How to Repair a Yellow Yashica Rangefinder

Written by tracy morris
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How to Repair a Yellow Yashica Rangefinder
The yellow splitter patch on a rangefinder camera aids in low light focus. (film rangefinder camera isolated on white image by Gleb Semenjuk from

Many models of Yashica rangefinder cameras do not allow the user to focus through the lens; instead, the photographer looks through a rangefinder mechanism that is independent of the lens and film recording mechanisms. To assist in photographing in low light conditions, a yellow secondary image overlays the centre of the rangefinder optics. To focus the camera, the yellow secondary image must align with the clear primary image. In older cameras, this patch is prone to fading as the prism in the rangefinder becomes dim with age. A faded yellow patch makes it difficult to focus in low light conditions.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Black electrical tape
  • Ruler
  • Detail knife

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  1. 1

    Take the rangefinder outdoors on a bright, sunny day and look through the eyepiece. Examine the image that you see to determine the size and shape of the yellow patch in the viewfinder window.

  2. 2

    Cut out a dot of black tape with a detail knife that is the same size and shape as the yellow patch.

  3. 3

    Place the dot of black tape directly onto the viewfinder on the front of the camera. The black tape will block the primary viewfinder image and allow the secondary image in the yellow patch to appear clearer.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have black electrical tape, a black permanent marker will work just as well.
  • On some older rangefinders, the glass splitter beam in the rangefinder may be so faded that the beam must be replaced. The splitter beam is a thin piece of glass that is 50 per cent silvered. You can purchase a replacement beamsplitter from Edmund's Scientifics. Blueprints to replace the optics in a Yashica Rangefinder may be found at the Yashica Guy website.

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