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11-16-2011, 12:25 AM   #1
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lubricant inside sealed area of lens?

So I got a vivitar 28-85 2.8-3.8 off ebay and it has spots of what looks like lubricant deposits on nearly every element inside. It wasn't really bad but they were here and there through out the lens. There are some spots that look like fungus too. One of the rear elements in a sealed area had what looked like a layer of light fungus across the entire element. I know these lenses have a reputation for spreading lubrication. There are 2 areas at the rear that are completely sealed though (basically a metal tube with glass on both ends). The spots of lube were clearish and had kind of a rainbow effect to light just like I would expect from oil. So even if lubricant spread, how on earth did it get into these sealed areas? What had a pattern that looked like fungus in one of the rear sealed areas across the element wiped right away with no apparent damage at all to the glass or coatings, though it was kind of smeary and I didn't get it all out (I'm thinking that rear section might be a good candidate for an alcohol wash). I can only guess it wasn't fungus though it had a pattern in it or there was so much lubricant or whatever that it never ate all the way through?

It just seems kind of weird that the lubricant would get everywhere including inside sealed areas with no lubricated parts? If it was fungus in the back, why did it just wipe away, and if it was lubricant, how on earth did so much get into a sealed set of elements? IIf other areas just wipe clean like this, I think this lens might be salvageable (thought it was trashed when I first got it), but am I the only one that thinks the things I'm finding are kind of strange?

11-16-2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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Aperture blades have lubricant I think
11-16-2011, 05:37 AM   #3
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I think think that if they use lubricant on the aperture blades it is a dry lubricant, but the 2 areas at the back I am specifically talking about are not even exposed to the aperture (there is a third area in front of those two that is behind the aperture). The 2 rear areas are literally tube with glass on each end and no holes or exposure to any moving parts of any kind.
11-16-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Actually the lubricant is probably from the focusing helix and zoom cams. If it is sprayed on the elements then someone has attempted to clean the aperture mechanism with com Essex air to get the oil off the blades,

Oil on the blades is what makes them stick, they should be bone dry to work properly

This would require full disassembly and cleaning to fix

11-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Actually the lubricant is probably from the focusing helix and zoom cams. If it is sprayed on the elements then someone has attempted to clean the aperture mechanism with com Essex air to get the oil off the blades,

Oil on the blades is what makes them stick, they should be bone dry to work properly

This would require full disassembly and cleaning to fix
I figured that is where the lubricant came from for most of it. It is the kiron stove pipe version that has a reputation for the helical grease migrating everywhere. Sticky aperture from lubricant is a common problem with them but I got lucky on that part. The front of the aperture is dry. The rear has some shiny spots like a little lube got on it but not enough to make it malfunction. The blades still open and close and snap back fine. I could see compressed air having been part of the problem the way lube is everywhere but if it has been dissembled they did a very careful job. There is not a single mark indicating it has been disassembled. I don't see how it got in the rear two sealed areas though unless it was dissembled or it got in there when the lens was first made and then spread. You would think that if someone fully disassembled it with such care they would clean the lens but who knows.
I'm hoping that after cleaning the rear two areas (already done) and the front areas (not done yet) it will be good enough to be usable and I won't have to tear into the helix. I have torn lenses all the way down before and know it could use a full tear down' clean and lube, but I would really like to salvage it and am hesitant to take any unnecessary risks.
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