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03-06-2011, 05:11 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Basic Lenses Repair, Maintenance & Cleaning Kit

If topic has been covered before, please excuse me & point me in the right direction.

I have a variety of older lenses which I've purchased from a number of sources. (LBA)

I think it would be great for all of us if we could tap in to the experience from those who've been working and using lenses for years.

Let me state upfront. I'm not talking about major repairs on a lens. There are a few sites that show how to disassemble & repair lenses. However, I have no idea what tools they are using, where they purchased them, or the cleaning agents used.

For starters, here's a short list of what I think would be needed for the DIY group.
  • A basic kit of tools. (Precision screw drivers, sizes, any special tools)
  • Cleaning agents used for both the glass and the lens body.
  • Cloths used for cleaning.
  • How to make an old lens shine like new.
A picture of the tools one uses would be great. Where they were purchase would be fantastic. I'm sure there are other things which could be added to this as well but keeping it on topic.

My goal would be to be able to sit down at my work bench, pull out my lenses kit repair & cleaning tool box and if I screw it up, at least I know I did it with the right stuff.

03-06-2011, 05:25 AM   #2
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Even I would like to get some hands-on. thanks for bringing this up.
03-06-2011, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #3
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http://www.micro-tools.com/ has lens tools...I've also seen kits on the 'baY.

well-lit work area

non-powdered surgical gloves or finger tips

tray such as cookie baking sheet, with soft pad covering bottom -- pad prevents dropping parts from bouncing, sides of tray keep parts from rolling off)

small cups/dishes for holding parts & soaking parts in cleaner

screwdrivers & knife-sharpening stone to grind tips to exact screw-fit -- cheap $1-2 sets work great, or get a Wiha set that lasts lifetime -- for slotted, cross-tip, phillips screws, and miniature hex set.

lens spanner (purhase, homemade, substitute old calipers or compass or pliers with re-ground tips)

lens ring removal tools (purchase, use correct size old washtub stopper or foot from crutches, or a dental dam & fingers)

lighter fluid for cleaning lens body and stubborn lens deposits

castile soap for cleaning lens body and stubborn lens deposits

toothbrush

Eclipse (or reagent grade methanol) Lens Cleaning fluid

Pec-pads (clean-room grade microfiber cloths)

optional: lens suction cups, used to pick up & position lens elements

helical grease

touch-up paint

Basic techniques to repair lenses (and cameras)::Manual Focus Lenses
03-06-2011, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I use a whole bunch of small neodymium magnets to keep my screws organized. I pop one or two on the screwdriver head and stick screws to it as I take them out. Once a "set" of screws is removed, I label and set the whole magnet aside. When it's time to put the screws back in, I pop the magnet back on the head and proceed.

I've never lost a screw this way.

An additional bonus is that those darn little bearings are generally magnetic, or at least slightly magnetic, so they don't get lost either.

03-06-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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3M "microfiber lens cleaning cloth"s with a few (as in 3-5) drops of Eclipse on the cloth has worked pretty good for me. Prodedure:

1) chase off any grit with a bulb blower
2) apply the moist spot of cloth in a swirling motion beginning from the centre towards the edges
3) before the fluid has a change to evaporate apply a dry spot of the cloth to scoop up the smudges now in solution

Notes:

The 3M cloths tend to leave tiny fragments of fibres behind. The bulb blower (or a brush) gets rid of these (usually ). These are better in that they seem to leave practically no fibres (or maybe they are just tinier ), they do not absorb smudges as well though. Combing the two (3M first) or using the latter alone for smaller messes works for me.

Canned air is more effective than a bulb blower. The cans seem prone to emitting drops of propellant which dry instantly and tend to leave a smudge behind. Might not be that bad if you are going to apply a cloth + fluid which gets rid of them. Holding the can upright and having a test blow on the back of ones hand would seem to eliminate this in practice though. (You can feel the drops hitting your skin and/or the cold from them evaporating in which case another test blow is indicated until the output is dry.) If in doubt stick to the bulb blower.

I suspect 99%+ rubbing alcohol (isopropanol, 2-propanol) would work just fine. This is inexpensive, but then Eclipse is tried and true and a bottle goes a long way .

The 3M clothes can be washed and reused. I currently downgrade them to less critical jobs after they have been in the washer as I bought half a dozen. They come in different colours which helps to keep them sorted as to their differing states of wear due to use and washing.

edit: cleaning is best done sparingly though, some grit will inevitably get between the glass and the cloth, also coatings at least will wear ever-so-slightly every time.

Last edited by jolepp; 03-06-2011 at 02:50 PM. Reason: oops ... removed extra "edit: ..."
03-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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Great stuff - I'm making a donation

This is really a great start. This information will help all of us save time, money & frustration.

Hard to put a price on that, but I'm heading over to make a donation to Pentax forums. I'm new to photography and this site has saved me all of the above.

I know there are so many newbie's who haven't a clue where to start. Thanks to all who've contributed your insight, tips, & wisdom so far.

My goal in the end here is to have a list of the items needed. Including, how & when to use them along with some pictures.

Maybe, someone could put the video use of your K7, K5 to the task of a short video. Short & to the point... The ideas are endless...
03-06-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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Here's my list:

Magnifying work light
LED flash light to see into those dark places
Hand magnifier
Precision screw driver set
Micro file set
Dental pick set
Needle nose pliers
Tweezers
Forceps (several pair of different sizes and shapes)
Lens spanner (eBay)
Lens ring removal tool (made my own on the lathe but available on eBay as well)
Micro-fiber cloths
Air blower
Canned air if you are careful
Q-tips
Lens cleaner
Lighter fluid
helical coil grease
Painters tape (good for securing small parts, and to pick up the actual lens element)
Sheet of 1/4" foam to set things on
Zip-Lock bag (get a big one to put things in while you disassemble, then all those little ball bearings are at least contained)
Magnetic small parts tray
Multi-compartment bin to hold everything so I don't have to chase all over finding my kit
03-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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I just read a few of your posts over at the link you provided. What an excellent post on tools plus other great info...

Too bad the one where the guy used a fork never posted a picture of how he used it.. Sure would have been interesting.

03-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
http:/www.micro-tools.com/ has lens tools...I've also seen kits on the 'baY.

Basic techniques to repair lenses (and cameras)::Manual Focus Lenses
I was wondering where you were able to purchase the

"Calibrated rubber tubes to unscrew the lenses. Many people use uncalibrated chair leg-ends that may damage the coating."

It looks like you have a nice collection of them there. I also was not able to find the suction cup either.

Thanks
03-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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also include air blower to blow off any dust residues and stuff.
03-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I was wondering where you were able to purchase the

"Calibrated rubber tubes to unscrew the lenses. Many people use uncalibrated chair leg-ends that may damage the coating."

It looks like you have a nice collection of them there. I also was not able to find the suction cup either.

Thanks
Looks like micro-tools is temporarily out of stock of the Lens Ring Tool Set. The only other place I've seen them is Japan-Hobby-Tool. Shipping is a bit pricey but only takes a week.

japan-hobby-tool.com
03-09-2011, 01:07 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Make sure your screwdriver set includes a few sizes of so-called "JIS" (Japanese Industrial Standard) screwdrivers. These have a cross-shaped head, but unlike Phillips have straighter edges on the cross-shaped pattern on the tip and a flatter tip. It's possible to use Phillips drivers on JIS screws, but you're likely to suffer a lot of slips out and potential stripping of the head.
03-09-2011, 03:08 PM   #13
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Lab and Production - Edmund Optics
03-09-2011, 09:44 PM   #14
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Camera Maintenance and Repair - Books 1 & 2’ by Thomas Tomosy - AmherstMedia, Inc (search Amazon photo books section)

If in doubt about the purity/non-streaking characteristics of a solvent, simply try it on a mirror first.

Acquire a coupl'a representative junk lenses and bodies and totally disassemble 'em with no expectation of ever restoring 'em to proper working order. Save all the screws, springs, rings, and other loose parts for future use and keep the carcasses around for reference. What you learn doin' it wrong the first time is called hands-on experience. (You'll also gain a lot of respect for the folks that used to conceive, draft, manufacture and assemble this gear without the help of computers or space age plastics.)

Do related word searches and study tool and hardware catalogs so you have the proper nomenclature for 'stuff'. Now that you're aware there's such a thing as a JIS cross-point screw and driver bit you also need to know what it looks like, where to get it and why you'll need one. Where do you find a replacement for that 1.2mm ball bearing that rolled down the rabbit hole? Will the tip of a ball point pen provide a useful substitute, or not? Do you need a truss head or a pan head replacement screw? What are the common thread pitches in camera lenses?

Squirt canned air on a soft, nylon artist's brush to give it a static charge to help pick up dust. Or, just rub it on the cat.

Naptha (dry cleaning fluid) is useful in place of lighter fluid as a grease solvent - 's with the paint thinner back in the dark corner.

That band of rubber they wrap around your arm when they take blood makes a good grip/band clamp when unscrewing lens barrels.

You can make custom spanner wrench blades from a hacksaw blade with a bit of filing.

A light coat of 'rubber cement' provides a friction surface and can be easily removed later. That way, you may actually get a grip using those crutch tips and wash basin plugs.

And there's also that magic Indian incantation used to begin and end all lens maintenance projects: to be repeated seven times aloud - "Owaa-tayfoo-liam!" .

H2
03-10-2011, 06:08 AM   #15
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Hokey Pokey

QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote

And there's also that magic Indian incantation used to begin and end all lens maintenance projects: to be repeated seven times aloud - "Owaa-tayfoo-liam!" .

H2
Followed as directed, however at the end, had an irresistible urge to do both the Chicken Dance & the Hokey Pokey.. Will keep you posted..
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