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Friday, May 5, 2017

Takane Mine Six IIF

Ever heard of the Takane Mine Six IIF ? No ? Don't worry, this is one of those obscure Japanese folding cameras from the '50s.

It was made by Takane Kogaku. You can find some historical and technical information on Camerapedia .

Takane Mine Six IIF

The first thing you put your eyes on is the beautiful Takumar lens. Yes, a Takumar, nothing that you usually see over there. It's an Asahi T-Takumar coated 75mm f3.5 triplet. The diaphragm iris has 10 blades and a beautiful, almost circular shape.

The shutter is a COPAL with speeds from 1s to 1/300s plus B.

Contrary to the vast majority of folding cameras with Copal and Compur shutters, the focus is not done by rotating the first element, but by moving back and forward the entire shutter/lens assembly. If you try to rotate the front lens you will unscrew it, be advised.

Takane Mine Six IIF lens and shutter

One interesting thing is the possibility to shoot in 6x6 or 6x4.5 formats. There's a switch near the viewfinder to overlay the 6x4.5 mask over the 6x6 viewfinder. If shooting in 6x4.5 you'll need to use a built-in foldable mask for the film, but you can't shoot both formats on the same film roll. 

There's a coupled coincident image rangefinder for focus adjustment. The viewfinder is very basic.

I would rank this camera along with the AGFA Isolette with the Apotar but better than Agnar and Zeiss Nettars. 

Repair tips:

If you see small perforations or even small tears on the bellows, you may try to fix them using black liquid electrical tape. It worked in my case.

If you need to CLA the lens/shutter assembly I have good news. The front group (2-element) goes out simply by unscrewing it. The rear element likewise.

The shutter mechanism is exposed after removing the first element and the retaining screw around the lens thread. Then remove the cover plate and apply lighter fluid all over the gears. Let it dry and then lube the gear axis, applying a light mineral oil with a toothpick on the proper places.

If you need to clean and re-lube the shutter, remove the front and rear lens groups first. 

Clean the lenses using your preferred method and reassemble everything. Easy peasy.

The rangefinder adjustment is done by a small screw mounted on an L shaped part, visible on the lens and shutter image above.

The focus adjustment is awkward. Its helicoid is accessed by the rear side and it's a pain to adjust. Just use a spanner to adjust it, but be careful to not damage the bellows or the rear element.

If you need to disassemble the helicoid, I wish you good luck...

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