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Konica C35 light meter not working properly
Old 04-02-2019   #1
mistermax
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Konica C35 light meter not working properly

Hey there!
I recently acquired a Konica C35 for about 20€. Ostensibly it's in very good condition (it's the black version, which I like) and the film advance as well as the shutter seem to be working.
Now, this camera used to run on a mercury cell which of course isn't available anymore, so first I tried it with an alkaline LR44 cell. There's a meter needle in the viewfinder that shows the speed-aperture combination. When I compare this to the readings taken with my external meter, the camera seems to underexpose by a ridiculous amount, more than 6 stops. Even when I cover the lens and the cds cell that sits right above it, the needle doesn't go all the way down but sops at about 1/125 f/4. The lowest it could go would be 1/30 f/2.8.
Of course I thought this was due to the excessive voltage level of the LR44 cell, so I hooked up the camera to a voltage source of about 1.25V which should be well below the 1.35V level of a mercury cell.
Still the same problem. The needle did go a bit lower than before stoping slightly above 1/60 f/2.8 when covering the lens, but it still showed an underexposure of about 4 stops. Changing the ISO setting on the camera didn't change much.
Now I'm sort of lost here. I tried a voltage that was too high (1.55V) and one that was too low (1.25V) and both times the camera would underexpose.
Anyone here know how to fix this, or why it behaves like this?

Help would be greatly appreciated!
max
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Old 04-02-2019   #2
santino
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Maybe old foam from light seals is mechanicaly blocking the needle?
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Old 04-02-2019   #3
mistermax
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Thanks for the reply, santino!
However I don't think so. When I take the battery out, the needle will sink down to 1/30 f/2.8 without it looking like anything's obstructing its path. Also, the shutter speeds seem to correspond to the meter readings, at least as far as I can guess from looking at and listening to the shutter.
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Old 04-02-2019   #4
charjohncarter
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Konica sometime in the production of the C35 used stainless wires or maybe aluminum. These just didn't hold up AND you can't solder them. I can't remember what the meter was acting like, but I knew that something was wrong. I removed the meter plate of one of mine and found a loose wire. I had to use liquid solder to get it back solid. Also, I found a hearing aid battery that fit and has the right voltage.

This little camera is worth it for me. I bought my first one in 1971 and have had one ever since. But the build quality isn't great so be careful with it if you get it working. The lens is great and it is prefect for vacation and hikes:

Tmax 100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 04-02-2019   #5
Austintatious
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There is a lot of info on the web on these cameras and the battery issues.Here are two.

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/range...c35-automatic/

https://www.35mmc.com/19/05/2018/konica-c35/
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Old 04-12-2019   #6
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Ok, thanks for the tips. I'm going to try and disassemble the camera then, to have a look at the cables. I'll keep you updated.
cheers, Max
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