Vintage Camera Battery Alternative Replacement

About: If X does not exist, we build X.

If you're a film photography enthusiast like me, you must've gotten a camera with battery that has no longer exist to this day.

I got a Yashica TL Electro X ITS which I bought from ebay. It is a film camera which was introduced in 1971 as a successor for the non-ITS model. The problem after receiving the package was I found that the original battery was no longer available, neither does it sold in stores anymore. Without the battery, the camera will not be functioning well (eg. shutter speeds, light meter, battery checker light).

According to a discussion in Flickr forum, the original battery which was a mercury based was outlawed due to its harmful chemical.

In the same thread, one of the posters suggested using some alternative batteries such as 28L Lithium, or a 4SR44 (silver) or 4LR44 (alkaline) battery, etc.

However, this was not the case for me because most of the batteries in the list isn't as easy to find in stores plus very costly. Except for the LR44 which is available in most stores nearby. It doesn't cost much, it's only RM 3 (0.7 USD) for 5 batteries in a bundle. Very inexpensive compare to the other ones.

Supplies:

  1. LR44 batteries (x4)
  2. Tape
  3. Aluminium foil

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Step 1: Wrapping the Battery

  1. Stack the batteries in -ve to +ve manner.
  2. Wrap it with a tape so it sticks together

Step 2: Putting in the Battery

Now we need to use the aluminium foil to fill the gap between the battery cover and the battery itself. Because without this foil, the cover won't reach the battery as there is a small gap between it. I use aluminium foil because it can conduct electricity nicely between the batteries.

  1. Put the battery first (follow which pole is which)
  2. Fold the foil as small as the hole
  3. Make sure the folded foil is thick enough to fill the gap between the cover.
  4. Close the battery hole with the cap

Step 3: Test It

After everything is done, you should see the battery checker lit on. Varies from camera to camera. Mine is on top of the body.

If in any case the battery checker doesn't lit, try reinstall the battery and the folded foil. Make sure everything is touched and not leaving any gap like I mentioned before.

Happy shooting!

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