How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

Started 2 months ago | Polls thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 42,734
Do we judge everything by “the looks”

ProfHankD wrote:

petrochemist wrote:

I'm surprised you allow multiple examples of the same lens if you're after users numbers. They would count to my mind if the duplicates have bee modified in some way (elements removed or flipped) but I'd say that makes them a different lens, with more than just sample variation in their behaviour.

The idea behind that was that if you have and use multiple copies of the same lens model, there must be a reason. It could be sample variation, or it could simply be that one is the "sacrificial beater" and another is the "formal dress lens" -- i.e., one copy you'd take to a beach party and the other you use only for studio work. Anyway, if you have and use more than one, they must seem different to you in some way....

Another reason.  I sometimes have bought a lens that I was disappointed in but could be made better.  I like it so re-buy one to get a pristine example.  But I am such a  busy person that I always have more “projects” ahead of me that I can ever possibly deal with.  If my ideas of doing things are always more imagination than capability to deliver then at least I will never die of boredom

But as an example I bought (over time) a set* of Canon 50mm RF lenses in LTM. The f1.2 and f1.4 were in good shape but the f1.8 was badly hazed (but otherwise in excellent physical condition).  On disassembly the inner lens surface next to the aperture was almost opaque and there was no way that it could be cleaned.  It was surface damage - I don’t know whether this was caused by an over-enthusiastic abrasive cleaning effort by a previous owner or was simply coating/lens-surface damage from being stored object lens up and being subjected to vaporisation off the aperture mechanism.  In any case I could not resell it to anyone in good faith, it was not overly expensive in the first case, I am not really a good reseller in the first place, and there is no significant native market for second hand camera gear in Australia (Unlike some other countries - maybe it is the small very dispersed population?).

So I bought another 50/1.8 noting that all Canon S (?) lenses for sale had the caveat (“has some haze - but don’t worry about it”). It was hazed (same place) and would not clean off completely.  So I tried again stipulating that I wanted a clean one - cost more money, but that was not the point really - they all looked good externally. The second one was probably good-enough but the haze returned - it seems to need a clean from time to time.  Even the f1.2 version developed a little haze (same place) but it cleaned up like brand sparkling new.

The second and third f1.8 will need watching.  Must go find them and check.  At least all the three types of Canon S LTM lenses are very easy to work on from the back up to the aperture.   I have a “set” of them f1.2, f1.4, f1.8 in great condition (as noted) and a reasonable spare and another that looks good but it really only “spare parts”.

What causes this?  It seems that the surface under the aperture is attacked by condensing aperture lubricant.  This may or may not be worse if the lens is off camera and stored upright on its mount surface.  The coating/glass on that surface must be soft enough to be destroyed by the lubricant in time.  It only seems to be destructive with the. F1.8 and maybe not all f1.8 lenses as they were made over a long(ish) period of time - nice lens if you can get a good one (and keep it good).

* Alas, the f1.0 version has always been priced beyond my idea of common sense.

Meanwhile I don’t count duplicates - no need to as I have an insane number of lenses already.

I once bought a job lot of eight train wreck Helios 44 lenses so that I could practice “repairing” them.  I had not considered “beyond repair” and thought that a bit of tender loving care would give me some good lenses even if they were a bit battered looking - a sort of grunge-look devil me care sort of thing at the barricades adapted to my “Leica” .....

But the repair maxed out at seriously scratched lens elements and broken screws and pins.  But I did manage to get three or four of them back into half reasonable shape - learned some basic repair skills as well.  They work well in their own scratchy glass sort of way with smooth focusing and good aperture control even if they do look a bit woebegone.  The images have plenty of  “character”.

I have half wondered, in my wicked sort of way, that I should obtain a H-44 with pristine glass and fit it the glass into one of my grunge bodies which was otherwise in great working condition although “ugly look”.  It would tickle my sense of black humour as a sort of up-yours pinprick of our collective lust for the most perfect lens lying in yonder greener pastures .... ..... but for the moment it is just another project in what has always been a long list of competing things to do.  I also have a reluctance to spoil a perfectly good H-44 by swapping out its lenses that were in perfect condition.  Maybe one with a bent filter ring might be a candidate?

Has anyone else fitted perfect glass into a working-well but battered looking lens body?

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow