I have a Yashica Electro 35, which was inactive for 32(!) years. Now I have restored the camera perfectly, but there is a big problem: rust is on four of the five aperture blades. The rust granules are falling on the rear element. Can I leave it like this and just clean the lens frequently? Or should I remove the blades permanently?

Note: The aperture blades are very thin and on the verge of tearing out; even very tiny holes are present.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is your goal of restoring the camera? Do you want to use it? Or do you want to show the camera? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 6:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Film has a fixed sensitivity and old camera has a very limited shutter speed range, especially ones with leaf cameras. Without the aperture blades you will need to carry an ND8 all day. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user3528438 Or use slow film. Babylon 13, maybe, or Phantome 8. Absolute exposure isn't the problem, so much... \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Aug 11, 2021 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FluidCode, Phosphoric acid paint is reactive to iron and converts iron rust into iron phosphate and produces some hydrogen and other phosphates (dependent on the materials present), but this is effective only when the Iron surface is thick enough to resist the reactivity. These aperture blades are very thin and "weak" and may have some effect in the texture. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 17:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey everybody, comments to improve the question and seek clarification are good. But please make recommendations as answers, rather than as "answerment" comments to the question. See also, Please put your answers in the answers section, even if they're short Thanks. =) \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Aug 11, 2021 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


Neither of your stated options is a good one.

Given the stated condition of the aperture blades, the best option would be to replace them with good ones from a (non-functioning for some other reason) donor camera. For some few shutters, it's possible to fabricate new aperture blades (easier than for a leaf shutter, since they don't need to move rapidly at high acceleration).

If you leave the blades as they are, you'll find the aperture quits working completely before much use has occurred; worse, the shutter is likely to fail as well due to rust granules getting into the tiny moving parts. If you remove them, you will have little control over exposure and no control of depth of field.

The most practical solution here is to buy another Yashica 35, either as a blade donor or a user, and keep the less functional camera as a parts donor. There will surely be other parts you'll need if you continue to use one of these; a donor camera is a good thing to have.


If you don't mind shooting wide open all the time, go ahead and remove them.


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