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-   -   Zeiss ZM lens wobble issues (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97703)

FrozenInTime 11-12-2010 08:23

Zeiss ZM lens wobble issues
 
Just how common is Zeiss wobble ?

I had hoped that things had improved with the newer lenses, but after just one week with a 35mm C-Biogon, I noticed that it had wobble between the lens mount and focus ring.

The lens is going back for exchange.

The poll is : check which lenses have/have had mechanical reliability issues.
( sorry no room for a 15mm button in the pole - but at $4600 I hope it's been okay)

FrozenInTime 11-12-2010 08:58

A while ago I had a 21mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/2 : I sold them both, but the 21mm f/2.8 was looser than I cared for.
There are a few threads on RFF mentioning issues with the 50mm f/2, 35mm f/2 and 25mm f/2.8.

My 18mm f/4 is rock solid after two years and improved my confidence in Zeiss lenses no end.
When I started thinking about compact travel lenses, I had hoped the build and design quality was improving as new lenses were introduced.

The 35 f/2.8 was a disappointment.
The 85mm f/4 is looking okay so far.

semilog 11-12-2010 09:17

My 35/2.8 is tight as a drum. Rock-solid.

leicashot 11-12-2010 09:21

I've seen plenty of Leica lenses with this issues, as well as plenty of other manufacturers so lets not forget that this is not exactly a 'Zeiss only' issue, but an issue the OP is bringing up 'about' Zeiss on this occasion.

John Lawrence 11-12-2010 10:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by leicashot (Post 1467557)
I've seen plenty of Leica lenses with this issues, as well as plenty of other manufacturers so lets not forget that this is not exactly a 'Zeiss only' issue, but an issue the OP is bringing up 'about' Zeiss on this occasion.

I've never seen (or had) a Leica lens with this issue in all the years I've been using, buying and selling Leica lenses.

That's not to say it doesn't exist, but your comment that "plenty of Leica lenses" have this issue does surprise me.

John

Chriscrawfordphoto 11-12-2010 10:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Lawrence (Post 1467580)
I've never seen (or had) a Leica lens with this issue in all the years I've been using, buying and selling Leica lenses.

That's not to say it doesn't exist, but your comment that "plenty of Leica lenses" have this issue does surprise me.

John

When I first got into Leica and was buying my very first body and lens, I ordered a 50mm tabbed summicron, used, and it looked perfect...bot a mark on it, but the barrel wobbled. I sent it back. So, I have seen one Leica lens do it. I also saw a Konica 90mm M-Hexanon do it also.

John Lawrence 11-12-2010 10:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto (Post 1467581)
When I first got into Leica and was buying my very first body and lens, I ordered a 50mm tabbed summicron, used, and it looked perfect...bot a mark on it, but the barrel wobbled. I sent it back. So, I have seen one Leica lens do it. I also saw a Konica 90mm M-Hexanon do it also.

Like I said Chris, I'm surprised and have never seen it any of the lenses I've owned, used, bought or sold.

Do you have any other Leica lenses and do any of them exhibit 'wobble'?

John

kbg32 11-12-2010 10:26

I have 3 ZM lenses, the 18, 21/4.5, and the 25/2.8. All are stellar lenses, but my 25 has a really bad case of the wobbles, and "squeels" when you focus it. It definitely needs attention. The lubricant has all but dried out. My other ZM lenses are fine. I haven't had this issue at all with my CV or Leitz lenses and some of the latter are over 30 years old.

Olsen 11-12-2010 10:31

I have had two ZM lenses: 50 mm 2,0 and 25 mm 2,8. The 50 mm 2,0 did wobble, but I could not see any bad effects on files or prints. Quite on the contrary. Sharpness and contrast was high and very even over the surface. In this respect; far better than my Leica Noctilux - which is neither sharp with rather low contrast and with hefty distortion. The latter cost 5 times as much as the ZM.

I regret that I sold these lenses. First, because they produced excellent results with my M8. Second; because I destroyed much of my reputation on the small 2.hand market of M-lenses here in Norway. I was not aware of the wobble before after I had sold it and got a lot of pepper because of it.

My Canon 28-70 mm 2,8L did also wobble. I gave it away to my nephew. He repaired it. I then bought a 24-28 mm 2,8L 2.hand. It wobbled too! I had it repaired for 20 $ at the Canon here in Oslo. These heavy Canon zooms are very prone to wobbling, I was told at the Canon service center. It is an easy and cheap thing to fix. The hassle for many of us here in Europe is that customs might demand that we pay VAT one more time, claiming it is a new product, and all that. So, it is not only a matter of sending it to the factory to have them repaired.

Chriscrawfordphoto 11-12-2010 10:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Lawrence (Post 1467582)
Like I said Chris, I'm surprised and have never seen it any of the lenses I've owned, used, bought or sold.

Do you have any other Leica lenses and do any of them exhibit 'wobble'?

John

I do have one Leica lens and have owned a couple more that I sold. None o them wobbled.

sanmich 11-12-2010 10:45

I wonder how much of these wobble issues are simply an optical retaining nut getting a bit loose, and could be solved with just a spanner wrench?
I had such an issue on a summicron-c 40mm back from a fresh CLA...

ferider 11-12-2010 10:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by sanmich (Post 1467599)
I wonder how much of these wobble issues are simply an optical retaining nut getting a bit loose, and could be solved with just a spanner wrench?
I had such an issue on a summicron-c 40mm back from a fresh CLA...

That's the thing: there is wobble and wobble.

(a) retaining ring is loose - very easy fix, and I consider this quite normal when the lens travels with you a bit. I had that with a 40 Summicron-C and a 35/2.5 Color Skopar. Usually optics are not affected at all. At least one case of a wobbling ZM 25/2.8 on RFF was fixable like this.

(b) optical cylinder start separating. I had that with a 50/1.5 Nokton, and it can happen also at least to the 35/1.7 Ultron, 35/1.2 Nokton, 50/2 Planar and 35/2 Biogon. To fix, you have to take off the front element to reach internal screws that need tightening and nail polish. Not so pleasant, and possible change of optical collimation.

(c) glued lens elements that start falling apart. That's the worst since not easily fixable yourself. The 35/2 v4 (Bokeh King) is known for this. Why glue was used instead of retaining rings is a miracle to me.

Roland.

Olsen 11-12-2010 10:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by sanmich (Post 1467599)
I wonder how much of these wobble issues are simply an optical retaining nut getting a bit loose, and could be solved with just a spanner wrench?
I had such an issue on a summicron-c 40mm back from a fresh CLA...

On the Canon lenses they changed a plastic ring which tightened the construction. I have heard that it is something similar that is being done with the ZM lenses. It is a cheap fix.

briz 11-12-2010 10:58

Bought an 28 2.8 on the bay and sent it back. My 50 2 and 25 2.8 have no problems.

MCTuomey 11-12-2010 11:03

25/2.8 - solid
28/2.8 - solid
35/2.8 - solid
35/2 - slight play in focus ring, repaired well by zeiss
50/1.5 - solid
50/2 - tight focus ring, repaired well by zeiss

leitz 35/2 v4 - needed tightening twice in ~ 2 yrs, aperture ring still too loose for my taste

coelacanth 11-12-2010 11:09

Only ZM I have is 35/2.8. And that lens is super solid with no wobble, no nothin'.

kdemas 11-12-2010 11:25

I have had my 25/2.8 get the wobble twice, both times it was the retaining ring/nut. Easy fix but annoying.

Why do I put up with it? The lens is superb from a performance perspective.

robbeiflex 11-12-2010 11:28

My 50mm Planar is rock solid. :)

jplomley 11-12-2010 11:33

I currently have six Leica lenses and they all perfect. Mechanically, no faults whatsoever. These lenses are built to outlast me.

Vickko 11-12-2010 11:49

I have had a few Leica R lenses with wobble. But never Leica M's with wobble.

Costo Kim 11-12-2010 12:49

I'm using zm planar with significant wobble for a few years
I've bought it second hand in this state and no deterioration noticed
and I cannot see any troubles with sharpness wide open and/or stopped down

dyao 11-12-2010 17:07

my 35/2 has no wobble but it has slight play in the focus ring.

Colin G. 11-12-2010 19:20

can someone explain the wobble in simple terms? my 50/2 planar's focus ring has some play, is that the wobble?

FrozenInTime 11-12-2010 19:48

In my case I can pull in and out on the focus mount of the lens and there is movement between the lens mount and the focus ring.
So I can wobble the lens front from side to side, and everything moves except the part of the lens screwed to the M-mount bayonet.
There is enough movement to be seen by eye and to make a clacking noise.

mathomas 11-12-2010 19:58

My 25mm and 35mm Biogons are solid.

My 50mm Planar has just a tiny bit of focus ring play.

My 50mm Sonnar was just great until I banged it against a piece of furniture, then the optical unit became obviously wobbly and rattled when shaken. I took some test photos, and they looked pretty good, but I sent it in for service anyway. $245 later, it's solid as a rock again (as it should be!).

bobbyrab 11-13-2010 01:15

I had a 25mm develop a wobble which Zeiss replaced as they said it wasn't economic to repair it, so I would assume that there may be different causes as I know others have fixed the problem by tightening the back of the lens, I tried myself to do this, but there was no looseness to tighten. i would assume also that most of these bad lenses will show up fairly quickly, and in the UK at least Zeiss cover the lenses for three years. Has anyone had their lens develop a wobble after a longer number of years?

awilder 11-13-2010 06:28

Not problen with ZM lenses but never gave it hard knocks or kept them long enough to tell. I did once get a Titanium 50 Summilux that appeared LN but the lens barrel had play or slight wobble within the mount and was returned for refund. I've also seen some slight play of the lens barrel within the focusing mount of several Leica lenses like the 90/2 pre-asph., 180/3.4 R and even a new 50 Summmicron M SE (special edition). I attribute some of this to the front heavy lens barrel causing play to develop.

sanmich 11-13-2010 07:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by horosu (Post 1467900)
I recevied the new Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH FLE just last week.

Well, when shaking the lens one can hear something rattle inside the lens. I didn't know if this was normal, but the lens was also plainly wrong calibrated (it backfocused a lot), so I sent it in for repair.

Was very dissappointed to put down 5000 USD and have such issues out of the box.

None of my Zeiss lenses (bought new or second-hand) developed wobble, rattle and all of them were perfectly calibrated.

Just to put things into perspective...


Horea

I discovered a while ago that some lenses sound like something is free inside when you shake them a bit. I think it has something to do with the aperture blades or mechanism but this is just a wild guess.
Of course yours could be a totally different story related with the focus issue.

raid 11-13-2010 07:52

ZM lenses are modern lenses that have been made in recent years. They should not display any wobble. Comparing a ZM lens to Summicron DR is comparing lenses that are ages apart. Compare a ZM to the last version Summicron.

MCTuomey 11-13-2010 08:06

Not intending to cast aspersions at Zeiss generally, or engage in Leitz v Zeiss quality assurance debates, I would appreciate Zeiss management considering a no-cost or at least discounted repair of any of its ZM lenses that develop barrel wobble or focus ring play, regardless whether the lens is under warranty. I paid about $350 to have Zeiss address play in the focus rings of two ZMs. I don't think it's too much to ask that a focus ring be consistently damped and without play. It's certainly not too much to expect that barrel wobble not occur on relatively new lenses.

ferider 11-13-2010 08:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by raid (Post 1468087)
ZM lenses are modern lenses that have been made in recent years. They should not display any wobble. Comparing a ZM lens to Summicron DR is comparing lenses that are ages apart. Compare a ZM to the last version Summicron.

The DR Summicron should be the reference in build quality for all other M lenses and manufacturers ...

Chriscrawfordphoto 11-13-2010 08:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferider (Post 1468104)
The DR Summicron should be the reference in build quality for all other M lenses and manufacturers ...

I think Raid meant that after 50 yrs even the very best constructed things can be worn, especially if used heavily. I've certainly seen old Leica lenses that were in bad mechanical shape. A current Summicron is still a VERY well made lens compared to most modern lenses and is more likely to be in perfect condition because its not as old as a DR.

raid 11-13-2010 08:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto (Post 1468109)
I think Raid meant that after 50 yrs even the very best constructed things can be worn, especially if used heavily. I've certainly seen old Leica lenses that were in bad mechanical shape. A current Summicron is still a VERY well made lens compared to most modern lenses and is more likely to be in perfect condition because its not as old as a DR.

This is what I meant.
In any experiment, you want to hold as many factors constant as possible. Age is such a factor.

If this thread is about reaching some useful conclusions on some new lenses, such as the ZM line of lenses, it is best if we compare lenses of similar vintages and prices.

Roland is right about the incredible craftmanship that went into the rigid Summicron and its DR cousin.

raid 11-13-2010 08:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferider (Post 1468104)
The DR Summicron should be the reference in build quality for all other M lenses and manufacturers ...

It is understood, Roland, but after many years, "things" can happen with a lens.

leicashot 11-13-2010 11:04

Received my 50 Planar yesterday. Not only is it nice and tight and smooth, but it's sharper wide open than my Cron 50 V5 I just returned, and only a tad behind my Noct 0.95 at the same aperture f/2. For about 1/3 price, I am very very pleased. Really loving the performance for price value of the Zeiss....oh and do I need to remind you all of the UNBELIEVABLE performance of the 100/2 for SLR's?!? That is probably the best performing lens I've ever used.

Go Zeiss and don't look back.

leicashot 11-13-2010 11:15

no way
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by horosu (Post 1467900)
I recevied the new Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH FLE just last week.

Well, when shaking the lens one can hear something rattle inside the lens. I didn't know if this was normal, but the lens was also plainly wrong calibrated (it backfocused a lot), so I sent it in for repair.

Was very dissappointed to put down 5000 USD and have such issues out of the box.

None of my Zeiss lenses (bought new or second-hand) developed wobble, rattle and all of them were perfectly calibrated.

Just to put things into perspective...

Horea

This lens should have ZERO wobble. The test sample I received from Leica has zero movement and seemed better built than the previous model.

raid 11-13-2010 11:41

There is so much praise for the optical qualities of ZM lenses that one day I must get me one to try out. I wonder if ZM lenses are any "better" optically than Zeiss lenses for the Contax G1/G2. The G1/G2 lenses are amazingly good lenses.

Benjamin Marks 11-13-2010 11:55

Raid: I have not done a side to side comparison, my sense is that the strengths are distributed slightly different ways. For instance, the 45 mm G-Planar was so good that I actually bought a G2 in order to be able to use it. When the 50 mm Planar came out in M-mount, I ran out and bought one hoping it would have the same magic. It's a great lens, very sharp, and in many ways comparable to the 50 Summicron, but for whatever reason it didn't touch me the same way that the 45 mm lens did. Having said that, my current favorite lenses are Zeiss M-mount lenses. These include the 21 mm Biogon, the 35 mm/f:2.8 C-Biogon and the 50/1.5 Sonanr. Just can't say enough about these lenses. The one way in which they are similar to the G-mount lenses is in their color rendition. As for the G-mount lenses, I loved the 45 but merely liked the 35 and 90. I chalk this up to personal taste, as the images from these lenses were technically excellent but missing a certain something that makes you go, "wow, images from this lens are always just so special." Other lenses that have that quality for me recently have been the Konica Hexar AR 57/1.2, the Nikon 105/2 DC, the Sigma 50/1.4 and the 21 and 35 Biogons I mentioned above.

Edit: I am in the no-wobble camp.

raid 11-13-2010 12:19

Benjamin: I am fond of the 45mm Planar and the 90mm Sonnar from the G1 line.
Still, I favor the very old CZJ 5cm 1.5 over the G1 lenses. I am after a certain overall optical profile from the lenses that I like using the most. The rigid Summicron is a close second to the CZJ lens.

Krosya 11-13-2010 18:02

I keep telling you all - buy Hexanons! ;)


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