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Notes on disassembling Vivitar 400mm f5.6
Posted By: marcusBMG, 09-26-2013, 12:02 PM

Disassembly and Maintenance of Vivitar (Tokina) 400mm f5.6 lens.

I have recently needed to fix up one of these lenses - its main sections were loose and there was some cleaning to do. It's an easy lens to fix relatively speaking, no real need for any special tools like a lens spanner (one of these might be useful for the focus group). the main problem might be if a grub screw (the little itty bitty slotted ones that live in a little hole and work by pressing against an interior surface. AKA set screws.) is stuck/stripped. Old hands have been known to use a soldering iron held against the lens to loosen these...

FYI there are (AFAIK) three main versions of Viv 400mm f5.6, this table summarises (only!) what I know: UPDATE after corresponding wwith David (dme) we now think that the standard formula is 8 elements for the tokina made Viv.

All have built in hood and tripod mount or bush.


LENS:Komine?Tokina 5 elementTokina 8 elementPreset f5.6 (Olympus, Tokina, ?others)
Serial #28XXXXX?37XXXXX37XXXXXTokina - 37XXX; Olympus (?rare) 06XXX or 6XXX
Aperture:f5.6 - f32f5.6 - f22f5.6 - f22f5.6 - f?
Iris:?8 blade8 blade??
Optics:5 in 5 groups5 in 5 groups8 in 8 groups5 in 5 groups
Filter size:77mm77mm77mm72mm
Focus:internalinternalinternal?
Close Focus:?4m/13' 4m/13' ?
Focus throw:330 degrees120 degrees120 degrees?
Weight:1.2kg1.4kg1.4kg?
Length:28cm24cm24cm?
Info:Specs, test pics.?1978 review cited.?
The specific version here is the Tokina 5 8 element. Picture 1 shows the essential parts.

Disassembly.

TOOLS: JIS or phillips 00/0, small jewellers/flat head screwdriver for grub screws (must be right size for the holes), larger flathead screwdriver.

1. The front end is detached by loosening grub screw (A), pic 1. This allows the whole end to unscrew. The back surface of the second element is now accessible for cleaning. The interior surfaces of the front two elements can be accessed by unscrewing the name plate (I use a piece of plastic pipe - or something similar - that's the right diameter with handymans double sided sticky tape - the thick draught proofing kind - stuck around the rim), and dropping out the objective element.
2. How to remove the mount end is not immediately apparent. The key is screw (C) that exposes an access hole in the tripod mount. Rotate the TM to access 4 x JIS crosshead screws and remove these, the whole end now detaches (these screws are relatively large, you will probably be fine with a correctly sized phillips screwdriver). It is not necessary to disassemble the mount itself. Picture 2 shows the lens with mount end and front end removed. The helicoid is partially revealed and you can now access the rear elements that are mounted in a tube. On my lens the tube section containing the rear-most element was unscrewable by hand, it is however slotted for a lens spanner.
3. To further disasssemble (to access the iris etc) the distance ring (4) needs to be removed to access three more JIS screws. This is done by loosening 3 grub screws (B) one of which is ringed in pic 1. Pic 3 shows this done and you can see one of the JIS screws I needed to tighten to stop the lens rattling.

Pic 4 shows the TX mount with plate removed. As mentioned above this was in fact not necessary.

Reassembly is a simple reversal of the above. In terms of infinity focus adjustment, that, as far as I can tell, would be achieved by loosening 3 grub screws one of which is circled in picture 3, and rotating this ring, which has the focus stops on. As far as I can tell you would have to go through the ringmarole of taking the front end on and off repeatedly to check the focus. Once satisfied adjust the position of the distance ring to match.

If you have any comments or more info PM me.

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Last edited by marcusBMG; 10-10-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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01-06-2016, 11:23 AM   #2
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Does the one grub screw also allow for the Komine front end to unscrew? Or is mine just stuck or fused
01-06-2016, 11:30 AM   #3
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Komine made 400mm is a different lens, may have completely different structure. You'll just have to examine it closely and try to figure it out
01-08-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
Komine made 400mm is a different lens, may have completely different structure. You'll just have to examine it closely and try to figure it out
Yes I did as stated. It simply will not unscrew. Different, but similar to the Tokina in that it also has the one grub screw at the same point as the Tokina. I have two of the Tokinas also but just acquired the Komine. The Komine is a much better build for sure but I wish I could get at the back of the first element. It would be perfect!

01-09-2016, 06:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K Bill Quote
Different, but similar to the Tokina in that it also has the one grub screw at the same point as the Tokina.
Does imply that it should uncrew then. Try warming the lens on a radiator for 10 mins then use eg a strap wrench
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