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Pentax Auto Takumar 35mm F2.3 Loose barrel Fix
Posted By: Pedrodelta, 03-13-2019, 10:19 AM

I recently acquired a lovely old 35mm f2.3 Auto Tak but was dismayed to find that the rear of the lens felt quite loose and this was most pronounced when mounted to my camera. The lens appeared to work well enough but the amount of play in the bodywork was disconcerting and I felt it needed to be addressed. I searched the internet for advice yet whilst it became apparent that others had experienced the same issue, there was no information to be found on how to address the malady.
Undaunted therefore, I determined to tackle the problem myself and in doing so, I kept a record of my endeavours, that they might prove helpful to others in a similar situation.
The process turned out to be quite straight forward and I'm delighted to claim was 100% successful. The lens is now as firm as it was when it left the factory almost sixty years ago and with care should continue to provide enjoyment for many, many years to come.

Preliminary preparations.

1/ It's not a lengthy operation but even so, make sure you allow plenty of undisturbed time to concentrate fully and uninterrupted on the task in hand.
2/ A clean, well lit and tidy work area. A white sheet, paper or linen is good to work on as small parts or screws are easily seen against a white background. I like to use a large tray to contain all the various parts.
3/ A good quality set of jewellers screwdrivers is an absolute must. Some of the screws you will be dealing with are minute and their slot heads would be easily damaged with anything other than perfectly fitting drivers.
4/ If your eyesight is challenged by small items, then a good magnifying glass or glasses will prove invaluable.
5/ A small amount of grease, lithium or silicon.
6/ Paper towels, cotton buds and some cleaning fluid.
7/ Pen, paper and or camera to make reference notes and or photo's of your progress.

Disclaimer - Proceed at Your OWN Risk

Part One
Focus the lens out to infinity, make sure the aperture is not cocked and set the aperture ring to f22
Looking at the silver metal band around the middle of the lens, the one that denotes the aperture scale and has the red dot on it, you will find three very minute screws. They may be slightly recessed and their heads hidden with dirt from years of handling. These three screws when revealed need carefully unscrewing but not removing. Sequentially unscrew each of them a couple of turns at a time until it is loose enough to slide up beneath the trailing skirt of the large focus ring. This can be acheived by using your thumb nails, pushing them into the tiny gap between the silver aperture scale ring and the black aperture adjusting ring below it and then gently and evenly applying forward pressure until it's pushed as a far up as it will go. This action will then reveal three more and larger screws on the barrel below it.

The small screws I referred to are shown by the green arrows. When sufficiently loose the sliver metal ring can be pushed/slid up in the direction of the red arrows until it's mostly hidden under the skirt of the focus ring. (See the first photo below)

Part Two

The three screws you have just revealed will probably be found to be loose. This is part of the problem but not the whole of the problem. The fact that they are loose though is at this stage an aid as they need to be removed. Again, sequentially and a bit at a time, unscrew all three, remove and put safely aside.
The lower barrel of the lens can now be seperated from the upper barrel by carefully easing them apart from each other. By firmly gripping the upper barrel with one hand and the lower barrel with your other hand to pull them apart, applying a very, very slight side to side twisting motion if necessary.
Once apart, the upper barrel can be set safely to one side as it will only be the lower barrel portion that requires more work. I'm sure at this stage too, you will be glad to learn that no helicoids are involved at any stage. (See photo's 2,3 & 4 below)

Part Three

From this remaining section the next stage is to remove the black plastic aperture adjusting ring. This is acheived by gently sliding/pulling it forwards and off. Whilst doing so, it will be prudent to keep the f22 part uppermost, as located below this point is a tiny metal barrel bearing seated in a little recess. It is this bearing that provides the click when altering the aperture. Remove this, wipe it clean and set it safely aside. The black aperture ring can also be cleaned on its inside by removing any old compacted dust and grease and again setting safely aside for the pending rebuild of the lens.
The removal of the aperture ring will have revealed yet another four screws which may be initially hidden by more old and dirty compacted dust and grease. Once this has been cleaned away, the four screws should now be prominent and will also found to be quite loose. It's the looseness of these screws which is the crux of the problem. These screws hold a two parts of the lower barrel housing together, the bottom being the metal outer barrel and the plastic being the inner barrel. These two parts need to be pushed tightly together and the four screws then firmly tightened up to re-establish the integrity of the lower part of the lens. I would suggest that they are tightened up sequentialy a bit at a time until all are firmly seated and none stand proud of the barrel. (See photo 5 below)

Part Four

The re-build can now commence and this is done in reverse order with one slight difference and that is; the black aperture ring is returned to the barrel before the little metal bearing that provides the click stops. Before replacing the aperture ring, smear a thin film of grease around the barrel where the aperture ring will sit, line up the aperture ring (there is a slot on the inside of the ring to accomodate the screw which drives the aperture blades (See photo six)) and push firmly home. Once satisfied that it is correctly seated, turn the aperture ring the full extent of its travel to the f2.3 end and then back one stop to f2.8, then looking inside the barrel underneath where the f2.8 mark is, the sharp eyed will see a small rectangular piece of spring steel secured at one end by a small screw. (See photo seven It is this spring steel plate that provides the pressure on the bearing that defines the aperture clicks and beneath it is the recess that houses the click bearing. By carefully loosening the screw, this plate can with the aid of a small screwdriver or other implement, be lifted at the opposing end sufficiantly enough to relocate the bearing. This again can be acheived by the use of a small screwdriver with a little dab of grease on the tip to pick up the bearing and then deftly manouvre it into place. Then, making sure it's covered by the piece of spring steel, re-tighten the screw and aperture clicks will have been restored. (Try not to remove the screw whilst attempting this as it's a pain to relocate it. Replacing this bearing was the single most difficult part of the whole rebuild) Now turn the aperture ring back to it's f22 position, being mindful to ensure you don't detach it once more from the barrel and the rebuild can continue. (If you like to use your lens for video work and would prefer to have a variable fluid type aperture, then this last step can be omitted)

Part Five

Continuing with the reassembly, the two parts of the lens can now be re-united. Clean as necessary, line up the bottom half of the lens with the upper part and they can be gently pushed together, a slight jiggle of the two may be required to ensure correct location of the aperture guide. Push firmly home and ensure the screw holes marry up in both barrels and the three securing screws can now be replaced. Tighten sequentialy a couple of turns at a time until all are tight, ensuring that none are standing proud of the barrel. The silver ring can now be drawn down again, ensure it lines up exactly and secured in the same manner with its three screws. Voila! You have now successfully repaired your 35mm f2.3 Auto Tak. Mount on camera, test and enjoy!!!

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03-13-2019, 11:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pedrodelta Quote
Pentax Auto Takumar 35mm F2.3 Loose barrel Fix

Thank you for this, Pedrodelta. Your post is most helpful. And it might even motivate me to muster the courage to try to re-lube the focus helicoid on my own copy.
03-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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An excellent post - thanks for sharing.

I've moved your post to our Articles area
03-15-2019, 02:37 AM   #4
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Hi nice write up, I have completely rebuilt his Lens Including the Lens Elements and Helical. . You were lucky the Aperture ring screws weren't boogerd.

---------- Post added 03-15-19 at 05:53 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
Thank you for this, Pedrodelta. Your post is most helpful. And it might even motivate me to muster the courage to try to re-lube the focus helicol on my own copy.
Do your self a favor only remove the Lens element LENS Barrel and the focus Barrel and the clean it from there,other wise I have posted instructions in the rebuild data base. Believe me it is super complicated.

03-15-2019, 09:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by niceshot Quote
. . .
Do your self a favor only remove the Lens element LENS Barrel and the focus Barrel and the clean it from there,other wise I have posted instructions in the rebuild data base. Believe me it is super complicated.

Thanks, niceshot. It's good to know your guide is available. But for now, I think I'll just leave well enough alone.
08-07-2019, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thank you, what a fantastic write up, mine is fine at the moment but knowing this procedure is here , gives me peace of mind

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