A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Beauty Beaumat rangefinder camera from eBay which had a variety of faults. Today I decided to see if it was repairable and so this post covers the procedure I used whilst stripping down a Beauty Beaumat.
Images from striping down a Beauty Beaumat rangefinder.
Normally in these type of posts I would write a description of what I did and try to point out any particular areas of difficulty to look out for whilst dismantling with a view to helping with re-assembly.
This post is slightly different however, because I discovered as I was taking the camera apart that, as I suspected, it has been stripped down before, it had several screws missing and basically the unit is not repairable by me and so I’ve consigned it to the spares box.
This means I didn’t for example, worry about unsoldering the flash sync socket which was wired to the lens – I just cut the wire. I also wasn’t worried about making a note of any different screw lengths because I knew I wouldn’t be re-assembling the camera.
I’ll try, however, to just note things which may be important if you are using these pictures as a guide to fixing your Beauty Beaumat.
The top cover was very easy to remove, basically only needing the film advance centre to be unscrewed, the rewind crank to be removed (by holding the shaft with a screwdriver in the camera body and turning the crank), a single screw in the end of the case removed and a nut under the rewind crank to be extracted. The nut under the rewind crank had slots for a lens spanner which made it relatively easy to remove.
With the top cover off, the rangefinder unit lifted off with just two screws removed – there is a spacer nut under one of them which needs to be kept safe.
The frame counter assembly lifted off the camera by removing all the washers on the film advance shaft and unscrewing a single retaining clip, but in my camera the spring which provided the energy to move the frame counter was disconnected and sitting in the bottom of the counter dial assembly. I also found, after I’d removed the frame counter, that the spring on the frame counter latch was bent and in the wrong position.
Although the film advance was turning the shutter cocking shaft, the actual shutter was not cocking and the focus assembly was locked solid. I removed the shutter assembly from the camera by undoing the ring nut in the camera body and the shutter fell off the front of the camera.
To get into the shutter unit itself, I removed the front lens element and lifted off the front ISO setting assembly and light cell and the released the locking ring which holds the speed setting ring in place.
At this point, because of the missing screws and the way the lens mount was not sitting properly on the body, it was obvious that the camera would not be repairable so I packed the parts into my ‘spares’ box ready for the day I pick up another Beauty Beaumat.
I did come to the conclusion however, that the actual fault with the shutter, which was stopping the cocking action, was probably just that the slow speed escapement and self timer mechanisms were probably just gummed up so I may be able to use the parts to fix another camera in the future.