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Aunt's 1930-1940 Kalimar 45mm fixed F/2.8 with a screwy shutter

My mom gave me my great-great aunt's Kalimar 35mm manual-focus (most likely from the 40's or 50's) camera when I was home for Christmas, and I can't find ANYTHING about it anywhere online. There is no model listed anywhere on the camera, save for what's written around the lens. It tells me the lens is a 2.8, and then it says "F=45mm". I assume that either means that it has a fixed focal length of 45 MM or the lens has a diameter of 45 millimeters. The lens itself is threaded like an SLR lens. After that, it says "No. 14152" and then it has a red, capital "A", and then it says "Taikor". On the bottom of the camera it says "T.K.C. Made in Japan" and the leather case it's in, which was obviously made for this EXACT camera, says "Kalimar" on the front. That's all the information I have.

The shutter is the biggest problem I have with it; it doesn't close all the way. Instead, it leaves a misshapen hole in the center of the iris, and it appears that one of the "leaves" of the shutter has come out of its place, and is covering the leaf next to it instead of being covered by it. When you would expect a shutter to be closed, it sits open, exposing the film constantly. When my parents used it in the 70's, it obviously didn't have this problem.

The second problem is that the manual focus is VERY hard to move. I imagine it needs a lubricant of some sort, but I don't know if I should be using a graphite powder, oil, or what. I don't want to ruin anything, so any advice you have as far as cleaning and maintaining would be much appreciated. How do I clean such an antique? It's VERY old, and I imagine very fragile. I think the last real picture that it took was taken in the 70's.

The third problem I have is that I have no idea how to use it. I know the "rules" of photography and what an aperture is and whatnot, but I've never used a camera with no light meter before, and there are knobs and switches that do something, I just don't know what.

Google is coming up empty, as are Yahoo and Ask Jeeves, and Ritz Camera won't even let me pay them to repair it. The nearest National Camera Exchange is 87 miles away from me, and the man I spoke with there only could only refer me to his "buddy who is good with old cameras" to repair this. My only other in-town option is Best Buy, and the 16 year-olds behind the camera counter barely know what film does, let alone how to make it do what it's supposed to do. Does anybody have any bright ideas on where I can go in Minnesota to get this thing fixed, or, God forbid, should I even try to open the thing up and fix it myself?

Being a child of the 90's, I know next to nothing about 35mm even though I sell digital for a living. Does anybody have any idea where I can find a manual for this thing, or a repair facility? What happened to Kalimar? I read that they were purchased by Tiffin, but I don't find anything other than that and a few old cameras for sale on Ebay and Amazon.. Regardless, there is little information about them to be found. Even on here, I've found a few references to Kalimar, but nothing that's quite what I'm looking for. Any ideas or advice would be very, VERY appreciated.

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I have an close family member that has one he is willing to sell. The camera is in great working order.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008


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