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10-01-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Stiff Focus Ring

I have a Helios 44-2 with a stiff focus ring. Are there any easy solutions that don't involve dismantling?

10-01-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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The easyest and cheepest way with this lens is to buy another one.
10-01-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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Yeah, I have a second one (actually my first one) that focuses easier. Just checking to see if there was a quick fix.
10-01-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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Several things can cause a stiff focus ring including, common faults are:
Sand - focus feels "gritty"
Dent - focus is stiff in places
Lack of lubricant - just stiff
This is probably as good a lens as any to learn DIY lens repair on, especially as a professional repair will be a lot more then the lens is worth.

04-10-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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sorry to dredge up an old thread, but want to add a post in case someone (like i did) searches this forum with the same problem.

I bought a Helios 44-2 which was apparently in great condition except that the ring was very stiff. i could not focus quickly and often my focusinf force caused the lens to unscrew from the mount. The seller told me to warm it and work it, yadda yadda, which seemed to temporarily help, but was not a suitable solution.

I unscrewed three screws holding the focus ring grip after noting the exact position of the screws relative to the M42 base. the grip comes off easily and exposes the helical focus screw. i applied a small bit of lighter fluid and used a swab to remove the aged gunk until it was shiny silver again. then applied some white lithium grease to the threads and reassembled.

this took 30min and the lens is good as new. it focuses quickly and very easily. it is silky smooth.

try it!
04-12-2010, 09:12 AM   #6
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Where do you get white lithium grease?

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
sorry to dredge up an old thread, but want to add a post in case someone (like i did) searches this forum with the same problem.

I bought a Helios 44-2 which was apparently in great condition except that the ring was very stiff. i could not focus quickly and often my focusinf force caused the lens to unscrew from the mount. The seller told me to warm it and work it, yadda yadda, which seemed to temporarily help, but was not a suitable solution.

I unscrewed three screws holding the focus ring grip after noting the exact position of the screws relative to the M42 base. the grip comes off easily and exposes the helical focus screw. i applied a small bit of lighter fluid and used a swab to remove the aged gunk until it was shiny silver again. then applied some white lithium grease to the threads and reassembled.

this took 30min and the lens is good as new. it focuses quickly and very easily. it is silky smooth.

try it!
04-12-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
Where do you get white lithium grease?
Micro-Tools has grease meant for use on camera lenses, in three weights. I bought the "light" version, $25 if I remember right. It's much lighter than typical manual focus grease. It seems more appropriate for auto-focus lenses. It comes in a container that looks tiny, but you could completely regrease many lenses with it.

If you are buying something from an auto parts store (way cheaper), I would look for something labeled "light" and high-temperature.
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