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
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
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
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