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  1. #1
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Removing retaining rings

    I had a quick search through the forums but couldn't see anything about removing very tight lens retaining rings. I assume there must be a special "screwdriver" tool to do this professionally. Apart from that any tips or homemade devices to unscrew retaining rings? Apply blowtorch? Immerse in boiling water? Spray with WD40?.... or something that really works. Thanks

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    jovo's Avatar
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    This may be just what you're looking for. There are less costly ones available from Freestyle as well, I think. (or maybe from B&H):

    http://www.skgrimes.com/span/index.htm
    John Voss

    My Blog

  3. #3
    cdholden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Egan
    I had a quick search through the forums but couldn't see anything about removing very tight lens retaining rings. I assume there must be a special "screwdriver" tool to do this professionally. Apart from that any tips or homemade devices to unscrew retaining rings? Apply blowtorch? Immerse in boiling water? Spray with WD40?.... or something that really works. Thanks
    I'd certainly be interested in SK Grimes design as John suggested, but if you're looking to keep it on the cheap, search the auction sites for "spanner wrench". There are different sizes or you can buy a common kit of 3 sizes. I've not purchased any, but see them frequently online. One could probably also find "snake eye pliers" or "retainer ring remover" at your local Sears tool section, but that would be more geared toward automotive and maybe not have options as small as 1mm as suggested on the SK Grimes site.
    Chris

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    I have seen these much cheaper on ebay, maybe in the $10 range,
    but B&H is a source I can find right now.
    Rodenstock Metal Lens Wrench for Lens Retaining Rings
    Mfr# 260600 • B&H# ROW Our Price: $ 14.95
    I carry one with me in my field tool kit in case a ring gets loose.

    John Powers

  5. #5

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    On the advice of Richard Ritter, master camera repair guy, PLEASE be extremely careful playing with lens retaining rings, and mess with them only at need. It's frighteningly easy to cross-thread either the retaining ring (breathe easy, simple to replace), or the lens (break into tears, can be fatal to the lens).

    Take care - literally.

    Bruce Barlow
    www.circleofthesunproductions.com
    Last edited by Sean; 08-10-2006 at 06:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Thank you all - very helpful. It boils down to knowing the right name for the tool!

  7. #7
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    If there is no anti-rotating pin on the shutter, often you can rotate the shutter to unscrew the lens (and to tighten).

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  8. #8
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    When mounting lenses or retightening retaining rings it is usually a good idea to back thread the ring just like many screws for alignment before tightening by hand followed by a spanner wrench.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  9. #9
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Egan
    I had a quick search through the forums but couldn't see anything about removing very tight lens retaining rings. I assume there must be a special "screwdriver" tool to do this professionally. Apart from that any tips or homemade devices to unscrew retaining rings? Apply blowtorch? Immerse in boiling water? Spray with WD40?.... or something that really works. Thanks
    WD40 is a nasty four letter word around cameras. Sometimes a tool for one-time use can be improvised by imbedding pins in the ends of plastic pipe fittings, or by grinding and filing the end of a metal pipe or fitting down to leave blades that fit slots in the ring.

  10. #10

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    Cheap lens spanners aren't too hard to find, but they're often sorta wobbly - mine is anyway. Some folks make their own special-purpose spanners. I figure I'll do that if I ever find I need one repeatedly for the same size lens.

    One 'lubricant' you can use (sparingly) is lighter fluid (naphtha, aka Ronsonol) - it evaporates pretty quickly and won't harm most things ... though I might worry about what it might do to the glue in bellows. I've successfully used it in a jam where I didn't want to use anything messy.

    Nathan

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