View Full Version : 35 summicron IV - front assembly loose?
A few years ago I bought, on ebay, a black 35 summicron, generation IV, ie. the last one before the aspherical version. Over time the front 'part' has come a little loose. That is, if I grab the lens by the hood, or even the aperture ring, and twist it (perpendicular to the lens axis, rather than turning the aperture ring), there is some give: the front element and aperture ring move to the left and right. As best I can tell, it does not affect the performance of the lens. I think it has got worse over time. Would anybody happen to know if this is (1) normal (I doubt it), (2) something I might fix myself or (3) do I find a good camera shop to repair it.
If it needs repairing, can anyone recommend a good place in/near Boston, MA? (*)
Many thanks -
(*) I don't post often, but read lots. Those of you who may have read one of the few threads I started may remember I was about to get married. This has now happened and we've returned (wife)/emigrated (me) to the US. We're in Boston with the in-laws until we sort out jobs and somewhere to live. Recommendations on good photoshops in Boston and the northeast always welcome.
i had the same lens and had it "repaired" a couple of times. the "fix", i was told, involved re-cementing the front assembly to the main lens assembly.
the "fix" lasted two maybe three years at a time...eventually sold it off for some hasselbald gear...
best of luck, it's such a great lens it's worth the fuss.
NEVER FORGET BESLAN
not uncommon with this lens.
obviously, the way the front element is fixed by some kind of inorganic glue (cement) is not a very durable design solution. However, the loosening occurs after shorter times when the lens hood is used as a grip when mounting or dismounting the lens. This increases the torque unnecessarily.
as smiling gecko said, it can be re-cemented by a kbnowledgeable repair person.
Quick update - I took my lens to Newtonville Camera, in Newton (near Boston, MA). While there I noticed that it wasn't just the front element that was loose, it seemed the entire optical train wobbled! I spoke to Paul, who told me that it was definitely worth having the lens replaced. He could send it to Leica US. They have an open account so after an estimate they would do the repair immediately, rather than waiting for my payment to clear. It could take from a few weeks to a few months, he said. This left me with a problem: the 35 mm is my most used lens, and I'm about to go on honeymoon!
At this point Paul mentioned he thought he had a Voigtlander 35/2.5. He would look for it at home and give me a ring. Not a day later he did so: he did have the Voigtlander 35 mm f/2.5 Color Skopar, with the vented hood and had brought it to the shop. I met him there and he was very happy to lend it to me, at no charge! He doesn't use it at the moment so he is happy for me to take it with me on honeymoon and return it when I get back.
He's just earned himself a loyal customer (so I bought $180 worth of film). It's a wonderful shop, too: lots of film, bags, darkroom chemicals and paper, tripods and other assorted camera bits. New cameras, of course, and some secondhand too. Well worth a visit.
It's a very common problem with the version IV, but you can fix it yourself. Which is what you should do, actually, because no matter who you send it to, it will reoccur.
The entire front lens group is held onto the focus mount with a large ring. Remove the lens mount and you'll see it. You'll need a set of spanners to tighten it. I guess the glue fails and the ring backs off over time. I never bothered to use any glue when I tightened mine up. It seemed to need a "snug up" every 6 months or so.
Like Fred said, it's a poor design.
I'll ditto on the poor design comments. My experience with this lens included a loose and at the same time, sticky aperture ring with worn-feeling little click stops. I ended up selling it back to the shop I bought it from.
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