Category Archives: Lenses

Olympus 50mm clean out

Since I just acquired an Olympus SLR, I needed a lens to go along with it. I was able to pick up an Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 that needed a cleaning.

fZuiko50mmElementsThe F means the lens has … hmm, ABCDEF … 6 elements. It’s always handy to hunt down an illustration of the elements and groups, cause if you put them in the wrong order or flip one of them around, you ain’t got much of a good lens.

With this particular lens there was black flakes littered between most of the elements, so this means I need to take it apart.

DSC00683From the back first … just to be different.

Ok, remove the three screws.

You can now lift the entire mounting ring off.

 

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The rear element group is encased as a complete unit.

Unscrew it.

Hmm, in my case I could not get this to move … the last element is secured on by a threaded ring … unscrew this to get into there.

Since I could not get this group removed, I could not get to the inner element to clean it … so now I have to go in from the front.

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The name plate ring has two notches … so unscrew that using a spanning wrench.

 

 

 

 

DSC00692The inner ring pulls off.

Be aware of the ball bearing on the aperture ring below it … you don’t want to loose that.

DSC00691You can see the holes where the bearing will sit.

These are the click stops for the aperture ring.

Note the little lip … it sits in a slot. Remember that when you put it back on.

 

 

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Pull off the aperture ring … watch the bearing (not pop out and bounce around on your table).

DSC00689Note the arm sticking out of one side … that arm couples with the aperture ring.

 

 

 

The front lens group is also encased as a complete unit … but, it is not so easy to get them out as one.

Use a rubber grippy tool to unscrew the group … do not grasp the outside as this will not move.

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What might happen is that you unscrew the top part.

Then you have to unscrew the rest of it.

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DSC00684Here is where you should remember to look back at the first image in this post.

Warning: the middle element is not secured so it will fall out with a spacer. Best to loosen then flip over so everything doesn’t just fall out all over the table.

Note how the elements are arranged.

Now you can get to the front of the rear group.

Check out the aperture and mechanisms.

 

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Dirt, dust, ding, and … fungus.

This lens was in bad shape … though I expected that based on the sellers images.

s-l1600 - CopyIt needed a body cleaning, and also the built in metal lens hood has a dent. The previous owner did not try to fix the dent so continued to retract it as seen by the scrapped of black paint on the inside.

… those things are doable … the fungus, well that will be this story.

I searched the web and it appears nobody has posted an attempt to take this lens apart … not being sure if I could get inside the element groups (sometimes they are encased) I took a chance on purchasing this lens.

You will need a wide spanner wrench as the front element is huge.

First I needed to get the built in hood off. First pull off the rubber ring. Remove the black tape. Then finally pull off the black metal top ring.

Now you can slide the hood off … in my case some bending had to start first.

You can use a filter ring vise, wood dowels and a hammer, etc … to put the hood back into shape.

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The front lens label ring is notched to allow a spanning tool to unscrew the entire front lens group … there are four large elements in this.

Be nice, and don’t slip … this group is very secure.

Once unscrewed. When you hear it pop out of the last thread, cup the end and turn the lens over … it should just fall out.

 

DSC00669You can split the top group in half to get into it.

There is more tape … remove it, then you can unscrew the top part.

The rear section has some “lock tight” type substance to keep it from unscrewing … I did not have to go there.

Clean up the elements.

DSC00674Under that front group you can get to the

If you open the aperture you can get at the front of the internal element group to clean it up.

Now to clean your backside … sorry the back of the lens.

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Take out those four screws.

The pull off the mounting ring.

 

 

 

 

 

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I missed taking a picture of the cap … remove the screws that hold that on.

Pull it off, while watching out for the wires.

At the bottom of the wires there is the distance switch set. Take the two screws off that hold it.

Take one end of the spring off the hook.

Remove the four screws that hold the collar on. Remove the collar.

 

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Remove the screws that hold the rear element ring on.

Pull off.

Now you can use the spanner to unscrew the rear element group.

 

 

 

DSC00673You can clean the rear of the internal group.

There, that wasn’t all that difficult eh?

Now put it back together … make sure the aperture lever and focus moves before tightening each part.

Tip: as I suspect the lens hood is the last part you will put on … the top lip should be tight enough so that when the hood is retracted it has contact enough to keep the hood from easily falling forward when you tilt the lens downward. I did a little light bending before I put the black metal ring on.

I was lucky that the fungus was only on the surface of the coatings, so it cleaned off easily. Not much I can do about the body paint … it ain’t white, but I was able to scrape off the green brass erosion on the nameplate.

Legendary … 200

I remember long ago when white lenses started appearing. These lenses were mostly long focal length, very wide aperture, and very expensive. I’m not sure who really started it, but I know Canon has become synonymous with the colour.

Sometime starting in 1985 Minolta started marking their high end telephoto lenses with a white finish. This started with the introduction of their revolutionary Maxxum Auto Focus cameras … 5000, 7000, and 9000.

In ’86 a short little white lens was made, the Maxxum AF 200mm f/2.8 APO (a higher gear speed version replaced it in 1988 … same optics, and possibly upgraded IC).

ElementsGroups20030+ years later these lenses are still sought after and has become legendary … supposed-to-be-legendary lens … ,some have stated that this is one of the the top 5 greatest lenses ever made.

Ehhhh, I am not sure if they are right but pretty much well everyone on the Inter-Web have stated the lens is is one of the best.

Sadly, the white finish (paint) does not tend to survive well after all these years, especially the original, so many of them have the flaked off fugly paint look.

Any whooo, I finally landed one and it is in bad shape !!! As noted above, the white finish is kinda beige now, bubbling and flaking off in places.

It is quite small … 13.4cm tall and only weighing 795g … but it has high resolving power. My quick tests, it appears to be better than my Maxxum 80-200mm f/2.8, and also the SAL70400G @ 400mm compared to a cropped 200mm image. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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A tale of two lenses.

Being separated is not all that bad.

I had posted before about lens element separation, so I thought I would follow up with real life effect of this. I was fortunate enough to get a hold of another lens that has no lens separation, so I thought I would take some picture using them.

twin_lenses

Both are Minolta Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 LTM lenses. The one on the right shows separation of the front element group by the foggy outer ring.

Lets see how usable the lens is … using my Sony NEX-6, APS-C 16Mpixel @ 400ISO.

Wide open at f/2.8 … SOOC. The sun is in front of the camera. No lens hood.

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Notice that there is a drop in contrast as there is a lot of internal light reflection, and a slight drop in sharpness.

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The shot with the good lens looks … good.

I took the first image and used the dehazing tool in Lightroom

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Hmm, not bad … some sharpness is still obtainable in the centre … this is a 100% crop

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I did take some shots with the lens stopped down to f/16 … I didn’t bother to show examples as the images appeared too similar, just take my word for it.

Soooo, if you have just outer separation you could use the lens for that slightly soft portrait imagery that many people replicate using digital post processing plugins/filters … well you can be the judge of that.

Summicron-M collapsible

I got a hold of a Leitz 5cm f/2 Summicron-M collapsible lens … one that was in really bad condition, which was the only way I could afford grabbing this type of lens. I have to say (and I knew for a long time) Leica M stuff is EXPENSIVE (I thought the LTM was over priced).

I did not do a complete dissasembly … like getting at the focus helicoid.

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The lens is actually not that difficult to work on, but just requires a bit of pre-info … since you really don’t want to damage a Leitz.

The front element is very soft so it is noted on being very easy to scratch when cleaning. This one has heavy haze and fungus.

DSC00531To get to the aperture blades you can just unscrew the entire front group off.

Getting between the elements of this front group is something I did not even attempt to do.

DSC00532You can remove the rear cap section, but you have to do one thing first. There is a small screw in the side of the lens barrel, loosen that first

It is a brass screw, so watch out !!!

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before using your spanner wrench to unscrew the rear retaining ring.

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The collapsible lens rides on two slots, and the rear focus ring has two bearings inside it … so try not to loose them … and when putting it back together you have to line up the slots.

You can see the two bearings (the left one is missing in this shot).

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Here is a picture of the end cap attached to show how the slot should line up.

The encap goes on after placing the focus ring on … so you will have to eye ball it.

Then screw the retaining ring back on with the spanner wrench without turning the end cap … then secure the side screw.