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10-14-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Takumar freebies

So...I work as an English teacher in Japan and every Wednesday I teach a seniors English circle. After 2 years the members know of my love for Pentax and my passion for photography in general.

So tonight, an older lady "gave" me two beautiful looking Takumar lenses. She said she bought them for a class at university almost 40 years ago. She threw away the body years ago.

These lenses are in absolutely pristine on the outside, focus and aperture rings are smooth as silk. Not a mark or a scratch to be found on the lens bodies.
In the original leather cases with original screw on hoods. From first glance I swear they look like they have never been used (which is probably the truth)

The problem is they are both infected with fungus.
The 135 f3.5 is the worst affected, while it looks pristine from the outside the fungus has well and truly taken hold between the glass elements.

The 35mm 3.5 is not so bad and is still usable, although the beginnings of fungal growth are evident.

Unlike the In the states where men make it their hobby and a lucrative side business to repair old Pentax gear, here in Japan I know of no-one who does the same thing.

Pentax Japan, is these days very reluctant to repair any of the older pieces and if they do it is not cheap.

But these lenses are so perfect cosmetically, they actually look like new stock.
Do you think it is worth paying Pentax at least $200 to overhaul the lenses?

Regards,

Paul.

10-14-2009, 09:58 AM   #2
D W
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Paul:

It is just the labour cost of overhauling and disinfecting the lenses in Japan is too high to make it worthwhile.

If you are ever in Taiwan or Hong Kong you can try repair shops there.

OR

Buy a ugly(well used) lens of the same model and swap elements.

HTH

Last edited by D W; 10-14-2009 at 09:59 AM. Reason: addendum
10-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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I can't picture it costing all that much to just send it to Erik, in the US for cleaning.
They say that he's the best, and affordable.
10-14-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Since they are freebies, you could do it yourself... not much risk in loosing anything impossible to replace, after all. There are many walkthroughs over the web, just make sure you do not mix anything up! One of the best way to prevent mix-ups is to take many picturees along the way, so you can see what you did, when you did it, what goes where, etc.

10-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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one of our members here Mike Cash has purchased from a man in Japan who specialzes in cleaning and repairing Pentax Camera and lenses. he sells them on yahoo japan auctions. it would be worthwhile in my opinion to get ahold of mike who would be able to help you get ahold of this guy. without having to send them outside of Japan, this would be your best bet in my opinion. although I havent seen mike on the forums lately, I would suggest dropping him a PM. I purchased some of this mans work through mike https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/52104-beautifu...se-import.html and can attest to his abilities.
10-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Like bdery said you have nothing to lose trying to clean them yourself. I have cleaned fungus from an SMC tack 135mm f/3.5 with no problems. Since they were both free and are neither difficult or expensive to replace it doesn't seem worth spending money having them cleaned.
10-14-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys.
I recently tried to clean a Penatx SMC A 50mm 1.7 lens and it was a disaster.
I am too impatient and mechanically inept to attemt another repair job on any lens.
Far too many small screws and tiny springs.

I have heard great things about Erik in the U.S and would love to have him service the lenses.
But are they really worth me spending the repair cost plus the return shipping from Japan to the U.S? And I also have a lovely looking black enamel ES that has a minor problem that I would like Erik to take a look at. (Pentax Japan won't eveen look at it) but such heavy old equiptment costs more for return shiping than the actuall repairs.

I will definitely try to contact Mike Cash about in country repairs. Although, like has already been stated i haven't seen him around here foe a while now.

These lenses look and feel so nice externally, but I have no practical experience with them.
Are they worth the trouble? If the glass was clean they could pass for new old stock.

Paul
10-14-2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Are they worth the trouble?
they are Takumars, so they will be fine performers optically. so really the only person who can decide that is you.

10-14-2009, 11:52 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikuyakun Quote
Are they worth the trouble?
The optical quality of takumars is not under any distute, if you like the feel of the lenses you have obtained then you should have some usable ones.
Get a quote for repair from wherever you can and find a typical price for replacements in good condition. If the repair is more expensive than replacement then replace them and try to sell off the ones you have as faulty, someone will buy them for repair (I have obtained most of my lenses as faulty and fixed them myself). If repair is cheaper than replacement then gert them repaired.
I don't use my takumars as often as I should but they are undoubtely great lenses to own and use.
10-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #10
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Like I said before, these lenses look and feel better thn most of my M/A/FA. Lenses.
As i guess you can alredy tell by the tone od my post, I want these lenses.

It is just matter of economics. If I were in the States I would send them to Erik for an overhaul without hesitation. Though stange as it sounds, even though I am living in the home of the the Takumar I can't find anyone who is willing to even give me a quote, let alone start to work on cleaning this beautiful glass.
10-14-2009, 12:24 PM   #11
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If any members of the forum in Japan know of someone like Erik, in the States please let me know.
These lenses look cosmetically like new, they function mechanically like new. Unfortunately the optics are not in the same condition.

I have an LX and an ES desperately wanting of this glass.

Paul.
10-14-2009, 02:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikuyakun Quote
Thanks for the advice guys.
I recently tried to clean a Penatx SMC A 50mm 1.7 lens and it was a disaster.
I am too impatient and mechanically inept to attemt another repair job on any lens.
Far too many small screws and tiny springs.
Bear in mind that a Takumar does not have auto aperture on an A-lens, so the complicated springs and things will not be present. As long as the diaphragm is working well, you will probably have little to do with any of the mechanical bits.

I took apart a very old Super-Tak 28/3.5 to clean the fungus and it was not too difficult once I got the name plate to move. Actually that was the main problem. The lens was pristine and older than my 46 years (I am far from pristine...) and the name plate was a real pain to move. After I got it to move I could get most of the lens elements out to clean.

A couple of tips.

- Get the right tools. If you improvise then you are bound to scratch something.
- Take photos as you proceed. It makes it easier when you reassemble the lens.
- Decide a protocol of which way up a lens element is and stick to it. Place the elements on a clean surface (lens cloths) as you remove them, in order and the right way up. Some elements look symmetrical, but are you really sure?
- If an element has black paint on its edges be careful not to scratch it off. A Sharpie can be used for a reasonable repair for a scratch, but it is not as good as the matt black paint you've scratched off.
- Do the disassembly in a 'box', ie something with edges so that small screws that fall out don't end up on the floor and lost.
- Do it in a place with lots of light and if you are anywhere near my age, get a desk light with a magnifying glass.
- If you get near disassembly anything with a dente do the disassembly in a plastic bag, or better, don't do it at all. Too many times I have heard a ball bearing ping across the room and I have spent literally hours on my hands and knees scanning the floor with a magnet looking for the tiny ball and spring. (You find *lots* of old staples that way!)

Finally (and don't shout at me for saying this) although both lenses are very good, they are also rather cheap. It may be better just to buy them used and fungus-free off someone else. But with that in mind, perhaps you may be persuaded to learn the art of lens cleaning with the knowledge that it won't matter too much if you fail to re-assemble the lens.

Richard
10-14-2009, 04:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikuyakun Quote
I have heard great things about Erik in the U.S and would love to have him service the lenses.
But are they really worth me spending the repair cost plus the return shipping from Japan to the U.S? And I also have a lovely looking black enamel ES that has a minor problem that I would like Erik to take a look at.
Eric is a great guy and might offer you a range of cost for the work in advance of you shipping it. Simply email him at pentax27@aol.com and he will give you the real information. Find out the postage both ways in advance. If the total cost is less than the ebay cost of lenses in your condition you are good to go.

Make your decision from there.
10-14-2009, 05:43 PM   #14
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Try sending a PM to Mike Cash on the forums here. I believe if anyone knows someone in Japan that repairs Taks, he would be the one. He is the Takumar guru here !!!
10-14-2009, 06:37 PM   #15
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Keep in mind that the fungus can permanently mark the glass if left for a long time. Specifically, the enzymes it releases will etch the coatings and glass on the affected elements. Sounds like with the 135mm that might be the case. But, 135mm Takumars are the easiest and cheapest to find, so you might just want to go that route?
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