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03-13-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
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Modifying a Tak

Any reasonable way of removing the auto-manual lever on my 55mm F/2?
I keep on moving it inadvertently. I'd just like to leave the lens in manual mode.

03-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Any reasonable way of removing the auto-manual lever on my 55mm F/2?
I keep on moving it inadvertently. I'd just like to leave the lens in manual mode.

I'd try putting a dot of Devcon Plastic Welder in place to block the lever's motion. That adhesive's working properties are such that it will be easy to position the glue so it blocks the lever but doesn't get underneath it (in case you ever want to unblock the lever.)

Dave
03-14-2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I'd try putting a dot of Devcon Plastic Welder in place to block the lever's motion. That adhesive's working properties are such that it will be easy to position the glue so it blocks the lever but doesn't get underneath it (in case you ever want to unblock the lever.)

Dave
Thanks.
That makes a lot of sense I'll give it a try.

My Taks (28mm f/3.5, 55mm f/2 and a 105mm f/2.8) may be nice optically but they are a nightmare ergonomically.

Not having an auto diaphragm is a pain in the a** but I could live with that.

But to have to constantly control the diaphragm with a narrow stiff hard to read ring snug up against the camera body with the addition of a auto-manual selector in the way is a real deal breaker. I have no Patience for camera gear that breaks my concentration on the image I'm trying to create.

It's not necessary either. I tried using my FA 35 in full manual the same way I would with the Taks. The easier to reach wider less stiff ring on the FA 35 made all the difference. Also the click stops were more positive and noticeable on the FA 35 so I didn't have to constantly take my eye off the viewfinder to see where the lens was set and if I do I can read the settings at a glance unlike the Taks.
03-14-2009, 06:59 AM   #4
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Blasphemy! Heathen!

There is always the optio.

03-14-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
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How on earth are you using them that they're an ergonomic nightmare and that you constantly bump the switch?
03-14-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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I have been using Taks for over 30 years and have never accidently moved the switch. I suppose you could sieze it with superglue or Locktite 270 but the lens will be considered "non working" if you ever want to sell it.
03-14-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
How on earth are you using them that they're an ergonomic nightmare and that you constantly bump the switch?
The same way I have been using any of my photo gear for the last 50 years.

The Taks may have many fine qualities but they do have their limitations also.

I'm not some beginner who expects everything to be auto but I do think I know when a piece of gear is unnecessarily slow and clumsy and unsuited for my photographic style. Using the FA 35 without AF or Auto Diaphragm proved that to my satisfaction.

I suppose I put a very high value on mechanical transparency. As much as possible I want the gear to get out of my way so I can concentrate on more important things than what my hands are doing or not doing.

Probably the most ergonomically perfect camera I ever had was a 1955 Nikon S2 rangefinder. Not exactly a point and shoot.

To each his own.

Wildman

Available light shot taken yesterday
Tak 55mm F/2 taken at f/2 ISO 400, 1/200"

Last edited by wildman; 03-25-2009 at 02:36 AM.
03-14-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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On all of mine the switch ends up almost exactly under the cursed built-in flash and I find it almost impossible to move it even when I want to. That's why I'm curious how you're manipulating things in such a way that you can't help but bump it.

If Takumars bug you so much, why do you bother with them?

03-14-2009, 10:58 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
On all of mine the switch ends up almost exactly under the cursed built-in flash and I find it almost impossible to move it even when I want to. That's why I'm curious how you're manipulating things in such a way that you can't help but bump it.

If Takumars bug you so much, why do you bother with them?
I guess I really don't think about what exactly my hands are doing which is my point - I don't want to have to.

My brother-in-law dumped a box of them in my lap for nothing. So why not see what all the fuss is about?

Also the 105 will probably make a decent macro. Macro work is pretty slow and deliberate so a bit of fussing about stopping down is no big deal. It even had a SP 500 body in it. The box also had a full set of extension tubes and all the appropriate lens shades.

What little bit I have done with the TAKS it's clear to me that the 105 is, optically, first rate glass. I also have a Sigma 105 macro and it's really hard to tell the difference. In fact I think the color on the TAK may be a bit more accurate.

I have compared the FA 35 to TAK 55 and the FA 35 is just plain sharper across the entire field especially at f/2. It's a no-brainer - the FA 35 is just better.

Haven't done much with the 28mm so I can't say.

Anyway I'll see what a spot of glue on the lever will do.
03-14-2009, 11:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
My Taks (28mm f/3.5, 55mm f/2 and a 105mm f/2.8) may be nice optically but they are a nightmare ergonomically.
I hear you!

Regarding the glue, you might consider hot glue. That might be easier to remove if/when you want to sell the lens. I'm not familiar with the other type of glue that was suggested.
03-14-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
I hear you!

Regarding the glue, you might consider hot glue. That might be easier to remove if/when you want to sell the lens. I'm not familiar with the other type of glue that was suggested.
Hot melt will work, but be cautious of how it is applied. The metal must get hot enough for the glue to adhere, but not so hot that the glue runs under the sliding switch; if it does get under the slider, removing it might be a challenge..

I suggested Devcon Plastic Welder (in a double black tube - hardware stores, Walmart, etc) because its working properties are just right for this job. It will adhere to the clean lens surface, has enough body it won't flow under the sliding switch, and is strong. It will be removable if you try hard enough to pop it off.

Other adhesives will work ok; one candidate is black fingernail polish. Put some wax under the slider to fill the gap, clean the metal close to the slider with nail-polish remover, then apply a few coats of black nail polish waiting for a coat to dry before applying the next. In the future this can be removed with nail polish remover.

Almost any glue will work if you don't care about returning the lens to its original condition - let the glue applied run under the sliding switch.

Dave
03-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #12
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IF the wrong type of glue/adhesive is used or too much of it, this is the way it can be repaired.

Brian Ayling's photographic repair tips
03-14-2009, 06:44 PM   #13
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Just a further thought on this issue:

I wonder if I'm all that off base and peculiar about this.

I was looking at the FA and the Sigma aperture ring. They both have a detent button that must be very positively pushed down before you can change from manual to auto. This effectively locks the setting into one or the other setting with no chance of inadvertently changing the setting which is exactly what I want.

I wonder if Pentax and other manufactures saw the Tak type aperture ring as a design flaw that would have to be solved in later designs for exactly the reasons I have been bitching about?
03-14-2009, 08:23 PM   #14
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It sounds to me like your aperture ring is harder to turn than it should be. That could be why your experience is so different than other users, but it might not be a good theory for multiple lenses.

I was able to wedge one of my auto/manual switches with a toothpick, which seems like a better idea than glue.

On most Takumars, the mount and mechanisms are not really accressible without removing lots of other bits. Starting from the front, you'd remove the "name" trim ring, filter ring, focus ring, depth of field scale and aperture ring, then you could get the mount off. A good summary here:

Pentax 50mm f/1.4 strip-down instructions

Other ideas: the window in the depth of field scale can allow dirt in, which can rub against the aperture ring and make it hard to turn. It can also be set too low so it's pressing against the aperture ring too hard.
03-15-2009, 04:33 PM   #15
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OK I worked out a few things.

First of all I found out that the TAK 55mm f/2 has a problem. If I set the lens to auto and rotate the aperture ring back and forth it works normally with no problems. If I set the lens to manual and rotate the aperture ring, being very careful to not touch the auto-manual switch, sometimes but not always, the switch will move back to auto on it's own without me touching the switch.

I carefully checked all the clearances between the ring and the switch to see if something was bent or too tight and everything looks ok. Apparently something is malfunctioning within the lens which considering it's age should come as no surprise. Anyway this would explain my frustration with this lens - I would set the lens to manual open the lens wide open for focus then try to stop down and find I could not because the damn lens had switched over to auto on it's own. I think you can understand my frustration especially when trying to shoot fast.

Problem solved:
Twist Ties that you can get free at any supermarket.

Get one that is made from soft malleable all plastic not the kind that has a stiff wire running down the center of it.

Slip the tie under the diaphragm switch. The twist tie is wider than the switch so pack the additional material under the little clearance between the lens body and the switch lever until it's tightly packed and the lever won't move easily. I used a jeweler's screwdriver for this purpose. Finally snip off the additional length leaving a little ear hanging out so you can always grab it with a tweezer and remove it if you want to later. PROBLEM SOLVED - NO MUSS NO FUSS AND NO MODIFICATION TO LENS.

BTW I performed this modification on all the Taks just to be on the safe side. After all on a DSLR I never have any need for auto anyway and this way I always know the lens is set to manual and that's one less setting I have to think about. It took only 20 mins for all three lens' to be modified this way.

Wildman

Last edited by wildman; 03-15-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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