rolleiflex fungus issue

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by vincentvega, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey,
    I just got a Rolleiflex 2.8 F with lens fungus (from the internet, i'm stupid, i know)

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8020/7456832570_a16b0d0817_z.jpg

    The front element seams to be perfectly clean, but the rear element seams to be pretty badly "infected". Since I have little expirience with problems like that, I'd like to ask you how good my chances are this could be repaired, since I'm not too sure if the seller of this item will accept a return of the item. I hope he does since he stated that the lenses where in perfect condition.

    thank you
     
  2. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Hartford, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, I think it can be cleaned off, though you never know until you actually do it whether it's somehow etched the glass. But see first whether he'll agree to take it back. In the meantime try a roll. You might be surprised at what good results you get, even with the fungus. And you might find folks here willing to take it off your hands for a fair price -- hopefully you didn't overspend.
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,957
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What Nick said. If you got a good price keep it, as it does not seem too bad. One of my favorite Rolleiflexes (I've got more than a few) is a 2.8 Planar E with a decent amount of micro scratches and little if any coating left. The photos it takes are simply divine. In fact the slightly more moderate contrast I like better than my perfect 2.8 C Xenotar and perfect 3.5 E Planar especially for B&W portraits and plant/flower subjects.
     
  4. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    thanks Richard!

    850 € is what I paid. The camera needs an overhaul in any case, the mechanics don't work quite as smooth as on my 2.8E (which I wanted to replace with this 2.8F)

    I believe that the camera still takes beautiful pictures but I think that 850€ is too much for the camera beeing in this condition.
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,957
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is too much. F's are over-priced vs working E's. Why so keen to replace it with an F?
     
  6. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    well :/
    I wanted actually to shrink down my camera equippment but sometimes a Prism finder is really handy and my 2.8E doesn't take them.
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,957
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah, not an altogether bad reason. Watch for an E2 or E3 as they allow the prism to be used too. Hope you can return that one of get some discount for a good cleaning....
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,241
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the external surface of the rear element is affected then try something like Kodak Lens Cleaner. If it is the internal surface then you would have to dissamble the lens. This is not a task for someone who doesn't know how to do it. If the surface has been etched then the only remedy is to have the element repolished. Not a cheap job.
     
  9. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,320
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Floor-it-duh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had some of that stuff on a Mamiya 645 finder and I used some spray-on glass cleaner and it came right off.

    I have a Nikkor 50 f2 loaded to the gills with fungus and it takes sharper and better photos than my 50 1,4 Nikkor S in ex+
     
  10. cyberjunkie

    cyberjunkie Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you bought the camera on Ebay, and it was payed via Paypal, you have 99.99% chances to get the refund, if you claim (with photographic proof) that the item was not "as described".
    If you decide to keep the camera, the fungal infection, as i see it from the picture, should be cleanable.
    I haven't added te words "for sure", because with coated glasses there is a certain degree of uncertainity. With most fungi, the glass gets etched only after a good amount of time, while the coating gets stained more easily.
    In general, the danger of fungi is grossly overstated. I have a large number of "user" lenses, plus a collection of large format vintage glasses (more than 100, i guess, i haven't counted them), and some of them had some sort of fungus: every single one came off perfectly cleaned!
    I use ROR (residual oil remover) as optical cleaner. If a large quantity of fluid must be used, i spare some ROR, going first with white vinegar.
    I even bought an anti-fungal powder (for medical use), to prepare a washing solution to clean the barrel of hugely infected lenses, still haven't found the need to use it, though.
    I am no Rolleiflex expert, but i guess that a standard adjustable lens spanner is more than enough to remove the back cell of the lens. IIRC the 2.8F does not have a tessar, hence you could be unlucky, and have to dismantle the cell to get access to internal surfaces.
    Of course any good repairman could take care of all that, for a reasonable price and quicly (if the fungus is not a "difficult" one).

    have fun

    CJ

    Sent from my Android tablet
     
  11. John Austin

    John Austin Member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Location:
    Southern For
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Rolleis deserve respect, have this camera cleaned professionally and do not squirt anything on the rear elephant yourself - A good CLA/de-fungus is worth every penny for a camera like the Rollei and in reality is cheaper option than damaging it

    I go with the advice that you should claim some financial refund to drop the camera plus CLA/de-fungus to a sensible amount - Also, if you attempt to clean it yourself you may well loose your PP refund possibility

    If you don't want to spend that much money offer it to APUG members "as is" for a sensible price, which is real value minus cost of CLA etc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  12. inlarry

    inlarry Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    Evansville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The only bad thing, that I haven't seen mentioned, is that the location of fungus in a lens can be misleading. What looks like its in one place may be on many internal lens surfaces, even if it looks like the rear it may be on the front, etc.

    Good luck, but if you can get a refund I'd go for it.
     
  13. T-grain

    T-grain Member

    Messages:
    84
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I fully agree with John-try to trade in a partial refund for the price paid-if the camera is otherwise ok, it is worth to keep it
     
  14. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for all your advice folks. As I bought it off another forum and I didn't use paypal, the seller doesn't respond to my PN's anymore I will propably have to sell it. What would you think would a resonable price for this camera be?
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,377
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Post a note to the seller on the forum asking him to get in touch. Don't badmouth the person, just say you haven't been able to get in touch by PM.
    If he continues to disregard you you may put some info into the forum itself regarding the transaction and communication.
    I'd also drop a note to the moderators regarding this. They likely have disclaimers about transactions but it won't hurt to have them aware.
     
  16. cyberjunkie

    cyberjunkie Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dear Vincent,
    from your post i get that the DIY route is a no go for you.
    The camera is a valuable one, so there are good reasons to give it to a competent technician, and have the fungus removed.
    Please consider my advice: DON'T sell the camera as-is!
    If you are honest, you'll loose plenty of money (on the other hand, if you ask too much it would go unsold).
    Reading between the lines, i get the impression that you want to take the loss, and end it all as soon as possible.
    Hurry is not your friend. Buying and selling is not the perfect solution for everything.
    Generation of photographers have dealt with less-than-perfect cameras, and used the services of repairmen.
    You don't have to find a "specialized" repairman, dismantling the back cell and removing the fungus isn't a very complicated task. Any repair shop should tackle the problem quite easily.
    I don't live in the USA, and i am no Rolleiflex expert (i own a Tessar one since long time, but it didn't see much use), so i can't give you any practical information. Though i am sure that many forum members could reccomend a good Rolleiflex technician, and that finding one with good prices isn't impossible.
    You could take two birds with one bullet, and have the camera overhauled.
    After that, if you protect the camera from damage and store it in a cool and dry place, it would outlast you... and probably your children too :smile:

    I would shoot a roll before sending the camera away: that way you'd know in advance if there is any need for a checkup, or just a simple cleaning of the glasses.
    A Rolleiflex is very robust and very simple; if film advancing and shutter timings are OK, then i wouldn't spend any money for a checkup.

    have fun

    CJ

    Sent from my Android tablet
     
  17. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    well thanks for all of your advice folks!

    I guess I will sell my Rollei 2.8E and send the F to Paepke in Duesseldorf, Germany. They seem to offer complete overhauls (which includes the lens). They even replace parts if necessary. Of course they are very expensive.

    Meanwhile I've shot one roll of TMX400 with the camera. The results are ok, although I think that the focus is slightly off and the film transport and shutter could use some attention.

    cheers
     
  18. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Yukon, OK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Vincent, I think you will find that getting the F thoroughly cleaned and repaired will be the correct choice. A few years back I wanted one of the old Mamiya Press cameras and just couldn't find one that was in superb condition unless I didn't want to eat for a couple of months, and even then it wasn't a for sure thing. Instead, I purposely looked for one in as good of cosmetic condition as I could find that was essentially broken and put on a shelf.

    Finally found that "perfect" body and after paying as much for a CLA (done by one of the best Mamiya Press guys around) as I did the camera, I have a camera that is as good as the day it came out of the factory and it works and operates EXACTLY like it should. When you get your F back, I think you will be very, very happy with the results and have the confidence that you have one of the best cameras around and a wonderful piece of photographic history.

    Bob E.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,473
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If it looks hazy it will always have more flare than my free Rollicord in which the haze easily cleaned off. In fact the only way I think I could easily tell if a photograph was taken with a Rolliecord or Rollieflex is if the Rollieflex had fungus or haze on the lens :wink:
    I'd sent it back. Some 'haze' is permanent. No reputable person that does CLA on lenses gives any guarantee the haze comes off.
     
  20. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I recently bought a Rolleiflex 3.5F off a farm wagon, at an auction, for 42.50 and sent it to Harry Fleenor for overhaul, can't wait to get it back.
     
  21. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,957
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's awesome. Harry does great work recently working on two of my Rolleiflexes. Just be sure to be sitting down when you get his email reporting to you the issues and the cost to repair. Then get comfortable as you will likely not get it back until almost Halloween. :smile:
     
  22. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, we had that email exchange already. Good thing the camera was only 42.50. But, evereything I've read it'll be top notch when it gets back. He's quoting 10 week turn around...so that'll put it at the end of Sept. Can't wait.
     
  23. phelger

    phelger Subscriber

    Messages:
    109
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Vincent, I can highly recommend Paebke in Düsseldorf. Last year I bought on ebay a Cord "in very fine condition".
    When it arrived it was a ruin, rust and filth, the self timer was broken, cable release socket gone, shutter only partly working. Against evrybody's advice I decided to have it restored. Paebke did it - 300€ - and since then it has produced plenty of excellent negatives.
    good luck.
    Peter
     
  24. vincentvega

    vincentvega Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Peter, That's good news! 300€ is an o.k price I think, I hope they won't charge me much more...

    and btw, I found a sticker inside the camera from Paepke! Seems they've had this camera in for repair before.

    and to mike who basically "stole" the 3.5f: congrats! :wink:
     
  25. smolk

    smolk Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It is an old thread, but for reference purposes: I bought an 2.8C which suffered from a badly affected rear lens. I discovered this much too late, because I had no dark room at the time, nor a scanner, due to relocation. When I found out I could not try to send it back.
    In the UK, I was told it was badly scratched and beyond repair. But somehow I did not believe it was, since the glass otherwise seemed immaculate.
    So I took a bargain, sent it to John van Stelten (Phocal Point, US) who can polish and recoat it if it concerns shallow marks or fungus.
    As it was the rear lens, it did not come cheap at $350, but it has been completely restored. I'll soon have a comparison with my beater 2.8F planar (perfect glass, only the shutter times wheel can be stiff, and deadly sharp).