Anyone know how to remove front element of Super Ikonta Tessar?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by walter23, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    I've got a super ikonta BX with f/2.8 coated tessar, in the older compur-rapid shutter. I need to remove the front element to clean an internal surface of the lens of fog. THe front seems to be held with two micro screws, but I'm afraid if I remove them and pull off the front that I'll uncouple the rangefinder or throw it out of calibration somehow, as the rotation and movement of the front element is what focuses. Any tips? It looks like there's a tab on the side that slots into the rotating front lens barrel, and might be the rangefinder coupling mechanism. Ideas? Anyone done this?
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    There should be three tiny set screws. You generally don't need to remove them fully, but it doesn't hurt. On some lenses, you'll find three tiny drill marks that correspond to the holes.

    Sometimes there will be a small scratch mark on the out and inner elements that correspond with infinity. If the marks don't line up on reassembly, you'll need to rotate the lens out and find a new starting point for the helicals. Take your time and don't damage the helicals. They're brass and can be damaged somewhat easily.

    Clean off all of the old lubricant and relubricate.

    Setting the rangefinder to infinity and recollimating the lens are two separate procedures. The tab on the side of the lens is the infinity stop for the lens ring (the part that you want to remove).

    If you've worked on cameras before, this won't be too difficult. I probably wouldn't pick a Super Ikonta for my first foray into camera repair. It's not impossible, just slightly more complex than other cameras.

    The small arm that is part of the lens/shutter assembly holds two rotating wedge prisms.

    It's a very accurate system that rarely falls out of calibration once set. It's far superior to the usual system of mirrors.

    It was used in a number of Zeiss Ikon cameras, including most of the Super Ikontas and several 35mm cameras.
     
  3. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    One thing to be aware of is the inner elements of the coated Ikontas are extremely fragile. Please use caution when cleaning these elements, in fact if you don't have to clean..Dont!.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    I'm pretty sure I have to clean. The fog is reasonably substantial. I'm shooting a test roll right now though, and if I don't need to go in there I'll leave it alone. I'm sure it's enough to reduce contrast and cause flare, but I'm not sure how bad it would be.

    Any suggestions for avoiding damaging the coatings, if I do have to clean?
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    In general, I've found the lens coatings on Zeiss lenses to be durable. Not so with early Leica lenses.

    The early lenses are single coated, by the way.

    Here's what to do:

    Most drug store chains carry optical cleaner, and that works very nicely. Many people use Windex or some other glass cleaner. I like the optical cleaner. It should only cost about $3 or $4 for about eight ounces, and it lasts for a long time.

    Camera repair expert and author Thomas Tomassey has a simple method for cleaning lenses. It works, and I've used it to clean several hundred lenses. Get plain white facial tissue: No scents, no lotions, nothing.

    If there is debris on the lens, either blow it off or use a camel hair brush to remove it.
    Spray some optical cleaner on the tissue and wipe the lens. Turn to a dry side and wipe the optical cleaner off the lens. As I said: It's simple and effective.
     
  6. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I have wrenches I purchased from Micro Tools in the US. These are really handy to remove this element.
    I have a Super Ikonta B with the focusing mechanism removed, exposing the lens assembly. If you like I can post some pictures. The rear lens also
    can be removed to clean.

    I have 4 Super Ikonta Bs and 3 Super Ikonta Cs. (really! it is a form of madness I think caused by altitude) If you find it is necessary to remove this
    lens assy. let me know and I'll post pictures of what I have. If you find it difficult to remove the inner element (and you likely will) I have the proper wrench
    I could lend you if you were in the Canmore area.

    Whatever... use caution with cleaning the inner surfaces. Rub too hard and the coating can come off or be compromised.
     
  7. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I've never had a early Leica lens apart, but I've heard this. Something to remember to be sure.

    I have cleaned my Super Ikonta C with coated Opton with great trepidation but I was rewarded with a nice clean inner element. I used a lens pure alcohol as a cleaner by very carefully applying it with a soft artists water colour brush. I then wrapped a Kodak lens cleaning tissue around a "Q" tip, tying it off with thread.
    I found it a little tricky not to foul my cleaning stuff by touching the helical threads (yes I really, really cleaned these threads before) which would still have some residue from the old grease.
     
  8. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Really? I've used plain white nose tissue for eyeglasses and found it scratches them. I've been using kodak lens cleaner tissues for camera lenses and a clean cotton T-shirt for eyeglasses ever since.
     
  9. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    If you could show a picture or two that would be really helpful. I don't think I need to remove anything other than the front element, but I'll keep your offer in mind if it turns out I need that tool. Thanks for the help.

     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    As I mentioned, I've cleaned several hundred lenses (both coated and uncoated) and have never scratched one of them.

    I never dry clean a lens using a tissue or cloth only. I always use optical cleaning fluid.

    Do your glasses have plastic or glass lenses? And have you dry cleaned them?
     
  11. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

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    I discovered this product by accident. Tried it first on filters and fund it work like magic. It's soft and will not scratch and leaves no lint or dust behind. I then tried on lenses and again it works perfectly. I now use it to wipe my glass film carrier for my MF film scanner. Again it cleans so well and it really leaves no nothing on the glass. My scanned image will see any scratch or dust left behind but I can not see any. I have thrown away all my Kodak lens cleaning tissue paper. In fact I have stopped using anything other that this product. It is really nothing new. It's a piece of micro fiber cloth made specifically for cleaning glass and plastic and my lenses. The onlything I will not use it to clean will be the mirror of my SLRs. But other than that I have great success alway in cleaning lenses. You can see this product here at:

    http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=119&

    Last time I visited a Tap Plastics store they have this micro fiber cloth for $1.79 a piece. I purchased some plastic products over $100. The store manager threw one in for me free of charge. I now have half a dozen of it. I have so many of it so I use some for cleaning my cameras. It really gets all the dusts off and leaves no scratch and no dust behind.
     
  12. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I'm not sure how far you want to go with this but here are a few pics to give you an idea. This gets the top off.
     

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  13. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    1) Make sure the infinity symbol is at infinity. Mark infinity somehow on the lens barrel.
    Remove the focus mechanism.
    2) Lots of things to remember here. Don't screw up the infinity setting and remember the point in the helical where the lens releases from the threads. ( I hate this)
    3)The lens lifts out. This is where it can be cleaned. These surfaces are quite fragile.
    4) In the last image I am removing the inner lens to clean the other side. This tool is a real good idea.
     

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  14. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Looks a bit painful but doable. I need to lubricate (or clean) the focussing gears as well. Thanks for the pictures - this gives me an idea of what to expect. In terms of removing the front element, once you've got the cover off it just lifts out, or is it threaded? Do you have to unscrew the little micro screws around the barrel of the front element or are those just to hold the glass inside the housing?

    I think I'm going to have to shelve this until I move next week as I've realized that all my small screwdrivers are in storage.
     
  15. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    It would be hard for me to explain but when you remove something, like a lens or gears, make sure you have marked things so they go back exactly the way you took it apart. Do not assume anything.

    The micro screws around the barrel, three of them, holds the focus ring. It just comes off when these are loosened. The focus ring has a slot which receives a little tooth from a ring gear, part of the focus mechanism. This area can really mess up the focus if you don't somehow ensure things go back the same way as they came apart. (how do I know this??)
    The lens then unscrews from the helical threads. As you carefully unscrew the lens gently pull the lens away from the body, when the threads disengage carefully note where this happened so you can put things back the way they were.
    Good luck.
     
  16. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    By the way, if you've worked on a Rolleiflex successfully this thing should be relatively easy. Much different, but easy.
     
  17. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Okay, thanks for the help, Paul. I'll get on it in a couple of weeks.
     
  18. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    You're right, I did find removing this element impossible. Does it unscrew, or does this wrench do something else? I can't figure it out. I think I saw the tool you mean on microtools - it's just a round wrench, right? They call it a flexitool or something like that.

    Also I mucked up the rangefinder. I just mean the optical assembly; I didn't realize that it was the "lower" gear which contacts the focusing gear / helical, and turned the lens focusing helical while this gear was disengaged. Oops. I know how the lens goes back together so I just have to go out and find something at infinity and reset the rangefinder (I think). Hopefully it's that easy. Better to have to measure / calibrate just the rangefinder than measure / calibrate the focus of the lens, I think.
     
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  19. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    The wrench really grips the lens element but does not damage the helical.

    If you didn't mark the lens when you removed it, and did not mark where the gear when you removed it, you made things just a little more difficult to put back together. Nothing is damaged or irreversible or too complicated just more difficult now.

    I PM'd you.
     
  20. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    I got the lens marked so it goes back in just fine, I just screwed up the rangefinder by rotating the helical-coupling gear, when it wasn't contacting the rangefinder gear. I think it will be easy to fix; I already got it pretty close by mucking around in my front yard calibrating the rangefinder on a tree, but I think I may need to find a slightly more distant "infinity" object to calibrate on as the one I used was only about 50 meters away. I'll head to the shore where I can see the distant olympic mountains and make sure it's okay.

    My only problem is getting the second element out (the one adjacent to the aperture & shutter). It turns out that's where the fog is, not where I originally thought on the back of the front (focusing) element. And I guess that requires the wrench, as I couldn't budge it by trying to turn it (assuming it just unscrews).

    Guess I'm repeating things by responding here and in PM. Respond where you want :wink: