This is far from a unique situation to be in, but the information on the web is somewhat vague in places.
I have just purchased an early Yashica Electro 35, which seems to be in reasonable condition, however it doesn't work properly.
When winding the advance lever, the actuated post is being caught on the pawl at the base of the camera, and there is the standard "clunk" noise at the start of the transit of the advance lever.
However... when I hit the shutter, sometimes the shutter opens partially, never fully, and it doesn't close of its own accord. When I then crank the advance lever again, the shutter snaps shut again.
My gut feeling is that this isn't a pad of death issue, but that the shutter blades are sticking.
When I took the base off the camera, there was some gunk around the gearing for the film advance mechanism which looks quite similar to the gunk I've removed from 80s computers, which coupled with the age of the camera suggests it might have been owned by a smoker (made in the 60s, used through the 70s, this is pretty likely).
My plan at the moment is to take the front off the lens and clean down the shutter blades with 99% isopropyl alcohol, and see if this resolves the issue, but I would like to get any thoughts from other electro 25 owners, technicians and anybody experienced with camera repairs to see if I can confirm the diagnosis before I start.
My two specific questions are:
1 - Does the pad of death issue affect only the mechanism which cocks the shutter in a binary way, ie, it either engages or it doesn't, or is it possible for it to partially work? If so, I'll investigate this first.
2 - Has anybody had success resolving a stuck shutter using the isopropyl alcohol (or other cleaning solvent) approach, or is there a better option I would be able to try?
I have a slotted spanner wrench arriving tomorrow as I can strip down the lens, and various switch/contact cleaners at my disposal, but I'm reluctant to start spraying stuff into the mechanism without any idea of whether this is going to break things further.
I'd been keen to get this camera working as I rather like the lens, but it's also a learning experience for me, so any advice or insights would be very much welcome.