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View Full Version : Yet another IIa


mel.adroit
01-14-2013, 11:26
I bought a IIa off eBay and to my surprise found pretty much everything to be in working condition—frame counter still worked, rangefinder was coupled fine to focus ring, and even the slow speeds like 1s seemed to be more or less in time.

The lens, though—not sure about it. Under normal light it looks just fine, maybe a little dusty. Under a torch, though, I can see, in addition to some moderate/alarming haze, what to me looks like condensation:

http://i.imgur.com/D8mWVh.jpg

(Sorry for the poor image quality.) Whatever it is, it looks to be inside the front group, but while I can unscrew it I can't seem to get at the two screws that seem to be holding those elements together. In fact, I think I may have just damaged the screw heads trying to get a grip on them ...

In any case, I took some test pictures with it, and scanned them very unprofessionally at 4800 dpi. They look decent, and I guess the focus works okay, but I'm mostly wondering if this is about the level of sharpness or contrast I should be expecting (not to say that it looks utterly unserviceable as it is—especially considering I bought this off eBay). There also seems to be a bit of a reddish/orange tint over things that seems to come and go. I'm not sure if that's because of the scanner, the scanning software, the film (Ektar 100—I know I'm wasting expensive film on test pictures, but at least it's not slide film), or some worse problems with the camera or with me.

http://i.imgur.com/ir0Wfm.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/ir0Wf.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/UXmNqm.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/UXmNq.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/s8KU4m.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/s8KU4.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/k5fGim.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/k5fGi.jpg)

(I think all of these were with the lens wide open at f/2 or f/2.8, if that matters.)

farlymac
01-14-2013, 18:03
Most definitely the lens needs cleaning. Lots of diffuse glare in your photos. Hope you didn't bung up the lens too bad trying to open it.

PF

mel.adroit
01-14-2013, 19:30
Most definitely the lens needs cleaning. Lots of diffuse glare in your photos. Hope you didn't bung up the lens too bad trying to open it.

I did order a LensPen, and I'm hoping that that will clean up any haze from oily smears/residue better. I'm also really hoping that this on top of the various times I've used clean cloth to wipe the lens down lightly won't have damaged the coating too much by the time I'm done ...

mel.adroit
01-16-2013, 07:12
So, I'm wondering if a good majority of this odd glare might be coming from the scanning process. After the original post I got another test roll back (from Costco, cheapskate that I am), but with a CD of scans. The resolution and quality is far worse than what the CanoScan I was using is capable of, but on the other hand I think I can discern more contrast and sharpness in these scans than what I did myself, even though these pictures too were taken wide open at f/2 or f/2.8. Maybe it's more down to the lighting conditions (midday vs late afternoon, partly cloudy vs about to rain), but I can't help thinking that it might at least in part be due to bad scanning practices, (which isn't to say that the lens doesn't need cleaning, because it does!). Any second opinions?

http://i.imgur.com/QxPpwm.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/QxPpw.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/2nvCNm.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/2nvCN.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/gj4E6m.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/gj4E6.jpg)
http://i.imgur.com/giZ7tm.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/giZ7t.jpg)

Uglee
01-16-2013, 08:35
A lens pen will not help you in removing the haze. I would suggest that you check the surface coating of the rear lens at an angle to a light source with a loop or magnifier. The coating is most likely to be damaged. You may try cleaning with a glass cleaner, and/or peroxide and ammonia if you suspect fungus. Some have reported success with cold cream left on the lens overnight. If the coating is damaged, you may try toothpaste, non whitening on a cotton bud (Q-tip). It will take awhile but you will be able to strip off the coating with out damaging the lens surface. I have done this in the past with success. You may also choose to have this cleaned by a professional, or simply keep your eyes open for an inexpensive parts camera and just swap the lens.

mel.adroit
01-16-2013, 09:45
A lens pen will not help you in removing the haze. I would suggest that you check the surface coating of the rear lens at an angle to a light source with a loop or magnifier. The coating is most likely to be damaged. You may try cleaning with a glass cleaner, and/or peroxide and ammonia if you suspect fungus. Some have reported success with cold cream left on the lens overnight. If the coating is damaged, you may try toothpaste, non whitening on a cotton bud (Q-tip). It will take awhile but you will be able to strip off the coating with out damaging the lens surface. I have done this in the past with success. You may also choose to have this cleaned by a professional, or simply keep your eyes open for an inexpensive parts camera and just swap the lens.

Thanks for the tip! I think I see rather persistent smudges in addition to the haze, so I'm hoping the lenspen will at least help against that. On the other hand, maybe those smudges are actually indicative of coating damage?

Some questions, though. Why is it better to strip damaged coating off rather than leave the undamaged portions intact? Does leaving damaged coating on actually degrade performance, or is this just for uniformity's sake? Also, isn't the rear element of a IIa (which should be my main concern, I suppose) very difficult to replace? I was under the impression that the proper tools to use were no longer being manufactured. Maybe I'll have to take it to a shop ...

mel.adroit
01-16-2013, 10:56
A minor update: I scanned one of the images above on the CanoScan (with unsharp mask turned off) and downscaled it to compare with the Costco scan. The CanoScan scan looks notably more diffuse, but now I'm thinking that an unsharp mask could account for how sharp the Costco scan looks.

Also, is it possible that I have a misadjusted infinity focus? The rangefinder works fine, but I haven't gotten around to checking whether the lens assembly is properly adjusted.
http://i.imgur.com/yeIri.jpg

Uglee
01-16-2013, 11:40
Mel.adroit,

I would only suggest stripping the coating as a last resort and only if you feel that you can not live with the way it affects your images. As for my reference to the rear lens, I was referring to the front element group which I would replace as a unit if possible. For the proper tools, you can still purchase relatively inexpensive lens spanners and jewelers screwdrivers to service almost any lens.

mel.adroit
01-16-2013, 11:58
Mel.adroit,

I would only suggest stripping the coating as a last resort and only if you feel that you can not live with the way it affects your images. As for my reference to the rear lens, I was referring to the front element group which I would replace as a unit if possible. For the proper tools, you can still purchase relatively inexpensive lens spanners and jewelers screwdrivers to service almost any lens.

That's good to know! I think I'll keep an eye out for a parts camera and also take this to a repair shop. It's a delightful machine, so it would be a shame to let it fall into disuse because of a soft image.

jdriffill
01-16-2013, 12:05
Princeton?

mel.adroit
01-16-2013, 12:14
Princeton?

I suppose the subjects make it a little obvious! I was visiting a friend, actually. Even if that was my room in one of the pictures, I would never own up to perusing a copy of Fifty-Thousand Shades of Grey, let alone Fifty Shades ...