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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cleaning a Flektogon 35mm (chrome barrel) ... (1/3)

... Be careful: not for the fainted of heart ...

At first, apologies for the multi-part post, but i have to cope with the 6K characters Blogger limitations ...

A few months ago, i got a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35 f/2.8 (the chromed one) in "mint condition" from an eBay seller. As soon as it arrived, in its original box, i inspected it visually and noticed nothing, no fungus/haze, or oily diaphragm blades. Being busy professionally (i just finished the training for my new job), i decided to try it on the camera later ... Useless to say, i was really disappointed when i took my first shots, seeing a yellowish haze on the pictures i was taking during a "Flektogon vs. Flektogon" match (yes, i have both the 35 f/2.4 and the f/2.8 chrome) ...

An orchid phalaenopsis shot by the MC Flektogon 35 f/2.4 (the black one) stopped down to f/16, in halogen light:
Test shot with Flektogon 35 f2.4 at f16 - IMGP9825

The same flower, shot a few minutes later, under the same lightning conditions, with the Flektogon 35 f/2.8, the chrome one, stopped down to f/16 too:
Test shot with Flektogon 35 f2.8 at f16 - IMGP9788

It's easy to detect the brown-yellowish haze and the lack of details ... Sure, the chrome is older than the black one, but i wasn't expecting such a difference and, before complaining with the seller, who already sold me other good lenses, i decided to inspect better the lens using a spot light (be careful to your eyes if you decide to try this), and noticed a kind of irregular haze inside (sorry, don't have a lens to picture this, but it looked as an irregular film of grease or dust).

So, after spending some of my free time searching for repair tips, i asked on a forum for help. Unluckily, i received almost no replies, except one with a link (http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-81.html) to some handmade sketches of Zeiss lenses (still, no luck, just Biotar and Tessar, indeed a very very helpful sketches, as i will realize later ...).
After a month of no replies (and no further information found), i decided to try to fix it myself, since it would have been too expensive to use the services of a professional repairman (after all, i had the lens for a few euros, these Flektogons are much cheaper than their black f/2.4 counterparts, which sell for +100 euros).

Taking advantage of the last long weekend (five days in France, from 8 to 12 may), feeling comfortable after fixing my Takumar 24, i decided that it was time to give a chance (the last one ?) to my Flektogon chrome.

Little disclaimer before going on: I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOUR LENS BECOMES USELESS AFTER THIS INTERVENTION.
I have tried to do my best in documenting how to open the lens, but i don't know if i did it the right way. Keep in mind that there are some (a lot of ?) professionals out there that can service these lenses far better than me ...

If you decide to go on anyway, here is the whole story ...

At first, the required tools:
- A pick tool, to clean the filter screw mount
- A lens ring tool, to remove the front name ring
- A spanner wrench
- A micro-fiber cloth
- An optical lens cleaning fluid
- Zippo fuel
- Some WD40 (or the like) to lubricate the filter thread (if required)
- A plastic box for parts
- A clean surface

With all this gear ready, you can go on.

1. The picture of the patient, a mint Flektogon 35 f/2.8 with its caps and original box:
01 - IMGP4681

2. Front view, just in case a RIP tombstone would have been necessary after the surgery ... (don't blame me, it's the post-surgical stress falling down ;-) ...)
02 - IMGP4692

Be sure the filter thread is clean, check by screwing in a 49mm filter. If required, clean the thread with the pick tool, or a cheaper tooth picker ...

3. Remember the sketches from Rick Oleson (link above)? By looking at them i understood i had to start from the front side, so i prepared the tool for the name ring removal, the (now) classic multi-sized basin cap ...
03 - IMGP4700

4. Starting to unscrew the name ring (i had some WD40 ready just in case, but it has not been necessary ...)
04 - IMGP4703

5. Name ring removed ... First scary vision: two rings with marks for a spanner wrench ... Which one to unscrew? Again, remember the sketches from Rick Oleson (link above)? I went for the outer one ... and did the right choice!
05 - IMGP4706

6. Spanner wrenches are really hard to find in France and expensive (i know Micro-tools, maybe i will buy one later, i'm not a pro ...), so, in the same "more-for-less" spirit of the basin cap, i bought the "poor man spanner wrench" ... a stainless steel compass, for 8 euros ...
06 - IMGP4711

End of part one. Click here for part two ...

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7 Comments:

Blogger jim.ty said...

so happy to find these Flektogon infos. Only prob, I can't seem to get past page 1. Any way to proceed?
I need to get inside my Flektogon 20mm to try repair infinity capability and also diaphram ring..
Thanks,
Garry T

February 1, 2011 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Garry,

At first, thanks for reading here and commenting ...

You're right, i never noticed this before, will add a link to the successive posts as soon as i finish replying here ...

Moreover, i discovered that the search for the label Repair didn't find all the posts concerned, but only the newest ones ... Maybe it's time to switch to another template or to redesign the menus ...

For what concerns the Flektogon 20, i will soon post a guide, i too i have to fix the infinity issue on mine. I suppose yours too, is the Flek 20 f/2.8 ;-) ?

Thanks again for your interests in my posts and for pointing these issues ...

February 1, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Edit of the previous post: Added a link at the bottom of the pages to browse to the next two parts ...

February 1, 2011 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Spiral said...

Great

i will use this to adjust a sears 55mm, on my 40d, i haen't infinity focus.. but just one question
where did you find those multi-sized basin cap ??

May 26, 2011 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Spiral,

At first, thanks for standing here and commenting ...

The sink cap is sold by Wirquin Innovation, there is a post on this blog here with a description of the cap and a link to the reseller catalog ...

Best wishes for your Sears, it's a nice lens ...

Cheers

May 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Bob in Berlin said...

Thanks a lot for the share. can you please tell me where I can buy the tool you used to remove the names ring of the lens? I bought another kind of the tool(E-bay USA), but it doesn't work with my older CZJ flektogon 35/2.8 silver version(SN:4258814)_it has no filter thread.
I did the infinity adjustment of the CZJ Flektogon 20/2.8 MC: Sony Nex5's liveview helps me to check it easy. and I noticed that the engraved number inside the lens means the screw in place of the lens group__ typical german methode. bt, I live in Berlin, it is easy to collect old german lenses. with regards

June 17, 2011 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Bob, the tool in question is a multi-size kitchen sink cap made of soft plastic. It is sold by Wiquin Innovation (www.wirquin.com) and it is called "Universal Plug". Apparently, these products are sold across Europe, so you should be able to find a reseller in your country.

Nevertheless, i'm quite intrigued by your Flektogon without the filter thread. Do you have posted some pictures of your lens (notably, of the front lens) somewhere ? Maybe your lens opens in a different way, or it is just the front ring that unscrews differently ...

You lucky guy, i too, i would really like to live in a country where old Zeiss, Steinheil, Schneider, Schacht and Meyer lenses are easy to find ...

BTW, if you like old lenses, you could join the crew at MFLenses forum too, lots of useful information there ...

June 17, 2011 at 8:26 PM  

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