Sunday, February 26, 2006
Tower 51 Cleans up its Act
Cleaning the Tower 51 Viewfinder
Yesterday evening I disassembled the top plate of the Tower 51. As I referenced in an earlier post, the viewfinder of this camera was pretty dirty ... well, filthy is a better word ... so I finally got around to it. Cleaning all the glass surfaces took some time, plus when I removed the accessory shoe (which wasn't really necessary) the assembly that held the RF and VF window glass fell out. The glass elements had to be thoroughly cleaned and re-glued to the bracket (I used epoxy), and reassembling the whole lot caused some frustration until I figured out the order.
I had taken macro shots of the process with my digicam, so getting all the top pieces back together this morning was pretty easy, but the advance assembly caused me some problems, and I had to put everything together twice. It's functional, but not Leica buttery-smooth. Hell, it's not even as smooth as the Olympus 35 SPs.
BUT, the view of the world is so much better now. While the viewfinder is not nearly as bright as the best RFs, it is surprisingly easy to focus. It gives a 1:1 view, I think, and aligning the rangefinder patch is positive.
Since this is a meterless camera, I figured it's perfect for shooting in really dim light, with Kodak Tri-X pushed to E.I. 12,800, as per merciful's post over on RFF. Yikes, that looks yummy! Don't expect results from my foray into that world soon ... I don't process often, and right now stripping wallpaper in the kitchen is my main occupation.
EDIT: I worked on the film advance some more, and it's better. Still rough, and it takes two strokes to full advance and cock the shutter. Not sure what's wrong, but it's functional.