F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.


Camera Maintenance and Repair by Thomas Tomosy

Reviewed in Classic Camera Magazine number 27.

This book is certainly not what it claims to be [i.e. comprehensive] but it is nevertheless an interesting and potentially useful guide for the beginner in repairing cameras and related equipment. It is no substitute for the skilled service engineer in a manufacturer's official service department. The author does make this clear in the text, where emphasis is placed on the requirement to allow months rather than hours for a repair; the necessity to have a dedicated working space where work in progress can be left in situ, rather than somewhere like the kitchen table; the repeated advice to practice on "junk" cameras; and the clear information throughout the book that cameras are easy to damage beyond repair.

For those with the inclination and aptitude, Mr. Tomosy, a "European-trained master camera technician", goes through the preliminaries, such as selection of tools and materials, and cameras to practice on. He goes into an explanation of basic techniques, followed by useful flowcharts explaining in detail the operational sequence of different types of camera.

A good number of pages are devoted to techniques of cleaning and lubrication, and readily-available materials for these purposes are described (with U.S.A. brand names). Testing and diagnostic methods are dealt with, and one chapter explains how to make several simple testing instruments.

Pages 78 to 149, the major part of the book, are devoted to brief or extended comments on about 200 different cameras. The author's idea is to explain how to cope with features which might be considered unusual e.g. where screws are to be found, or how to unclip an item. Many examples include photographs (often unclear) showing disassembly. This is however no substitute for a well-produced service manual. There is a glossary and index.

To sum up, this is a good introduction to camera repairs for someone wishing to take up this activity as a hobby, but only experience can teach the skills required. It may also be found useful by the more experienced repairer. Most people who like post-war cameras will probably find it interesting to read.

We particularly liked the author's practical approach. There is none of the "Take a pound of cooked potatoes" style which is so often found in all kinds of manuals. They can often leave the frustrated reader frantically hunting through other books to fill in the gaps. We have not tried repairing any cameras yet, and it may be that the gaps will only show when we put the words into practice, but we do not think there are any gaps.

We also liked the author's caution. This is not a miracle-manual. To get the best from it will require working at the skills. This is made absolutely clear. Highly recommended.

This book is no longer available from amazon. It is, however, worth trying to find as it contains a lot of the basics upon which the next book depends.

Note that we are delighted to be able to offer site visitors the chance to order books directly. We suggest UK residents will find shorter delivery times and lower postal costs from UK-based amazon.co.uk while US residents will prefer the US parent, amazon.com. Where availability is limited to one country or the other, I have tried to indicate this.

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