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07-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
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About a Chinon CE-4s

I recenty bought a Pentax lens and got a Chinon CE-4s film camera thrown in for free (actually, I don't know whether it was the lens I was paying for or the camera!). But anyway, the Chinon is likely going to need a CLA and new seals around the rear. This'll likely cost around $60 -- $80 + tax. Is this a good enough camera to justify such an expense, or should I just be happy I got a good lens at a decent price and forget the camera it came with?

07-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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Funny, I'm in the exact same scenario! Curious for an answer now myself.
07-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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It is a nicely featured camera and (if working) is probably worth at least replacing the seals. I don't know if I would spring for a full CLA unless it is very dirty. My personal rule of thumb for this type of camera (mid-80s, electronic shutter, K-mount) is that if it works at all, it probably would not benefit from service (there is little to adjust). If it does not work, the cost to repair is probably much more than it would cost to buy an equivalent working body. If you have a steady hand, tweezers, lighter fluid (Ronsonol), and one of Jon Goodman's kits (~ $10 USD) you can do the seals and mirror bumper yourself.

The manual is available at the Butkus site for free (donations accepted):

Chinon CE-4 camera manual, instruction


Steve
07-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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My first SLR was a CE4s and I still have it, but sadly it no longer works. It gave me many years of great service but eventually the electronics misbehaved - I believe due to corrosion. I took a lot of photos in humid rainforest, and the Chinon didn't have the kind of weather sealing of current pentax models. If cleaning and resealing gave you a working camera for only $80 and you're keen to shoot film, I'd say it was a good deal. However, if there's problems with the shutter or light meter, it may not be worth doing. Have you tried shooting a roll of film to see if the shutter and light meter are working?

I'm impressed that people are still keen enough to shoot film!

07-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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No, I haven't yet shot a roll of film with it. What I do know is the back seals need replacement, and the grip matte is peeling off. Otherwise looks very good. I'm not sure if I want to go through the trouble of testing it knowing some repairs are inevitable. The reason is this: There's only one shop left that does repairs here and the turn-around time is at least six weeks. This same place sells some used film cameras, completely refurbed and CLA'd, all with a one-year warranty. I can get a more "classic" Pentax for the price of repairing the Chinon (likely less). I'll probably go that route when I really feel I want a film camera. Dilemmas, dilemmas... Honestly, I'd much rather have a fully manual camera such as a K1000 or the likes. I really love digital, but I want to learn to use a camera, and the forementioned K1000 seems the way to go.
And if anyone knows how to make digital (I have a K-30) black&white look as good as film, please do let me know. I'm not kidding - this is another reason I really want to try film.
07-21-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
And if anyone knows how to make digital (I have a K-30) black&white look as good as film, please do let me know. I'm not kidding - this is another reason I really want to try film.
You can come close. I have a package of presets for Lightroom called Monochrome Toolkit. Those plus the various color sliders allow for some pretty good monochrome converstions, some of which are pretty hard to tell from film. For example:



...Sorry fellow filmies...I could not resist!


Steve
07-22-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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Replacing seals is pretty easy to do yourself. Buy a piece of foam rather than a kit - kits are over-priced and if you make a mess you have to buy more, if you make a mess with foam cut from a larger piece then you cut yourself a new one and try again.
07-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #8
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Steve, that picture is gorgeous- but I think I can still tell it's digital. No mind, digital is a medium unto itself and photos like that tell me how capable a medium it is. But I would really prefer to spend as little time and money in post-processing as I'm on a camera budget and Lightroom just isn't for me right now.
I happen to use AfterShot Pro because it's less expensive than Lightroom, and I've heard good things about it. I have a ways to go getting good at it. Have you any experience with that program? Maybe with some patience and a lot of practise I can start getting acceptable results.

Jonathan, my camera repair capabilities rival those of an average jar of mayonnaise. I best leave anything to a professional!


Last edited by Schmidt; 07-22-2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: because i am evidently brain-dead this morning
07-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Buy a piece of foam rather than a kit - kits are over-priced
I have done it both ways. The devil is in getting the proper thickness and type of foam to start with and managing consistent width on the cut. There is also the matter that various materials and thickness are used in the various seals. I just did my Minolta SRT 101 a few weeks ago. The door edge strips took one type of material (closed cell foam) with the hinge seal taking another (close-flocked fabric). There are also two other small hinge area seals that also different in material and thickness. The mirror foam is both thicker and different (open cell foam) than any of the others.

Jon Goodman's kits cost about $10 USD (postage included) and contain detailed instructions, all seals (not just the door seals) and a handy tool for removing the existing material. You can buy the materials from Micro-Tools.com, but Jon's kits are a better deal.


Steve
06-28-2015, 07:30 PM   #10
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Great camera!

i love this camera (CE 4S)! It was my first and only 35 mm SLR, purchased in the 70s. I took thousands of great pics with it over the years, and it never failed to perform flawlessly. It offered quality without the cost of some other brands. Sadly, it was stolen when going through customs at O'Hare a couple years ago, after 30-plus years. I have since purchased several used ones on Ebay. While both took good pics, the most recent one had a piece of foam in the lens compartment that was flaking, with adhesive getting all over, so I have moth balled it. But if I could by this camera new again, I would in an instant.

For the user that wants to learn how to use a 355 mm camera, the K1000, being totally manual, is probably a better bet. But this was a great semi-automatic one.

Sorry for the lateness of this post in relation to the OP. Juts finding this forum.
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