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My poor pre-war sonnar.....
Old 10-19-2011   #1
uhoh7
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My poor pre-war sonnar.....

I found this 1937 jena attached to a pretty clean color dial and pulled the trigger for a bit over 200USD.

They arrived today, and while the body really does seem good (test roll loaded).



But on inspection the lens has some real issues. The blades are wet with oil--more than I've seen on any of my 40 odd lenses--but that by itself might be par for the course. However, take a look at this:





It's on the element just under the rear element, and does not appear to be like any seperation I've seen. It's symetrical--a half moon only effecting one side of the element, as if the element has been removed and improperly re-installed.

The lens shows signs of oily elements, but I can't really see the effects of the issue above









shots on APS-C so maybe I'm missing the edges anyway.

ohhhh, what do i do?

Last edited by uhoh7 : 10-19-2011 at 22:37.
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Old 10-19-2011   #2
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That should make no problems, i got both the coated and the uncoated version and i prefer the uncoated one (that also has some separation),
it's a real magical lens, especially for color work.
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Old 10-20-2011   #4
Brian Sweeney
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It looks to be just at the edges, and some separation is not going to have a big impact. Chances are, the oil has caused haze to be formed on each side of the aperture. At a minimum: unscrew the rear element and clean it. IF YOU haVE a really good spanner- the front ring needs to come out, the front triplet needs to come out, and the blades flood cleaned. Also take off the aperture ring. Variable ring off, aperture coupling link off, unscrew the aperture ring and clean out the grease. Scribe the position of the screws so they go back to original positions.





The front name ring is often held in place with paint. You need a really good spanner and steady hand to get it off.

And...

1936 Uncoated 5cm F1.5 Sonnar.

The rear triplet can be replaced with that of a Jupiter-3. The earlier ones are better: up through 1955. I used one from a KMZ, it was uncoated. Chances are, it was an original German part. Later J-3 rear modules are coated. They will also work.

BEFORE, with original rear element which had some etched glass:

on the EP2;



AFTER:




Focal length remained close, and worked well with an adapter on the Leica. This lens will be converted to LTM soon.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 10-20-2011 at 01:54.
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Old 10-20-2011   #5
hans voralberg
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As long as it has not physically separated far beyond each other it shouldn't be a problem, I have a few lens like that, works fine.
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Old 10-20-2011   #6
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TY for all kind replies.

And especially the heads up about the front ring, Brian. Very interesting to see your before and after shots and lens closeups. I suppose another reason to save this one is the potential for mounting in LTM--not possible in the later versions, I gather.

Great to know jupi rear elements can also work.

I'm going to get some better pics of the issue, but perhaps someone would put up some links to sonnar DIY cla-- I saw one I think Brian did, but can't find it now.

I still dont have a spanner, and now might be the time to get a couple of really decent ones--considering the job, suggestions apreciated

If I do send it out in CONUS.....Jerry Sorin? or?

best to all
Charlie

PS I must say the IIIa is quite the machine . Handles very well (I have M6 right now to compare), and without the meter mount it would be REALLY sweet--I see why the IIa is coveted. My focus gears move very free. Would be really nice to have this lens clean for BOTH film and digital.

I'll take the Contax and this lens to my daughters horse barn today and shoot some film for the first time in 25 years...OMG.

Last edited by uhoh7 : 10-20-2011 at 10:46.
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Old 10-20-2011   #8
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Beautiful Shots!

I have an Opton Sonnar that was optimized for wide open and closeup for me by Henry Scherer. It is my favorite lens, it has such a unique bokeh, like an impressionist painting, really unique

Nik
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Old 10-20-2011   #9
Brian Sweeney
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I see what looks like haze on the surfaces on each side of the aperture. This is going to have moe impact than the separation of the balsam. There is one set screw near the end of the mount that holds the optics module in place in the mount. Many Sonnars have this same screw holding in the rear module. After removing the screw, or at least backing it out, the rear mofule should unscrew with a rubber mousepad or cork.
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Old 10-20-2011   #10
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And if you send it out to Henry Scherer he did an incredible job, I sent him a fungus filled cloudy lens and he sent back one that looked and performed better than new. His charge and turnover time less than a month were also very reasonable, send me a pm if you need anymore details. This was within the last 6 months.

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Old 10-20-2011   #11
Brian Sweeney
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This thread is on the 5cm f2 Sonnar:

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...t=spare+sonnar

Getting the aperture ring off is the same as the F1.5 lens.

Biggest difference: the namering holds the loose-glass front element in on the F1.5 lens, and must be taken out with a Spanner. The front triplet is easier to get out, also with a Spanner. The glass of the F1.5 lens is loose, the front element and front triplet of the f2 lens is stamped into a brass mount. Each of those brass mounts has the SN of the lens.
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Old 10-20-2011   #12
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I get a quote of 220USD for complete restoration. A basic CLA as you guys know runs 60-135USD. Optically not much evidence of bad effects and the condition is stable aparently.

Hmm

A fully restored lens might be worth enough more in resale value to justify the investment (though I have no plans to resell).

Brian, TY on pointing out set screw and for your link. I'm very tempted.....if I thought I could get it clean without damage I might go ahead. I'll read up
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Old 10-20-2011   #13
Brian Sweeney
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Cleaning the rear is very easy, and that is where most of the haze accumulates.

$220 is reasonable if it requires separating the elements and re-cementing them. Not sure if the resale of a Contax mount lens will recoup the cost.
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Old 10-24-2011   #14
uhoh7
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Brian can't thank you enough for your attention and advice. Never would have found the camera and lens without reading your many great posts.

I threw caution to the wind and sent if off to Henry

two week turn around give or take so I will post results when I get it back.

Should be interesting anyway.

I know I know there's one born every minute
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Old 10-24-2011   #15
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Those photos have excellent atmosphere! I'm not a bokeh nut but that is beautiful!
Sorry, I'm not very helpful am I
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Old 10-27-2011   #16
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You gotta love this:

From Henry:

"Hello Charlie,

I have an opening while waiting for paint to cure while working on a Contax III and so have moved forward with your lens and it is completely disassembled. It is very dirty but very fine. The lens elements are in perfect condition and so my guess is it's going to be a 10 when its done. It's distinguished by very fine surface oxidation of the front and rear lens elements. This shows it's never been cleaned. Whoever owned it previously cared for it very much. This surface oxidation acts like coating and significantly improves the lens so if I were you I'd invest in a UV filter and would never clean this lens. This surface oxidation is very rare and highly desirable."



Would this be the standard 40.5 filter and thread pitch?

TY

Last edited by uhoh7 : 10-27-2011 at 11:57.
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Old 10-27-2011   #17
Brian Sweeney
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Yes- I use Hoya, Schneider, and Walz filters on mine. I think one time I bought 10 multicoated Schneider 40.5mm filters from Popflash. I need a couple more.
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Old 10-28-2011   #18
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Since oxidation is normally considered an issue, I wrote back to Henry asking him to explain why this is a good thing. Here is what he said:

"I can't possibly provide a complete lecture in the history of glass making but here's what you need to know in a nut shell. The history of lens glass is long and begins with plain glass made at very low temperature to make it very clear and very soft so it could be easily ground into lenses by hand through manual labor. A process of continual development and improvement took place in lens glass making it with higher and higher temperatures and it becoming harder and harder as mechanical methods of lens making were developed. Glass corrodes just like everything else. Softer glass corrodes faster and with a coarser grain and harder glass corrodes slower with a finer grain. Finally, Zeiss developed modern optical glass and improved it to the point that it corrodes so slowly and so finely that the corrosion actually improved the performance of the lens because it was thin enough and fine enough to act like a dichroic filter. Zeiss noticed this and began a program of development to duplicate this effect and this led to modern coatings. The corrosion on the surfaces of your lens results in an improvement. The corrosion on the surface of a lens made in 1900 results in the ruin of the lens.

The reason there is virtually no Colonial Era American glass existing today is that it simply corroded into sand because it was made under such low temperatures and was so soft and susceptable to corrosion. Low temperature glass can be made to be very brilliant. Tiffany experimented with it in some of his lamps and these lamps are distinguished by the fact that the glass pieces closest to the light bulb is still present whereas the pieces further away from the bulb have corroded into sand."

Has he got it right?
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Old 10-28-2011   #19
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I've just gotten in the mail today a black and nickel 5cm f1.5 Sonnar with a similar problem, but more pronounced. The problem looks more like it's closer to the front of the lens than the rear. Otherwise the glass looks very clean and unscratched. I'm anxious to try it out in the light of day and see how well it works as is. I had never seen one show up of this vintage at a price I could afford, so I'm happy to have it, even as is. Still, I'd be curious how your repair experience turns out.

Jim
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Old 10-28-2011   #20
Brian Sweeney
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No- not quite right.

"Bloom" is the term for the outer layer of a lens becoming tarnished, lowering the index of refraction, and reducing reflections. The effect was noticed ~1896 by Taylor.

http://www.panix.com/~zone/photo/czlens.htm

Henry is a good technician.
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Old 10-28-2011   #21
Brian Sweeney
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I'm convinced that my 1936 5cm f1.5 Sonnar is from the test batch of coated Zeiss lenses. All of the surfaces are coated, the lens had never been opened. The lens had a lot of internal haze, which cleaned up well. I did not notice the coating until the lens was disassembled. It's in amazingly good shape for a 75 year old lens. I'm guessing that this lens passed it's long-term life-cycle testing with flying colors.
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Old 10-28-2011   #22
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Old glass corroded into sand? Tiffany lamp glass corroded except where the lightbulb heated it? Er....Don't think so. There are many Roman era glass goblets and such that are centuries old, and still in perfect condition. There are many optical glass marine and astononomy telescopes 200 years old still being used.
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Old 10-28-2011   #23
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Just wanted to mention John at Focal Point does fantastic work on lenses. He re cemented a rear element that was on a Super Ikonta IV I once owned, and disabled the aperture/shutter interlock (grrr) for me. That made the camera so much easier to shoot. He's also performed magic on old Summars I've sent him. Extremely professional work from his company.

One thing about lens separation. In addition to making sure that the camera isn't knocked about, you should watch out for major changes in temperatures, especially since winter is coming. Bringing a camera that's been out in freezing weather directly into a heated building can put the separation into the critical area. Bundle it up in a coat for a while before coming into heated places.
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Old 10-28-2011   #24
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Good job sending it to Henry. You will be very happy when you receive it from him. I use b and w filter 010 uv haze and a screw in 40.5 hood that I got from amazon for 6.99 all metal
Enjoy your lens it is a masterpiece. Especially wide open
Nik
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Old 11-03-2011   #25
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Just came back. I'll get some close shots of the lens so you can see the repair: you can tell a bit.

Now here is something my nikkor 5cm 1.4 (which I love) simply cannot contemplate:


That's @ 5.6 The light is a bit diffuse--some cloud cover, so not quite straight sun.
Check center details: Full Size I also brought the Canon LTM 1.4 for comparision, I'll post those later. The Canon does not soften on the edges as this one does, but is no sharper in the center.

Indoors wide open:

same conditions so you can see sharpness:

full size

Seems pretty good

Last edited by uhoh7 : 11-03-2011 at 18:31.
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Old 11-03-2011   #26
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I'm impressed. So how did you happen to get your lens in and out of Henry Scherer's so quick? I thought he had a years long waiting list. My uncoated f1.5 is wonderful the way it is, but I wonder how nice it might be cleaned up inside.

Jim








Last edited by gzuiko : 11-03-2011 at 18:50.
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Old 11-03-2011   #27
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He does lenses fast--someone else had mentioned this, so I emailed him. I have to say he was very patient and answered numerous questions through the process. He won't click on links in emails , though

Now, you can see a touch of I'm not sure what in the shape of the damage above, but much closer to the edge, so I could not say it's like new: I'll put up some pics when I have a chance to get some clear shots.
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Old 11-04-2011   #28
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OK because some might consider such a lens repair here are some close pics.

now rotated a bit:


Below; it does seem the effected element is fully restored---compare to first shots way up there.

Blades are just short of wide open and the effected element or group is inboard of the aperture, i.e. bewteen the viewer and the blades visible in the upper half.
I have a few more but I think these tell the story.

I asked Henry:
On lens inspection I see just a slight half moon of light grey material in location where separation was before--covering much smaller area than original issue. This is only visible when I tilt the lens. This must be the space age stuff you talk about on your site

He replied:
"The grey material you see when you tilt the lens is actually lens edge blacking that is visible through the lens cement. The lens element surfaces are very highly curved and the lens cement is very transparent."

Anyway, tweety the cat likes it:

Last edited by uhoh7 : 11-04-2011 at 14:45.
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Old 11-04-2011   #29
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I would not worry about it- but it is not a reflection of the lens blacking.

Maybe the glass ever so slightly discolored with the balsam.

It is not going to have any affect.
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Old 01-02-2012   #32
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This is one of those questions that I suspect Brian would have had a very good answer for, but I'm hoping other "regulars" can chip in with suggestions.

I have a 5cm f/1.5 CJZ sonnar, SN 267xxxx, which I'm taking apart in order to clean oli off the aperture blades, clean, and also to blacken the outside or the front triplet. The front retaining ring came off quite easily, but the one holding the triplet is not moving even with a significant amount of force. I don't want to mar the slots, so was thinking that a small amount of lubricant (kerosene? napetha? WD40?) applied with a toothpick might reduce the friction required to remove it, but I'm a little leary of using WD40. Any suggestions?

The lens is in very good shape but does have some very fine cleaning marks on both the front and rear elements. Were the coatings on these early "T" sonnars softer than post-war coatings?

Thanks,
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