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  1. #1
    lightfox's Avatar
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    DIY: fixing tight focus ring

    The focus ring on my 50mm rokkor is uncomfortably tight in the closest 1/3 of the focusing range. The lens hasn't been used in years and probably has never been serviced. I'm guessing the lubrication has degraded over time. How difficult is it to fix at home? If not, how much can I expect to spend to have a repair shop do it?

  2. #2
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Love an answer, too, for my beloved Bronica SQ 110mm macro.
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  3. #3

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    It's not terribly complex, you just have to disassemble the focussing helicoid, clean out the old grease, and replace it with new grease.

    I use a light lithium grease. Disassembly will depend on the lens.
    Be sure you understand what you are doing, have (and know how to use) the correct tools, and have experience working with smallish things.

  4. #4

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    Not very complex? I suppose not from a parts count but.

    There are six starting points with the helical and only one is correct. A little patience is needed but you may hit the right pair first time. Or not.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightfox View Post
    The focus ring on my 50mm rokkor is uncomfortably tight in the closest 1/3 of the focusing range. The lens hasn't been used in years and probably has never been serviced. I'm guessing the lubrication has degraded over time. How difficult is it to fix at home? If not, how much can I expect to spend to have a repair shop do it?
    Frankly, for a lens that common and cheap, I'd take my chances with a "new" used one.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I'd practice on a junk lens first. See if you can unscrew the helicoid, clean every lens surface and put it all back so it is in focus at infinity.
    Check this page, when you can do that you are ready grasshopper.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    Not very complex? I suppose not from a parts count but.

    There are six starting points with the helical and only one is correct. A little patience is needed but you may hit the right pair first time. Or not.
    Or you could NOT do it the guesswork way (above) and take note of the orientation of the lens halves when you undo them (or mark a line with a pencil before you take it apart).


    It's also easy to take lots of pics on a cellphone camera to help remember which bits goes where.
    (You can lie out the screws next to the lens in the pattern you took them out).

    Also, Naptha (or Ronsonol lighter fluid) is a very good grease/oil solvent.

  8. #8
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Check this page, when you can do that you are ready grasshopper.
    Wow. Don't have time for all that. I'll send it to Koh's Camera.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    Not very complex? I suppose not from a parts count but.

    There are six starting points with the helical and only one is correct. A little patience is needed but you may hit the right pair first time. Or not.
    This is why you mark things BEFORE you take them apart. As I said, not very complex. Just observe and think before you leap.

  10. #10

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    Gee whiz, I NEVER would have marked the silly thing. That's way too easy. That, by the way was sarcasm.
    Now that the pencil and scribed lines have been covered. Why didn't you mention them with your first response to the OP?
    Did you assume something like maybe someone who had never taken a lens apart would know they should use witness marks.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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