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04-01-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
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Pentax-A 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 fogged or oil leak?

I bought a SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 a few weeks ago on ebay. When it arrived I looked at it and took a dozen shots on my K-5 and all seemed OK. The lens appeared to be in great condition w/ both caps, a filter and a case. I put it back in the case and took it out this morning to shoot some lilac buds. I was unable to focus on anything. Demounted the lens and tried again. It wouldn't focus at any aperture or focal length. I held it so the sun hit the front directly and was able to see a weird pattern projected on the blades; upon closer examination it's as if there is moisture trapped between the front elements. Tried leaving it in the sun for a few hours and no change. The seller lives in a dry climate and where I live we are having all time driest conditions, 10% relative humidity. Crazy. Anyone have an experience like this and know what it is? Now I'm wondering if it hadn't been used for awhile before I bought it, and my use suddenly caused an inner lubrication leak? Added two more pics looking thru the lens wide open from front and back.
the lens

what it shoots like

Last edited by bonjonno; 04-01-2012 at 04:33 PM. Reason: added pics
04-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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Umm, that last pic is the coolest thing i've seen all day.
You will be taking that lens apart or giving it away if you want it perfect again, having anyone fix it would cost WAY more than its worth.
I've never seen oil in a lens do that. Its like someone used really cheap incorrect grease with the wrong base and the oil separated out in the heat. Get a JIS screwdriver set and lens spanner set (may not need unless its between lenses of major groups) off of Amazon or something. Also sometimes need the worlds smallest flat blade screwdriver. Regular automotive white lithium grease used sparingly is perfect for lenses though it'll leave the focus rather more dampened than original. I've never taken that one apart so I won't speculate on how.
Brake cleaner (don't use stick on can and from at least 6 or so inches) will blow all the crap from the aperture blades, but you need that assembly seperated from the lenses as I don't know what it will do to an SMC coating.

Or go this route and replace it with the somewhat better (in my opinion) fixed aperture version:
SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm Zoom Lens 1:4 with both caps | eBay
04-01-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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thanks for the info. I'd kinda like to take it apart but don't have the tools and the lens is not that important to me. Just bummed that I got a dozen or so pics the day it came via Canadian Post and they looked fine. Two weeks later, bupkus. It sat in its hard case at room temperature, super low humidity, in between.

Last edited by bonjonno; 04-01-2012 at 09:51 PM. Reason: format error

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