Doctoring a Weathermatic A

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A couple of times recently I would have liked to have had a camera that was seriously waterproof. This project is about doing a mod on a Weathermatic A so that it can use reloaded 110 cassettes.  A usable waterproof camera.

The modification is non-destructive. What I do is remove the sensing mechanisms for the 110 system and this can be replaced at any time.

You have a camera that takes 110-spaced shots but has no lock against winding on before taking the current frame. You can waste frames but..

lever rust02

What should have been any easy start was hampered by what turned out to be a rusted cocking lever.

I finally ruined the driver slot, in spite of a great deal of care, and had to drill two holes for a better attack. A bit of a mess. The silly part is that you don’t actually have to remove the cocking lever to disassemble the camera from the housing.

The disassembly of the Weathermatic from its yellow housing is logical and easy.


lever new holes

lever ball bearing02

But you have to note that there are things to lose.

On the left is a ball bearing under the wind leaver.

And everywhere there are rubber seals.

Also, under the distance and exposure knobs (right) there are screws, ball bearings and springs. Disassemble with care and note what goes where. I had to resort to the service manual.



The only complication is getting the guts of the camera out of the waterproof housing. When all screws have been removed, the shutter lever has to be advanced and this ejects the innards. But you may have to fiddle a little.




Once out of the casing, you can get at the winding plate and remove it off the body. It is held in place by a number of screws that are of two different sizes.

As you do this various components will become loose. Things can get in the way as they flop about.

When you have taken out all the screws you have to ease the winding plate out to get the ‘perceive’ lever out of its slot.

This is done by lifting the back edge (the bottom in the photo) and wiggling the plate back so that the lever comes through its slot in the body moulding. It will come out cleanly with a bit of gentle effort.

the guts

The action side of the cocking plate is shown on the right.

The 430E and 450TX that I have modified basically required the removal of the ‘perceive’ lever but the Weathermatic requires it (A) and the toggle lever marked as B to be removed.

The spring tensioning the ‘perceive’ lever has to be taken out or hooked onto one of the posts.


Close ups of the two to be removed.

Both are held by a screw. I remove the lever and put the screw back in place on the plate.

perceive lever02


The levers now gone.

perceive lever gone

toggle gone

Re-assembly is fairly straight forward.

There is the plastic strip that is used to .. It has to be slotted back under the camera housing.

 You have to cock the lever in order to manipulate the innards back into the yellow casing.

Then there is the assembly of the distance and exposure knobs. Both have default position clickers driven by a spring and ball bearing. Aligning these proved to be tiresome and I finally left them off. They have no effect on performance.



The test strip from the modified camera shows the normal 110 spacing.

You will note that there is a rectangular ‘bleed’ coming into the top left of each frame. This is due to light being able to come through the ‘perceive’ lever slot. It does not effect the rest of the image.

film strip


And a nice contrasty Rokkor shot.

It is difficult to scan or copy 110 and 16mm frames. I tend to use a copy attachment for my Canon A620.

example shot02


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