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11-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Lubricants for Takumars

Ok, sorry for starting a thread just for this, but I want to finally repair all my Taks, and I need some definitive information.
First of all, some focus rings are stiff. What's best to use while relubing? White lithium grease, from what I've gathered? How does it compare to the original damping grease?
Secondly, I have now 3 focusing rings with fallen distance scales. I'd like to have them glued back. What glue should be the best, keep things in place while not doing a mess, corroding and such?
Thirdly, I wonder where I can find these, but I don't think you can help me with this one

11-02-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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From what I've heard on other forums you do not want to use white lithium grease as it creeps or spreads. A few people have have said axle bearing grease (high temperature) available at automotive supplies works. You might be able to get a dab from a friendly auto mechanic. A little goes a long way.

Why not get the real deal? Helicoid damping grease from Nikon and Canon can be found on eBay (not cheap). Or you can buy it from Micro-Tools along with the JIS drivers and spanners you will probably need to disassemble the lenses.

Lubricants

They have a store front for European customers too.

http://www.micro-tools.de/
11-02-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
From what I've heard on other forums you do not want to use white lithium grease as it creeps or spreads.
Considering it is used to lube drum brake parts on cars, I'm not sure that is the case, the drums on my Gremlin definitely get hotter than any of my lenses and if the grease creeped it would get onto the shoes. The TDS from Permatex says the dropping point is 193C or 380F.

So far I've used it on my Suntar 135mm, Mamiya 60mm macro and Jupiter 9 helicoids without a problem and I like the feel it gives.
11-02-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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Perhaps this will offer ideas.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/maintenance-repair-articles/139172-lubricants.html

11-03-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks, I have read your article, but this is the only thing that I found more or less useful:
QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Helical focus and zoom threads (a viscous automotive gear or bearing grease) -- ideally you'll have some old threaded barrels to experiment with to get the correct "feel"; it mostly depends on the tolerance in the threads. Something about like extra thick Vasoline usually works OK.


QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
From what I've heard on other forums you do not want to use white lithium grease as it creeps or spreads.
Apparently some do, some don't.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Why not get the real deal? Helicoid damping grease from Nikon and Canon can be found on eBay
QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
not cheap
Exactly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Or you can buy it from Micro-Tools along with the JIS drivers and spanners you will probably need to disassemble the lenses.
Already have those, good stuff

QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
So far I've used it on my Suntar 135mm, Mamiya 60mm macro and Jupiter 9 helicoids without a problem and I like the feel it gives.
Can you please describe a little how it feels, how does it compare to the Takumar focusing?
11-03-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Can you please describe a little how it feels, how does it compare to the Takumar focusing?
None of those have helicoids as nice as my Takumar, so I can't compare them directly, but it does feel smooth and the resistance is pretty consistent over various temperatures.
11-03-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Thanks. Any thought regarding the second question?
11-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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The automotive lithium grease used for brake systems I am familiar with is oil based and will separate some just sitting in the can. The separation oil is moderately light weight and I assume it will migrate some on it's own. If you use that stuff, put some on some blotter paper and see how it wicks. If it was me I would never use that stuff in a lens anywhere. You might e mail Eric and ask for his suggestion as to what a pro uses and where to buy it. Just my take on the subject.

11-05-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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Epoxy does not need pressure and can easily be cleaned of with alcohol. I have used silicon fat for my aperture ring and I think it works great.
Again Micro-tools is where you can find the things you need.
11-05-2012, 01:12 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I did a lot of research on this before I started fixing a few lenses I have.

You do NOT want to use any Automotive bearing or brake grease. It will seperate. I've been working on vehicles for years and didn't even have to think about it.

No lithium grease either. That stuff will seperate very easily as well. It also has a very bad tendency to dry out pretty quickly.

You also do not want any silicone based grease. It will seperate and attracts dirt like no other.

The absolute best grease I have been able to find is:
Super Lube Synthetic Grease

It doesn't cost that much ($6.50 from Amazon or around $7-8 from Harbor Freight Tools for a 3oz tube), gives you very a very good feel for the focusing helicoid, and will not seperate.
http://www.amazon.com/Synthetic-Grease-Syncolon-Purpose-Lubricant/dp/B000XBH9HI
11-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #11
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Wow...what a lot of conflicting advice!!!

I was researching this sort of thing a few months back and have nothing to add beyond suggesting that you find something that looks like it might work and give it a try. Alternatively, take advice from someone who has worked on the same lens as the one you are servicing. As for my research, here is what I learned:
  • Whether a grease will separate is not so simple as lithium vs. silicone, vs. wheel-bearing vs. whatever
  • There are standards for grease and they are not simple or easy to interpret. The performance characteristics for a particular product are often posted on the maker's Web site.
  • Some products become more viscous under pressure while some become less. To be more to the point, pressure increases as the focus helicoid is turned. "Damping" action is related to this property. So is the tendency of some light-weight lubes to "bind" when used on a focus helicoid.
  • The temperature range over which viscosity changes varies between products
  • A synthetic grease is only as good as the specification it was formulated to
For what it is worth, here are a few observations:
  • I have a tub of high-temp lithium wheel-bearing lube out in the garage that I have had for about a decade and no, it has not separated despite being subjected to a wide range of temperatures
  • I have never seen a silicone lubricant separate
  • Lens technicians are rather secretive about their favorite lubes


Steve

P.S. For this sort of thing, both Google and Wikipedia are your friends...
11-05-2012, 02:07 PM   #12
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I used Tetra Gun Grease on old Agfa folders and some Voigtlanders too.

I figured if it was good for my Guns (which it has been for years of hard target and hunting use in harsh conditions) it would be ok for my cameras too.

Amazon.com: Tetra Gun Grease 1Oz: Sports & Outdoors
11-05-2012, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Wow...what a lot of conflicting advice!!!


I was researching this sort of thing a few months back and have nothing to add beyond suggesting that you find something that looks like it might work and give it a try. Alternatively, take advice from someone who has worked on the same lens as the one you are servicing. As for my research, here is what I learned:
  • Whether a grease will separate is not so simple as lithium vs. silicone, vs. wheel-bearing vs. whatever
  • There are standards for grease and they are not simple or easy to interpret. The performance characteristics for a particular product are often posted on the maker's Web site.
  • Some products become more viscous under pressure while some become less. To be more to the point, pressure increases as the focus helicoid is turned. "Damping" action is related to this property. So is the tendency of some light-weight lubes to "bind" when used on a focus helicoid.
  • The temperature range over which viscosity changes varies between products
  • A synthetic grease is only as good as the specification it was formulated to
For what it is worth, here are a few observations:
  • I have a tub of high-temp lithium wheel-bearing lube out in the garage that I have had for about a decade and no, it has not separated despite being subjected to a wide range of temperatures
  • I have never seen a silicone lubricant separate
  • Lens technicians are rather secretive about their favorite lubes

Steve

P.S. For this sort of thing, both Google and Wikipedia are your friends...
I used to live in Arizona.. now in Alabama. Unless you are seeing the temps that are in the 90s to over 100, some grease will seem like it doesn't seperate.
That Super Lube I linked to is formulated to not seperate. I have used it on quite a few things and have never had a problem with it.

Another thing to look out for is outgassing of grease. A lot of lubes will do this and end up fogging/coating lens elements. The Super Lube doesn't do this.

I did quite a bit of research online before I started using Super Lube.
11-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #14
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Thanks cyclone3d

Your research is appreciated, and I have purchased a tube to try.
I'm presently using white lithium grease, but want a little less resistance.

Cheers
Geoff
11-06-2012, 09:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Secondly, I have now 3 focusing rings with fallen distance scales. I'd like to have them glued back. What glue should be the best, keep things in place while not doing a mess, corroding and such?
I've fix two of my lenses with just a dot of contact cement on either end of the strip. The little amount was in case I had to adjust it later because I missed. No issues so far.
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