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01-06-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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K100D Newbie here. Picked up two M42 lenses....

They are the 1:1.4/50mm and the 1:3.5/135. Both are Super Takumar, but strangely, both have black paint over the "Super Takumar" on the front of the lens. The seller had no idea how or why that happened.

Anyone ever heard of such a thing before, or any idea why that would be painted over?

I also need to have at least the 1.4/50mm cleaned up... looks like some fungus inside. In NYC, is there anyone better than BH for that? Or should I ship it to KEH, since the reviews on BH seem to be mixed.

01-06-2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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I have heard good things about Essex Camera Repair in NJ, but have no experience with them. Fungus is a bad thing - it can "jump" from one lens to the next, so you better get it taken care of - or buy a replacement lens - that could be cheaper.
01-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedoo Quote
They are the 1:1.4/50mm and the 1:3.5/135. Both are Super Takumar, but strangely, both have black paint over the "Super Takumar" on the front of the lens. The seller had no idea how or why that happened.

Anyone ever heard of such a thing before, or any idea why that would be painted over?

I also need to have at least the 1.4/50mm cleaned up... looks like some fungus inside. In NYC, is there anyone better than BH for that? Or should I ship it to KEH, since the reviews on BH seem to be mixed.

No idea why someone would paint over that lettering, but some folks did odd things back in the day... One nice fellow on this forum had an older lens that his father had scratched his Social Security Number onto - as a theft deterrent???

Anyway, try Eric! for lens cleaning - he's a very nice guy who's been doing this for years. A lot of people here including me have used him.

Or, you may want to forget about cleaning it altogether and join the other fungal-50 in the Dead Lens Club!



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01-06-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I'll give Eric a call, since you have experience with him.

01-06-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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Eric is excellent. I had to get my Spotmatic F cleaned up for my wedding/honeymoon on the 24th of this month, and he's going to have it CLA'd, rebuilt and turned around in two days! That is service that frankly cannot be matched. A camera repair outfit closer to home (Vancouver) wanted six weeks minimum to get the job done.

As to the paint, well, that is strange. Recently there was a post about an SMC Takumar lens where the "SMC" had been painted red. I figure it was just someone who didn't want the writing on the barrel to be evident. Now, why people get that concerned over what the camera looks like (it's not even in the picture!) is beyond me, but different strokes I guess.

Last edited by drewdlephone; 01-06-2009 at 10:04 PM.
01-06-2009, 10:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Or, you may want to forget about cleaning it altogether and join the other fungal-50 in the Dead Lens Club!



.
Heh. You know, you are responsible for my purchase of the lens. I was at the seller's apartment, looking at the lenses and saw the problem with the 50. At first I thought it was a scratch or some dust but when I looked at it with my flashlight at the other end, I could see the spiderwebby stuff and figured it was fungus.

So I got on the internet with his laptop, came to this forum, searched for "fungus" and found the "Dead Lens Thread". When I saw the photos your fungal 50 took, realizing that my fungus was maybe 1% of yours, I figured what the hell, give it a shot. Asked him to knock the price down a bit and the lenses were mine!

The 135 just has what appears to be some dust on the outside of the inner element. What's the best way to deal with that?
01-06-2009, 10:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedoo Quote
Heh. You know, you are responsible for my purchase of the lens. I was at the seller's apartment, looking at the lenses and saw the problem with the 50. At first I thought it was a scratch or some dust but when I looked at it with my flashlight at the other end, I could see the spiderwebby stuff and figured it was fungus.

So I got on the internet with his laptop, came to this forum, searched for "fungus" and found the "Dead Lens Thread". When I saw the photos your fungal 50 took, realizing that my fungus was maybe 1% of yours, I figured what the hell, give it a shot. Asked him to knock the price down a bit and the lenses were mine!

The 135 just has what appears to be some dust on the outside of the inner element. What's the best way to deal with that?
WOW Small virtual world, it is. Very glad that thread helped you get a nice couple of lenses.

Re the external dust on the 135 - you may want to try a blower before rubbing anything on the element, but if you do gently rub something, make sure it's a fine shammie or micro fibre cloth (Eiko Clean Star cloth works well,) that it's clean, and that you put something like Promaster Optic Clean on the cloth and not on the lens element.

You want to do everything you can to not get cleaning marks on the elements.



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01-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
WOW Small virtual world, it is. Very glad that thread helped you get a nice couple of lenses.

Re the external dust on the 135 - you may want to try a blower before rubbing anything on the element, but if you do gently rub something, make sure it's a fine shammie or micro fibre cloth (Eiko Clean Star cloth works well,) that it's clean, and that you put something like Promaster Optic Clean on the cloth and not on the lens element.

You want to do everything you can to not get cleaning marks on the elements.



.
Yes, small virtual world, indeed. Both the seller and I were amazed that all that fungus seemed to have no ill effect on the images. Now the question: why haven't you had Eric clean that up? Certainly the lens is worth it?

And thanks for the cleaning tip... I'll give it a shot.

01-06-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedoo Quote
Yes, small virtual world, indeed. Both the seller and I were amazed that all that fungus seemed to have no ill effect on the images. Now the question: why haven't you had Eric clean that up? Certainly the lens is worth it?

And thanks for the cleaning tip... I'll give it a shot.
I currently have the Vivitar/Kiron 100mm f/2.8 Macro (stuck aperture blades) and Tamron 70-200 2.8 on their way back to me from Eric now.

I was going to send the fungal-50 also (Its an S-M-C Takumar 50 1.4,) but decided against it - I have a couple Tak 50's, including an SMC Tak 50 1.4 in perfect shape - I'll leave the famous fungal-50 the way it is.

It's a testament to the incredible workmanship Pentax put into their glass back in those days - a thorium-yellowed, fungus-filled Tak 50 that can still make images that knock my socks off.



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01-06-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I currently have the Vivitar/Kiron 100mm f/2.8 Macro (stuck aperture blades) and Tamron 70-200 2.8 on their way back to me from Eric now.

I was going to send the fungal-50 also (Its an S-M-C Takumar 50 1.4,) but decided against it - I have a couple Tak 50's, including an SMC Tak 50 1.4 in perfect shape - I'll leave the famous fungal-50 the way it is.

It's a testament to the incredible workmanship Pentax put into their glass back in those days - a thorium-yellowed, fungus-filled Tak 50 that can still make images that knock my socks off.



.
I see your logic!

But since I only have the one slightly fungal 50, I will probably turn it over to Eric, since the thought of that fungus spreading into my brand new K100D scares me.

I hear that sunlight cures the thorium yellow... I believe my fungal 50 has some of that as well.
01-07-2009, 02:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
Fungus is a bad thing - it can "jump" from one lens to the next, so you better get it taken care of
Actually the exact opposite is true. Lens fungus is not super infectious so that a lens with fungus becomes some "Typhoid Mary". The spores are everywhere anyway. Unless you live in the cleanest clean room possible (and even then you are not immune), there will be fungus in the air at this very moment. The fungus you see in lenses are more likely to be from spores in the air in the manufacturing plant, and have been there all the life of your lens. Spores need water to germinate and that is the key. If your lenses get wet and left wet for a long time, then you'll get fungus.

QuoteQuote:
or buy a replacement lens - that could be cheaper.
Nope. I have a Super Takumar 28/3.5 which I bought in pristine condition. It looked like it had never been used. It is the earliest version of this lens, so it must have been made in 1961/2. But it had fungus. The reason? It has spent all of those four and a half decades in its case, except for the couple of days it was used and got wet. There is no way that another lens could have "infected" it (because the spores would have had to get through the case as well as through two pieces of glass). The spores were there at manufacturing and in four and a half decades it had an opportunity to germinate. I managed to clean off most of the fungus. There is a little bit remaining at the edge of the lens, but I am happy about that. At the same time, from the same seller, I got a Yashica Electro X and a Super Tak 55/1.8 (same vintage as the 28/3.5). The 55 did not have fungus. Why? Because it was on the Yashica and probably spent all its life there (there was no end cap). Since it was in the open air it did not stay wet long and so moisture did not get into the lens and encourage the spores to germinate.

The Super Takumar 50/1.4 is easy to disassemble and so long as the fungus is not between elements then it is easy to clean (I used ethanol/methanol mix). If the fungus is between elements then it will not be economic to split them, clean them and re-cement them, but as the Dead Lens Club has shown, you can still get great pictures from a lens with fungus.

If you really want to be paranoid you can keep the "infected" lens in a ziploc bag with dessicant sachets (to keep it dry), but I think a tin foil hat helps too ;-)

Richard
01-07-2009, 06:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard64 Quote
The Super Takumar 50/1.4 is easy to disassemble and so long as the fungus is not between elements then it is easy to clean (I used ethanol/methanol mix). If the fungus is between elements then it will not be economic to split them, clean them and re-cement them, but as the Dead Lens Club has shown, you can still get great pictures from a lens with fungus.

If you really want to be paranoid you can keep the "infected" lens in a ziploc bag with dessicant sachets (to keep it dry), but I think a tin foil hat helps too ;-)

Richard
Thanks Richard. I'll have to research that disassembly and cleaning if Eric's estimate is too high.

And thanks to everyone who responded. What a wonderful forum this is!
01-07-2009, 08:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedoo Quote
.... but strangely, both have black paint over the "Super Takumar" on the front of the lens. ...

Anyone ever heard of such a thing before, or any idea why that would be painted over?
....

I painted out the white lettering on the front of a 50/2 lens I use reversed in front of a superzoom's lens for macros. This was to eliminate reflections in the optical path.

I suppose the white lettering could cause reflections from the lens-side surface of filters, etc.

Dave
01-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I painted out the white lettering on the front of a 50/2 lens I use reversed in front of a superzoom's lens for macros. This was to eliminate reflections in the optical path.

I suppose the white lettering could cause reflections from the lens-side surface of filters, etc.

Dave
Yes, but only the "Super Takamar" was blacked out.... the rest was left alone. Still a mystery, very odd.
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