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09-17-2009, 03:44 PM   #1
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Can a tight focus ring be fixed?

I recently purchased a vivitar 400mm lens off ebay. In the description it listed that the focus ring was tight and slow to focus. I'm ok with that in some situations, as I love the image quality. But in others I would like it to be faster.

Is there a way to "loosen" it up to make the focus ring turn smoother?

Can you use liquid graphite to help it turn better? Has anyone tried this?

I'm afraid to try this as I don't want to get oil or liquid graphite all over the glass.

Thanks for any help.

Bob

09-17-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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It is likely fixable. Whether you can do it yourself depends on your skill, experience, and many times, luck.

The lens needs to be dissembled, cleaned and put back together.

Do not apply any lubricant (or anything for that matter) until you open up the lens and see what makes the focus ring tight. Blindly applying anything will likely make the lens worse.

Can you post a photo of the lens? Someone may have done this before and can help you better.
09-17-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
D W
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The lubrication in the focusing helicoid is probably dried up due to age and lack of use. Usually a disassemble, clean and re-lube should do the trick. Make sure you use the proper lubrication if you are doing to DIY.
09-17-2009, 05:47 PM   #4
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I don't mean to steal this thread. But I just bought a Tokina 24mm F2.8 on UK eBay. The focsing ring is very stiff also. I'm in Ontario. So returning it is not an option. I am wondering how much does it cost to have it done professionally and if there is someone in Ontario who can do it? Any volunteers? I'll pay.

cheers

09-17-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote
I don't mean to steal this thread. But I just bought a Tokina 24mm F2.8 on UK eBay. The focsing ring is very stiff also. I'm in Ontario. So returning it is not an option. I am wondering how much does it cost to have it done professionally and if there is someone in Ontario who can do it? Any volunteers? I'll pay.

cheers
Vintage Visuals in Calgary just worked on my M 400/5.6. Clean, lube, adjust and tighten the tripod foot for $75 + tax (GST only) and shipping. I mailed it in, insured, and got it back about ten days later, a week before I told them I needed it and two working days after the time I told them I would be away on a camping trip.

A bit West of Ontario, but I'm happy with the work.
09-18-2009, 12:16 AM   #6
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I bought one used lens that had a really tight focus ring, however it loosened right up the first hot day I took it out. It's been fine ever since, even in the winter... however I don't think I'd want to pack it away for years, just in case the same thing happened again.

QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Vintage Visuals in Calgary just worked on my M 400/5.6. Clean, lube, adjust and tighten the tripod foot for $75 + tax (GST only) and shipping. I mailed it in, insured, and got it back about ten days later, a week before I told them I needed it and two working days after the time I told them I would be away on a camping trip.
Thanks for mentioning them Albert, if that lens ever does give me problems I'll send it their way.
09-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Vintage Visuals in Calgary just worked on my M 400/5.6. Clean, lube, adjust and tighten the tripod foot for $75 + tax (GST only) and shipping. I mailed it in, insured, and got it back about ten days later, a week before I told them I needed it and two working days after the time I told them I would be away on a camping trip.

A bit West of Ontario, but I'm happy with the work.
That price is in line with what my local shop charges...figure $50 minimum...

Steve
09-19-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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Camera/lens Repairs

I send my stuff to Precision Camera in Winnipeg when I need service. They are an authorized Pentax Repair facility and also do out of warranty service for many other brands such as Canon and Nikon. I've always been satisfied with thier work. Turn around time is good and prices seem fair compared to the quotes I get from Henriy's in Toronto. I have had 3 lenses serviced there. My K2, and MX cameras were cleaned, lubricated and adjusted with foam seals replaced. All work well.

Precision Camera Repair Ltd.

I have no affiliation with this firm other than I have used thier services for years. It seems they have now branched out to repair of gaming systems. This took me back for a moment but I guess our digital cameras are electronically in the same category as gaming systems. Cameras are still their mani business however.

Cheers

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 09-20-2009 at 03:36 AM. Reason: typo
09-21-2009, 07:17 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Thanks for the help guys.

I've been real busy at work so I haven't had much chance to look at it. I will try and take some pictures and post some pics in the next day or two.

I have never really tried to take a lens apart. So I don't know if this is something I can do on my own.

I can take the back end of the lens off pretty easy. When I got the lens there were a few screws loose on both the focus ring and the aperture ring. They both had a little wiggle to them. So I took the focus ring off and saw that I could take the back tube off without messing with anything mechanical. Side benefit was being able to reach the rear glass element for cleaning.

I should take it in to a local shop and have them look at it. The screw around the focus ring have backed out a little from time to time so I have to check and make sure they are tight. Some of them also have been chipped away from someone not using the proper size screw driver. So I need to have some screws replaced.

Where if anywhere can you order those screws? How can you tell what size they are? Or is there a standard size?

Thanks again for all your help.

Bob
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