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japan hobby tool lens spanner on shashinki
Old 07-29-2019   #1
aizan
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japan hobby tool lens spanner on shashinki

Has anyone bought a Japan Hobby Tools lens spanner from Shashinki? It looks like this is the only place you can get it online, but I’ve never ordered anything from there. Have you? How did it go?

https://shashinki.com/shop/japan-hob...r-p-29621.html
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Old 07-29-2019   #2
KEVIN-XU 愛 forever
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Search it on Amazon and you will find it.
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Old 07-29-2019   #3
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Am I missing something here? How is the other driver bar secured to the cross pieces? At first glance I have to say I don't think much of it. The unavoidable offset cross bar layout appears to offer no benefits over a more conventional layout but might possibly be less flexible in certain situations where an equidistant spacing may be essential. I defer to the wisdom of those who have actually used one of course.
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Old 07-29-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Am I missing something here? How is the other driver bar secured to the cross pieces? At first glance I have to say I don't think much of it. The unavoidable offset cross bar layout appears to offer no benefits over a more conventional layout but might possibly be less flexible in certain situations where an equidistant spacing may be essential. I defer to the wisdom of those who have actually used one of course.
Cheers
Brett
I actually think this might work well maybe better than the conventional single cross bar ones. But I am not sure how the one pictures compares performance wise with the other double cross bar designs. It looks as if one cross bar is fixed on the left driver and the other is fixed on the right driver. To me this looks like it may be a more stable arrangement.

I have a conventional single flat cross bar type which can be a bit wobbly till both thumb screws are tightened. Not a real hassle but when adjusting the driver points in and out to the correct diameter, there is always some unwanted sideplay as one or both thumb screws are loose at that point.

I may be wrong but I would like to see it in use.
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Old 07-30-2019   #5
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Originally Posted by KEVIN-XU 愛 forever View Post
Search it on Amazon and you will find it.
Do you have a link? It doesn't show up when I search for "japan hobby tool lens spanner" or "japan hobby tool lens opener".

Just to make sure, I'm looking for this:



I think the second crossbar should help with your grip. I have two SK Grimes spanners, and I wish there was more to hold onto.
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Old 07-30-2019   #6
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https://www.amazon.com/Japan-hobby-t...gateway&sr=8-8


They are not selling exactly the same model. But something similar.
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Old 07-30-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Am I missing something here? How is the other driver bar secured to the cross pieces? At first glance I have to say I don't think much of it. The unavoidable offset cross bar layout appears to offer no benefits over a more conventional layout but might possibly be less flexible in certain situations where an equidistant spacing may be essential. I defer to the wisdom of those who have actually used one of course.
Cheers
Brett


I have the one with thumbscrews on both bars, and I hate it. This one, I assume has the top bar sliding through the thumbscrew and the bottom bar, stationary below the thumb screw but sliding through the left vertical bar.


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Old 07-30-2019   #8
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I second the single flat bar variety just sucks!

I like the offset/removable ends in Aizans photo and the double bars look like a better design. Especially with a single thumb screw.
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Old 07-30-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbagno View Post
I have the one with thumbscrews on both bars, and I hate it. This one, I assume has the top bar sliding through the thumbscrew and the bottom bar, stationary below the thumb screw but sliding through the left vertical bar.


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I'd be the first to admit that a spanner with four screws can be fiddly to adjust but the ability to position the cross bars at various heights or have the drivers at various locations, centred or offset, along one or both bars at will, delivers maximum flexibility.

Whichever one you choose it will never do everything. I have three or four dedicated lens spanners of various types, plus several sets of old dividers, old enough to be made of decent tool steel, and a variety of friction tools. The more choices you have available the more likely it is you'll have something ideally suited to a particular task, and the less likely you will be to damage the parts involved.
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Old 07-30-2019   #10
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I've got one of those, it works okay, but I'm not a big fan.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 07-30-2019   #11
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Bought a set of different ones off eBay and they work fine. Having said that, nothing beats my pair of spanners from SK Grimes.
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Old 07-30-2019   #12
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I've got one of those, it works okay, but I'm not a big fan.

Best,
-Tim
What would you recommend?
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Old 07-30-2019   #13
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I really like these ones which I bought 10 years ago on Ebay. They are from China but are very stable. Cut one of the cross-bars to get easily inside medium format cameras film chambers.


Long Lens Spanners (01) by Hans Kerensky, on Flickr
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Old 07-30-2019   #14
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I have a lens spanner I bought on eBay. It came with extra hexagonal screws to fix either side if you wish. I ended up fixing the screws on one side because there's no need to fiddle with all 4 screws when adjusting. It does the job but I would like the metal rods to be slimmer or flat so I could use it in tighter spaces like the deep groves of some lenses.

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Old 07-31-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanskerensky View Post
I really like these ones which I bought 10 years ago on Ebay. They are from China but are very stable. Cut one of the cross-bars to get easily inside medium format cameras film chambers.


Long Lens Spanners (01) by Hans Kerensky, on Flickr
I've got a set of those myself Hans. Like you, at the time, I wanted something that could Eg. reach right down into the back of a Rollei twin lens to loosen the rear lens cells if needed. I like the fact that they are slightly tapered so that by reversing them on their bars you can angle them in or outwards. On the not so good side, I had one of the pointed bars snap a mm off a tip a couple of years ago, but nothing a few minutes with a file couldn't fix.
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Old 07-31-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
Do you have a link? It doesn't show up when I search for "japan hobby tool lens spanner" or "japan hobby tool lens opener".

Just to make sure, I'm looking for this:



I think the second crossbar should help with your grip. I have two SK Grimes spanners, and I wish there was more to hold onto.
So presumably, looking at the original image in the first post, the top (horizontal) cross bar is rigidly fixed to the left vertical driver. But can slide through the right driver when the screw is backed off.

The lower cross bar is rigidly fixed to the right driver, and can slide through the left driver when the screw is backed off. Is this right?

So what fixes the junction of the lower bar and left driver when the tips are locked at the desired distance (apart from via the top right locking screw?). Is the single screw on the top right meant to do the lot?
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Old 07-31-2019   #17
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
So what fixes the junction of the lower bar and left driver when the tips are locked at the desired distance (apart from via the top right locking screw?). Is the single screw on the top right meant to do the lot?

If the lower crossbar fits exactly into the hole on the left, then this is a handy solution, but if the hole is too large, the structure is not stable I think.


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Old 07-31-2019   #18
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Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
If the lower crossbar fits exactly into the hole on the left, then this is a handy solution, but if the hole is too large, the structure is not stable I think.

Erik.
Yes, Erik, that's precisely my concern. Unless the fit of the components is superlative, I'm not confident stability would be acceptable for some more demanding applications.
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Old 07-31-2019   #19
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Originally Posted by KEVIN-XU 愛 forever View Post
https://www.amazon.com/Japan-hobby-t...gateway&sr=8-8


They are not selling exactly the same model. But something similar.
I have a set of those, too. Materials quality and fit is excellent.

They have certain advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand they are quite slow to adjust due to the double locking nuts. Also, if using the flat tips rather than the point, the angle of the flats will alter according to the jaw width. If you want absolute precision you may need to back off the retaining screws to align the flats perfectly in line with the slots being engaged. With the pointed tips this obviously isn't an issue.

A different technique is needed compared to the other tools illustrated. You can exert considerably more leverage, but with less downforce. If you are dealing with a ridiculously tight retaining ring, this spanner is hard to beat when it's firmly secured in a vise, because whilst slower to adjust, once set, the jaws are absolutely stable. Mine I purchased direct from Japan where it was manufactured, and it shows in its quality.

There are many internal components this one will be unable to reach (although note that at extra cost an additional set of longer tips may be purchased which helps a bit). It's the last spanner I reach for when doing a straightforward extraction of a lens component. But when absence of flex—something that, believe me, many, even decent quality conventional spanners aren't immune from, when tacking ludicrously tight rings—is critical, it's a good tool to have on hand.
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Old 07-31-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Yes, Erik, that's precisely my concern. Unless the fit of the components is superlative, I'm not confident stability would be acceptable for some more demanding applications.
Cheers
Brett

That however is precisely the problem I experience with my single cross (flat) cross bar type. The two driver bodies through which the cross bar passes, have slots that are very slightly too wide which makes it easy to slide the vertical driver bodies one way or the other but also makes them a little too loose for comfort unless the locking screws are tightened thoroughly. In other words this is not an issue that is found in any specific type of lens spanner - any built on the cross bar principle may have this flaw.

Having said that with mine this "wobble" is not entirely a disadvantage either - I have learned to use it to my advantage because if the tips of the tool are ever so slightly out of position vis a vis the slot in the lens retaining ring it is possible to move the tips a fraction of a millimetre or so inwards or outwards to correct this without having to loosen the locking screws. (Though I fancy that if done excessively or carelessly it might increase the risk of the tips slipping in the slots byb putting the driver tips at a less than 90 degree angle to the slots in the ring- so take care).

Truth is I have never really seen a lens spanner that I really like in terms of design and execution. Perhaps the best design might be one designed on the principle of the Engineer's divider with adjustable and replaceable tips. Though having said this these are less flexible - one might need two of them one smaller one for normally sized rings and a larger version for big rings (the wider the legs are spread the more acute the angle of the tips becomes). I have not seen anything like this on eBay though I have occasionally used Engineer's dividers for this purpose.

BTW How about this Frankenstein machine? It looks wonderful (and appeals to my gadget love) and claims to be able to fulfil several purposes, but I strongly suspect it might have limitations in practice....... Though I like the idea of combining a lens dent fixing tool with a lens spanner. I have considered getting a lens dent tool though it is (hopefully) seldom needed, when it is needed it might be invaluable I would think).

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4in1-Camera...0AAOSwcQVdKRbw
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Old 08-01-2019   #21
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Here's a selection of various spanners, friction rings and other tools I've bought over the years.

The dividers came from local market stalls for under $10 each and are old enough to be made of really good steel. The ones on the right have quite fine tips and are quickly and easily set via the threaded adjuster. The curved spring keeps them firmly apart but doesn't prevent them being pressed together. I find when using them I tend to curl my hand around them firmly for leverage and slide middle and ring fingers between the arms to ensure the tips don't move towards each other during use. Works well.

The other set on the left (with the curved adjustment clamp) are thicker and altogether stronger but because of their shape the tips (which still come to a fine enough point) might be more limited as to where you can apply them. On the plus side they can be adjusted very quickly and once the wing nut is torqued, they won't budge. Not bad for AUD $8 from New Norfolk Saturday market.

The friction rings were purchased ex-China via eBay. Their advantage is the ring-shaped or dished profile. The white one visible is gum rubber from Micro-tools. Super grippy, better than the grey set. Often useful and tapered for two different external diameters. But one significant drawback—it has a habit of contacting any convex lens surface adjacent the ring you want to loosen. A problem the somewhat slicker and less grippy grey set don't usually have.

There are a few garden-variety rubber plugs for kitchen or bathroom sinks, too. Not all have been used yet, so, I'd definitely advocate removing the wire handles visible on a couple, before applying them to a lens! The black one in particular, found at a hardware store, is made of a slightly rough, coarser mix of rubber, excellent for obtaining really good purchase on a super tight name ring. No, it won't fit every lens, but it fits many, and was so cheap as to be almost free.

The conventional lens spanners visible all rely on four individual lock screws to hold the tips at the desired distance. The fit of bars through the drivers isn't especially tight, and it can be tedious to get them adjusted with absolute precision. I have to stress however that there are times when a really valuable lens that's very old needs to be stripped for cleaning. One that has never been disassembled in sixty-plus years can be obstinate—consider Eg steel mounting rings or cups threaded into alloy bodied lenses. Very high torque may need to be applied to rings with small slots or, if you're unlucky even, pinholes. You can't do this safely, with the slightest degree of play in the tips. The benefit of the serrated locking screwheads is that they may, if necessary, be nipped up really firmly with some pliers for total rigidity. No, you will not need to do this every time you want to strip a lens, but from time to time it may be essential to avoid tool slippage likely to at best, deface the finish of the fastener being loosened and at worst gouge a trench into the surface of yours lens.
Cheers,
Brett

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