Tales of Lens Surgery

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Artorius, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Hello folks, so today, just about 30 minutes ago I performed my first lens surgery. I'll let you know I'm not well versed in these things, I've only had my GH2 since December, but I'm having a lot of fun. Anyways! I have been using a lot of adapted lenses and when I first got into adapted lenses I was a terrible buyer. Anything cheap I bought right away. So, I purchased an Auto-Kentar 35mm f2.8 AR. Problem was, the Kentar was stuck wide open even though the aperture ring worked as it should. So, I shelved the lens for quite sometime. However, today I was feeling adventurous and broke out two pairs of tweezers (1 big, 1 small), 3 screwdrivers (2 phillips, and 1 jewelers flathead), a flashlight, and a pair of latex gloves.

    I proceeded to unscrew the mount first. After that point I really had no idea what I was doing. I removed the aperture spring, effectively de-clicking the lens(as I'd heard the spring is what makes it click) just for fun. I also removed the pin in the mount which needed to be depressed to move the aperture. With my tweezers I also removed what looked like lint or dust. Finally, I fixed the aperture by removing and repositioning the aperture ring. I had to take the hook which was hanging off of it, and match with the perforation in the internal ring which surrounded and controlled the diaphragm. This solved the issue of only being able to use the lens wide open.

    So I effectively de-clicked the lens, made it easier to turn, and fixed the aperture! I had nothing to lose as it was not functional before.

    Anybody else has stories of lens surgery they'd like to share? Also, did I go about this wrong and in a way that would damage the lens? Any suggestions on how I could have done this differently or perhaps safer in terms of the lens? All comments and stories are welcome!
  2. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Real Name:
    How did you have a clue where to start?
  3. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Mostly, I guessed my way through things and used some common sense. I thought all the glass would be exposed when I removed the mount! :tongue:

    However, I just saw that there were screws on the bottom and not the top so I started there and carefully just kept unscrewing things. I even unscrewed a ring between the aperture and focus rings which I found out was unnecessary to do and just put it back. Overall, I just improvised without really knowing what I was doing, but just trying not to break anything. Besides removing the pin for the aperture I also removed a little bracket that I probably should have put back. However, there doesn't seem to be any loose parts in the lens, which leads me to believe it was used in the autofocus mechanism. Although, I could be and probably am wrong.

    In the end I put the aperture ring on wrong, the markings are on the wrong side :tongue: I'll probably open it up again just to position the ring right and get the markings to match up on the barrel with the red arrow so I know what aperture I'm at at any given time.
  4. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I have "operated" on several. Some successful, and some not. I only open up lenses that already have a problem, and not very valuable. Some are not too hard to get into. But some designs were never intended it be "serviced" by owner!
  5. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Would you be interested in sharing any of your operations with us? I'd be very interested!
  6. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I am not a lens tech, or professional. I rarely tackle one. And I am sure not going to try to demonstrate my crude, "Blunderbuss" attacks. Proceed at your own risk,.....and probably loss! :eek:
  7. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    My aim with this thread wasn't to encourage dismantling and probably breaking well made, or expensive glass. However, my Auto-Kentar had a broken aperture mechanism and only cost $10. Therefore, I felt safe taking it apart. I hope you didn't get the wrong idea about what I was doing here. Just interested in reading about other people's adventures (or misadventures:tongue:).
  8. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Understood completely. I have actually thrown away the pieces of a few "hopeless" cases. I have nearly quit buying very cheap lenses. Just not worth it to me.
  9. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Totally understand. I'm quite new to interchangeable lens cameras. As I said I barely got my first camera- a Panasonic GH2, in December. Being I'm a student with no income I really had to go the adapted lens route. Although I did pick up a Sigma 19mm. I've just happened to be lucky and pick up some decent old glass along the way. Now that I'm more educated on the subject, I'm saving up for some great native glass. However, this was a really interesting and fun experience which I had some pleasure in performing.
  10. ill_dawg

    ill_dawg Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2010
    I took apart an old m42 lens that had a similar problem. In that lens, there was a little ball bearing that would 'click' into little grooves. I lost it a couple times, but it always seemed to turn up later. That lens was a freebie rescued from an attic, so I didn't feel too bad about playing doctor. Glad to hear yours worked out as well.

    Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk HD
  11. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I've saved a few this way myself.
  12. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Interesting thread so far. By the way, that "spring that makes it click" and "a little ball bearing that would 'click' into little grooves" is systematically called a "detent."
  13. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    kind of a side hobby for me.

    - de-clicked all my OM Zuikos and Leica R's (I'm mostly a film guy)... not a difficult prospect at all with the Leicas, but fairly involved with the Zuikos.

    - got a "broken" Leica D 14-50/2.8-3.5 with the infamous "stuck at 22mm" problem... read up on the issue, then opened it up from the side to re-screw and locktite the three trouble screws. No problems since then, a fantastic cheap (for me) lens.

    - got a free Olympus OM Zuiko 50/1.4 with a frozen focus mechanism and some sand or other grit in the internals. Completely dismantled it, found and fixed a bent brass guide pin, cleaned everything, re-greased everything, and put it back together (a few times before I got it right ;) ). Semi-free 50/1.4 which I use a fair amount... and the optics are still superb.

    - cleaned out a similarly free fungused-up Carsen OM-mount 135/2.8. Never really used the lens afterwards, but had enough fun just tinkering with it.
  14. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Interesting thread. I too bought a "cheap" lens that sounded great but was not so good. It's a canon FD 100mm f2.8. Brand new *but* it's made for some purpose and the focus as well as the aperture ring are "locked". I don't know what to do with it. I removed the lower ring that covers the mounting area, but could go no further. I have no idea how to remove the glass or the surround from the front or what and how to do next to dismantle the lens... I think it's worth trying to *repair* it as it's basically a nice paperweight at this point.
    Any ideas?

    BTW, I contacted a lens repair guy who basically blew me off. I would have been glad to pay him a certain amount to *try* fixing it.... Surely if a person is a lens/camera repairman, they could at least take it apart....
  15. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the info!

    @McBob- Did you have to install some kind of new part to create a little resistance in the aperture? The main thing I've noticed in using my newly de-clicked lens is that the aperture is very loose when I turn it.

    @silver92b- I'd just do some internet searches. What I do know, and that's very little, is that supposedly lenses that were used for military application were often frozen wide-open for night photography and at a certain focus distance. The way I opened the Kentar was unscrewing the smaller screws on the mount itself and pulling out the mount. See if this works, if not, you'd have to ask others.
  16. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    For those that were too loose, I added a small (very small) amount of high-temp silicone grease at the aperture ring... just enough to add tack to the sliding surfaces.
  17. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    That's rather what started my "hobby"... lens repairmen would very much rather spend their time and money repairing high-dollar electronic, zeiss and leica glass with greater returns rather than some ancient orphaned <$20 bit of forgetabilia.
  18. PENpal

    PENpal Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Hi Bob,

    I see you can repair lenses real good. How much do you charge to clean the lens of an Tamron Zoom (FD mount)?
  19. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    I'm impressed. :thumbup:
    Most things I try to fix I REALLY "fix." IOW - from broken to absolute junk with just a couple of hours inept labor.:biggrin:
  20. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Minolta AF 50/1.7

    I once performed a lens surgery on my Minolta AF 50/1.7. This lens tends to
    get grease on the aperture blades - preventing them from opening and closing

    So I grabbed a screw driver and had a look at it. Here is the short "photo love
    story" of it.

    The AF lens without the bayonet and last lens element.

    Here you can see the lens element as well as the metal bayonet.

    This picture shows the grease which built up on the blades ("bump" on the tip of the blades).

    Cleaned blades I.

    Cleaned blades II.

    Reassembling the lens. In the background you see the alcohol (Isopropan) I used to clean off the grease.

    And almost back together...

    ~And the lens snapped pictures happily ever after~ :popcorm2:
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