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Author Topic: Rolleiflex with lens separation  (Read 2306 times)
krust
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« on: January 24, 2007, 09:13:55 AM »

A local vendor has just handed me a Rolleiflex 2.8E with a Carl Zeiss Planar lens to try out. If I like it, he wants $250 for the camera. The camera is clean and in reasonably good condition. Shutter speeds sound about right. Aperture works well. The meter doesn’t work. The taking lens is free of fungus, haze and scratches, but it there is separation of the front lens group. I plan to run a roll of film through the camera to see how the separation will affect the pictures, but before I do this I want to ask if anyone else has had this problem with the Rolleiflex 2.8 or other camera and what the affect is on the pictures. Is this camera a worthwhile purchase or should I send it back? I also was handed a Rolleiflex 2.8F with a planear lens, again for $250 if I decide to keep it. The lens looks great, but this one has seen some wear and tear and the shutter seems to need work. Is this one worth keeping?

Thanks,
Ken
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 09:19:53 AM by krust » Logged
Raid Amin
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2007, 09:45:47 AM »

I have lens separation in one Rolleiflex TLR. It would cost over $600 to get the lens separation taken care of (for two elements). I checked it out. It is like a time bomb; one day, there will be negative effects on images. You can take the chance and enjoy the Rollei for a few years before that happens. Offer $200.

Raid
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 07:47:05 PM by Raid Amin » Logged

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Nick Merritt
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 12:02:52 PM »

Even $250 is a good deal -- I have no idea how long the separation would take to become bad enough to affect the images, but as Raid says, you can enjoy it in the meantime.
 
Check with John Van Stelten (focalpointlens.com) or Paul Ebel (don't know his contact information) about the cost of re-cementing one of these lenses.
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Rick Oleson
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 06:11:14 PM »

Where is the separation in the lens?  If it's only at the edges (sadly common in some of the best CZ lenses of the 1950s), it will not have any effect when the lens is stopped down because it will be outside the region of the lens in use.  Its effect when wide open is of the nature of increasing flare and reducing contrast - like an area of missing antireflective coating ..... it does not affect sharpness.

If the problem is only at the edges, and the lens can be disassembled to the point of removing the glass from the cell, you may be able to eliminate its optical and cosmetic effects by wicking thin oil into the gap from the edge.  Recementing a lens like this costs more than the camera is worth, but this produces an equal result in terms of both optics and appearance.
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Raid Amin
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 07:48:42 PM »

Quote from: Nick Merritt;77582
Even $250 is a good deal -- I have no idea how long the separation would take to become bad enough to affect the images, but as Raid says, you can enjoy it in the meantime.
 
Check with John Van Stelten (focalpointlens.com) or Paul Ebel (don't know his contact information) about the cost of re-cementing one of these lenses.


Nick:  My repair estimate is from John Van Stelten. There also the chance (He told me) that the glass will get totally damaged by the heat while being repaired. No warranties are given for a safe return. No refunds either.
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Rick Oleson
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2007, 10:07:01 PM »

another good reason for the oil treatment: not only low cost, but low risk too.
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Wayne
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2007, 10:35:02 PM »

With regard to the separation, if it's just at the edges I'd go with Rick's oil technique. I've also done recementing by myself (including the rear doublet of a 3.5 Planar) and it's not that hard, but you need an absolutely clean work area and great care with centering of the two elements. Summers Optical sell some easy to use UV curing cements.

Having said that, I think you'll find the separation has little effect on picture quality. The other camera may also be a good buy if it hasn't suffered any major abuse and you can get the shutter serviced inexpensively.
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krust
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2007, 03:45:32 AM »

I’d like to thank everyone for their helpful comments. The lens separation is in nearly a perfect circle. I opened the back to get some light, set the shutter to B and then held the shutter open. I looked through the front of the lens and moved the aperture until the blades just touched the separation circle. The aperture was at 4 at this point, so it seems like I'll need to go to 2.8 for the separated area to even come into the image area. Rick thanks for your comments regarding treating the lens with oil. I’ve heard of this type of treatment before and I find it very interesting. I think I might do it at some point in the future. Do you have any recommendations on the type of oil to use and the best way to wick the oil into the separated area?

Thanks
Ken
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Glenn Thoreson
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 12:06:15 PM »

WD-40 is the goo of choice for treating these, it seems. I have a 35mm Zeiss Pro Tessar with pretty bad separation. It looks like a giant oil slick from the front. Can't really see it much from the rear. It doesn't affect image quality at all. Yours probably won't either, unless the balsam has deteriorated and turned yellow and funky. I wouldn't mess with it unless it really proves to hurt performance.
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Rick Oleson
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2007, 09:54:00 PM »

WD40 is what I used.  It has a lot of solids suspended in it, so you have to squirt some into a bottle and let the solids settle to the bottom, and then dip the clear oil off the top.  Any extremely thin oil should work though.... the important thing is that it be thin enough to wick into the gap (it goes in very slowly, be patient).  The refractive index of the oil will be so close to that of the glass and the cement that the separation will become quite invisible, which by definition deals with any slight performance effect that the separation may have caused as well.  Even if the oil is not perfectly water clear, it doesn't matter because the layer of oil will be so thin that any color it has will not be visible.

It has to be an oil, though.  Other liquids will wick in, in many cases more quickly and easily, but they will eventually evaporate back out.  Oil does not evaporate, so the treatment will last for years.
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joho35mm
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007, 09:57:21 PM »

Sorry to step in, but I've a question for Rick - in this case, is there a risk that, over time, the oil might migrate to other parts of the lens and camera and cause problems (i.e. a gummy shutter and/or aperture, etc)?

Just curious.
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