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11-05-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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Removing a Takumar Lens Faceplate Help

Does anyone have any experience removing the front faceplate of a takumar for disassembly? I read about using a rubber glove and a lens cap to rotate it out, but I realized this didn't work for me due to the faceplate (and possible the threaded area) being bent slightly oblong. Anyone have any experience with this? Can I "squish" it back into a circular shape?

I received a lens from eBay in this shape. The focusing ring "slips", as in it rotates freely without it moving the barrel of the lens. It will stop rotating at min focus distance and infinity, so it's not like it spins in one direction forever. Some research on the internet showed that there are three screws under the faceplate that need to be tightened to fix this. I can not remove the plate as I stated above. Filters won't screw on either because of this.

I don't think I can return it anymore. I got a pretty good deal on it (I think), and the optics looked to be nearly mint, so I'm really hoping there's a fix for this that won't involve me sending it off for expensive repair.

11-06-2011, 03:04 AM   #2
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What lens?
11-06-2011, 05:42 AM   #3
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SMC Takumar 135/3.5
11-06-2011, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MobiusOne Quote
Does anyone have any experience removing the front faceplate of a takumar for disassembly? I read about using a rubber glove and a lens cap to rotate it out, but I realized this didn't work for me due to the faceplate (and possible the threaded area) being bent slightly oblong. Anyone have any experience with this? Can I "squish" it back into a circular shape?

I received a lens from eBay in this shape. The focusing ring "slips", as in it rotates freely without it moving the barrel of the lens. It will stop rotating at min focus distance and infinity, so it's not like it spins in one direction forever. Some research on the internet showed that there are three screws under the faceplate that need to be tightened to fix this. I can not remove the plate as I stated above. Filters won't screw on either because of this.

I don't think I can return it anymore. I got a pretty good deal on it (I think), and the optics looked to be nearly mint, so I'm really hoping there's a fix for this that won't involve me sending it off for expensive repair.
I have the same problem on a couple of Taks. Filter ring slight dinged and faceplate will not or cannot be removed easily.

I have used a rubber foot (for large table legs etc and found at Home Depot and such) to tighten some faceplates and remove faceplates to tighten the screws you're referring to. I have a 135/3.5 that has a slightly dinged filter threads (it can still take filters) and I cannot remove the faceplate using the rubber foot method. I've read, that in this instance, drilling 2 very small holes opposite each other on the faceplate and using a "spanner" type tool to remove it works. I have not tried it due to the fact that I think getting the faceplate back on will be twice as hard. Considering the relatively low cost of the 135/3.5, it might be worth a go...

I have an SMC Tak 55/2.0 and the entire top assembly came off because all 3 screws somehow worked themselves completely off. The filter ring on this is also dented but will take filters still

I'll probably give it a try in the next couple of weeks and post back with results...

11-06-2011, 09:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The barrel has to be close to round to unscrew the trim ring. With a 49mm filter, you can see where it's too wide and squash there. Once a filter threads on, you should be close enough to try the ring. It helps to clean the threads with a toothbrush and put a few drops of penetrating oil on the filter threads. If you use too much oil it'll get on the trim ring and a friction tool won't work, but drops on the threads will work their way down.

If friction doesn't work you wouldn't be the first to try other options. I think someone tried using a common screwdriver in the engraved "1" and it slipped. Then they drilled a hole.



This is what you should see after you get the trim ring off (this is the Super Takumar but I think it's the same):



You need a long thin screwdriver blade for this lens, at least an inch. The sets with one handle and lots of bits won't reach. Remove the screws that aren't in cutouts and take the filter ring off. The three screws you want aren't the ones you see here. The ones to tighten, the focus ring screws, go into the brass ring. The three tabs with the other screws may obscure the focus ring screws. You can probably push the focus ring tightly down, towards the rear of the lens, then rotate it to turn the brass ring a few degrees and expose the focus ring screws.

Infinity focus will need to be reset. Tighten one screw, then try to focus to infinity. If you can't turn the focus ring all the way to see the infinity symbol, turn it as far as you can, loosen the screw, turn the loose ring so the infinity symbol is centered in the window, then tighten the screw again. The lens now focuses slightly beyond infinity. You can mount it on a camera, focus on a distant object, loosen the screw, rotate the ring back so the infinity symbol is centered, then tighten all the screws. If you found that you could turn the focus ring initially all the way to infinity, do that, then loosen the screw, rotate the loose ring back a quarter turn, tighten it, and see if you can get the lens to focus beyond infinity first, then follow my instructions above. This lens has about 270 degrees focus sweep.

Tighten all the screws and that should fix the lens. I like to put the three filter ring screws in their holes, then lower the whole ring down, engage one screw a few threads, then get the other two going. Otherwise getting all the screws in is a chore. Then put the trin ring on and you're done.
11-06-2011, 10:20 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I had to open a Super Tak once. The tool I was recommended (by a camera shop) was a vernier caliper (metal) which is structured like a lens spanner, but much cheaper. Use the blades for measuring internal diameters.
The points on these plades can be pressed into the etched/engraved lettering on the faceplate, without drilling holes making permanent holes in the faceplate and possibly resulting in swarf landing on the front element or inthe mechanism.
11-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for the information, guys! Saved me the trouble of asking more questions after getting the filter ring off. Squashed the front barrel back to circular as much as I could. Used a few drops of penetrating oil (PB50 Blaster). Friction rotation still didn't work that well. Dug the flathead screwdriver into the engraved letters and pushed as hard and controlled as I could at different locations of the face plate. Still hardly moved, but bit by bit, hour by hour, it finally came off! Scraped up the mint-condition faceplate pretty good though.

Tightened the second set of 3 screws, put everything back, focusing works again. Still has problems with the aperture ring, but I'll let those slide. I am puzzled how this lens had near-mint-condition glass and externals but a myriad of internal problems (including lots of black dirt falling out)! It now works as much as I need it to.

Again, thank you all sooooo much!!

EDIT: I just found out I didn't reconfigure infinity focus. D'oh.
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Last edited by MobiusOne; 11-07-2011 at 02:39 PM.
11-07-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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Well, it looks like Super-Taks are slightly different in the details but pretty close. To get to the aperture ring on the typical Takumar, you remove those three screws in the brass ring and take off the focus grip/ring. Then there are usually 3 tiny slotted screws around the outside of the depth of field scale, pinching it in place. Loosen those and slide the ring off. The aperrture ring can now be slid off too. There's a bearing trapped between the ring and lens body, right where the orange mark is on the focus scale. On Taks it usually stays put but be careful it doesn't launch into space or fall off. Three screws hidden by the aperture ring can be removed to pull off the mount.

Often the aperture ring itself needs cleaning and just a bit of grease for better movement. The rest of the mechanism is partly in the mount, partly where the blades are. Black dirt is sometimes an anodized coating falling off, so make sure you don't have shiny bits where they'll cause internal reflections.

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