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1951 Belca Beltica viewfinder problem

aennaeka

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Hello everyone!

I just got this beautiful Belca Beltica I (1951) from my grandpa! Everything seems to be working alright, except the viewfinder. It's incredibly cloudy and dirty and I don't see any way I could use it to focus. If anyone has any advice I would be grateful!

(the second picture shows what is viewable through the viewfinder)

IMG_20200807_203008.jpgIMG_20200807_202944.jpg
 

Roger S

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The inside of the viewfinder is dirty and possibly moldy. The lucky part here is that it's independent of the actual photo taking part of the body, so if you should decide not to pay a shop to repair it, you can shoot almost blind by setting the distance ring and closely estimating the distance for focus.

It's not a great option, but it works. Otherwise the viewfinder needs to be disassembled for cleaning. That would probably be an expensive shop bill.
 

Phill104

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Worth checking to see if the viewfinder is of the removable type. Some of those of that era were.
 

BrianS

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I can make out some screws on the side of the viewfinder. Can you post some close-ups?

Typically the viewfinder haze up. They usually clean up beautifully of you can get to the inner surfaces. I use Q-Tips and lens cleaning fluid.
Look for small set screws on each end of the finder. The front of the viewfinder may be pressed on, usually a small screw driver can work the front off. It will be easier to get some hints with some close-ups.

https://flic.kr/p/jEtXC
Does it look like his on top? If so- have you tried taking the screws out?

From the looks of the viewfinder, it is parallax corrected, but does not have a focus aid such as a rangefinder. SO- focus is "guestimate", and the viewfinder shows the proper framing. Your camera has the best of the lenses offered.
 

aennaeka

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Thanks everybody for such quick and helpful replies! I will attach some close ups of the viewfinder here. I haven't tried to open it yet because I wasn't sure if that was a good idea, but assume that this Will be my next step as I can't afford a professional repair at the moment.
Also, do you have any tips on how to train the eye to estimate the focusing distance? I've always been very bad at estimating distances, I can work my way around a manual focus but just estimating the distance I am predicting mostly out of focus images for myself.. Thanks everybody for the great help already, so happy to have found this forum!
 

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BrianS

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If you are going to try this- go slowly, I would take out the two top screws and see if to top comes up.

You need to set exposure- (which depends of film speed, shutter speed, and F-stop) and distance for the camera. If you have a Smartphone- there are "Light meter apps". There are also distance measuring apps.



There are real light meters and real optical rangefinders on Ebay, devices that were available at the time your camera was sold.


 
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