How Do I Restore a Rangefinder Film Camera? – Here’s What You Can Do with FAQs & More

People often ask that How do I restore a rangefinder film camera?
Let’s find out!

General Repair Tools

A list of basic tools needed to fix cameras. Tools include a set of precision

  • Screwdrivers
  • Tweezers
  • Clamps
  • Needles,
  • Pliers and more

Getting Started

Screws are hard to get into tight places. Tape helps hold things together. A tray makes it easier to see what you are doing.

Magnetized screwdrivers help you remember where each screw belongs.

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about rangefinder click HERE.

General Cleaning

Most simple repairs seem to involve a good and thorough cleaning, shutters, aperture blades, etc. Get a little hesitant (sometimes stick together) from old lubricant.

Sometimes just working them over again does the trick. If all is well no additional lube should be necessary.

Some techs recommend using tiny amounts of Graphite if the parts just won’t move smoothly even after cleaning, work the parts till they feel free, and if all is good no additional lube should ever be needed.

Don’t get any oil on the lens, use rosonol (naptha), lighter fluid is the best thing for cleaning shutters, a lifetime supply available for a couple bucks at your local hardware store.

Never touch lenses with anything else than a lens brush and lens cleaner. Also put any kind of liquid on a lens! Use a UV filter to protect your lenses.

Cleaning a mirror is very delicate work, and you need to be careful not to damage the mirror.

Note: If you want to know How Does a Pridesport Rangefinder Work click HERE.

Aluminum and Steel

Windex gets oily residue and fingerprints off cameras easily, if the residue isn’t sticky you should use something like Goof Off or Goo Gone, a Petroleum based solvent with Citrus that dissolves that kind stuff.

For tight spots use toothbrushes, for corrosion use vinegar, to shine them up I’ve used Flitz Metal and Fiberglass Cleaner, unless it’s a rusty aluminum lens barrel like we saw in the old Russian Rangefinder.

What we’ve find that works best for those lenses, is a rubbing compound called Cirle 7, find it at your local hardware store or automotive store.

You’ll also need a bunch of clean rag, it’s a messy job but you’ll be surprised how beautiful they can be! Note – some are lacquered,using this will take the lacquering off.

Rangefinder Glass

There are many different ways to open up a camera. Some cameras require a screwdriver, others use a tool called a “spanner”.

Most cameras have a winder, but some cameras need a special tool called a “winder” to turn it. You should take care when removing these parts because if you drop something, you could break your camera.

To clean the rangefinder glass follow these steps.

Step # 1: Remove the top cap.

Step # 2: Try not to damage the camera strap. Locate the rangefinder under the top cap.

Step # 3: Clean the glass and mirrors. Use a fresh Q-tip to clean the clear glass. Clean the frosted glass using a damp cloth.

Step # 4: Replace the top cap.

Step # 5: Reattach the camera strap.

Lenses Fungus

Fungus is a type of mold that grows on surfaces such as lenses. The fungus causes damage to the surface of the lens.

A person who uses a camera often needs to clean the lens regularly because of this problem.

In order to remove the fungus from the lens, people usually need to buy a new lens.

Note: If you want to know Who Makes Halo Rangefinders click HERE.

Mechanical Problems

Mechanical problems are very rare. Most of the time, they can be easily fixed by using common sense and a little knowledge.

When fixing these problems, it is recommended to use a screwdriver to loosen the screws and a lighter fluid to remove any oil.

After cleaning the lens, it is also recommended to lightly lubricate the lens with a synthetic grease.

How Do I Restore a Rangefinder Film Camera?

How Do I Restore a Rangefinder Film Camera?

Lenses Yellowing?

This may be an issue with some older Pentax lenses. A yellow tint appears after a while due to radioactive elements in the lens. You can remove the yellow by exposing it to sunlight for a few days.

Selenium Cells

Selenium cells work great when exposed to light. But they also need to stay dry.

A well-made, well sealed camera has a ring of selenum cells around the lens. These cells become light sensitive in the presence electricity. When these cells die, they stop working.

These cells are used to measure light levels. A photocell is an electronic device that measures the intensity of light falling upon it.

When exposed to bright light, a photocell produces a low electrical signal. As the light level decreases, the cell produces a higher output.

In other words, as the light diminishes, the photocell becomes increasingly less conductive. This change in resistance is measured by an ammeter or voltmeter connected across the terminals of the cell.

Note: If you want to know How to Change a Simmons Rangefinder From Meters to Yards click HERE.


A lot of cameras are made by Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax, etc. You can find them online, and even buy them used. Most of them have a manual, and most of them are pretty easy to fix.

Advanced repairs require finding parts from other cameras of the same model.

You can scavage screws, lenses, and other parts from other cameras. You can also scavage parts from other electronics such as radios, flashlights, and electronic toys.

We hope that this article was helful. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

If you want to know more information about rangefinder click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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