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Super Takumar 55/2 disassembly
Posted By: tvdtvdtvd, 01-09-2015, 01:16 PM

Some time last year I acquired this rather dirty Super Takumar 55/2 as part of a camera lot. The
glass looked clean but the aperture ring was stiff to the point of almost being unmovable. Yesterday
I took the lens apart for a cleaning. I used kcobain1992's excellent 55/1.8 instructions as a guide,
and found the interior of the 55/2 to be almost identical with the only noticeable difference being the
rotation position of the helical assembly relative to the lens assembly.

The Nameplate was quite difficult to remove. I had to exert considerable force with the roll of electrical
tape to get the ring to unscrew, and even then it still slipped periodically. Earlier attempts to free the
Nameplate Ring with a rear lens cap and rubber glove did not work at all.

With nameplate ring removed, you will now have access to the screws that release the filter ring.

With the Filter Ring removed you will know have access to the screws that hold the Focus Ring.

The next ring is the DOF Scale. This ring is held in place by three tiny inset screws. Simply loosen
these screws, but do not remove completely else you'll have a devil of a time trying to get them back
in. I found one and half rotations to be more than enough to the loosen the ring for removal.

Next is the Aperture Ring. This ring simply slides off, but beware that there is a Ballbearing held
under this ring and it may fall out when the ring is removed. Be sure to work over a tray to catch
the Ballbearing!

Once the Aperture Ring is removed you will have access to three cross-type screws, (JIS?), that
will separate the rear of the lens from the Helical Assembly and Optical Assembly.

Rear of lens separate from Helical/Optical Assembly. Note the hook at the end of the crescent shaped
lever on the left. This engages with the long L-shaped lever on the right. Pretty straight forward.

This is the trickiest part by far. Have a Sharpie on hand and ready. Slowly unwind the Optical Assembly
from the Brass Ring. Do not allow the Brass Ring to rotate relative to the Outer Helical, (it actually
shouldn't rotate until the Optical Assembly is almost free). Just as the Optical Assembly is coming
free, note the relative positions of these three elements with a Sharpie. This will greatly assist you
when reassembling these three parts.

Why? The Helical is composed of 6 individual grooves. This means there are 6 different ways the
Optical Assembly can be rethreaded into the Brass Ring, but only one of those will ensure your
screw holes line up as the should for reassembly. It is also important to note the relative spacing
of the Brass Ring to the Outer Helical. This too is important for reassembly and will be further
explained in the next photo.

The two Brass Blades of the Outer Helical, noted on the left, engage the two Slots noted on the
Optical Assembly. Note that one blade is notched and the other is not. I don't know why they
are different, but assume they serve a purpose and by marking the rings with a sharpie you can
easily ensure everything lines up correctly.

Also note that these two Brass Blades can be removed. This may make reassembly easier
if you get into trouble, but be sure to carefully note their relative positions before you do so.

Back to disassembly. With the Optical Assembly removed, you can now unscrew the Brass Ring
from the Outer Helical. Note that this is reverse threaded, like a gas fixture, (it loosens clockwise).

That's as far as I went with disassembly. There was a little dust build up in the Optics, but not
enough to merit taking it apart.

Clean all parts thoroughly to remove old grease and grime. I simply used Isopropyl Alcohol, applied
with cotton swabs and toothpicks as necessary. Once everything is clean, relube the Helical and
Brass Ring. I used a light, heat resistant grease called Luberex. Applied sparingly, all excess carefully
wiped away. Nonetheless, this grease is too thin and thus the focus now is much lighter than a
Super-Tak should feel. Next time I'll use a grease with higher viscosity.

While I was cleaning, I noticed the Distance Scale on the Focus Ring was beginning to separate.
I removed the band, cleaned up the old, dried adhesive and reglued the band with Beacon 3-IN-1
Advanced Craft Glue. Again, not an ideal choice but it was the best adhesive I had on hand.

I also took opportunity to clean and relube the sticky Aperture Pin. Ideally, I might have disassembled
all these parts, cleaned them in an Ultrasonic bath, relubed and reassembled. Ultimately, I left
everything in place and cleaned as best I could with Isopropyl Alcohol, swabs & toothpicks. Once
the parts were no longer sticking, I lubed with a small amount of Luberex, (the ideal lube for this
application), worked the parts a bit to allow the lube to penetrate the moveable assembly and
then cleaned up any excess.

Finally I reassembled the lens in reverse order. Reassembly is pretty straight forward, though
the Helical Assembly is fiddly and requires patience. Notes on that below the last photo.

Please reference the photo of the Helical Assembly with Sharpie Marks, above. First reassemble
the Brass Ring and Outer Helical. Remember this is reverse threaded, ie, it tightens anti-clockwise.
Rethread these two parts to match the photo above, that is, until the gap between Brass Ring and
Outer Helical is as shown and the sharpie marks line up.

Holding the Brass Ring/Outer Helical in place with one hand, line up the Sharpie Marks on the
Optical Assembly and rethread into the Brass Ring. This is tricky and requires patience. Remember
that you have to simultaneously engage 6 separate helical threads at once. I found a gentile
pressure applied along the rotation axis, coupled with a back & forth rotation worked best. Eventually
you will feel the threads all lock in unison.

Remember those Brass Blades? They need to be properly lined up or will prevent the Helical from
rethreading further. You can see this by looking in through the back of the assembly. You may have
to do some micro wiggling to get them engaged. Or you could remove the blades, note their positions,
rethread the helical and reassemble the blades.

Once the helical has been rethreaded AND the blades are engaged, you'll find the Optical Assembly
no longer rotates. You must now rotate the Brass Ring to pull the Optical Assembly back down to
infinity. Again, it is a fiddly procedure and you may find it easier to remove the Brass Blades.
I persevered and was able to get it all reassembled without removing the blades.


Last edited by tvdtvdtvd; 01-09-2015 at 01:22 PM.
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01-09-2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for contributing to the community knowledge!
01-09-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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Brilliant guide
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01-31-2015, 06:30 PM   #4
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Nice write-up. Thanks. I've had good luck with nitrile gloves to get the nameplate off, but I'll keep the electrical tape trick in mind next time I pull something apart.

I had a similar situation with a 55mm f1.8 a couple of years ago where the focusing ring refused to budge. I finally got things apart to the point the offending contaminant could be seen. The strange brown muck causing the trouble dissolved in water and I concluded someone had spilled some Coke or Pepsi on the lens and failed to clean up the mess before it solidified. Cleaning and fresh lube set things right.

Not everything goes better with Coke!

01-31-2015, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thank you for this. Sometimes it takes me two days of trial and error to get these back together again.

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