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01-18-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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sticky K-mount Vivitar zoom

I just picked up a 75-205 Vivitar 1:3.8 macro, as part of a K1000 that had an M-series 50mm lens I wanted. While I was cleaning the Vivitar I noticed the diaphragm was sticky, and 'sprung back' only when I gave it a little shake. It did, however, mount on the K20 and allow me to snap shots.

Seeing as I got it basically for free, would I be foolhardy to 'go in' and try to fix it? I'm assuming it needs cleaning and lubrication -- I have no experience, but I'm game! If I mess up, no loss, and I will have learned something.

OR...is this a decent enough lens that I should get it repaired professionally? Any idea on the cost? ( I could actually use a long lens. . .)

01-18-2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by krt1 Quote
I just picked up a 75-205 Vivitar 1:3.8 macro, as part of a K1000 that had an M-series 50mm lens I wanted. While I was cleaning the Vivitar I noticed the diaphragm was sticky, and 'sprung back' only when I gave it a little shake. It did, however, mount on the K20 and allow me to snap shots.

Seeing as I got it basically for free, would I be foolhardy to 'go in' and try to fix it? I'm assuming it needs cleaning and lubrication -- I have no experience, but I'm game! If I mess up, no loss, and I will have learned something.

OR...is this a decent enough lens that I should get it repaired professionally? Any idea on the cost? ( I could actually use a long lens. . .)
It's probably not worth professional cleaning because you can find another on eBay for less than $20 shipped. Fixing it yourself might be easy or hard. Actually fixing is easy, getting access to the part you need to fix is not always easy. Zoom lenses sometimes are much harder because they have more elements and moving parts.

I can't tell you anything about this particular lens. Aperture mechanisms in general get sticky for two reasons: the blades get oil on them, or the linkage needs oil. The linkage problem is far less common, so don't blast WD40 on the lens and see if it helps. First, set the lens to f22 or some big number and look at the aperture blades. They should be totally dry and clean. Any oil on the blades makes them stick to each other. Oil gets on the blades because manufacturers use inexpensive grease for the focus mechanism. If the lens is left in a hot car, the grease vaporizes and gets deposited everywhere inside the lens. Ideally, you should clean the aperture blades and all the glass surfaces you can reach. The aperture blades can be cleaned without removing them by applying naptha with a Q-tip, working the blades, then wiping them down with another Q-tip. After repeating a few times and allowing the blades to dry, the aperture should snap closed very quickly.
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