Well, my Lubitel arrived and as it was advertised as ‘Mint’ condition with a mechanical rating of 10/10, I was most sad to open the viewfinder and find ALOt of dust (take note any prospective ebay camera buyers) Not horribly surprised, but I thought I’d picked out a respectable seller. Aside from the dust, I couldn’t see much through the viewfinder – distorted – and could see absolutely nothing through the focussing circle, it was just a dark spot…hmm…Puzzled..
Instead of posting the camera back for a refund, I decided to get instructions off the internet, and opened the viewfinder shaft. Cleaned the mirror, glass and the rest and discovered that if I turned the glass around, I could miraculously see though the focussing circle, and had a clear picture through the viewfinder! So at some point the glass had been placed upside-down, and stayed that way long enough for dust and grease to collect :m thanks, camera shop…
If you ever do something like this, use a table/desk or at least a clear space on the floor! I had everything carefully laid out next to me on the couch so I’d know how to put it back together again, but still managed to lose one tiny screw. Also, make sure the top of the viewfinder clips over the mirror, there are 2 small brackets that need to catch it and hold it in place, before you screw the top back on. I missed this detail and had no idea anything was wrong…after 3 hours of careful work I put the camera down to get ready for bed..picked it up to look through the viewfinder one more time to enjoy the clean, sharp image I’d been seeing… … … and the mirror had cracked. It must have fallen forwards in the chamber when I put the camera down..
So I’ve learned alot! Will not be opening up the exposure lens just yet!! The mirror I’ve secured with double-sided tape and there is a visible crack but it won’t affect the photographs – can’t wait to take my first pictures :) Maybe I’ll buy a faulty camera just for the mirror, we’ll see… In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my pic of a cactus which has always looked like a cat to me ;D