What lube to use for folder lens repair)

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by battra92, May 22, 2006.

  1. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Hi all,

    This last weekend I decided to do my first real mechanical repair on a camera and the patient was an Agfa Isolette I with a Vario Shutter and an Agnar lens (so if I killed it, no big deal.)

    The repair was intense getting the lens elements apart and cleaning out that Agfa green glue ... err grease. When I reinstalled the focus element I gave it a small dab of Power Lube as a grease to keep it going smoothly. None got on the lens but I thought about it since then and I wonder if perhaps I should've used something else. Is this a decent lube suitable for camera repair? I tend to use it for a lot of other DIY projects.

    So far so good, though. Just wondering if it could cause problems in the future if I ever decide to fix a broken "good" camera.
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    battra92,
    You may want to use a lube like lubriplate or Lube Gel.
    I've used both on helicals with success. I prefer the Gel which is available at Radio Snack. The gel is a tad bit thicker.
    I haven't had any problems with the lube migrating onto the lens elements.
     
  3. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Any penetrating lube is definitely not recommended for use in or near a shutter -- it's made to migrate, and migrate it will, and when it gets to the shutter blades, your shutter will stop working or run slow.

    I use Permatex Superlube, a PTFE based clear grease sold in a sqeeze tube at, among other places, Radio Shack. A tiny bit, just two or three 1 mm dabs applied with the end of a toothpick, is enough for the focus threads in a front-focus lens like the Agfa uses; it's viscous enough you won't have the focus moving on its own after you set it, but smooth enough that one finger is adequate. And it *stays* slick.

    Whatever you do, don't use lithium grease -- it's great for some things, but IMO doesn't belong anywhere in a camera.
     
  4. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Good thing it's an Agnar lens and Vario shutter and not worth much.

    On the other hand, I'm not too worried about it also because the lube has a whole other lens element seperating that from the shutter.
     
  5. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    I have used the same kind of stuff on two Isolettes. Super Lube PTFE grease sold by www.super-lube.com in 3oz tubes. Those Isolettes are fun to use. One of mine is stamped "Ventura 66 Made in Germany US Zone"

    --John
     
  6. dmax

    dmax Member

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    I routinely rehabilitate and customize folder cameras for members of a camera club, mostly Agfa/Ansco 6x6 and 6x9 cameras. I echo Donald's advice on the use of the gel lube from Radio Shack, and to stay away from both penetrating oils and lithium grease. The gel lube provides the best damping feel and stays in place even in hot temperatures. Even expensive "professional" helical greases begin to soften and run at elevated temperatures, such as when a camera is left inside a car in the sun. I should know - I keep a folder in my vehicle all the time, and one which I lubricated with an expensive helical grease had to be reworked completely when the grease began to soften.