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Any way to clean a focusing ring?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by clengman, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    The focusing ring on my oly 14-42 mkI kit lens seems to be kind of gummed up. Is there any good way to clean it/lubricate it? I don't recall that anything was ever spilled on it. Not sure why the movement is so sticky all of a sudden. I appreciate any info. Thanks!
  2. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    So... I'd still like to try to come up with some kind of solution for my sticky focusing ring on my kit zoom. How difficult would it be to remove the ring?

    If I don't remove the ring, perhaps I could use a little acetone on a q-tip and run it around one edge of the ring, turn the ring back and forth to work it in to the crevice and loosen any dirt, and blot the excess solvent with some tissue from the other edge of the ring? Will this damage the lens?

    Does anyone know anything about how the lens is put together?
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'd worry that anything you did to try to clean it would just force it deeper inside the lens.
  4. c_henry

    c_henry Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    On my lenses (and bodies) I use 303 Aerospace Protectant and a toothbrush.

    Places like the grip where it comes into contact with sweaty hands look great.

  5. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Ok so you can get a new one for $75 or less. So why not screw it it up and tell us about it? But really cleaning lenses is EXTREMELY easy.
  6. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Hey... $75 is $75.

    ...and I'm not talking about the glass. That is indeed easy. I'm talking about the focusing ring and the track it rides in. If I can get the ring off the barrel without having to take apart the whole thing, I'd do that. Is anyone aware of any diagrams or illustrations of a tear down of a lens like this?
  7. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I've never seen anything like that..but hey someone has to be first!

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  8. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Mine feels a bit gritty as well. Since these are focus-by-wire there are going to be electrical contacts rather than mechanical linkages underneath. It's a good bet that they use flexible printed circuits inside and those and probably the plastic ring itself would not enjoy an acetone bath at all.
  9. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    So I started disassembling the lens. I got as far as removing the lens mount. I thought maybe the external parts might just slide off the barrel once the mount was off, but that wasn't the case. There was no obvious next step other than to begin removing internal components. Didn't seem like fun so I put it back together. There were two tiny brass washers for each of the four screws that hold the mount to the barrel. It was a total PITA to get the tiny washers on the tiny screws and keep everything lined up with the holes on the barrel. It took me 5x as long to get the mount back in as it did to take it off. I would not recommend opening up one of these lenses.

    MM: I figured acetone or alcohol would be the best way to go considering that there are probably electrical contacts in there. Just allow enough time to dry before operating the lens. I was more worried about acetone taking paint of the barrel than dissolving any coatings on the electronics. I think they use some pretty serious solvents to clean components after fabrication and before assembly. I don't know, though. I'm not anxious to ruin my most-used lens no matter how cheap it is.
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    What you should have been worried about is the acetone melting the plastic parts. Rubbing alcohol is not an effective solvent for grease.

    The little "washers" are probably shims that properly align the lens to the body.

    If the lens needs fixing, send it to Olympus.
  11. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Ever noticed how nail polish remover comes in a plastic bottle? LDPE in fact. LDPE is not very solvent-resistant. I'm not worried about acetone dissolving any plastic parts.

    You say shim, I say washer. Regardless I was careful to put them back where they came from.

    How much do you think olympus would charge just to look at a lens let alone make a repair? If it was truly nonfunctional, I'd just buy a new one. If it was a $300 lens, then I'd think about sending it out for a repair. This is just a minor annoyance for which I was hoping to find a quick fix.

    But hey... Thanks for your poor advice and condescending attitude.
  12. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
  13. x2800m

    x2800m New to Mu-43

    Nov 17, 2011
  14. relic

    relic Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    North Carolina, USA
    I agree that using acetone is a very bad idea, and that I would send it to Olympus for repair. However, if you are quite intent on using a solvent no matter the consequences, then perhaps trying a very small (trace) amount of electrical contact cleaner as used for old TV tuners (e.g. from Radio Shack) might be less destructive (I would spray it, away from the lens, on a toothpick and use the tip of the toothpick to apply a tiny amount to the focusing ring).
  15. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Someone else correct me if I'm wrong but the 14 - 42 Mk1 is not a 'focus by wire' lens
    An example of a focus by wire lens is the new 12 - 50 Olympus kit lens for the O- MD
    The Mk 1 14 - 42 is a mechanical focussing lens is it not ?
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