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Recommendation for cleaning haze on a Canon 50/1.2
Old 04-06-2005   #1
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Exclamation Recommendation for cleaning haze on a Canon 50/1.2

Hi all,

Just recieved a Canon 50/1.2 lens from ebay. Unfortunately there is a discrepancy in the description. It was listed as pristine. It is clearly not. There seems to be haze on one of the elements towards the rear. And some items were excluded. Oh well, will have to deal with that accordingly. Arghh....ebay...sigh!

Otherwise, What would it cost me to get the lens CLA'd? And do you all have any suggestions? Preferably in the NYC area?

And lastly, I paid roughly 265USD fer it! Is that reasonable?

Thanks all
Landrew
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Old 04-06-2005   #2
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Mine is at Essex Camera in North Jersey right now. They have a good rep, and were recommended to me from members here because of their experience with Canon rangefinders and LTM lenses. It's costing me $158 with return shipping to clean/repair the lens and a 7s.

Other than that, I can't tell you anything else firsthand, but I hope I can tomorrow.
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Old 04-07-2005   #3
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Essex must have all the ebay 50/1.2s recently sold. Mine is there too! Very Stiff aperture ring and some dust.

http://www.essexcamera.com/

Use their email estimate service and send payment with the lens if you choose to send it.
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Old 04-07-2005   #4
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You can clean this lens yourself if you have a lens spanner. Very easy to open up and reassemble. 15 minutes and you're done if it's one of the rear elements as you suggest. If you want to try it and need instructions, e-mail me.

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Old 04-09-2005   #5
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Trick is to scribe things for rotational position before you take them apart. That way you know how tight to re-tighten them. Learned that from the person who opened my Canon 50/1.5 before me. Most important for the lens groups in the block.

Also, be extremely careful cleaning interior lens surfaces, even on Japanese lenses with very hard coatings, they may choose to use a soft coating on the inside surfaces. Easy to wind up with a clean, but uncoated, lens surface. Use tiny tufts of tissue, with fluid, and almost no pressure.

Sherry Krauter reportedly only charges $75 for a "lens bath".
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Old 04-09-2005   #6
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The 50mm F1.2 is very simple to work on. If disassembled from the rear, just unscrew one retaining ring with a lens spanner and the entire focusing mount and distance scale part of the lens comes off in your hands. No need to worry about scribing anything, it only goes back in one way (has a notch which lnes up with a metal "block" on one side of the interior). The rear most lens group can be unscrewed using two fingers which exposes on more retaining ring. Unscrew that with a lens spanner and the lens group that sits immediately adjacent to the aperture comes off. For some reason, the rear element that sits next to the aperture blades tends to fog up on my lens over a period of about a year (hard to believe that a 40+ year old lens is still outgassing but I guess it is). I've forgotten the amount of times I've cleaned this one element, thankfully it's something that is easy to do and can be completed in about 15 minutes. The coatings seem to be hard as nails, I've never had a problem with scratching anything or with wipe marks. Why spend $75.00 to clean a lens (at least this one) when you can do it yourself?

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Old 04-09-2005   #7
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Oh, I enjoy doing my own repairs. But, it's wise to go in knowing the risks, and how to do a good job.
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Old 10-05-2005   #8
Gabriel M.A.
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I take it that this is not that uncommon. I just received my Canon 1.2; it is not that big; it's a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be; it's not small, but it's not *big*. My main concern was whether it was going to proclude the 50mm framelines; it doesn't.

OK, so I've noticed that inside, in the rear element group, there seems to be something similar what would look like a fingerprint. The rest of the glass is crystal clear. Oh, and the blades are definitively oily; not what the description said on ePrey.

I'm rather upset, don't know what I should do; I sent an e-mail to the seller with these and a few other observations; aside what seems to be one chip, everything else seems to be spic-n-span.

I am hoping I'd get a partial refund for this will definitively need a CLA.

Also, who besides DAG do you recommend? I know DAG takes at the very least four weeks; he does take a long time. Anybody who is at least as good as DAG but with quicker turnaround?
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Old 10-05-2005   #9
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Don't waste time and money; send the lens to DAG. I had a Canon 50/1.2 which was soft at all apwrtures. A camera repairman took the lens three times apart and he could not find the source. I then mailed the lens to DAG and he immediately found the fault and repaired it. It takes a couple of "encouragement" emails to speeden things up, but it's definitely worth it. I now have a clean and relatively sharp 50/1.2 lens.
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Old 10-06-2005   #10
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Thanks dexdog - I can't see me getting rushed with offers but if I do I'll certainly let you know! When I get the element back I'll put the lens back together - maybe it'll be alright as a soft portrait lens, otherwise it's off to ebay with plenty of caveats. I wish the seller (ebay) had been more honest with his description. Live and learn. I'll be more patient in the future and do my shopping here, or stick to new lenses I can afford (CV).
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Old 10-06-2005   #11
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Brian: the "fingerprint" looks more like haze than anything; it's just a weird looking one. When you shine light through the lens directly, it disappears, but at an angle or with reflected light, you can see it clearly. It's odd. I brought it to the camera store where I do most of my "shopping", and they also say it's haze. If it were separation, that would show up even more when casting light, it would even cast a shadow; this is the other way around.

The ePrey seller went as far to say that that wasn't on the lens when he sent it, that perhaps it showed up due to temperature changes during shipping. Sometimes I don't know if they are really dumb, or they think that their buyers are. I told him I would send him pictures today.

If I can get to make it show on the pictures (it's one of those things you know you can see, but may get lost "in translation" with a digital picture) I'll post them here as well.
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Old 10-06-2005   #12
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Chris, I had similar communication with Essex, but over the phone. While I'm pleased with the work they did on my 50/1.2 and Canon 7s, I had heart attacks with them misplacing my received shipment for a couple days and then their shipping my stuff back to a different PO box. Because of the insurance and signature confirmation, it (probably) wouldn't have landed in someone else's hands, but that particular box was unassigned, and my confused PO almost sent it back to Jersey. They were apologetic about misplacing the box, but sorta brushed me off when I called to say that I'd received it despite the shipping error. (The error was on the actual addressing on the box; my invoice/packing slip, sent before the work and in the return box, had my correct box number.)

That said, my camera works great, and so does the lens. They also told me that they couldn't fully restore the lens, which I believe is a bit clearer than when I sent it. It still has some haze, on top of the cleaning marks that I knew wouldn't come out, but I don't notice anything in my prints. I will, though, try another service before I use them again.
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Old 10-06-2005   #13
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Hmm...DAG it is. My Summar and Summarit took five+ weeks, but he did an excellent job, and communication with him is always excellent. Sounds like everybody else is a gamble.
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Old 10-06-2005   #14
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OK, here they are...
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Old 10-19-2005   #15
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that's good to hear.
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Old 10-20-2005   #16
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Thanks Brian. There's hope yet. I'm also keeping my eyes open for another lens, perhaps with damaged outer elements, as a donor unit. I think it is as someone suggested - the remains after fungus etched the glass. I suspect a previous owner had cleaned off the fungus and found the etching, then moved it on! The joys of ebay.

Could anyone list possible sources of a donor lens or element, business's who might have a damaged lens hiding in a dark corner? I'm aware of KEH and Igor's, but there must be others too. Where else do people shop for old RF gear?
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Last edited by ChrisN : 10-20-2005 at 02:25.
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Old 10-20-2005   #17
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ritz also lists damaged lenses for cheap.
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Old 10-20-2005   #18
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OK, they say pictures are worth something or the other...
For those of you who have experience with this lens, can you tell me if these are typical results from this lens (all shots are wide open, and used -expired- Agfa Vista 100, in case you're wondering):
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Old 10-20-2005   #19
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Looking closely at some of these again, I have discovered a hint of flare in strong lighting situations. This may be haze after all!
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I Have Cleaned The Lens!!!
Old 04-07-2005   #20
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Smile I Have Cleaned The Lens!!!

Well, I winged it with my trustie spanner wrench and the lens is now flawless!!!

Thanks all for your replies!
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Old 10-06-2005   #21
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Timely thread. I do hope you folks have better luck with your 50/1.2 than I have had. In this thread here I sought advice about a similar problem, and documented my disassembly of the lens. I subsequently sent the hazy lens element to Essex for repair.

I must admit, after some good reports of the quality of Essex service, I was somewhat surprised by the nature of their email communication. Of course it is difficult to establish rapport without voice or personal contact - email might not be the best way to establish contact but considering time zones and the cost of international phone calls I thought it was worth a shot, and most businesses should be able to cope with that these days.

Anyway, the email responses from Essex were brusque almost to the point of disinterest. I did send the lens element - they advised a cost of US$60 for cleaning plus return postage; I said go ahead. A few days ago my credit card was charged for the amount indicated (converts to $99 Australian), so I figure they have completed the job and the lens is on its way home.

This morning I received an email from Essex saying, quote:

"We failed to clean your lens. We tried our best spent hours, but the damage is permant. However, we have a Leica Elmar 3.5/5cm screw mount at $100. Please advsie."

That was the entire contents of the email. I asked them to just send the lens home.

I am somewhat disappointed, for several reasons. I will not send them any further work. As I said, I hope others have more luck with them.

Has anyone got a good 50/1.2 element (the compound element immediately behind the iris) from an otherwise trashed lens? Or a recommendation for someone who really knows how to polish a lens? (Admitting it is probably etched by fungus.) The rest of the lens is just about perfect; it will be a shame to not return it to good working order.
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Old 10-19-2005   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN
Timely thread. I do hope you folks have better luck with your 50/1.2 than I have had. In this thread here I sought advice about a similar problem, and documented my disassembly of the lens. I subsequently sent the hazy lens element to Essex for repair.

I must admit, after some good reports of the quality of Essex service, I was somewhat surprised by the nature of their email communication. Of course it is difficult to establish rapport without voice or personal contact - email might not be the best way to establish contact but considering time zones and the cost of international phone calls I thought it was worth a shot, and most businesses should be able to cope with that these days.

Anyway, the email responses from Essex were brusque almost to the point of disinterest. I did send the lens element - they advised a cost of US$60 for cleaning plus return postage; I said go ahead. A few days ago my credit card was charged for the amount indicated (converts to $99 Australian), so I figure they have completed the job and the lens is on its way home.

This morning I received an email from Essex saying, quote:

"We failed to clean your lens. We tried our best spent hours, but the damage is permant. However, we have a Leica Elmar 3.5/5cm screw mount at $100. Please advsie."

That was the entire contents of the email. I asked them to just send the lens home.

I am somewhat disappointed, for several reasons. I will not send them any further work. As I said, I hope others have more luck with them.

Has anyone got a good 50/1.2 element (the compound element immediately behind the iris) from an otherwise trashed lens? Or a recommendation for someone who really knows how to polish a lens? (Admitting it is probably etched by fungus.) The rest of the lens is just about perfect; it will be a shame to not return it to good working order.
I just came across this thread that's why the late response. Essex camera repair is in my town and I had a lens worked on there just last week. Because it's close, I drop off and pick up in person. The asian man who runs the shop is extemely helpful and friendly in person. However, he doesn't speak English very well. If your emails were brusque sounding, it's probably a language problem. He's not like that in the shop. He even gave me two contax shutter ribbons for free when I asked him if he had any to sell me.
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Old 10-19-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN
>>>>>Timely thread. I do hope you folks have better luck with your 50/1.2 than I have had. In this thread here I sought advice about a similar problem, and documented my disassembly of the lens. I subsequently sent the hazy lens element to Essex for repair.

I must admit, after some good reports of the quality of Essex service, I was somewhat surprised by the nature of their email communication. Of course it is difficult to establish rapport without voice or personal contact - email might not be the best way to establish contact but considering time zones and the cost of international phone calls I thought it was worth a shot, and most businesses should be able to cope with that these days.

Anyway, the email responses from Essex were brusque almost to the point of disinterest. I did send the lens element - they advised a cost of US$60 for cleaning plus return postage; I said go ahead. A few days ago my credit card was charged for the amount indicated (converts to $99 Australian), so I figure they have completed the job and the lens is on its way home.

This morning I received an email from Essex saying, quote:

"We failed to clean your lens. We tried our best spent hours, but the damage is permant. However, we have a Leica Elmar 3.5/5cm screw mount at $100. Please advsie."

That was the entire contents of the email. I asked them to just send the lens home.

I am somewhat disappointed, for several reasons. I will not send them any further work. As I said, I hope others have more luck with them.

Has anyone got a good 50/1.2 element (the compound element immediately behind the iris) from an otherwise trashed lens? Or a recommendation for someone who really knows how to polish a lens? (Admitting it is probably etched by fungus.) The rest of the lens is just about perfect; it will be a shame to not return it to good working order. <<<<<<


about 7-10 years ago, I sent my Nikon F to Essex because I saw an artical on pop photo about how good they are. The F caome back in non operative condition, I had to send it back, they did lousy job. Maybe the owner's skill reputation is good but other camera repair tech did no better job than a monkey on my F.

Second repair I sent my Schneider compar shutter to Schneider, the repair is lousy too, 1/30 and 1/60 become 1/125. have to send back.

I only believe DAG now.
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Old 10-06-2005   #24
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Hey Chris, if you get more than one response for a trashed canon 50/1.2, I would be interested in the other. I have a lens where the cemented group immediately behind the aperature is showing signs of separation; it is not too bad yet, but I would like to get it fixed, cheaply, if possible.

Also, I would like to say that as far as lenses go, this one is pretty easy to work on. I have not noticed any problems/need to retighten retaining rings during re-assmebly- i just tried to approximate how tight they were originally, and cranked the rings into place using the spanner wrench.

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Old 10-06-2005   #25
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Chris, I would definitely dispute that charge from Essex with your credit card Co.

Thank you for pointing out your experience with their poor communication,
brusque attitude and poor performance. Your statement regarding your experience has ensured that I will personally never use them.

I too have a Canon 50/1.2 with the infamous haze in between the double element in the rear just behind the aperture blades. I was able to remove and clean the exterior surfaces of the doublet with my spanner wrench, but in attempting to remove the retaining ring on the one side of the doublet to pop the elements apart,, I managed to put a small chip in the outer perimeter of the glass next to the retaining ring about the size of a pinhead. Of course this was followed by a massive cursing and swearing session at myself. It was at that point I gave up, re-assembled everything and sent it off to DAG after a quick e-mail flurry between me and him. He does not think the chip will cause a performance issue, and he quoted me $50 to open up the doublet and clean the interior surfaces and re-assemble. We shall see if this holds true. As someone else stated here, the damned thing is it will be gone at least for a month.

I recently had a very poor "customer service" experience with another well known lens repair person (not DAG) who came highly recommended on this forum and PN. I sent off 4 vintage Leitz lenses to this person and I was initially quoted a price of between $95 and $125 per lens for a CLA. Well, the initial estimate turned out be double that in the end. 2 of them came back with worse problems than before, one having massive close focus issues and the other lens having a clearly visible "grinding mark" and what looked like a hair stuck inside one of the center elements. In addition I had to hand over a boatload of cash (personal check actually, this person does not accept CC's for what I now see are obvious reasons) to get my lenses back after I was initially "lowballed" a price for a simple CLA. The 2 lenses in question are currently back in that person's possession for a "free" re-repair. I will not comment further on the identity of this person until I get my lenses back and I am perfectly satisfied with the work.

The bottom line is, there is nothing that makes me do a slow burn more than when a so-called "professional", just because he charges high prices, turns out to be nothing more than a Butcher. The level of incompetence in this world is really a problem nowadays. What ever happened to the true Craftsmen of that past ?

End Rant.
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