Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
You're not missing much, if anything at all. Every lens I've ever taken apart has been relatively simple. If it wasn't, it was because the lens itself was being difficult (ie. parts refusing to be unthreaded). I think a lot of it has to do with a cash grab -make it seem so overly complicated and daunting that you must seek professional help. It's the same thing with cars. Go to a mechanic and tell them you've never done an oil change before and they'll try to talk you out of it, say you need all these tools and all the things you could do to ruin your car, etc etc. and that you need to pay them to do it.
As a person who's rebuilt engines on my own and of course heard the common lines along "you'll shoot your eye out!" I can attest to this type of thing.

Some people also just hear rhetoric like "NEVER TAKE APART A LEICA LENS!! THE PRECISION IS SO PRECISE AND THE SECOND IT COMES APART YOU'VE KNOCKED IT OUT OF WHACK!!!" and then just repeat it all over forums without having a clue what they're talking about. Well, I've taken apart nearly every lens I've ever owned and even some with built in shutters that weren't working and fixed them without a manual or anything. I've taken apart all my Leica lenses (28mm, 35mm, 50mm), some canon rangefinder ones for cleaning, etc. and they still take sharp and beautiful photographs.
Yep the Leicaphiles seem to be particularly paranoid about this - but they also believe there is an implicit magic in both the cameras and lenses (disclaimer: I do love my M4+Summicron). Speaking of which, I might have to crack open the Summicron as oil on the blades has migrated to the rear element and I'm not really into the whole diffusion effect. Any gotchas I should know about? As you can probably tell, there is zero documentation out there (only the chosen ones are allowed to fix these lenses).