Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Neanderman, Jul 5, 2005.
Anyone have any suggestions for what grease to use on a lens focusing helicoid?
I've used lithium grease.
try Super-Lube grease at any hardware / auto store. Clear, clean, synthetic, teflon, nice 'body' to it, a decent amount of drag. All around great stuff.
Molybdenum Disulphide, a superb lubricant and tollerent to extreme temperatures. Reasonable cheap and available from gun shops.
I have to second the Super Lube suggestion. I used it on the last lens I repaired with excellent results. The feel was very close to "factory". We have tubes of it at work, and unlike some other lubricants, it does not seem to separate. Some lubricants will divide themselves into the waxy lump that stays put, and the always-on-the-move runny oil.
There is a grease made specifically for this purpose. It is called stop grease and if memory serves, it is available from Micro Tools.
There is something about Molybdenum Disulphide that had a safety factor...maybe just because it's a powder and you don't want it in your lungs. Last place I worked got really uptight about it. They apparently lost certification for using it for a very specific critical industry and had to find a workaround.
I haven't greased a helicoid, but I have done folder lens front cells with a synthetic # 28...I just forgot if it was Shell or Mobil. Wide temperature range. Pretty burgundy wine color too.
In this instance you would use moly paste which is less dangerous than than many chemicals found in darkrooms. Safety data (MSDS shhet) for a typical moly paste is here http://msds.ogden.disa.mil/msds/owa/web_msds.display?imsdsnr=191698. I do agree that moly powder is more hazardous though.
1) Neanderman...I like that name...I pilfered it and bestowed the name Neanderboy upon a kid at my daughter's bus stop...not to his face, of course!
2) Now I too have a helicoid dilemma, a lazy one-touch zoom that can't hold it's own weight in any position other than horizontal.
I don't know how far one can get into a 35mm zoom to address loose zoom; I guess that's technically not helicoid, probably, since it slides and the focus rotates. I hoped it needed silicone damping grease or the like.
In the past I have used the lube made for fishing reels. The last tube I bought was made by Penn. Usually available where sporting goods are sold.
I've been very happy using Permatex Superlube teflon grease (obtainable at Radio Shack, where a few bucks will buy a multi-decade supply) on both classic front-element focusing threads and the helicoid in my Varexon 135 mm M42 lens. It's slippery, doesn't separate as some greases can, has no gritty residue as lithium grease often does, and gives a nice smooth damped feel.
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