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05-28-2016, 09:18 PM   #1
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Fixing (keeping?) Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50 f2.8 w/ frozen focus ring

I got this lens rather cheaply on $bay, and it is still returnable, but I'm trying to figure if it's worth keeping even if I can get some money back. (I only paid $16 for it, but it was listed as fully functional.)

It's a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8 from 1964. The aperture blades are clean and snappy, so that's good. The focus ring, however, is absolutely frozen. It will focus at about 5' but that's it.

Googling around, I came across this page to which almost everyone refers who has aperture problems. (It wouldn't hurt to get inside my lens, since there is some haze on one of the internal elements.) BUT, my CZJ has no screws on the back plate. The only visible screw is on the aperture ring. There are no little divots on the front of the lens where I can use a spanner to get at it from the front, so I'm guessing I'd have to use some sort of rubber stop and pressure to unscrew the front element.

So, is it worth keeping? If so, worth how much? Is it worth fixing? Or just get my money back? Thanks!


05-28-2016, 10:48 PM   #2
osv
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threaten the seller with bad feedback, for misrepresenting the condition of the lens so badly... he might be inclined to refund your purchase price, and let you keep the lens, since it's so cheap.

i'm guessing unscrew the facia plate that has the lettering on it with the stopper or whatever, and find screws underneath it? the aperture ring looks like it'll slide off the top end once the screw is out? after you get the focus mechanism out.
05-29-2016, 01:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I got this lens rather cheaply on $bay, and it is still returnable, but I'm trying to figure if it's worth keeping even if I can get some money back. (I only paid $16 for it, but it was listed as fully functional.)

It's a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8 from 1964. The aperture blades are clean and snappy, so that's good. The focus ring, however, is absolutely frozen. It will focus at about 5' but that's it.

Googling around, I came across this page to which almost everyone refers who has aperture problems. (It wouldn't hurt to get inside my lens, since there is some haze on one of the internal elements.) BUT, my CZJ has no screws on the back plate. The only visible screw is on the aperture ring. There are no little divots on the front of the lens where I can use a spanner to get at it from the front, so I'm guessing I'd have to use some sort of rubber stop and pressure to unscrew the front element.

So, is it worth keeping? If so, worth how much? Is it worth fixing? Or just get my money back? Thanks!
I have one from 1954 and I like it a lot. It is definitely worth $16...I haven't tried to take it apart,but I have another German lens that has only one screw in the focus ring. When you take that screw out you can take off the face plate. I didn't go any further, since that was enough for me, but there are screws inside which I guess let you go further... Good luck!
05-29-2016, 12:39 PM   #4
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Or you could, you know, simply use the extremely pro-buyer ebay returns process rather than going full-on jackass like OSV suggests.

Seriously though, if you want to attempt a repair, I'd try the screws around the screw mount and the aperture ring first. If you take the large flathead screw(s?) visible on the aperture ring, you might be able to spin it off and access the screws attaching the helical guide from underneath. Warning: some of these CZJ primes can be real bears to work on.

QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
threaten the seller with bad feedback, for misrepresenting the condition of the lens so badly... he might be inclined to refund your purchase price, and let you keep the lens, since it's so cheap.

i'm guessing unscrew the facia plate that has the lettering on it with the stopper or whatever, and find screws underneath it? the aperture ring looks like it'll slide off the top end once the screw is out? after you get the focus mechanism out.


06-17-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
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To close the story... I emailed the seller offering to keep the lens and spare him the return mailing cost if knocked $10 of the $16 it cost. Never heard back. Started a case w/ ebay, and again waited for seller to reply, and he never did. ebay resolved the matter. I sent back the lens at no cost and got my money back. It might have been worth it to me for $6 to see what it was like to dismantle an old lens, but it wasn't worth anything as a paperweight.

I did leave negative feedback since the seller never replied to multiple inquiries.
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