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  1. #1

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    Question on Foggy Leitz Super Angulon lens

    I have recently purchased a Leitz M Super Angulon 21mm f3.4. In mint condition externally that is.
    I have noticed that the lens was fogged up in front and in the back, because of this I have asked shop owner to send it for cleaning.
    It came back, and I have checked again and noticed that some part has been cleaned perfectly, but some parts were left unlearned.
    Most noticeable part is in the front element, around the edges of the lens. (It might be on the first element or on the second
    element reflected to the first)
    I have also, sent my Summaron f2.8 for the cleaning as well and it also, came back with some unclean spots.

    My questions here are, First, will fogging in the lens affect the quality of the picture?
    Second, is it possible to clean the old leitz lenses perfectly, since if you are to do this I would think one must disassemble
    the whole lens and rebuilt it again? Can anyone perform such task?
    The owner of the camera shop told me I will be taking a lot of risk doing such, thus it may cause the misalignments
    in the lens structure and quality of the picture may be affected by this. Because of this He told me to leave it as is for now.

    Is anyone can give me a good advice on this issue so that I can sleep well?
    PS: I have Sumilux 50mm and Summicron 50mm, as well. They got foggy as well so I sent them for cleaning in a past.
    They came back with no such problem. Is it true that wider angle lens are more difficult to clean, than the
    50mm or 90mm lenses with less number of lens elements?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Damaged coating can't be 'cleaned.'

  3. #3

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    I do not think that the coating is damaged. The glasses were not damaged at all in any of the lenses I have. But they are foggy.

  4. #4

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    photos!

  5. #5

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    They are great pics. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    If the uncleaned area is far enough out at the edges, it may not be affecting the part of the image that is actually recorded by the film. I would first tell the shop owner that the cleaning was incomplete. Perhaps if he complained, the cleaning service would try again. But shooting a roll of film at different apertures, including some back lit scenes and scenes with very bright areas should give you some idea as to whether the fogged areas are affecting the image quality in a noticeable way.

  7. #7

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    I thank you very much for your reply on this.
    I will bring it back, and ask them to redo the cleaning. I have a question. Is it possible for them to physically clean the each lens elements of this lens? Is it easy thing to do? As I have mentioned, it seems wider angle lens have more problem with fogging than the 50mm or longer lenses. And each time I send them for cleaning they tend to do better job with 50mm than 35mm or 21mm. Is this because of the size and number of elements that they have to deal with?

  8. #8

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    uh, you need to proceed with caution, especially with Leitz lenses of older vintage.

    When you say clean ALL lens elements, you need to keep in mind that the lenses are not made of a bunch of individual pieces of glass just set in there -- many of them are also cemented, and the cement that Leitz used for a lot of lenses was actually a type of tree sap -- very high tech, and the cement is also formulated as part of the lens formula.

    So, when you say the lens was not completely cleaned, keep in mind that it is not possible to clean the element surfaces that are cemented, and what you may be seeing could be a chemical change in the cement -- to disassemble and rebuild such a lens would cost more than a new lens and you would end up with a lens that was probably not rebuilt with the care the original gnome in Wetzlar used.

    So, try the lens as it is now, see if you like it. If you do, say out loud "I like this lens," and use it.

    If not, send it to Don Goldberg and settle back for a wait, he's got a backlog but is the only repair person i trust with my Leicas at this point. He overhauled a 21mm f 4 Super Angulon I have and it came back quite lovely, although he didn't take any elements apart either.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post

    So, when you say the lens was not completely cleaned, keep in mind that it is not possible to clean the element surfaces that are cemented, and what you may be seeing could be a chemical change in the cement -- to disassemble and rebuild such a lens would cost more than a new lens and you would end up with a lens that was probably not rebuilt with the care the original gnome in Wetzlar used.
    Because the lens was returned with a visible defect and NOT cleanable, the service joint should have noted that when it was returned. The shop guy was just guessing it wasn't repairable.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by raelreal1959 View Post
    I thank you very much for your reply on this.
    I will bring it back, and ask them to redo the cleaning. I have a question. Is it possible for them to physically clean the each lens elements of this lens? Is it easy thing to do? As I have mentioned, it seems wider angle lens have more problem with fogging than the 50mm or longer lenses. And each time I send them for cleaning they tend to do better job with 50mm than 35mm or 21mm. Is this because of the size and number of elements that they have to deal with?
    Yes, it is possible to decement, clean, and recement every element of the lens. If this is done properly, it will be as good as new, perhaps (unlikely) better.

    What may not be posiible is meeting the cost of such work.

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