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OM2 -- Can't open the back
Old 12-18-2017   #1
KoNickon
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OM2 -- Can't open the back

I got over the weekend an OM2 with a 35/2.8 Zuiko for dirt cheap. Once I got it home and put batteries in it, it worked fine in Auto. Manual is a different story, and it involves moving the switch off the setting slightly.

But all of a sudden this afternoon the release mechanism for the back stopped working, so I can't open the back. The rewind knob pulls up to the detent position for loading film, but will barely move further. What could possibly have happened here? I understand I may need to remove the top cover to see if something is blocking the travel of the shaft. And if I do, then I'll need to unscrew the rewind knob -- not sure how I can do that without access to the fork at the bottom of the rewind shaft.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 12-18-2017   #2
bayernfan
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can you remove the motor-drive cover and insert a narrow tool in there to move the latch release?

i had to do this with a Nikon F3 once.
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Old 12-18-2017   #3
p.giannakis
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The OM2 is a great camera. If you got it cheap and the main switch is playing up, send it for a service. I'm tightfisted when it comes to my hobbies but the OM 2 is one of the very few cameras that I had them serviced (I like the 2 much more than my pristine looking black OM1).
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Old 12-19-2017   #4
monopix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
I got over the weekend an OM2 with a 35/2.8 Zuiko for dirt cheap. Once I got it home and put batteries in it, it worked fine in Auto. Manual is a different story, and it involves moving the switch off the setting slightly.

But all of a sudden this afternoon the release mechanism for the back stopped working, so I can't open the back. The rewind knob pulls up to the detent position for loading film, but will barely move further. What could possibly have happened here? I understand I may need to remove the top cover to see if something is blocking the travel of the shaft. And if I do, then I'll need to unscrew the rewind knob -- not sure how I can do that without access to the fork at the bottom of the rewind shaft.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
If you remove the baseplate you might be able to see the bottom of the latch and push it up from below. If not, peel back the cover near the latch and there should be two screws that hold the latch cover plate on. Removing that might give you access. You could also try releasing the hinge. I think the OM2 had sprung hinge pins. If you can see the end of them, push one inwards to release it. If you do have to remove the top, then as long as you can pull the rewind up far enough to see some of the shaft it should be possible to grip the shaft to unscrew the knob.

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Old 12-19-2017   #5
KoNickon
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At first I was thinking that there is no access to the latch from the bottom of the camera, but it's certainly easy enough to check. Regarding peeling back the cover, I think there are indeed a couple of screws underneath (this would be by the strap lug, I assume). Again, worth checking out. If I can at least get the back open, I can see better what's going on.

(To answer your suggestion about releasing the hinge, I tried that and it doesn't work. I tried to not force anything, for fear of distorting the metal. I reckon if I didn't care about mangling the back I could have done it, though.)

The approach I had been mulling over is to remove the top cover and see what might be physically blocking the rewind shaft from coming all the way up. From a picture I have seen, I think there is a plate of some sort that goes between the shaft and the spring that keeps the latch mechanism pushed down (in order to keep the door locked). That spring is over in the front corner, near the strap lug. There is another spring that surrounds the rewind shaft and which pulls the shaft back once you pull up on the knob to pop the door open -- something is blocking the shaft from being pulled up enough to open the door.

So I had two thoughts -- first, to remove the top plate and see what's going on. My understanding is that I need to remove the wind lever and the circular spanner nut below it; the small nut holding the flash connection on the prism; and the two screws underneath the rewind knob. Is that all? I can remove those two screws without removing the rewind knob -- and hopefully I'll have enough clearance to see what's what under the cover without removing the knob, since I haven't been able to get a purchase on the rewind shaft to enable unscrewing the knob.

I was also wondering if just removing those two screws might create enough freedom to free up whatever is causing the blockage. That of course would be the easiest fix.

Further thoughts and advice most appreciated!

PS -- Pan, I'd love to send this somewhere, since the Manual mode would be great to use. But for sure that's not in the budget. If absolute worst comes to worst, I will have gotten a parts camera and 35/2.8 for US $20.
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Old 12-19-2017   #6
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I had this once some years ago. The fix for me was easy, just remove the base plate and push up the latch mechanism from below to release the back. All I then had to do was work the mechanism a few times to free everything up and all was well thereafter. Much easier than removing the top plate. Good luck.
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Old 12-19-2017   #7
KoNickon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP1 View Post
I had this once some years ago. The fix for me was easy, just remove the base plate and push up the latch mechanism from below to release the back. All I then had to do was work the mechanism a few times to free everything up and all was well thereafter. Much easier than removing the top plate. Good luck.
Fingers crossed -- will give this a try first, and report back. Thanks very much!
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Old 12-19-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Fingers crossed -- will give this a try first, and report back. Thanks very much!
While doing it, keep in mind that the issue might be very sticky foam light/dust seals on the back.

I've encountered this a number of times on various cameras. Pulling up the rewind know to operate the latch works fine, but the back won't open because it is "glued" shut. With these, I needed to hold up firmly on the rewind knob while carefully prying the back open. Do the remove the baseplate trick first. If that seems to fail, try prying option the back with your finger nails while operating the latch either from the bottom or with the rewind knob.
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Old 12-19-2017   #9
KoNickon
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OK, problem solved -- the cause is the fact I'm an ass. I will explain why in a minute.

First, though, I did remove the baseplate -- absolutely no passthrough from there to the latch mechanism. Maybe there is on some cameras, but not this one.

So I tried the next thing, namely to pry back the body covering just forward of the latch (the beveled end of the body just behind the left side strap lug). I had just glued down that portion of the leatherette the night before the latch stopped working (foreshadowing!) so I knew there was a panel there, held on by two screws. Once I removed the screws and the panel, I decided to pop off the back hinge, since with the panel removed, I figured correctly that I'd have enough play to be able to remove the back.

Well, guess what -- the latch was gummed up by contact cement. The standard procedure with contact cement is that you are to apply it both to the back of the body covering, and the body itself. But evidently I'd put on too much, or it migrated into the latch mechanism (perhaps through that panel). Anyway, I removed it using lighter fluid and all is well. I do want to glue back down the leatherette, but I think I will only apply it to the back of the leatherette this time, and hope that works. Pliobond's instructions are to let it sit for about 15 minutes before adhering; I am sure I didn't wait long enough, and pressing down may have helped it migrate into the latch mechanism.

So bottom line is, I blame Olympus! The OMs (in my experience anyway) are notorious for having leatherette that comes up at the edges. So in my zeal to fix their shortcomings (!) I caused the latch to seize up.

Thanks to all for your advice -- and I apologize for not mentioning the contact cement -- I didn't think it would be relevant. Lesson learned!
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lube?
Old 12-19-2017   #10
dugrant153
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lube?

I use an Olympus OM1 that had this problem but in my case the latch that locked the door and also released it was sticky. I had to hold the rewind knob out for a while before it would slowly release the door. LOL

Eventually I got tired of it and put a bit of WD40 into the latch area to hopefully loosen it up. Yup, works like a charm now. Even better than when I got it.

I suspect that things gum up after a while. Some lube may be the answer.
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Old 12-19-2017   #11
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Just a heads up about WD40 -- I also work on typewriters for my own amusement, and WD40 is evil stuff. It will eventually gum things up, and then you are in for a world of hurt. You need lighter fluid or mineral spirits in large quantities to clear it out. You may be OK on the latch if you've used it sparingly, but keep an eye on it. As with typewriters, any sort of lubricant should be used, if at all, only in small quantities. (And never on shutters -- but you knew that.)
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