Pentacon Six lenses with stuck or missing aperture blades?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Erik Ehrling, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Erik Ehrling

    Erik Ehrling Member

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    Hi!

    I've probably made a bad purchase from tradera.se (the Swedish branch of eBay) and would appreciate your advice on how to rectify the mistake.

    I won two auctions yesterday - for a Zeiss Flektogon 50/4 and a Sonnar 180/2.8, resepectively - and collected the lenses in peson today. However, when I got home I discovered that the aperture blades does not close on either of them. I don't know if they are stuck or missing totally. Otherwise they seem to be in good condition, and the 50/4 is multicoated. I paid about US$135 each for them.

    As I really want to add a 50mm and 180mm to my medium format kit (now consisting of a Pentacon Six and a Zeiss 80mm) I am thinking of having them repaired. Do you have any place to recommend that would repair/replace the aperture blades? I am considering sending them to araxfoto.com in Ukraine, which seems to have a very good reputation. I am not sure if they deal with Zeiss lenses, however.

    What would you do in the same situation?

    Regards,
    Erik Ehrling (Sweden)
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Erik,
    My experience is that those lenses are notorious for such aperture problems. It may be simply old congealed lubrication, and a cla might be all you need.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Depends how badly you want them.
    It's possible the repair will cost you as much or more than the purchase.
    Without seeing the lenses, I would guess there's old lubricant preventing the blades from closing so it should be relatively simple to fix, just a CLA.
    There's also a possibility, though not as likely that there's a broken linkage.
    I repaired cameras & lenses for several years & never saw a lens with broken bits in it unless it had been abused.
     
  4. ath

    ath Member

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    Probably the best repair shops for the P6 are in the eastern part of Germany, the origin of the Pentacon six. Lots of experience. Here are the repair shop suggestions for Pentacon stuff in Germany. Esp. Mr. Olbrich has a very good reputation and is said to be very reasonable with pricing.

    You might be forced to communicate in German.
    To save shipping cost, you can combine the repair with a visit of Berlin or another city.

    I don't know the Flektogon, but the Sonnar has a kind of rope inside to operate the aperture; it is prone to slip away resulting in a non functional aperture.
     
  5. Erik Ehrling

    Erik Ehrling Member

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    Thanks for the link. Sending them to the eastern part of Germany sounds logical, and would also mean that I avoid any customs issues...

    I have been in contact with the seller of the lenses. He said that he haven't used the lenses for several years (which speaks for the dried oil/grease theory) and has also offered a partial refund if I decide to keep the lenses and send them for a CLA. So that's what I'll do...

    Regards,
    Erik Ehrling (Sweden)
     
  6. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    They're most likely stuck - this has happened to two of my lenses (the 120 & 180mm lenses). Cleaning the aperture blades has fixed the problem.

    If you are handy, the lenses are quite easy to get into. Any competent repair shop should be able to fix them if you don't feel inclined to get in there yourself.
     
  7. kman627

    kman627 Member

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    I agree with PC head. I've had several lenses in the Pentacon/K60 line that have had aperture issues. Once you get in there (just a few screws) you might find an obvious problem. There's typically a flimsy spring which holds tension on the diaphram and if it wears out, the blades won't close. I had this problem on my Kaleinar 150 and actually fixed it by replacing the spring with a thin paper clip that I converted into a spring. If you are the handy type, you might want to at least check it out yourself first.