How to get into an Agfa Optima xx35
I was always wondering how to open that one. At last I had to try because mine had an intermittent problem with switching from wind to rewind mode (you know, there's this ingenious knob to switch between then, which allows the camera to live without a rewind knob or lever).
First time I didn't get the trick, but one dreary saturday afternoon in november with nothing but rain outside, I decided to take another look.
I made it this time, and here's how I did it. That the following text is written in imperative does not mean it is an order, or even a guideline. I just found the plot a little weak for a short story and wrote a recipe instead. If you want to do the things I did, it is completely at your own risk to do so.
- First, loosen the two pignose screws on top (=hot shoe center contact) and bottom of the camera, plus the little screw inside the film chamber.
- Then try to get off the little lever on the r.h. side that unlocks the back door. Without breaking it, that is.
- You will notice that the metal front shell of the camera feels kind of loose by now, but seems to be held by the lens barrel. Which is exactly how things are by now.
So take a look at the lens:
- Remove the name plate ring. it is glued in by two tiny spots of self-adhesive tape.
- Remove the transparent ring behind the name plate ring (two screws).
- Remove the ASA setting ring behind the transpatrent ring. Don't worry about the position, it's fool proof on reassembly as the ASA is adjusted by means of a gradient ND filter in front of the CdS cell, i.e. on the ring itself.
This was the easy part. In two minutes you will curse the Agfa engineers for making it necessary to readjust focus every time you disassemble the camera.
So here's the tough part:
- Set focus to infinity! Yes, this is important.
- Remove the ring with the funny symbols and the focusing distances on it (three screws). Be careful when taking it away, do not let anything behind it move.
- You now see the lens cell itself, a sprocket and an outer ring. Before you do anything else, mark the position of the lens barrel in relation to a part of your choice in its direct vicinity. be sure to make your marking on the side of the lens or on the sprocket that surrounds it, because it is the lens that turns after all ...
- Now you remove the outer ring. be sure to check ist position or - better - make a sketch of it.
- Remove the sprocket wheel.
- Do not touch the lens. Remove the tiny silver bullet in the SE quadrant of the lens barrel instead, and the spring underneath it. I forgot the spring and was wondering where the heck it was from for about 30 minutes, before I eventually found out.
- Remove the metal washer. Be sure to remember where it was ... I forgot and had to find out by trial and error.
- Remove the aperture ring. After having marked ist position. There's another silver bullet that will eventually spring out. Catch it. I lives under a little metal tongue in the SW quadrant this time.
That's about it. Take off the metal shell and admire the huge amount of plastic. To me as an owner of mostly 1970s cameras it was surprising that alle those little levers and pinions can actually be made out of plastic, but so it seems to be. Lighter fluid seems to do no harm, anyway.