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12-08-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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Relubing a mirror lens: Who does it?

Hey all.

I have a Tair 3M5CA 500mm mirror lens I'm very fond of, but the focusing has always felt a tad stiffer than I'm used to with other lenses. Yesterday, while shooting in 30 degree weather, it stiffened up to the point it was slow to turn. I suspect the lube is getting old and needs replacing.

Who does this sort of thing & what kind of money am I looking at for a mirror lens CLA? I wouldn't think it would be too complex an operation.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

12-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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Call Eric. Very good and reasonable.

pentax27@aol.com
12-08-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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Hi

One of the easiest to fix, just turn to the close focus point. There are 3 small setscrews just loosen them and that ring will drop back towards the
mount end.
Then the entire front assy will unscrew, nothing compilcated under there it just screws off.
The threads will be open to clean with some lighter fluid and a clean rag. Keep the lenses upwards so as not to contaminate them. You could also
loosely place a clean soft cloth inside to protect the mirror and lens.
Relube with very fine coat of white grease or silicone grease.
Here is a link MC 3M-5CA tight focusing ring fix ?
There are the instructions from the maker on this page.
12-08-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks for the info, guys.

I'll probably just have Eric do it. I don't wanna risk screwing up the lens.

Thanks,
Bob :-)

12-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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I expect any competent camera shop can do it for less than $50. I once had to clean aperture blades on a lens, which should be a more delicate operation and I went to a local store to do it. The bill came to $50-$60. Relubing a mirror lens should be much easier than cleaning blades.

PS: I actually had two copies of Tokina and opened them up to exchange the scratched distance scale I had on the better copy - it was a very simple design and I had no issues to assemble it back. But the 3M-5CA might be slightly different.
12-09-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
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Hmmmm... Maybe I'll give it a shot, then.
12-09-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Hmmmm... Maybe I'll give it a shot, then.
If this is your first time, try to test on a cheaper lens, a prime is easier to dismount than a zoom.

I've done the job several times myself, relubing, cleaning fungus, sticky aperture blades, etc. and have a good track record. It's not always easy, it requires patience and the right tools. In your case it should be the easiest job.
12-09-2011, 07:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
If this is your first time, try to test on a cheaper lens, a prime is easier to dismount than a zoom.
It's a mirror lens... Supposedly very simple.

12-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
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With my Tokina, there were basically two large pieces - the outer cylinder that makes the focusing ring and holds the front element, and the inner cylinder with the focusing thread and hosting the rear mirror and rear optical element. There was a piece (a screw I think) blocking the focusing ring from being unscrewed completely from the rest of the lens. Once that was removed, the two parts can be simply separated by focusing the lens all the way past infinity. Then you can lube the interior, screw it back on (make a mark earlier to know at what point you want to screw back the focusing limiter), and you're done. The same mechanism can be used if you want to adjust the lens for another mount and you need to fix the infinity focus. Try to do this in a place with little dust, otherwise you'll get it all inside the lens.

Of course, this was the situation with the Tokina, and I cannot guarantee that the 3M-5CA is the same, but if you see things getting more complicated, just abort the disassembly. If you are careful, take notes, make marks, take photos, you shouldn't get into a situation where you can't put it back together.
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