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Contax IIIa "squeak"?
Old 04-21-2019   #1
Benjamin Marks
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Contax IIIa "squeak"?

I have a Contax that is in pretty good shape. Shutter slow speeds sound etc. But the focusing mount is a bit dry and emits a "squeak" when turned. What sort of lube do you all use? I don't want something that will migrate into the lens. S:

Smidge of graphite?
Tiny drop of typewriter oil?
Mobil 1?

Practical advice and insight sought. Don't say "CLA" from so-and-so. I'd like to do this myself.
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Old 04-21-2019   #2
Philip Whiteman
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I use the non-creeping grease they supply for kitchen equipment - it seems to work very well, giving just the right resistance...
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Old 04-21-2019   #3
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
I have a Contax that is in pretty good shape. Shutter slow speeds sound etc. But the focusing mount is a bit dry and emits a "squeak" when turned. What sort of lube do you all use? I don't want something that will migrate into the lens. S:

Smidge of graphite?
Tiny drop of typewriter oil?
Mobil 1?

Practical advice and insight sought. Don't say "CLA" from so-and-so. I'd like to do this myself.
Might help to know what model. I may stand corrected but understand the materials used in the pre and post war threads is different.
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Old 04-21-2019   #4
Benjamin Marks
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IIIa, I believe.
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Old 04-21-2019   #5
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Sorry—it was in the thread title all along. The result of commenting with a sore head earlier, perhaps. The brass threads of my Contax IIs have responded very well to some Helimax-XP after disassembling them and cleaning a couple of years ago. Not sure what the materials used in the IIa & IIIa helicals was—if the same, that should work well.
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Old 04-22-2019   #6
richardHaw
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it can be annoying to take the helicoid and replace it for the contax cameras compared to the Nikons. i used to apply a very thin film of grease to the helicoid but i tend to use graphite powder these days
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Old 04-22-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Sorry—it was in the thread title all along. The result of commenting with a sore head earlier, perhaps...
You're safe, Brett! I changed the title for clarity.
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Old 04-23-2019   #8
Rowdyhotel
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I have a contax iia with the same squeak and a bit of a stiff focusing wheel.

I've never used a graphite lubricant and would like to hear a recommended product to try on my contax.

I do have some typewriter oil that I've used on my rolleiflex but what advantage does graphite have?
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Old 04-23-2019   #9
Doug
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Graphite is a slippery powder, less able to trap abrasive grit than an oil, and of course doesn't change consistency over time.
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Old 04-23-2019   #10
richardHaw
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and graphite power is easier to clean

you dont need too much of that to make it smooth.

i blow graphite powder on the iris mechanisms that I rebuild and the blow the excess off. the movement of the iris becomes super smooth

this is helpful specially for auto lenses with many blades
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Old 04-24-2019   #11
Rowdyhotel
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Are there any sites or videos on the use of graphite powders for cameras.

I think in interested in making the switch.
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Old 04-24-2019   #12
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I have had two Nikon rangefinder cameras with a similar squeak and have eliminated it with a tiny bit of light oil on the helical. Emphasis on tiny. This may not be the proper way but these are old cameras that don't get a lot of use and are not taken into dusty, dirty environments. Do this at your own risk. Joe
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Old 04-24-2019   #13
Benjamin Marks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdyhotel View Post
Are there any sites or videos on the use of graphite powders for cameras.

I think in interested in making the switch.
Dunno whether you have access to Amazon, but this would work:

https://www.amazon.com/Panef-Corp-Po...s%2C171&sr=8-1

BTW, graphite is used to lubricate lock cylinders -- like for the door lock on your home or apartment. Any hardware store should carry something similar.
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Old 04-24-2019   #14
Platinum RF
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Does Contax IIIa/IIa helix suppose run dry not lubricated? Oil the focus helix is not recommended?
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Old 04-25-2019   #15
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they were initially greased (not oiled) despite being called oil cam or similar names even in official literature.

only a VERY thin film of grease is sufficient and the only type acceptable is optical grease or else it will gas and condense elsewhere.

why i avoid grease lately...well it tends to get gummed-up when small amounts of dirt contaminate it or when the grease goes bad. graphite powder wont do that and its very easy to clean.

instead of opening the camera to get to the helicoids to thoroughly clean old grease like what i shown in my blog i just remove the scale and then apply some graphite powder if i have the need and my helicoid feels smooth again.

the downside of using graphite is sometimes the powder will run out and it will happen sooner than a greased helicoid. the good thing is its much easier to maintain. opening and closing cameras isnt good for the camera so you would like to open as less as possible if you can help it

there will be helicoids that will squeak whatever you do and they had to be lapped using fresh rouge or metal polish. lapping compound is not cheap where i am
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