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Agfa Isolette III Rangefinder Service (1)

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Our very special thanks to Thierry Cattoor who has kindly supplied the text and pictures that make up this section.

Thierry says: “I had a frozen rangefinder knob on my Isolette III. I sought a remedy on the net and I read about the mysterious time lag. And this is what I found out.”

After removal of the top plate you see the rangefinder with the frozen knob.

Rangefinder box before removal of protection plate/lid

I was lucky, with  a pointed spanner and little bit of gentle force I was able to loosen the completely blocked dial. If it doesn’t loosen, use lighter fluid, or a tiny drop of penetrating oil on the thread and let it soak for a night.

The loosening is not enough to solve the problem, the grease has to come out.

Loosening the dial with a pointed spanner

Unscrew the 4 screws (3 on the corner and the small silver one near the knob) and lift the protection plate.

View into rangerfinder after removal of protection plate/lid

Here you can reach the thread from the inside for a tiny drop of fluid if the dial doesn’t loosen up. What you see here is the swivelling arm with the mounted focusing mirror, pushed back by a wire spring. And here lies the reason for the mystery of the sluggish Isolette III rangefinder! The arm is turning on a pivot lubricated with the same, 50 year old, green problem grease that was used in the Isolette focusing mount. That means it doesn’t turn at all or it turns very slowly.

Mine didn’t turn at all, it stayed open.

Here the spring should be pushing the arm back against the  dial - but the pivot is stuck

(Click HERE for more info on freeing up frozen focusing rings)


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All text and images Copyright © 2000-2011 Roland Givan, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved.

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