Your Nemesis lens

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,225
Re: Your Nemesis lens

fferreres wrote:

Do you have a Nemsis lens? I have had two so far. The Topcor 135/3.5 (3 copies, all with some separation on cemented group. I have ordered a 4th now.

And the original all metal Rollei Zeiss 50/1.8. I have 1 HFT which is so easy to find in good shape, but only now have one without much issues. First one had lots of Haze and some rust, could not fix and ended up somatic. Second a chipped back. Even the third had fungus inside the rear optical block...and, the copy’s original retaining ring (internal to the block) has no marking to use a spanner, and sits 0.3mm from the rear element.

Last night I was able to loosen it and had to also clean and love all the helicoids (stone stiff) and ...how annoying it is to put back this thing. Now it’s back into perfect shape and I can say I love the 1.8.

And I am still looking for a RETopcor 58/1.8 in perfect shape (3rd and hopefully this will work).

I'm still looking for a nice black RE 58/1.8, you'd think the 1.8 would be more common than the 1.4, but there are easily a dozen 1.4's on ebay at all times I look and I'm lucky if there is one 1.8.

Do you have Nemsis lens that where wanted 1 good copy and ended having to look into so many?

Topcor R 30cm f5.6 seems to be a weak performer(I have 2 copies), though the later RE 300/5.6 which looks to be the same formula is much better, performing like I'd expect the R to perform like, if someone has a good performing R 30cm f5.6, I'd love to hear about it and see pics from it.

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A Manual Focus Junky...
One photographers junk lens is an artists favorite tool.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshow-photography/
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####Where's my FF NEX-7 ?????
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/447/31518420576_7916966b11_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1962/31024497798_85526ac8ca_b.jpg
Firmware request:
-A button map for toggling the EVF & LCD
-Still waiting for the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO for my NEX-7 and A7r. I know it will never happen.
-Customize the display screen layout, I'd love to have both Histogram and level at the same time.
-More peaking options, being able to set peaking sensitivity and a threshold level.
-An RGB overlay on the histogram https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/602/20236258313_c604dd9522_n.jpg
-An option to return the focus assist zoom to one button press
-An option to return to how the NEX-7 handled playback, ie. center button to zoom, then you could use the control dial to zoom in and out, then center button to exit the zoom mode.

 Lightshow's gear list:Lightshow's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a7R Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar +20 more
Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,225
Re: More than one...

ProfHankD wrote:

Lenses that I've attempted to find clean copies of and, after several tries,, no:

  • Spiratone 400mm f/6.3: all seem to have strange very hazy problem with an element. No obvious causal things in the lens. I'm wondering if it's a materials problem with that element or somesuch?
  • Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4: a former student of mine has a copy that is awesome, but I've had no such luck. Fungus and/or gross optical inferiority....

I have one that seems to be good, I can double check it and if it performs, it's yours if you want it, I prefer the SSC series to the nFD/FDn series.

  • Minolta MD 135mm f/2.8: the black paint/material used as light absorber does weird stuff, and commonly causes a chemical hazing of the rear element. This issue is not really about this lens model, but all that used the same light-absorbing material....

These are probably slowly-manifesting design flaws -- like the Kiron sticky apertures, except that annoying problem isn't hard to repair.

-- hide signature --

A Manual Focus Junky...
One photographers junk lens is an artists favorite tool.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshow-photography/
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####Where's my FF NEX-7 ?????
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/447/31518420576_7916966b11_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1962/31024497798_85526ac8ca_b.jpg
Firmware request:
-A button map for toggling the EVF & LCD
-Still waiting for the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO for my NEX-7 and A7r. I know it will never happen.
-Customize the display screen layout, I'd love to have both Histogram and level at the same time.
-More peaking options, being able to set peaking sensitivity and a threshold level.
-An RGB overlay on the histogram https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/602/20236258313_c604dd9522_n.jpg
-An option to return the focus assist zoom to one button press
-An option to return to how the NEX-7 handled playback, ie. center button to zoom, then you could use the control dial to zoom in and out, then center button to exit the zoom mode.

 Lightshow's gear list:Lightshow's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a7R Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar +20 more
OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Nemesis

Lightshow wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Do you have a Nemsis lens? I have had two so far. The Topcor 135/3.5 (3 copies, all with some separation on cemented group. I have ordered a 4th now.

And the original all metal Rollei Zeiss 50/1.8. I have 1 HFT which is so easy to find in good shape, but only now have one without much issues. First one had lots of Haze and some rust, could not fix and ended up somatic. Second a chipped back. Even the third had fungus inside the rear optical block...and, the copy’s original retaining ring (internal to the block) has no marking to use a spanner, and sits 0.3mm from the rear element.

Last night I was able to loosen it and had to also clean and love all the helicoids (stone stiff) and ...how annoying it is to put back this thing. Now it’s back into perfect shape and I can say I love the 1.8.

And I am still looking for a RETopcor 58/1.8 in perfect shape (3rd and hopefully this will work).

I'm still looking for a nice black RE 58/1.8, you'd think the 1.8 would be more common than the 1.4, but there are easily a dozen 1.4's on ebay at all times I look and I'm lucky if there is one 1.8.

Same, and not just Black, also Silver. Lots of f1.4, and most f1.8 (and all I got so far) have a myriad of problems. A perfect 1.8 May list at totally inflated prices too, some more than f1.4.

Same with Zeiss 1.8/60 QBM, with the added problem that they are even more inflated and there are very few original SL35 with the Zeiss made version in Obekochen.

Do you have Nemsis lens that where wanted 1 good copy and ended having to look into so many?

Topcor R 30cm f5.6 seems to be a weak performer(I have 2 copies), though the later RE 300/5.6 which looks to be the same formula is much better, performing like I'd expect the R to perform like, if someone has a good performing R 30cm f5.6, I'd love to hear about it and see pics from it.

I read negative comments about it. Have you tried the 200/5.6?

-- hide signature --

A Manual Focus Junky...
One photographers junk lens is an artists favorite tool.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshow-photography/
[My Lens list](http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/viewprofile.php?Action=viewprofile&username=LightShow)
####Where's my FF NEX-7 ?????
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/447/31518420576_7916966b11_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1962/31024497798_85526ac8ca_b.jpg
Firmware request:
-A button map for toggling the EVF & LCD
-Still waiting for the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO for my NEX-7 and A7r. I know it will never happen.
-Customize the display screen layout, I'd love to have both Histogram and level at the same time.
-More peaking options, being able to set peaking sensitivity and a threshold level.
-An RGB overlay on the histogram https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/602/20236258313_c604dd9522_n.jpg
-An option to return the focus assist zoom to one button press
-An option to return to how the NEX-7 handled playback, ie. center button to zoom, then you could use the control dial to zoom in and out, then center button to exit the zoom mode.

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: More than one...

Lightshow wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Lenses that I've attempted to find clean copies of and, after several tries,, no:

  • Spiratone 400mm f/6.3: all seem to have strange very hazy problem with an element. No obvious causal things in the lens. I'm wondering if it's a materials problem with that element or somesuch?
  • Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4: a former student of mine has a copy that is awesome, but I've had no such luck. Fungus and/or gross optical inferiority....

I have one that seems to be good, I can double check it and if it performs, it's yours if you want it, I prefer the SSC series to the nFD/FDn series.

  • Minolta MD 135mm f/2.8: the black paint/material used as light absorber does weird stuff, and commonly causes a chemical hazing of the rear element. This issue is not really about this lens model, but all that used the same light-absorbing material....

These are probably slowly-manifesting design flaws -- like the Kiron sticky apertures, except that annoying problem isn't hard to repair.

I just keep getting this Black 1.8 as side effects of other things, like the best possible copy for 135/2.8. It's so cheap, it costs less than a stop at "nutricious" McDonald for a mid size familly.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RE-Topcor-58mm-f1-8-Black-And-135mm-13-5cm-f3-5-chrome-Lenses-/293367966962?nma=true&si=cs%252BMuiHMHYufArMDUjUSTv4%252BvVU%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

In this case, rubber seems glued, and fungus on front element. Agt $40 WITH the other lens, it was almost free. I will try to clean the fungus, so easy to do if it has not etched itself. Not sure the very small opening is a real issue...f22 is supposed to be pretty small already.

I think you probably have many already f1.8 that are "not great" but if this and the other black are useful to you to build a good one, I will ship them to you as a gift if you order a label.

Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,225
Re: Nemesis

fferreres wrote:

Lightshow wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Do you have a Nemsis lens? I have had two so far. The Topcor 135/3.5 (3 copies, all with some separation on cemented group. I have ordered a 4th now.

And the original all metal Rollei Zeiss 50/1.8. I have 1 HFT which is so easy to find in good shape, but only now have one without much issues. First one had lots of Haze and some rust, could not fix and ended up somatic. Second a chipped back. Even the third had fungus inside the rear optical block...and, the copy’s original retaining ring (internal to the block) has no marking to use a spanner, and sits 0.3mm from the rear element.

Last night I was able to loosen it and had to also clean and love all the helicoids (stone stiff) and ...how annoying it is to put back this thing. Now it’s back into perfect shape and I can say I love the 1.8.

And I am still looking for a RETopcor 58/1.8 in perfect shape (3rd and hopefully this will work).

I'm still looking for a nice black RE 58/1.8, you'd think the 1.8 would be more common than the 1.4, but there are easily a dozen 1.4's on ebay at all times I look and I'm lucky if there is one 1.8.

Same, and not just Black, also Silver. Lots of f1.4, and most f1.8 (and all I got so far) have a myriad of problems. A perfect 1.8 May list at totally inflated prices too, some more than f1.4.

Same with Zeiss 1.8/60 QBM, with the added problem that they are even more inflated and there are very few original SL35 with the Zeiss made version in Obekochen.

Do you have Nemsis lens that where wanted 1 good copy and ended having to look into so many?

Topcor R 30cm f5.6 seems to be a weak performer(I have 2 copies), though the later RE 300/5.6 which looks to be the same formula is much better, performing like I'd expect the R to perform like, if someone has a good performing R 30cm f5.6, I'd love to hear about it and see pics from it.

I read negative comments about it. Have you tried the 200/5.6?

The RE 200/5.6 seems fine, seen some great pics from it, my R 20cm f4 is nice and sharp, quite impressive for it's age.I don't think you can go wrong  with either.

-- hide signature --

A Manual Focus Junky...
One photographers junk lens is an artists favorite tool.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshow-photography/
[My Lens list](http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/viewprofile.php?Action=viewprofile&username=LightShow)
####Where's my FF NEX-7 ?????
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/447/31518420576_7916966b11_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1962/31024497798_85526ac8ca_b.jpg
Firmware request:
-A button map for toggling the EVF & LCD
-Still waiting for the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO for my NEX-7 and A7r. I know it will never happen.
-Customize the display screen layout, I'd love to have both Histogram and level at the same time.
-More peaking options, being able to set peaking sensitivity and a threshold level.
-An RGB overlay on the histogram https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/602/20236258313_c604dd9522_n.jpg
-An option to return the focus assist zoom to one button press
-An option to return to how the NEX-7 handled playback, ie. center button to zoom, then you could use the control dial to zoom in and out, then center button to exit the zoom mode.

 Lightshow's gear list:Lightshow's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a7R Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar +20 more
OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

Lenses which have caused me problems, frustrations or haven't lived up to expectations:

- Rollei Zeiss 25 2.8 early version. Two samples were basically mush in all situations. A later version was better, but not outstanding (the current Loxia 25 is what I wanted all along).

Maybe the Rollei version was much worse than the C/Y? I'd agree just looking at the specs the Loxia is another league. But I've seen nice imagery with 2.8/25 C/Y. Some samples from Peire are always a pleasure to look at:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1009161/27#14855589

My worst Zeiss lens ever.

Don't want to image the the best, or ever be lent the best. I am sure you not only have the best, but best copies of the best. At some point, you are going to have to maybe consider sharing some sample pics. Maybe next year?

Rol Lei Nut Veteran Member • Posts: 4,934
Re: Your Nemesis lens

fferreres wrote:

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

Lenses which have caused me problems, frustrations or haven't lived up to expectations:

- Rollei Zeiss 25 2.8 early version. Two samples were basically mush in all situations. A later version was better, but not outstanding (the current Loxia 25 is what I wanted all along).

Maybe the Rollei version was much worse than the C/Y? I'd agree just looking at the specs the Loxia is another league. But I've seen nice imagery with 2.8/25 C/Y. Some samples from Peire are always a pleasure to look at:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1009161/27#14855589

My worst Zeiss lens ever.

Don't want to image the the best, or ever be lent the best. I am sure you not only have the best, but best copies of the best. At some point, you are going to have to maybe consider sharing some sample pics. Maybe next year?

The 25 2.8's optics were updated around 1984. In the CY version, the changes were implemented at that time. I'm less sure of the Rollei version timetable, but it certainly fits what I described as "early" (1-pin, made in Germany) and "later" ("Voigtländer", made in Singapore) versions.

The later version wasn't bad, had nice colors & contrast, but stayed pretty soft in the corners (my Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25 4.0 was actually sharper in the corners).

Adding to the nemesis content, the 25 2.8 notoriously had an effective FL close to 27mm.

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

Lenses which have caused me problems, frustrations or haven't lived up to expectations:

- Rollei Zeiss 25 2.8 early version. Two samples were basically mush in all situations. A later version was better, but not outstanding (the current Loxia 25 is what I wanted all along).

Maybe the Rollei version was much worse than the C/Y? I'd agree just looking at the specs the Loxia is another league. But I've seen nice imagery with 2.8/25 C/Y. Some samples from Peire are always a pleasure to look at:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1009161/27#14855589

My worst Zeiss lens ever.

Don't want to image the the best, or ever be lent the best. I am sure you not only have the best, but best copies of the best. At some point, you are going to have to maybe consider sharing some sample pics. Maybe next year?

The 25 2.8's optics were updated around 1984. In the CY version, the changes were implemented at that time. I'm less sure of the Rollei version timetable, but it certainly fits what I described as "early" (1-pin, made in Germany) and "later" ("Voigtländer", made in Singapore) versions.

Probably sucks then. I really never tested mine, which will most likely have weak corners.

The later version wasn't bad, had nice colors & contrast, but stayed pretty soft in the corners (my Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25 4.0 was actually sharper in the corners).

Adding to the nemesis content, the 25 2.8 notoriously had an effective FL close to 27mm.

I didn't know that. Then, like a bad C/Y 2.8/28mm (pretty much loved lens).

Also ... so damn hard to fix or even CLA.

Proplus888 Contributing Member • Posts: 607
Re: Canon RF 50/1.8 S (LTM)

Tom Caldwell wrote:

These are beautiful little lenses and relatively cheap. They are all listed for sale with “some haze” - simply because they all seem to suffer from haze.

The good news is that like their more expensive cousins 50/1.4 and 50/1.2 they are easy to work on.

The bad news is that the haze is always on the surface next to the aperture on the lens immediately behind it. And it is etched into the glass and cannot be cleaned off. It took me three purchases to get one that was “not too bad” and I gave up. The worst one was completely hazed edge to edge and almost opaque. Soft focus de jour.

What causes this I don’t know - it might be that gassed off lubricant from the aperture falls on the lens surface and condenses on it and must destroy a soft coating or soft glass. This may have been because they have been stored off camera object lens up for years.

The “cousins” mentioned can also get some haze but it seems (so far) easy to clean off and leaves no permanent damage (harder glass used?) which leaves the 50/1.4 an excellent lens and good value and the 50/1.8 a nice cheapish lens if you can find one without any haze at all. (Good luck)

I should also mention that the Canon FL 50/1.4 seems to be prone to (dry) sticking/slow apertures, but this is an easy fix. The Revuenon 50/1.4 on the other hand seems to have an inexhaustible supply of internal oil that becomes glue of the aperture blades no matter how often you clean them.

I’ve had good luck with these lenses, purchased several over time on the cheap, and aside from one with very faint cleaning marks, have not had any haze on any of them.

 Proplus888's gear list:Proplus888's gear list
Sony a7 III Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Canon EOS 550D Sony a7 II Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM +34 more
Rol Lei Nut Veteran Member • Posts: 4,934
Re: Your Nemesis lens

fferreres wrote:

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

Lenses which have caused me problems, frustrations or haven't lived up to expectations:

- Rollei Zeiss 25 2.8 early version. Two samples were basically mush in all situations. A later version was better, but not outstanding (the current Loxia 25 is what I wanted all along).

Maybe the Rollei version was much worse than the C/Y? I'd agree just looking at the specs the Loxia is another league. But I've seen nice imagery with 2.8/25 C/Y. Some samples from Peire are always a pleasure to look at:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1009161/27#14855589

My worst Zeiss lens ever.

Don't want to image the the best, or ever be lent the best. I am sure you not only have the best, but best copies of the best. At some point, you are going to have to maybe consider sharing some sample pics. Maybe next year?

The 25 2.8's optics were updated around 1984. In the CY version, the changes were implemented at that time. I'm less sure of the Rollei version timetable, but it certainly fits what I described as "early" (1-pin, made in Germany) and "later" ("Voigtländer", made in Singapore) versions.

Probably sucks then. I really never tested mine, which will most likely have weak corners.

The later version wasn't bad, had nice colors & contrast, but stayed pretty soft in the corners (my Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25 4.0 was actually sharper in the corners).

Adding to the nemesis content, the 25 2.8 notoriously had an effective FL close to 27mm.

I didn't know that. Then, like a bad C/Y 2.8/28mm (pretty much loved lens).

Also ... so damn hard to fix or even CLA.

On the plus side, it's apparently distortion-free and has very low vignetting (didn't use it enough to really notice).

A very good review site for CY lenses (in Italian):

https://www.nadir.it/ob-fot/CONTAX_LENS.htm

Their descriptions fit my experience pretty well.

Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,828
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Hi,

I've mostly had good luck with legacy glass, but my total write off was a Pentax 75-150/4 zoom. (I chose to adapt one before Fuji announced their 55-200. ) Supposed to be a small, affordable, constant aperture hidden gem, etc, etc.  When I finally got  what I thought was a decent copy, someone had serviced it and reassembled it incorrectly. Uneconomic to freight back to the UK or have reassembled here in Oz. Written off and left with my repairman for parts.  I bought another one - that had some other fault that I've forgotten.  Replaced and out-classed by the Fuji XF 55-200 that was released soon after.

To add to that list - an entire genre of duds - legacy consumer grade 300mm lenses without ED/L or Apo glass.  Not sharp enough and/or just too many CAs to bother.

There is one lens I find frustrating only because they're impossible to find - rarer than unicorns - the Konica AR 300/6.3 Fluorite. A non-reflex prime weighing  only 580g and supposedly very good. I've seen three worldwide in ten years...... One in Japan for crazy money, another that I was outbid on, and one that unbelievably came into a friendly local store.  Someone had had their name down for one on the store's used want list for twenty years...... And still wanted it!

Cheers, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +10 more
OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

fferreres wrote:

I didn't know that. Then, like a bad C/Y 2.8/28mm (pretty much loved lens).

Also ... so damn hard to fix or even CLA.

On the plus side, it's apparently distortion-free and has very low vignetting (didn't use it enough to really notice).

A very good review site for CY lenses (in Italian):

https://www.nadir.it/ob-fot/CONTAX_LENS.htm

Their descriptions fit my experience pretty well.

English version (amazing how machine translation has improved.)

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nadir.it%2Fob-fot%2FCONTAX_LENS.htm

It misses de 100-300 which is really a cute "small" lens for the range.

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 39,739
Re: Canon RF 50/1.8 S (LTM)

Proplus888 wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

These are beautiful little lenses and relatively cheap. They are all listed for sale with “some haze” - simply because they all seem to suffer from haze.

The good news is that like their more expensive cousins 50/1.4 and 50/1.2 they are easy to work on.

The bad news is that the haze is always on the surface next to the aperture on the lens immediately behind it. And it is etched into the glass and cannot be cleaned off. It took me three purchases to get one that was “not too bad” and I gave up. The worst one was completely hazed edge to edge and almost opaque. Soft focus de jour.

What causes this I don’t know - it might be that gassed off lubricant from the aperture falls on the lens surface and condenses on it and must destroy a soft coating or soft glass. This may have been because they have been stored off camera object lens up for years.

The “cousins” mentioned can also get some haze but it seems (so far) easy to clean off and leaves no permanent damage (harder glass used?) which leaves the 50/1.4 an excellent lens and good value and the 50/1.8 a nice cheapish lens if you can find one without any haze at all. (Good luck)

I should also mention that the Canon FL 50/1.4 seems to be prone to (dry) sticking/slow apertures, but this is an easy fix. The Revuenon 50/1.4 on the other hand seems to have an inexhaustible supply of internal oil that becomes glue of the aperture blades no matter how often you clean them.

I’ve had good luck with these lenses, purchased several over time on the cheap, and aside from one with very faint cleaning marks, have not had any haze on any of them.

They are very well built, compact, very easy to work on and should be very good value.  Maybe I should pay “top dollar” for one and see if it can prove to be the exception to my rule and not have a permanently hazed over element?

Not that I really need a 50/1.8 as the 50/1.4 is probably always going to be better and a nice 50/1.2 is .... well .... a very pretty proportioned lens on a GM5.  If looks were all that we needed then that one has the look.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

VLreviews
VLreviews Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Minolta MD 24 mm f/2.8 ("plain MD", last version):

Went through four copies. All optically fine, near-perfect exterior condition, but the focusing was incredibly stiff on three of them and it's still not perfect on my current copy. Seems like the lubricant used in this specific model degrades over time.

-- hide signature --

http://vintagelensreviews.com/
Reviews of vintage Minolta SR mount lenses and more

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Your Nemesis lens

VLreviews wrote:

Minolta MD 24 mm f/2.8 ("plain MD", last version):

Went through four copies. All optically fine, near-perfect exterior condition, but the focusing was incredibly stiff on three of them and it's still not perfect on my current copy. Seems like the lubricant used in this specific model degrades over time.

And they are so affordable that in most cases ones doesn't feel compelled to fix or CLA, a bit unfortunate as some of these are very very good optically. At least, this is better than the alu helicoids such as Contarex, where the barrel may be smooth and 7 turns later the metal has completely fused (unfixable, dead forever $800 lens).

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Nemesis

Lightshow wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Lightshow wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Do you have a Nemsis lens? I have had two so far. The Topcor 135/3.5 (3 copies, all with some separation on cemented group. I have ordered a 4th now.

And the original all metal Rollei Zeiss 50/1.8. I have 1 HFT which is so easy to find in good shape, but only now have one without much issues. First one had lots of Haze and some rust, could not fix and ended up somatic. Second a chipped back. Even the third had fungus inside the rear optical block...and, the copy’s original retaining ring (internal to the block) has no marking to use a spanner, and sits 0.3mm from the rear element.

Last night I was able to loosen it and had to also clean and love all the helicoids (stone stiff) and ...how annoying it is to put back this thing. Now it’s back into perfect shape and I can say I love the 1.8.

And I am still looking for a RETopcor 58/1.8 in perfect shape (3rd and hopefully this will work).

I'm still looking for a nice black RE 58/1.8, you'd think the 1.8 would be more common than the 1.4, but there are easily a dozen 1.4's on ebay at all times I look and I'm lucky if there is one 1.8.

Same, and not just Black, also Silver. Lots of f1.4, and most f1.8 (and all I got so far) have a myriad of problems. A perfect 1.8 May list at totally inflated prices too, some more than f1.4.

Same with Zeiss 1.8/60 QBM, with the added problem that they are even more inflated and there are very few original SL35 with the Zeiss made version in Obekochen.

Do you have Nemsis lens that where wanted 1 good copy and ended having to look into so many?

Topcor R 30cm f5.6 seems to be a weak performer(I have 2 copies), though the later RE 300/5.6 which looks to be the same formula is much better, performing like I'd expect the R to perform like, if someone has a good performing R 30cm f5.6, I'd love to hear about it and see pics from it.

I read negative comments about it. Have you tried the 200/5.6?

The RE 200/5.6 seems fine, seen some great pics from it, my R 20cm f4 is nice and sharp, quite impressive for it's age.I don't think you can go wrong with either.

I finally got an optically good copy of the 1.8/58, this time in silver version. It's one of the older versions, and has cleaning marks, quite visible dirt inside.

It really is a lot sharper than the others I had (R and RE Black later version). This was as of now the only one lens I didn't love much. The other copies are good, quite good in terms of sharpness, etc. But this last brought a wow smile when I tested it against some subjects.

So one less Nemesis lens to cross off my list. Will remain, of course, the one I had to acquire most copies, along with 2.8/135 and Zeiss 1.8/50 QBM.

Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Nemesis might be a bit too strong of a word, but as a guy who CLA a lot of lenses i must say i really dislike the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses in general, in particular the older alu versions. They are always labour intensive, in the version i own some have a very inaccessible rear ring that must be removed to take them apart, i made a custom spanner but even with that it s difficult to remove as the rings are super tight, this is usually the case with all the rings in these lenses. Using penetrating oil usually results in it getting on the aperture blades, than there is a second ring that holds the preset mechanism in place, again custom spanner but this ring is usually also super tight. Haze on the lens elements is common, Flektogon for example, again the rings are very tight, it s very difficult to remove the ring that holds the small second element from the front, which is usually where the haze is. And last but not least, the front name rings....i had to drill two small "depressions" for a needle type spanner to remove the name ring on the Triotar. That said once properly CLAed they look great and the focusing mechanism gives one of the best feel.

I CLAed like more than 15 of these, every time a friend or a fried of a friend sees them gets one of these as they are quite common here in Europe and asks for a CLA

The later CZJ lenses also come with their peculiar problems regarding CLA.

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Your Nemesis lens

Tomasg71 wrote:

Nemesis might be a bit too strong of a word, but as a guy who CLA a lot of lenses i must say i really dislike the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses in general, in particular the older alu versions. They are always labour intensive, in the version i own some have a very inaccessible rear ring that must be removed to take them apart, i made a custom spanner but even with that it s difficult to remove as the rings are super tight, this is usually the case with all the rings in these lenses. Using penetrating oil usually results in it getting on the aperture blades, than there is a second ring that holds the preset mechanism in place, again custom spanner but this ring is usually also super tight. Haze on the lens elements is common, Flektogon for example, again the rings are very tight, it s very difficult to remove the ring that holds the small second element from the front, which is usually where the haze is. And last but not least, the front name rings....i had to drill two small "depressions" for a needle type spanner to remove the name ring on the Triotar. That said once properly CLAed they look great and the focusing mechanism gives one of the best feel.

I CLAed like more than 15 of these, every time a friend or a fried of a friend sees them gets one of these as they are quite common here in Europe and asks for a CLA

The later CZJ lenses also come with their peculiar problems regarding CLA.

Tomas, this is a great example of nemesis lens by wear down! For me, these would be all the SL35 Rollei and even all the earlier C/Y. The front is a breeze. The aperture, if the pin has moved the mechanism inside [twist], or plastic is worn (A/M switch), or aperture plate is bent, or the very long wires that make pressure and act as pseudo-springs are worn or have been twisted  the wrong way, or if the helicoid (internal, fine thread) is not exactly counted and measured, etc. then putting it back in the same way it's almost a nightmare.

But I suspect these are easier than the silver ones you mention. I have two silvers that needed no intervention, but I will make sure to NOT get one. I had to clean one later CZJ (Zebra, 135mm, and a Flektogon) and compared to the Rollei ones, it almost seemed like using Legos. Only the helicoid positioning (outer) was really a nightmare (even as I measured exactly when it got out).

That's one thing that made me love the Topcors. I have found them impossible to have anything bad to say about their construction. Note the Zeiss Rollei's, some early version, also have these rings with no place for a spanner, in the rear element block. I am talking about the one that removes the rear element from the block. It's just small, tiny, tight, with nothing at all to hold on. And contrary to the rings in the front, the tiniest mistake and you have a chipped rear element (I have seen 3 listed with a chip in the rear element... out of maybe 20, a high rate, and I think I know why, which is what I have mentioned.This on the one made by Zeiss not the later HFT 1.8/50).

I know I deviated a bit, but I can totally understand where you are coming from, since when a friend gets one, you are forced through this infuriating process, which only culminates after a long sometimes multi day work sessions with the thought "This is the last CZJ silver I'll ever fix..." only to be proven wrong.

OP fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,151
Re: Nemesis

fferreres wrote:,

Lightshow wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Do you have a Nemsis lens? I have had two so far. The Topcor 135/3.5 (3 copies, all with some separation on cemented group. I have ordered a 4th now.

And the original all metal Rollei Zeiss 50/1.8. I have 1 HFT which is so easy to find in good shape, but only now have one without much issues. First one had lots of Haze and some rust, could not fix and ended up somatic. Second a chipped back. Even the third had fungus inside the rear optical block...and, the copy’s original retaining ring (internal to the block) has no marking to use a spanner, and sits 0.3mm from the rear element.

Last night I was able to loosen it and had to also clean and love all the helicoids (stone stiff) and ...how annoying it is to put back this thing. Now it’s back into perfect shape and I can say I love the 1.8.

And I am still looking for a RETopcor 58/1.8 in perfect shape (3rd and hopefully this will work).

Just to update myself...the R Auto-Topcor (preset arm) I said it had this faint light haze wide open in pictures, well, has no faint anything. I inspected it again and the lens had faint in the rear element after the aperture. I cleaned it, and also cleaned the corners of the front lens (still not perfect that part, but 99.5%) and the lens has no glow of any sort.

I'm still looking for a nice black RE 58/1.8, you'd think the 1.8 would be more common than the 1.4, but there are easily a dozen 1.4's on ebay at all times I look and I'm lucky if there is one 1.8.

Same, and not just Black, also Silver. Lots of f1.4, and most f1.8 (and all I got so far) have a myriad of problems. A perfect 1.8 May list at totally inflated prices too, some more than f1.4.

Same with Zeiss 1.8/60 QBM, with the added problem that they are even more inflated and there are very few original SL35 with the Zeiss made version in Obekochen.

Do you have Nemsis lens that where wanted 1 good copy and ended having to look into so many?

Topcor R 30cm f5.6 seems to be a weak performer(I have 2 copies), though the later RE 300/5.6 which looks to be the same formula is much better, performing like I'd expect the R to perform like, if someone has a good performing R 30cm f5.6, I'd love to hear about it and see pics from it.

I read negative comments about it. Have you tried the 200/5.6?

Answering to myself. I purchased one 200/5.6. What an absolute pleasure of a lens. I like it 10 times more than my Zeiss tele-tessar and the AR Rolleinar 200.

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 39,739
Mechanical Sigma to FD conversion (Sigma oem)

I think I have had a few nemesis lenses over the years but one springs to mind.

Here it was a lens that arrived in good order but with a very stuck aperture.

It was a Sigma made in FD mount (disaster).

Why it was a disaster was that apparently in the olden days pre electronics Sigma made their lenses with their own operating mechanisms and then made a weird interchange of levers springs and gaskets to make them work with other mount systems.

A sort of one-off Tamron adapt-all designed by people with a wicked sense of humour.

I found the issue with the lens - the aperture was stuck because one internal lever had jumped out of its locating slot and the aperture had been forced thereby bending the lever irretrievably - easy fix - bend it back into shape and put it back in its slot. Took only minutes to figure out and fix.

But for some reason which I have now forgotten the whole end of the Sigma ? To FD connection fell apart into my work-tray and was impossible to figure out the levers, springs and multiple gaskets to put back together - I have never seen gaskets inside a lens (spacers maybe) let alone a number of them all similarly shaped. After some tries with permutations and combinations I put the annoying thing in a box. I basically liked the lens so much that I bought another with similar construction so that I could figure out how it went together again.

But I have never plucked up the courage to have another go. Will the replacement lens also suddenly fall apart when I try and investigate?

Maybe someone knows of a how-to reassemble a mechanical conversion from Sigma mechanism to FD mount operation - for me it was the devil incarnate - now a nemesis lying upstairs in a box just awaiting my return.

I would be forever grateful ....

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Tom Caldwell

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