Let's face it. A lot of subminis can only be found in a state of disrepair. Or the ones that do work are priced through the roof. Or maybe you just have more important things to spend your hard earned money on than a mint submini. Or maybe you are willing and able to come up with the cash to by a "charmer", but when it stops operating, no one will attempt to fix it for less than a month's salary. There are a lot of reason's to "do-it-yourself". Perhaps the best is that you can buy "junker" subminis for next to nothing and try to repair them yourself. Maybe you can fix it, maybe not. Either way, you'll gain valuable information (or spare parts) that can be used to help you maintain your other photo equipment. Here's an example:
I recently ordered a 16QT via the internet because it came with the instruction book, a set of Minolta filters, case (leather deteriorating), and a hot shoe adapter for $35 shipped. When I received it, I replaced the nearly dead PX 30 battery with two PX 825 batteries (the PX 30 consists of two PX 825 cells in a plastic shrinkwrap with a spacer), so you need to wedge a piece of aluminum foil at the + polarity side to make proper contact with the 825s). I was a bit disappointed that the 1/30 acted more like 1/4 second and that I had to rap the camera after advancing the frame before the shutter would release. It turns out, the 16QT is easy to service.
There are 3 cross point screws that hold the top plate on. One at the flash synch end and two at the opposite. One screw is hidden by the wrist strap screw (it is in the tripod screw recess after the strap is removed). They are all different sized so make a note which goes where. Pry the top cover off, it's just thin aluminum so be careful. Mine seemed to come off by prying at the synch end. The shutter release button just sits on a lever so it may fall in your lap when you get the cover off. It will be obvious where it goes (but you will need to tease it in position with a toothpick or tool when it is time to reassemble.)
You can make out the escapement at the front of the camera (a brass clockwork gear). It is vertically positioned near the speed selector (which came off with the cover). I put a couple drops of lighter fluid on it. I had my daughter put tiny drops of dilute lubricant (3 drops sewing machine oil and 2 CCs of lighter fluid) using a polystyrene disposable lab dropper which has a 23 gauge hypodermic needle fitted on it to the levers and mechanical bearings which appeared dry.
After the cover was secured, we were gratified to find the speeds functioning well and we no longer had to beat the camera for it to function.
To return to the main index for the Sub Club click here.
COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.