Tight focusing lenses - possible to oil them?

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Hello to everybody reading this excellent website.

I've got two Hexanon lenses (50/1.4 und 50/1.7) that are quite hard to focus; the focusing ring feeks very tight. Does anybody know if I could possible oil these lenses myself? I appreciate any advice, thanks!

best regards, Martin

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2001


Tight lenses

Hi Martin,

Yes, most lenses can be serviced when tight focusing, but I don't recommend it as a "do it yourself" job unless you have some experience and practice on "throw away" lenses first!

Shouldn't use oil on the helicoid, which provides the focusing movement. I usually use a synthetic white grease which is actually made for bicycle bearings and contains teflon. It has very low "flow" properties, meaning that over time oil won't seep out of it and work into the innards. DO NOT use any type of oil, as it will end up inside where you don't want it! There are also other "tuning" greases which techs use to get the "feel" and fit of lenses and other moving parts "just right".

It's possible there is another reason, besides lubrication, causing the tight focus. Or, it just could be old grease gelling in there. Best bet would probably be to hand them to an experienced tech! Lenses will occasionally need a proper complete cleaning and probably the diaphragm lubricated, too (with fine, dry graphite, NOT oil or grease!).

Check your local camera repair, or Greg Weber (Nebraska), K&S Photo (Sacramento, Calif.), Strauss Photo (New Jersey, I think). They are found elsewhere on this list and the Konica Users website. All are Konica specialists.

By the way, if you happen to have an FT-1 that needs regular servicing, this is the only SLR that Konica still works on "at the factory". I've heard you should include a lens and it will get a tune up too, as a part of the price or for only a little more. I think applies mainly to "normal" lenses like yours, as some of the more esoteric lenses may not have parts available.

Good luck.

Alan Myers, San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001

Tight focusing lenses

Martin, you could try the following 2 methods: 1. Lighter fluid(not the butane) Pour a small amount into a small dish/cup and using an eye dropper squirt a few drops between the lens barrel and the focusing ring.(don't overdo it) Work the ring to ensure that the fluid gets in there. Prepare for a fast wipe up ,since the lighter fluid flows and evaporates quickly.

2. Heat(not a blow torch) but a warming plate(check out your second hand store $2-3 small size is good) a heat resistant sandwich plate (corelle brand or something similar) a clean dish towel. Place the plate on the warming tray/plate fold the towel in half and place that on the plate. Place your lens on the whole set-up and let it cook for awhile. Like all good cooks turn the lens around so that it warms evenly. Keep working the focussing ring. At times, you have to use both methods to get results. The idea is to soften the lubricants and to get them moving. Be patient you may have to repeat the steps. If all else fails you'll have to take Alan's advice and have it serviced. Good luck,Dave

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001

tight focusing lenses

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I tried "cooking" one of the lenses and it has improved quite a bit. I will try the lighter fluid as well, though.

sincerely, Martin

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2001

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