My Dad gave me a few of his old film cameras recently and one of them is a RangeFinder, the Yashica MG-1. I was very excited and impressed with this camera. This is my first RF and I am determined to restore the camera to pristine. This article sort of serves as a record for the restoration process and what I have done to it.
First thing that I did, was to sent the MG-1 to my trusted camera repairman Mr. David Hilos. He helped me cleaned up the camera chambers, view finder and did a general check for me. When the camera is good to go, I collected it back and to work on the cosmetic department.
The below picture shows how it looks like when I got it from my Dad along with an external Flash.
The camera is still cladded in its original leather case. I removed the camera from the case by unscrewing the placeholder cum tripod mount.
First, using the alcohol swab, i cleaned the leather grip area area on the camera. Old leather tends to have this “whitish” thingy on the surface which can’t really be removed by most convention cleaners and leather conditioners. I read up somewhere on the net that alcohol swab works and so I tried. The surface no longer has the “whitish” compound now, I guess it really works.
Next, still using the alcohol swab, the original leather case was given the same treatment. Now the case looks really new and shiny.
Next, will be to clean the lens. using the lens cleaning solution, I drip one drop of it onto a cleaning cloth and work my way on the lens surface to remove any possible stains. (I did not use the lens tissue because the lens front element is not very big.
Bought a lens cap to replace the original Yashica rubber cap.
Next, the original Yashica camera strap. It’s such a beauty. I had the strap conditioned with alcohol swab and removed it from the camera for safekeeping.
I found a mercury battery (HM-4N) which my Dad told me that this is out of production already. Well, the whole world had banned mercury anyway. With the help of a friend Sebastian Chow, he taught me how to use another battery and a battery spring to use this combo to power the camera. I am not showing it here though.
Then recently, another photography (Darren Chin) brought me to another shop (battery.com) who specialized in batteries of all kinds, voila! Found a direct replacement! But in alkaline of course! And made in Singapore too! (Below)
And to make sure, I pressed again to check, yes, the battery works and both lights lighted again. Tried the shutter for wide open and narrow down and the speed varied with the apetures, the MG-1 is ready!
Added new batteries (AA) into the flash and mounted on the MG-1, this guy is ready for some serious RangeFinder action again after sitting inside my Dad’s store room for the longest time!
Thanks Dad. I will cherish this camera.