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12-20-2009, 04:31 PM   #1
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Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 1.8/50 MC Help

I got a Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 1.8/50 MC, It had some problem with the focus ring, i dissembled everything, but when i try to put it back, no matter what i did, still can't focus at infinite. Does any one know the correct way to have it assemble.

12-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
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zeiss jena lenses are a bitch to put back. Basically, the focusing helicoid can be put back in 30 different ways, and get one of them wrong, you won't get infinity or you'll go past infinity, etc.

I don't think it's possible to explain how to put it back with words; the only real hope you have, besides letting a pro do the job, is to get someone who has the same lens and disassemble, reassemble side-by-side. good luck!
12-20-2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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I've disassembled and assembled a CZJ 35mm 2.4 for this reason. It really is a bitch to get it right.
12-20-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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I had disassembled and fixed several other manual lenses. This is the one i still have no idea to get the focus right. I found a new guide today thats for the 135mm, but have the similar parts to the 50mm. If that doesn't work, only way is to bring it to a professional. But I still hope any body that know exactly the process to assemble it right.

12-20-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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I think you can do it if you have experience. Basically you need to get the helicoid in the right position when you insert it. I can't remember anything else about the operation anymore. I can't remember if you could test for it while assembling it or if you had to test it in a camera.
12-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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After another 2+ hours of cleaning and reassembly, I finally managed to put it back to working condition. Thank god i got some closeup photos that I took before the disassemble. This is one of the best 50mm lens out there, way better than the Takumar and the regular pentax 50mm, I love its closeup capability and the creamy brokeh.
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Last edited by winglik; 12-20-2009 at 09:46 PM.
03-01-2017, 06:10 PM   #7
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It's not 30 different ways to reassemble focus on this magnificient lens, it's unlimited in fact. And that's what I love about this lens, it can be razor tuned to infinity with nanometer accuracy It's just about the way you reassemble it. I don't have zebra version, but it looks very similiar to my two Pancolars - red electric and green auto versions. Lens disassembly, cleaning and reassembly is a zen thing, either reserve time and patience to do it, or don't even start. With Pancolar, this is double truth.

Tools, I found necessary were: set of precision screwdrivers (you'll use only flat ones), lens rubber tool to unscrew name ring and a lens spanner wrench (both tools available at ebay), lithium grease (I used Ceys), pack of cotton tips and a pure denatured alcohol for cleaning metal parts (hot water with soap and thorough rinse on helicoids and metal rings where it's possible). Empty table and a bright working lamp.

Once you have your Pancolar disassembled (all rings apart, blade locking spring detached from ring, both lens rotation securing latches detached, focusing ring stop screw unscrewed), after cleaning helicoids and all screwing parts thoroughly, and re-lubing with TINY amount of lithium grease (what you see as too little is probably just right, all screws are precise and tight and only a small amount of grease is needed in general):

1. assemble focusing ring with helicoid body - screw to the end, you'll get little behind infinity mark, then go back to 0,35 mark and a whole turn more again to 0,35 mark
2. assemble inner helicoid part, screw it all way down, and then rotate up so there's approx 2mm gap and you can attach lens rotation securing latches - they limit inner helicoid part movement in one direction
3. now this is the stage, where your infinity focus is tweakable just by rotating inner helicoid part, it can be tuned exactly to your needs. You can play with it, rotate inner helicoid part desired position, put lens part inside, secure with slim ring, attach mount, put it on a camera, check focus, repeat ... or ... if you have an electric red Pancolar, I have this rule: the inner helicoid part has to be precisely at position, where with focus ring at 0,35 mark, lens part rim is exactly at the level of helicoid body rim, OR, the lens part WITH extending ring on and set to infinity is exactly at the level of helicoid body rim (check). Once you have the right position, secure lens with slim securing ring and reassemble the rest. First time understanding the lens takes time, but after that, complete cleaning is a matter of less than hour no hurry "zen-style"

What to be cautious about:
- SMALL PARTS, they drop out and get lost VERY easily, take precautions
- NEVER USE EXCESSIVE FORCE, use right tools instead

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