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passable solution to canon "Haze"
Old 08-28-2019   #1
Fred2
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Smile passable solution to canon "Haze"

Hi everybody,

I have a black and silver Canon 50/1.8 ltm. for quite a while now and love the lens. One major downside of my particular version however, was the infamous canon "lens haze" it suffered from. Quite some early canon lenses have this. I read somewhere, that its something in the aperture lubrification that - over time - evaporates, gets on some of the internal elements being food to some lens fungus there... A lot of times its supposed to be uncurable, because the glass is being etched, leaving the actual lens surface uneven, looking fogged or frosted...
My Lens seemed to have exactly that kind of damage. I couldn't wipe off the haze. It actually seemed to look worse after trying.
So I used the lens for a couple of years. It's still nice even with the obviously low image contrast and being prone to flare:


photo sharing


photo sharing

Then, recently I read articles on how lenses are made, because it's actually quite interesting. After reading I tought: Why not repolishing the etched element myself?
So I ordered ceroxid online, made a small lap from wax, put it on a drill and started moving the element over the spinning pit for about an hour.
This is the tool:



Obviously I took off all that was left on the original coating. Still, one uncoated element seems to be a lot better than an etched one and lenses of that vintage are only single coated anyway.

So here is the result, reassembled: Big sorry for not taking before shots, here. You can clearly see the reflection of the uncoated but otherwise clear element:



So how does it perform?
I did in fact do before and after shots on my ILCE 7 mark I. Here we go:

Before:

photo sharing

After:

photo sharing

I know that a lot of people are very reluctant about modifying old lenses and there is no going back to where I started from. Still, I really see it as a big improvement from the point of actually using the lens. And thats what it is about for me. Sure, I would love to recoat the lens as well, but I don't have a vacuum chamber at hands .
I'm very much looking forward to use the lens on my canon p more often
Hope you like my post. If you're interested I can come back to write more about the exact method.

All the best, Fred.
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Old 08-28-2019   #2
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Is the "infamous canon lens haze" a real thing? I've never heard of it before. As far as I know all lenses can get haze, I even had a Cron V with haze once and I see many old Nikon lenses with haze on eBay. My Canon 50 1.4 ltm does not have haze at all.
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Old 08-28-2019   #3
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Wow, I’m impressed! Nice work.
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Old 08-28-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
Is the "infamous canon lens haze" a real thing? I've never heard of it before. As far as I know all lenses can get haze, I even had a Cron V with haze once and I see many old Nikon lenses with haze on eBay. My Canon 50 1.4 ltm does not have haze at all.
I don't know... I read about it quite a lot, thats probably why . Some lenses do have this, some don't. The 1.4 almost never has it, but its quite difficult to get a clean 1.8...
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Old 08-28-2019   #5
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Smile

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Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
Wow, Iím impressed! Nice work.
Thanks, really appreciated
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Old 08-28-2019   #6
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Dude... what a difference!

I kind of like the soft feel of the before... but wow did that clean up the image.

A+
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Old 08-28-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
Is the "infamous canon lens haze" a real thing? I've never heard of it before.
I have a 35mm Serenar (Canon) and it is prone to haze. Mine is not like the OP's, my lens haze is easily removed with a microfiber clothe. I have it down to 10 minutes. I do the cleaning every time I use the lens. That is probably over kill but I don't like the images with haze.

This is what mine looked like before cleaning:

Puerto Vallarta 2010 by John Carter, on Flickr

And after:Tmax400 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 08-28-2019   #8
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Another thing you can try is a bit of chrome polish, like Blue Magic of Simichrome, on a microfiber cloth. It's non-abrasive and fixed the hazy front element on an old Leitz Xenon lens I had.
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Old 08-28-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
Is the "infamous canon lens haze" a real thing? I've never heard of it before. As far as I know all lenses can get haze, I even had a Cron V with haze once and I see many old Nikon lenses with haze on eBay. My Canon 50 1.4 LTM does not have haze at all.
Oh, it's very real. Especially in the first series of lenses after the Serenars, particularly the 50mm 1:1.8. I think they came out about the same time as the Canon P, and not only do they haze over, but it tends to etch the element too. You can do a good job of cleaning it out, and it just comes back.

I'm going to do a total tear down on mine the next time, and remove the old lubricant, which is the suspected source of the problem.

That was a great there job of polishing, Fred. You weren't going to lose anything trying because if you didn't the lens was ruined anyway. I'll have to think about that when I have mine apart, and a full charge on the drill.

PF
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Old 08-28-2019   #10
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It shows great improvement in OP with this particular haze allocation in the Canon LTM.
But if you read more, even here at RF; we have reported second type of haze.
I had 50 1.8 with it. Haze but not on any of the elements external surface.
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Old 08-28-2019   #11
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That's ambitious and daring. Congrats on that, and getting improvement.

The 50mm 1:1.8 on my Canon P had bad haze. Worst I'd ever seen. Looked like frosted glass. I'd had recent success cleaning fungus with 50:50 Hydrogen Peroxide : Ammonia. I had no real hope of success, but, went ahead and tried it. Removed element near aperture, and soaked it. I was stunned! STUNNED I say! It came out looking new and perfect. I've only shot one roll with it, but, results are good.

Street theater by wwfloyd, on Flickr
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Old 08-28-2019   #12
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Interesting thread. I picked up a Color-Skopar 105mm 3.5 with coating bloom and blotchy spots and have been wondering how to get that back into shootable shape. Taking the coating off and using a hood on it for all eternity is no issue for me, it's going to go on a Horseman 970 and I only work that camera off a tripod anyway.

I'll be giving the chrome polish a try first, see what that does.


Thanks, folks
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Old 08-28-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Another thing you can try is a bit of chrome polish, like Blue Magic of Simichrome, on a microfiber cloth. It's non-abrasive and fixed the hazy front element on an old Leitz Xenon lens I had.
As far as I know, chrome polish is abrasive. Most likely it is a lot coarser than the abrasive I used (cerium oxide), wich particles are about 2 μm. Thus, I would't try to polish lens surfaces with chrome polish. If you can't get cerium oxide I would go and try glass polish for car windshields, wich is commonly available, instead!
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Old 08-28-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwfloyd View Post
That's ambitious and daring. Congrats on that, and getting improvement.

The 50mm 1:1.8 on my Canon P had bad haze. Worst I'd ever seen. Looked like frosted glass. I'd had recent success cleaning fungus with 50:50 Hydrogen Peroxide : Ammonia. I had no real hope of success, but, went ahead and tried it. Removed element near aperture, and soaked it. I was stunned! STUNNED I say! It came out looking new and perfect. I've only shot one roll with it, but, results are good.

Thanks! It was a real pleasure to see one of my favourite lenses get alive again and for me it was very well worth the effort, since I do use it a lot

I was about to try this Peroxide/Amonia thing also, but It was reported to not cure etched glass. Maybe yours was not etched, yet?
Anyway the result speaks for itself: You picture really looks perfect to me! Have fun with your lens!
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Old 08-28-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Oh, it's very real. Especially in the first series of lenses after the Serenars, particularly the 50mm 1:1.8. I think they came out about the same time as the Canon P, and not only do they haze over, but it tends to etch the element too. You can do a good job of cleaning it out, and it just comes back.

I'm going to do a total tear down on mine the next time, and remove the old lubricant, which is the suspected source of the problem.

That was a great there job of polishing, Fred. You weren't going to lose anything trying because if you didn't the lens was ruined anyway. I'll have to think about that when I have mine apart, and a full charge on the drill.

PF
Thanks for the support!

Lets hope it doesn't come back. If it does, I will also replace the lubricant and see if it helps!
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Old 08-28-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
It shows great improvement in OP with this particular haze allocation in the Canon LTM.
But if you read more, even here at RF; we have reported second type of haze.
I had 50 1.8 with it. Haze but not on any of the elements external surface.
Mine was also damaged on one of the middle elements, not on any external ones.

Best regards, Fred
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Old 08-28-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred2 View Post
As far as I know, chrome polish is abrasive. Most likely it is a lot coarser than the abrasive I used (cerium oxide), wich particles are about 2 μm. Thus, I would't try to polish lens surfaces with chrome polish. If you can't get cerium oxide I would go and try glass polish for car windshields, wich is commonly available, instead!
Nope it's not. At least Blue Magic, not abrasive. Promise.

https://www.bluemagicusa.com/500-06-metal-polish-jar/

Here is the Xenon lens I mentioned with Blue Magic - turned out beautifully:


Cleaner Xenon
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr
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Old 08-28-2019   #18
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Good job! That really improved the contrast.

I’ve seen this on a few Canon lenses including the 50/1.5, which was an easy wipe, and a black barrel 1.8 which ended up being etched.
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Old 08-28-2019   #19
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My 50 1.4 as well as 1.2 both had haze that was easily cleaned.
The one in the original post here really improved a lot.
Once I discovered cerium oxide, a whole new world of old glass was opened to me.
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Old 08-28-2019   #20
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Thanks for this, I have my mother's Canon P and 50mm 2.8 LTM lens and the lens has the haze issue. I took it apart once and tried to clean it off but only made it worse... I'll definitely try this method! Will post before / after shots...
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Old 08-28-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred2 View Post
Mine was also damaged on one of the middle elements, not on any external ones.

Best regards, Fred
My fault. I’ll try it again. The second type of haze I had and which is reported at RFF is then haze is inside. Maybe it isn't haze after al, but glue separation.
It just looks like haze. It was impossible to tell by pictures on eBay.
Seller didn’t took correct picture. Once it arrived, it was visible as the haze.
I took lens apart and with x20 magnifying glass it appears to be not on external surface of the element, but inside.
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Old 08-28-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
Is the "infamous canon lens haze" a real thing? I've never heard of it before. As far as I know all lenses can get haze, I even had a Cron V with haze once and I see many old Nikon lenses with haze on eBay. My Canon 50 1.4 ltm does not have haze at all.
Yes it is a known thing. But not all old Canon lenses have it. I have experienced it too with some Canon RF lenses. It may also be partly related to the fact that many such lenses are available on eBay from Japanese sources and parts of Japan have long, hot, very humid summers and not all lenses are stored well. Humidity not only promotes fungus, it seems to promote haze too as the aerial borne moisture acts with he aerosol particles from lubricant (which seems to be the ultimate source of the problem) to cause the haze and if bad enough, the etching. I have read somewhere that the old traditional lube used back in the day had a biological source and was made from the oil (actually a kind of liquid wax) from sperm whales. I believe it has a similar composition to jojoba oil which is plant based. If this is what was used by Canon (and the consensus seems to be it was), being a fatty acid it seems that it might be its weak acidic nature that can cause the hazing issue when it is dispersed in aerosol form and dissolved in air borne H20 although the wiki entry on it says it was used widely as a lubricant because it did not corrode metals. The same wiki entry on sperm oil says it also has phosphorus and sulfur compounds in it, neither of which sound to me necessarily to be good things to bring into contact with lens coatings (or optical glass for that matter).

Not all hazed lenses are necessarily etched however. It is worth trying to clean them as usually at least some haze will come off especially it attention is paid to it early. But many times I have found that not all do so. I have worked on a couple of lenses with this problem but have not gone to distance undertaken by the OP. However I did buy some ultra fine polishing powder from a jewellery supplier (it was not cerium oxide however) and lightly polished the haze. But I was not confident of my ability to polish it thoroughly to the point of removing any surface as I was worried about changing the spherical curve or creating an astigmatism etc. On one lens the haze is still there though slightly diminished.

It may be unfair to call this Canon haze however as it can afflict other lenses. I have an early M mount Leitz Summaron 35mm f3.5 which has a touch of it. I paid a technician to CLA it but he was unable to completely remove the haze. Never the less it works well enough and I am fairly happy with it. Leitz is another firm that is known to have used sperm whale oil in its helical assemblies. Another Canon lens that is renowned for hazing regularly is the 50mm f1.2 in LTM. This specific lens needs to be pulled apart regularly and the optical surfaces cleaned. Fortunately it is an extremely simple lens to strip and cleanse with all elements being pretty accessible. One poster on another thread says he got so good at it he could do the CLA and reassembly in 10 minutes. Presumably if left long enough this one might etch too.
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Old 08-28-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
......It may be unfair to call this Canon haze however as it can afflict other lenses. I have an early M mount Leitz Summaron 35mm f3.5 which has a touch of it. I paid a technician to CLA it but he was unable to completely remove the haze. Never the less it works well enough and I am fairly happy with it.
I agree, finding haze on a vintage camera lens isn't unusual. The Nikkor 50/2 that came with my Nikon M was so cloudy you couldn't see through it. Ditto for a 75mm Zuiko that was on a Mamiya 6 folder I once owned. Luckily, both cleaned up fairly easy.

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Old 08-28-2019   #24
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I have considered though not yet tried using this stuff to polish any resistant haze out - it's called Nevr Dull and is readily found in Australia in auto parts stores and hardware stores. The tin contains cotton wadding impregnated with something like Brasso, which itself is a liquid polishing compound which seems to be so mild as an abrasive that any abrasive character it may have is indiscernible to touch (not however, sure if either Brasso or Nevr Dull is available in Europe or USA) . It successfully polishes almost anything I have thrown at it though I am not sure how the liquid carrier would react with lens coatings as it seems to be some kind of volatile.

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Old 08-28-2019   #25
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NevrDull is for polishing metal, not glass. It is extraordinarily flammable since the petroleum distillate that keeps the chemical polishing compound in suspension is basically kerosene. It will probably take coating off but there is ZERO abrasive in NevrDull or Brasso. What you need for glass is cerium oxide. It is available pre-mixed in various sizes through all sorts of online retailers, including the one that is named after the rain forest in South America that is on fire right now. I got a 3oz little squeeze vial of premixed compound for $8 USD and it may be the last cerium oxide I'll buy since a little goes an extremely long way. There is no need to be using volatile compounds made for polishing chrome and brass. But if you want to rub that glass with it until your fingerprints come off, more power to you.
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Old 08-28-2019   #26
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thanks for the answers, I meant that I just think that haze attacks all lenses not only old Canon ltm ones if they are not cared.
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Old 08-29-2019   #27
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Thanks for all the good words and suggestions!

Personally I would discourage everyone to use any magic household agents, you don't know all the ingredients of. As pointed out here you may have good results but it can also just make things worse. I'd rather stick to what is known to not be harmful to either glass or coatings instead. Keep in mind, that optical glasses may be a lot less durable than the glass you use for everyday items!
If it's just about cleaning a lens surface, hard agents aren't at all necessary in my opinion. I just use water and a mild dishwasher soap. I make the lens wet, and use my (clean) fingertip to gently rub the soap on the lens. Then I rinse, dry the lens with papertowel and blow the dust off with a blower. Sometimes I use a (dry) brush or a microfiber cloth to get rid of sticky dust. That's it. I never needed to use anything more extreme for cleaning and it always worked. In my original post I described polishing a lens that was physically etched on one surface. This is not to be confused with cleaning.
Having that said, I kind of get the amonia/chloride thing, thought. It should basically just dissolve anything organic and should leave glass and coatings intact.
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Old 08-29-2019   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
My fault. Iíll try it again. The second type of haze I had and which is reported at RFF is then haze is inside. Maybe it isn't haze after al, but glue separation.
It just looks like haze. It was impossible to tell by pictures on eBay.
Seller didnít took correct picture. Once it arrived, it was visible as the haze.
I took lens apart and with x20 magnifying glass it appears to be not on external surface of the element, but inside.
Oh, I didn't know that.
If its glue separation it's still repairable. You can use heat (hot water) to separate cemented lenses and recement them afterwards, as far as I know, but I never did it and I don't have a good tutorial at hands, right now.
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Old 08-29-2019   #29
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Yes, like boiling for four hours. I haven't find clear enough info on the glue, yet.
Maybe Canadian balsam is still available.
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Old 08-29-2019   #30
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Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Yes it is a known thing. But not all old Canon lenses have it. I have experienced it too with some Canon RF lenses. It may also be partly related to the fact that many such lenses are available on eBay from Japanese sources and parts of Japan have long, hot, very humid summers and not all lenses are stored well. Humidity not only promotes fungus, it seems to promote haze too as the aerial borne moisture acts with he aerosol particles from lubricant (which seems to be the ultimate source of the problem) to cause the haze and if bad enough, the etching. I have read somewhere that the old traditional lube used back in the day had a biological source and was made from the oil (actually a kind of liquid wax) from sperm whales. I believe it has a similar composition to jojoba oil which is plant based. If this is what was used by Canon (and the consensus seems to be it was), being a fatty acid it seems that it might be its weak acidic nature that can cause the hazing issue when it is dispersed in aerosol form and dissolved in air borne H20 although the wiki entry on it says it was used widely as a lubricant because it did not corrode metals. The same wiki entry on sperm oil says it also has phosphorus and sulfur compounds in it, neither of which sound to me necessarily to be good things to bring into contact with lens coatings (or optical glass for that matter).

Not all hazed lenses are necessarily etched however. It is worth trying to clean them as usually at least some haze will come off especially it attention is paid to it early. But many times I have found that not all do so. I have worked on a couple of lenses with this problem but have not gone to distance undertaken by the OP. However I did buy some ultra fine polishing powder from a jewellery supplier (it was not cerium oxide however) and lightly polished the haze. But I was not confident of my ability to polish it thoroughly to the point of removing any surface as I was worried about changing the spherical curve or creating an astigmatism etc. On one lens the haze is still there though slightly diminished.

It may be unfair to call this Canon haze however as it can afflict other lenses. I have an early M mount Leitz Summaron 35mm f3.5 which has a touch of it. I paid a technician to CLA it but he was unable to completely remove the haze. Never the less it works well enough and I am fairly happy with it. Leitz is another firm that is known to have used sperm whale oil in its helical assemblies. Another Canon lens that is renowned for hazing regularly is the 50mm f1.2 in LTM. This specific lens needs to be pulled apart regularly and the optical surfaces cleaned. Fortunately it is an extremely simple lens to strip and cleanse with all elements being pretty accessible. One poster on another thread says he got so good at it he could do the CLA and reassembly in 10 minutes. Presumably if left long enough this one might etch too.
Thanks for all your competent infos! I will keep a close eye on my lens and as soon as I see it fogging up again I will completely remove all the old grease and replacing it with something proper...

About being confident to not change the spherical curve or creating an astigmatism: I think it is important to make a good lap that fits nicely on the lens surface. I used wax, that I pressed onto the lens, after warming it up. usually you use pitch for that, but wax did just fine for me. I saw a tutorial on how to polish lenses with a regular drill pad and rejected this approach for the exact same reason...
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Old 08-29-2019   #31
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Originally Posted by largedrink View Post
Thanks for this, I have my mother's Canon P and 50mm 2.8 LTM lens and the lens has the haze issue. I took it apart once and tried to clean it off but only made it worse... I'll definitely try this method! Will post before / after shots...
Great to see more on this! I hope yours will turn out nice!
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Old 09-04-2019   #32
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Thanks for all your competent infos! I will keep a close eye on my lens and as soon as I see it fogging up again I will completely remove all the old grease and replacing it with something proper...
Well yeah, the fog came back... unbelievable...



So yesterday I cleaned the aperture with lighter fluid and regreased it afterwards. I used a silicone based oil in very small quantities. The aperture itself seems to not necessarily need lubrication, but I didn't want to risk corrosion...




I really hope it's the damn lubricant...
Oh, and please feel free to comment on the choice for the new lubricant, because I just used it out of the blue thinking: "the less organic the better" but I really have no idea what so ever...

All the best, Fred
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Old 09-04-2019   #33
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I never lubricate aperture blades or the assembly. These moving parts usually work best when clean and dry. The only part of a lens that needs lube is the focus helical and the aperture adjustment ring.
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Old 09-04-2019   #34
peterm1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jennings View Post
I never lubricate aperture blades or the assembly. These moving parts usually work best when clean and dry. The only part of a lens that needs lube is the focus helical and the aperture adjustment ring.
Agree. The aperture blades should not be lubricated unless with a tiny bit of dry graphite powder administered by a fine painters brush. And even then its usually not needed or advisable - graphite might end up on lens element faces.
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Old 09-05-2019   #35
Fred2
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Thanks a lot guys. I clean the stuff out, if I ever need to open the lens again. As long as it's not doing any harm, I'll keep it there, since it's not hurting, really.
Good news is, that in contrast to last time, I can't see any sign of fogging, yet. But let's give it some of time...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #36
Lightshow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Yes, like boiling for four hours. I haven't find clear enough info on the glue, yet.
Maybe Canadian balsam is still available.
Microscope slides can use a liquid form. I don't know if the concentration of balsam is high enough.
https://www.surplusshed.com/pages/item/M3386.html

I bought a bag of raw balsam from surplus shed

https://www.surplusshed.com/pages/item/B1077A.html
I have yet to attempt a separation repair, a Topcor 5.8cm/1.8 from my dad requires that fix, once I find a smaller supply of Xylene than the 4 liter can at my Home Depot, I will be giving it a try.

http://skgrimes.com/library/old-news...y-re-cementing
http://forum.mflenses.com/re-cementi...am-t34467.html
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A7r & NEX-7
LTM:
Canon S: 28/2.8 35/2.8, 50/1.8, 50/1.2, 100/3.5
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 50/2, 50/1.8, 85/2.8
Fujinon L 50/2
Topcor 3.5cm/2.8
Topcor-S 50/2
Topcor 9cm/3.5
Industar 22
Industar 69(modded to LTM)
40/2.3 transplanted from a dead Rollei XF 35 into an Industar 50 M39 SLR lens, its now LTM.

Leica M:
CV15III
Elmarit 24 Aspherical, Elmarit 28 v2, Tele-Elmarit 90(Fat), Cron 90 APO Asph.
FrankenZeiss: Contax G 45/2 transplanted into a Rokkor MC 55/1.7 body with an M mount.

SLR:
Lots....



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Great read
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #37
Scarbrog
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Great read

Thanks for posting Fred , i have a old jupiter 8 that was destined for the bin that i can use for practice
Regards
Graham.......
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