubricate and adjust) work on screwmount Leitz/Leica cameras, all mechanical Minoltas from SR through SRT, XM and XE up to the XD range, as well as Leica R3 and R4. At a push, I’ll even replace shutter curtains, but that requires a lot of dismantling! Those are the cameras that I have played with the most, anyway… I can‘t actually resist any mechanical mechanism, but we all have our favourites and over time, the word spreads in increasingly large circles! All good clean fun and I don‘t pretend to be a guru, but please allow me my fun at playtime 🙂
My favourite cameras to USE are the plain-bodied SRs, the XE and the XM and derivatives. I am not interested in pristine, fresh-out-of-the-box cameras as collectors pieces, I like to use them thoroughly and as such look after and repair them, which they almost inevitably need when I get hold of them. I always have at least one SR handy next to my newly Sony A7Rii, wherever I go. I have a few original very early lenses as well as the usual Minolta MC/MD classics for use on the Sony, as I still hate the auto-focus and to my mind, the glass is at least as good if not better 🙂
I will also repair lenses, unstick iris-blades and remove fungus where needed. Now and then I’ll do blog on either of the above.