Is it simple to clean the fungus from this Novar Super Ikonta III?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by abecker93, May 7, 2013.

  1. abecker93

    abecker93 Member

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    I've been looking to pick up an older folding medium format camera as my heavy Pentacon Six kit rarely sees use due to it's size. I stumbled on a Super Ikonta III on eBay with minor lens fungus which looks simple enough to clean, but I don't want to jump into something that would be a serious project as I know some of these lens elements are difficult to separate. The fungus appears to be behind the first element, but I was wondering if the front element is just the single element or two that are attached. I've looked at lens diagrams of a Novar, and it appears that the first element is in FRONT of the aperture, and the other two elements are behind it, but I'd like to know from someone who's actually played with this camera.

    Thanks!

    Andrew
     
  2. dorff

    dorff Member

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    When you have a lens with fungus, be careful of a few things. The first is using a solvent that might get into the glue between the elements of a group. That will cause separation, and is impossible to fix. Some older coatings are not able to be cleaned completely, so will leave marks where the fungus was and cause ghosting, even if the fungus itself is completely removed. Also, some lenses had different coatings on inner surfaces than on outer ones. Unless you really know your way around lenses, it is not advisable to clean inner surfaces, as those might contain soft coatings, and taking fungus off will also remove the coating.

    Generally speaking, I think it is better looking for a lens in good condition than trying to save a fungused-up one. There are exceptions, especially if the lens is valuable and salvageable, and the purchase plus repair cost is much lower than the actual value. For instance, I paid $250 for a Nikkor 85/1.4 AF D, and it cost me a further $45 to get it cleaned. More often you will find it will cost $50 to clean something that is worth $25 to start with.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2013
  3. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    I have opened up Novars on a couple of Nettars (no rangefinder, front cell focusing) and in both cases, the aperture was behind the second element. Yours of course is a different camera, but I would think the lens design (including location of the aperture) would be the same. Opening up the lens would be different with the Super Ikonta, of course.
     
  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Novar is a Cooke triplet type, the aperture is between the second and third elements (counting from the front).
    As for the fungus, I wouldn't take a chance based on pictures; I'd have to actually see the camera to decide.
     
  5. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    I'm actually surprised you have a super ikonta with a simple Novar -- I thought the Supers were more upscale with Tessars. The much simpler Ikomats and so forth, without rangefinders, more general market, had the Novars.

    But if it says Novar, it's Novar. Before you go taking it apart and spending bux on repairs, why not run some film through it and see how the images come out? It is amazing how little most lens damage really hurts the final picture. Sometimes it even gives it a "classic" look that people like, but mostly you can't tell.