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  1. #1

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    Anyone know how to remove front element of Super Ikonta Tessar?

    I've got a super ikonta BX with f/2.8 coated tessar, in the older compur-rapid shutter. I need to remove the front element to clean an internal surface of the lens of fog. THe front seems to be held with two micro screws, but I'm afraid if I remove them and pull off the front that I'll uncouple the rangefinder or throw it out of calibration somehow, as the rotation and movement of the front element is what focuses. Any tips? It looks like there's a tab on the side that slots into the rotating front lens barrel, and might be the rangefinder coupling mechanism. Ideas? Anyone done this?
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  2. #2

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    There should be three tiny set screws. You generally don't need to remove them fully, but it doesn't hurt. On some lenses, you'll find three tiny drill marks that correspond to the holes.

    Sometimes there will be a small scratch mark on the out and inner elements that correspond with infinity. If the marks don't line up on reassembly, you'll need to rotate the lens out and find a new starting point for the helicals. Take your time and don't damage the helicals. They're brass and can be damaged somewhat easily.

    Clean off all of the old lubricant and relubricate.

    Setting the rangefinder to infinity and recollimating the lens are two separate procedures. The tab on the side of the lens is the infinity stop for the lens ring (the part that you want to remove).

    If you've worked on cameras before, this won't be too difficult. I probably wouldn't pick a Super Ikonta for my first foray into camera repair. It's not impossible, just slightly more complex than other cameras.

    The small arm that is part of the lens/shutter assembly holds two rotating wedge prisms.

    It's a very accurate system that rarely falls out of calibration once set. It's far superior to the usual system of mirrors.

    It was used in a number of Zeiss Ikon cameras, including most of the Super Ikontas and several 35mm cameras.

  3. #3
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    One thing to be aware of is the inner elements of the coated Ikontas are extremely fragile. Please use caution when cleaning these elements, in fact if you don't have to clean..Dont!.

    Best of luck.

  4. #4

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    I'm pretty sure I have to clean. The fog is reasonably substantial. I'm shooting a test roll right now though, and if I don't need to go in there I'll leave it alone. I'm sure it's enough to reduce contrast and cause flare, but I'm not sure how bad it would be.

    Any suggestions for avoiding damaging the coatings, if I do have to clean?
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  5. #5

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    In general, I've found the lens coatings on Zeiss lenses to be durable. Not so with early Leica lenses.

    The early lenses are single coated, by the way.

    Here's what to do:

    Most drug store chains carry optical cleaner, and that works very nicely. Many people use Windex or some other glass cleaner. I like the optical cleaner. It should only cost about $3 or $4 for about eight ounces, and it lasts for a long time.

    Camera repair expert and author Thomas Tomassey has a simple method for cleaning lenses. It works, and I've used it to clean several hundred lenses. Get plain white facial tissue: No scents, no lotions, nothing.

    If there is debris on the lens, either blow it off or use a camel hair brush to remove it.
    Spray some optical cleaner on the tissue and wipe the lens. Turn to a dry side and wipe the optical cleaner off the lens. As I said: It's simple and effective.

  6. #6
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    I have wrenches I purchased from Micro Tools in the US. These are really handy to remove this element.
    I have a Super Ikonta B with the focusing mechanism removed, exposing the lens assembly. If you like I can post some pictures. The rear lens also
    can be removed to clean.

    I have 4 Super Ikonta Bs and 3 Super Ikonta Cs. (really! it is a form of madness I think caused by altitude) If you find it is necessary to remove this
    lens assy. let me know and I'll post pictures of what I have. If you find it difficult to remove the inner element (and you likely will) I have the proper wrench
    I could lend you if you were in the Canmore area.

    Whatever... use caution with cleaning the inner surfaces. Rub too hard and the coating can come off or be compromised.

  7. #7
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
    In general, I've found the lens coatings on Zeiss lenses to be durable. Not so with early Leica lenses.
    I've never had a early Leica lens apart, but I've heard this. Something to remember to be sure.

    I have cleaned my Super Ikonta C with coated Opton with great trepidation but I was rewarded with a nice clean inner element. I used a lens pure alcohol as a cleaner by very carefully applying it with a soft artists water colour brush. I then wrapped a Kodak lens cleaning tissue around a "Q" tip, tying it off with thread.
    I found it a little tricky not to foul my cleaning stuff by touching the helical threads (yes I really, really cleaned these threads before) which would still have some residue from the old grease.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
    It works, and I've used it to clean several hundred lenses. Get plain white facial tissue: No scents, no lotions, nothing.
    Really? I've used plain white nose tissue for eyeglasses and found it scratches them. I've been using kodak lens cleaner tissues for camera lenses and a clean cotton T-shirt for eyeglasses ever since.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  9. #9

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    If you could show a picture or two that would be really helpful. I don't think I need to remove anything other than the front element, but I'll keep your offer in mind if it turns out I need that tool. Thanks for the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Goutiere View Post
    I have wrenches I purchased from Micro Tools in the US. These are really handy to remove this element.
    I have a Super Ikonta B with the focusing mechanism removed, exposing the lens assembly. If you like I can post some pictures. The rear lens also
    can be removed to clean.

    I have 4 Super Ikonta Bs and 3 Super Ikonta Cs. (really! it is a form of madness I think caused by altitude) If you find it is necessary to remove this
    lens assy. let me know and I'll post pictures of what I have. If you find it difficult to remove the inner element (and you likely will) I have the proper wrench
    I could lend you if you were in the Canmore area.

    Whatever... use caution with cleaning the inner surfaces. Rub too hard and the coating can come off or be compromised.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  10. #10

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    As I mentioned, I've cleaned several hundred lenses (both coated and uncoated) and have never scratched one of them.

    I never dry clean a lens using a tissue or cloth only. I always use optical cleaning fluid.

    Do your glasses have plastic or glass lenses? And have you dry cleaned them?

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