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04-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
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Just got my 44K-4 -- Problem, Not Happy

I just got my Helios 44K-4 lens from the Ukraine today. I paid $79 including shipping on eBay for it.

Everything is okay except the focusing. When I turn it, it INTERMITTENTLY does any of the following: gets stiff at points, gets loose at points, clicks, pops, slips, etc..

Anyone else experience this problem with this lens? Don't tell me this is a normal attribute of this lens!--lol.

They knew what they were selling me.. they knew it had problems. I feel cheated and I have no idea what to do about it.

This is the item I won: Helios-44K-4 2/58 Russian LOGO Lens for cameras Pentax K mount RARE | eBay

04-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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I have a Russian industar 61 for my fed that exhibits this tendancy. never bothered fixing it since i have 2. Russian lens QC was spotty, and they are old now. If you disassemble clean and regrease them they can be very smooth. this is really a sign the lens grease has deteriorated. fortunately they are about as simple as it gets for self service. unfortunately in the last couple of years these things have really jumped in price. you used to be able to pick them up for peanuts

this guy has the article down for revision but if I remember it was a good detailed method

Retrotek ╗ Blog
04-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Ok thanks, I am going to service it myself. Do you think I should ask for a discount since he stated in the ad that it was in great working condition? Since I have to service it myself he should take off 20 or so I'd think.
04-26-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by geekette Quote
Ok thanks, I am going to service it myself. Do you think I should ask for a discount since he stated in the ad that it was in great working condition? Since I have to service it myself he should take off 20 or so I'd think.
I would definitely go after him on it. Great working condition means it doesn't do any of the things you mention. Personally i think the helios is really only worth well less than $50

here's another link for self servicing soviet stuff


Kiev Survival Site

and another more specific one

http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/forum/messages/3/18162.html?1291212990

04-26-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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I also received one that would barely turn, was full of sand/grit, but glass was clean & iris perfect.
It's actually an easy job to take apart and clean, re-lube. Don't bother with the front, you can access everything from the back (mount) side. I had to re-assemble twice, a lil tricky, because it was out of phase the first time & wouldn't focus to infinity. I used some red hi-temp wheel bearing grease (not too much!).

After this it turns smooth & it's a real fun lens!!

P.S. I also got all my money back!
04-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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i would use White lithium grease, easy to find, won't harden, won't liquify can take extreme heat and cold (it is an automotive grease)
cheap as chips too. $8 will buy you enough to do many lenses
04-26-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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eBay sellers are quite worried about the feedback, so tell them you want a full refund.
My copy of 44K had a bad fungus infection on the elements, so I took it apart, cleaned it with rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to wipe off as much as I could and reassembled it.
It works pretty good now. The only mistake I made quite assembling the lens was that I lost a small metal ball that makes the aperture ring "click", so my aperture ring turns smooth like it's a preset.
I actually like it like this.
04-26-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RickyFromVegas Quote
... The only mistake I made quite assembling the lens was that I lost a small metal ball that makes the aperture ring "click", so my aperture ring turns smooth like it's a preset.
I actually like it like this.
Bonjour,

I did the same thing with a re-lube on an "aus Jena" 50/1.8 ... a lot more fun this way IMHO.

Salut et A+, John le Frog


04-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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I asked him for a $55 (of the $80) refund since it wasn't as described and for my hassle/expense.
04-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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That's not gonna get you anything.
If the lens works, the focus ring's tightness, looseness, clicks and pops won't have any affect on the images. I doubt you'll get the compensations you asked unless you return the lens.
But seeing as the shipping was $20, you might be able to haggle that price since the lens was given to you with problems not listed on the listing.
04-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #11
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We'll see; it's a starting point.
04-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by geekette Quote
I just got my Helios 44K-4 lens from the Ukraine today. I paid $79 including shipping on eBay for it.
Argue your case with the seller. But the issue doesn't seem major enough that you can ask to get it for $34.

There is probably some dust or sand that got mixed with the grease, so I would worry if the lens looks clean when you look through it. How was it packaged? Was it clean on the outside when you received it? It could be that the grease got affected somehow during shipping and the issue didn't exist when they packaged it for you - in that case you could work with the seller to file a claim with the carrier. You should be able to disassemble the focusing helicoid easily to clean it and degrease it. A photo shop could also do this for you for under $50.

This is not a QC issue - it is just an old lens that had something bad happen to it. There are Takumars with stiff focusing rings too, but no one talks about the Asahi QC issues.
04-26-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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It's really HORRIBLE.. it feels like it going to fall apart at times when I focus.. >< Deserves a significant discount.. I think I am gonna have Eric repair this..
04-26-2012, 11:52 PM   #14
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Good luck! Yes, the glass might be perfect, but if the clunking etc. makes you feel like it's falling apart then it's not the kind of experience you like and you deserve a decrease in price.




QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
..."aus Jena" 50/1.8...
Pancolar?
04-27-2012, 02:49 AM   #15
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Oui, c'est bien ša ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
... Pancolar?
Bonjour Giklab,

Oui, a "MC Pancolar 1.8/50 aus Jena DDR" ... focus turns very smoothly now.

Salut, J FROG

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