The hidden, silent killer – check your photo gear now!

A recent acquisition from a neighbor reveals a terrible surprise.
An otherwise good-looking Minolta flash is likely useless after the batteries inside leaked.

We’ve all seen it. You open a battery-powered device only to discover that those not-so-inexpensive AA batteries look like a science experiment gone bad in your favorite piece of photo gear. It doesn’t take long (I’ve seen batteries start to leak in as little as six months). In this case, however, my neighbors left them inside for over twenty years!

What a mess! I had to pry these out with a screwdriver.

Make it a point to check all of your battery-powered gear at least twice a year – better still, always remove the batteries and store them away for your cameras. Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Follow me on Instagram at @ccphotographyai

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by, and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, is this blog’s property and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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SUNday Spotlight – have you checked your batteries lately?

Hi all – I’m back on my battery warpath again. As good as I think I am about removing batteries from my photo gear and whatnot, I get burned again. Thankfully this little disaster wasn’t found in a camera but in one of my now-grown daughter’s toys. I think these have been in for about 25 years so I guess they could have looked worse. The corrosion has ruined the circuits so it’s now toast. Poor Barbie, she should have told us to change the batteries in her store’s display counter.

Don’t let this happen to one of your cameras!

Remember, check your camera’s regular basis, or better yet just remove them to be on the safe side. Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, is this blog’s property and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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When batteries attack and other shop notes – 7.27.19

I purchased a large collection of vintage photogear this week and of course, they’ll always be some victims of battery leakage mixed in. We’ve all been victimized by this process – we leave a battery (mostly alkaline) in a seldom-used camera, remote or toy only to discover that it doesn’t work when we go to use it. Even fresh batteries installed in a device can leak and corrode the battery compartment in as little as weeks! That’s right, I said weeks.

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Caution!

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This battery compartment was so bad that I had to dig out the AA batteries with a screwdriver!

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The corrosive acid from the battery destroyed the battery compartment cover and latch.

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The same camera with the corrosion removed and the compartment door repaired. The camera is fully operational again. It’s still a bit ugly but at least it works.

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Electronic flash units are notorious for finding battery corrosion. I believe that the slight continuous drain on the battery (called parasitic drain) expedites battery failure – sometimes in as little as three weeks!

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Same flash unit – clean and fresh and fully operational!

The best and safest way to clean these corroded contacts is with a cotton swab (Q-tip) dipped in straight white distilled vinegar. Go slowly, don’t touch the corroded batteries and gently dab the vinegar on the corrosion (you’ll see it bubble). Use plenty of swabs and reapply the vinegar being extremely careful not to oversoak the part. Too much fluid may migrate deeper inside your camera or flash causing additional and often fatal damage. I finish with a swab dipped in Windex and gently clean the metal and plastic surfaces until shiny. I’d say I’m successful about half of the time – it’s harder to save flash units as the corrosive gases often migrate internally to critical circuits destroying them beyond repair.

On cameras where the battery compartment is away from critical circuits will have a better chance of being rescued. Give it a try if you discover that this corrosive mess is trying to destroy your fun (and device). It just may work. Please note, the chemicals that you are using and exposing yourself to are DANGEROUS and you should exercise extreme caution whenever attempting to salvage a corroded part. Wash your hands afterward and keep your fingers away from your mouth and eyes! There, the legal part is done!

While repairing a Pentax ME Super’s baulky mirror (staying in the up position) I noticed these numbers beneath the camera’s base plate. They look like a date to me, possibly a manufacture date. The 55 looks to be the year using the Japanese Showa date. To convert this into a Western date simply add 25 (1980). Of course, the next two numbers should be the month and day (August 30). This fits within the manufacturing dates of the camera which are reported to be 1979-1984. Do you have a Pentax? If you’re interested to see your date code simply remove the 3 tiny screws (be careful, they are small and often grow legs after removing them) taking note as to which screw was removed from which hole.

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With the bottom plate removed on this Pentax ME Super, you’ll see a date code (maybe) similar to this one. The first two numbers are the Showa date. Add 25 to that date to arrive at the Western year (55 + 25 = 80) 1980.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.