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05-15-2012, 05:59 AM   #1
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Cleaning an oil fouled SMC A 35-70 f 3.5/4.5

Bonjour,

I "cracked" (as the French say ... "craqué") and bought a SMC A 35-70 f3.5-4.5 via the Internet from a UK used vendor (Rocky Cameras).

Unfortunately the lens this oil fouled, looks like a "WD-40" type product that seems to be now on the outer fringes of the front elements and "dip run" traces across one element. I'm guessing that the lens may have had a "stiff-ish" focus movement, thus a blast of oil ... which has penetrated to the lens elements. The focus ring at the moment is almost too smooth, like it's bathing in oil, etc.

I am going to complain and/or maybe send back this lens, but before doing so, does anyone know if this would be an easy clean or not?

Any input would be greatly appreciated because I would like to keep/save this one ... Please know that I have torn down an oily CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 and got it working again (except for the already "dead" auto pin arm mechanism) ... it was a 3 buck swap meet buy and a long tale. Plus a CZJ 135/3.5 Zebra and now trying to save a re-badged Auto Chinon 135/2.8 ...

Merci d'avance, John le Frog


Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 05-15-2012 at 06:09 AM.
05-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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It will not be. Even with an ultrasonic cleaner you will need to pull all the groups apart to fish out all hiding places for oil. Also, the grease installed in the helix will breakdown and possibly shed into the aperture compartment and slow the action down. Do send it back or make them pay for the mess to clean out.

If you decide to clean it yourself, do take precautions for the tiny springs that make up the contacts on the lens as well as the weird hanging connection that is such a pain to seat when it is time to reassemble. It sound to be a lot of work especially if oil has contaminated the helicoid.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 05-15-2012 at 06:17 AM.
05-16-2012, 04:29 AM   #3
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Some photo of oil, etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
It will not be. Even with an ultrasonic cleaner you will need to pull all the groups apart to fish out all hiding places for oil. Also, the grease installed in the helix will breakdown and possibly shed into the aperture compartment and slow the action down. Do send it back or make them pay for the mess to clean out.

If you decide to clean it yourself, do take precautions for the tiny springs that make up the contacts on the lens as well as the weird hanging connection that is such a pain to seat when it is time to reassemble. It sound to be a lot of work especially if oil has contaminated the helicoid.
Bonjour MysteryOnion,

Thanks for your input and below are a few (poor) photos which kind of show the oil streaks and droplets ...

I have sent an email stating the problems with this lens and that what I received is in an unacceptable and not in a "optically perfect condition", to quote the seller's description of this lens. No answer yet ...

Allez et salut, John le Frog



05-16-2012, 05:25 AM   #4
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helpful tip: never buy from that ebay vendor. he is a well known scam artist and most of his offerings have issues he doesn't inform potential buyers. your issues aren't coincidence or bad luck. you were scammed. I'm surprised you didn't know to steer away from this seller already.

05-16-2012, 05:41 AM   #5
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Merci ... I guess

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
helpful tip: never buy from that ebay vendor. he is a well known scam artist and most of his offerings have issues he doesn't inform potential buyers. your issues aren't coincidence or bad luck. you were scammed. I'm surprised you didn't know to steer away from this seller already.
Bonjour séamuis,

Thank you for your message, but I am a bit surprised by its tone ...

I bought off the "Rocky Camera" website (not e-bay, just FYI) and had a previous good transaction when I purchased a Tamron Adaptall-2. So, I guess that I got sucked in by a positive experience?!

Is there a listing somewhere for these "well known" scam artists? If not, maybe PF should post a "black list" or something similar.

Bien respectueusement, John
05-16-2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Bonjour séamuis,

Thank you for your message, but I am a bit surprised by its tone ...

I bought off the "Rocky Camera" website (not e-bay, just FYI) and had a previous good transaction when I purchased a Tamron Adaptall-2. So, I guess that I got sucked in by a positive experience?!

Is there a listing somewhere for these "well known" scam artists? If not, maybe PF should post a "black list" or something similar.

Bien respectueusement, John
you may have gotten lucky. sometimes people do. but he is a scam artist none the less. do a search for rocky cameras on google. undoubtedly you will come across people who have also been scammed. its pretty common really. there have been threads here on the forums a number of times, discussing this issue. he lists all of his lenses as 'optically perfect'. yet all too often it will have your issues, or fungus, or scratches, haze, etc.

I'm only trying to give you fair warning mate. your issues aren't coincidence, no matter if you've gotten lucky before. proceed at your own risk as far as future purchases from him are concerned. and I wish you the best of luck in getting your money back for the lens should you decide to go that route.
05-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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Merci encore ...

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
you may have gotten lucky. sometimes people do. but he is a scam artist none the less. do a search for rocky cameras on google. undoubtedly you will come across people who have also been scammed. its pretty common really. there have been threads here on the forums a number of times, discussing this issue. he lists all of his lenses as 'optically perfect'. yet all too often it will have your issues, or fungus, or scratches, haze, etc.

I'm only trying to give you fair warning mate. your issues aren't coincidence, no matter if you've gotten lucky before. proceed at your own risk as far as future purchases from him are concerned. and I wish you the best of luck in getting your money back for the lens should you decide to go that route.
Re-bonjour,

Thanks again and for the "heads-up" here. I'll more than take your word about it being a scam ... info which is much appreciated.

I paid through PayPal, thus if not reimbursed and/or satisfied, I will launch an appropriate complaint(s) ... Have you ever had to do this before or something similar via PayPal ("successful", etc.)? Just curious ...

Cheers, J
05-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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not personally no, but from what I understand, paypal leans heavily in the buyers favor not the sellers, so as long as you open a dispute promptly and with sufficient evidence that the item was not as described, I don't think you will have any issues at all in getting your money back through paypal.

05-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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Yikes, that looks bad. I tried to enhance it and it looked worse. I'm not sure if the spray is from the zoom action spreading it or the person shoved the nozzle of the spray can right up against the edges or through the rear gaps. A few spots look more consistent to water carried deposit as well. I hope you can return this lens for a refund otherwise it would be quite an overhaul job. I've overhauled a 80-200 and it too three hours of slow careful reassembling of the diaphragm. That looks like a seven hour job with detergents and bake time for the parts.
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