Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
zerosystem New Member • Posts: 24
Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Hi all, I just bought this lens recently, bought it from a local film camera shop according to their listing online they said the lens was clean, no scratch, no haze and no fungus. But shining my phone flashlight through I think there is quite a lot of haze? Is there any possibility to clean this lens, or should I return it? I am not too fussed about the price, since I used money handed out by my government (a consumption voucher) to purchase this lens. It would be great to be able to clean this lens. I have not tried it out on my camera yet since I do not have an appropriate adaptor. I am relatively new to purchasing vintage lenses, any advice would be much appreciated!

 zerosystem's gear list:zerosystem's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F4 OIS +1 more
Rob de Loe
Rob de Loe Senior Member • Posts: 2,584
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
1

At the very least, the store was not honest, or not careful.

From your pictures I think there's more going on than just haze.

Do you have experience taking lenses apart and cleaning them?

Unless I paid very little indeed, I would return it and buy another that actually is clean.

Diacyclops81 Contributing Member • Posts: 679
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
2

Return it pronto. First, that’s very bad “haze” (more likely fungus), so there’s absolutely no question that the condition was misrepresented. Second, some of the Contax lenses are virtually impossible to open or disassemble for cleaning. My Planar 50 1.4 for example, neither I nor a professional repair shop could disassemble to get to oily iris diaphragm blades. Glued tight. So, unless they sold it to you for very, very, very low price, return it.

Richard Dutton Regular Member • Posts: 369
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
2

I suggest you return it.

It looks really bad to me.

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 19,032
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

I could be wrong but it looks to me that it is fungus and has already eaten into the glass.

I doubt very much that it can be saved.

Aou Usagi is right.

Having had a better look, full size image, it is very similar to the problem in some modern Sony and Tamron lenses. (Sony 16-50mm for example)

Aoi Usagi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,198
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
2

I've seen that before.  Its the balsam cement (optical glue) degrading and cracking apart.  Like others have already said, return it.  Repair for that will be very expensive if even possible.

OP zerosystem New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Thank you all for the advice, I will return it immediately! Disappointed but nevertheless a lesson learned to check lenses more thoroughly!

 zerosystem's gear list:zerosystem's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F4 OIS +1 more
OP zerosystem New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

I have never taken apart lenses before but I did buy a lens "taking apart kit" to see if I can clean my 50mm Summicron R (which is much clearer than this lens but still has some visible spots of haze under a flashlight). As Diacyclops81 mentioned his 50mm Planar would be hard to take apart, so I would prefer not to take any chances.

 zerosystem's gear list:zerosystem's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F4 OIS +1 more
Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Diacyclops81 wrote:

Return it pronto. First, that’s very bad “haze” (more likely fungus), so there’s absolutely no question that the condition was misrepresented. Second, some of the Contax lenses are virtually impossible to open or disassemble for cleaning. My Planar 50 1.4 for example, neither I nor a professional repair shop could disassemble to get to oily iris diaphragm blades. Glued tight. So, unless they sold it to you for very, very, very low price, return it.

I wonder if we have the same lens because my C/Y Planar 50/1.4 made in Japan version is very easy to open.

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 19,032
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Tomasg71 wrote:

Diacyclops81 wrote:

Return it pronto. First, that’s very bad “haze” (more likely fungus), so there’s absolutely no question that the condition was misrepresented. Second, some of the Contax lenses are virtually impossible to open or disassemble for cleaning. My Planar 50 1.4 for example, neither I nor a professional repair shop could disassemble to get to oily iris diaphragm blades. Glued tight. So, unless they sold it to you for very, very, very low price, return it.

I wonder if we have the same lens because my C/Y Planar 50/1.4 made in Japan version is very easy to open.

I think that the problem is that the OP will need to separate two elements to be able to clean the failing balsam and then re-assemble.

It can be done but it is not all that easy to do.

Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

FrancoD wrote:

Tomasg71 wrote:

Diacyclops81 wrote:

Return it pronto. First, that’s very bad “haze” (more likely fungus), so there’s absolutely no question that the condition was misrepresented. Second, some of the Contax lenses are virtually impossible to open or disassemble for cleaning. My Planar 50 1.4 for example, neither I nor a professional repair shop could disassemble to get to oily iris diaphragm blades. Glued tight. So, unless they sold it to you for very, very, very low price, return it.

I wonder if we have the same lens because my C/Y Planar 50/1.4 made in Japan version is very easy to open.

I think that the problem is that the OP will need to separate two elements to be able to clean the failing balsam and then re-assemble.

It can be done but it is not all that easy to do.

I wasn t responding to the OP. but to Diacyclops81 that wrote that his Planar 50/1.4 couldn t be opened.

I CLAed cca 300 lenses, i thought of fixing a dobulet with separation problems a couple of times, but in the end i never did it. Although it can be done as a DIY thing at home to a degree i don t own a "micrometer" tool to measure the thickness of the dobulet, before and when gluinhg it, in my researches i did online this seems to be even more critical than the "trueness" or alignment of the two elements. which can be done to a good degree with some DY tools. I once separated a dobulet of a Canon 50/1.2 LTM, Putting back the two elements without the balsam was very reveallng.

Diacyclops81 Contributing Member • Posts: 679
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
1

Must have had those 50 1.4s made by a different crew. As I said, I have attempted to open it, failed, took it to repair shop to a guy with many years experience, he returned said couldn’t open. Periodically I try again. No dice. And like you I have disassembled many other lenses, including a bunch of Yash ML’s made around the same time.

Regardless the 85 shown above should be returned for full refund as it’s condition was misrepresented by seller.  I might take it for parts, for say $25. But otherwise, no thanks.

Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

RETURN!

Look at the shape of the cemented group behind the aperture, and notice why:

https://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/consumer-products/downloads/historical-products/photography/contax-yashica/en/datasheet-zeiss-planar-1485-en.pdf

There is a chance not far from 0% of doing it properly. This thing most likely was polished AFTER cementing the two faces, not afterwards. That's my guess knowing very little about optics but a lot about "educated guessing".

You should only keep a thing like if you have a donor lens, and paying very little as a For Parts lens.

OP zerosystem New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?

Update:

I have returned the lens and got a full refund, lesson learned:-)

 zerosystem's gear list:zerosystem's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F4 OIS +1 more
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Re: Haze on Contax CY 85mm f1.4?
1

zerosystem wrote:

Update:

I have returned the lens and got a full refund, lesson learned:-)

Not universlly true, but I find weared down bodies with pristine optics are often the best of the best of the best. Why? 1) Firts, it's a person that did use the lens, a lot, for real world stuff. The scars of the barrel and body show it 2) The fact the optics are very good in a very traveled lens means the person really knew what part is the one getting the photos, and was very careful and mindful in how to clean, not expose, treat the lens 3) The fact these lenses sell for less, means there's less incentive for these people to let go of these lenses, meaning they are usually in the right hand for longer, usually fewer owners 4) The fact they kept it long, and producing, means the person likely had a good copy, and preferred in practice that lens over very often many newer one or other brands. It's rare than a traveled lens has had no competition. The fact it remained in use, usually correlates with a very good copy ...

You pay less, for a better copy, with likely great optics...yes,w e want to pristine looking copies, and some are fantastic. But having probably over 100 lenses, traveled lenses that show a lot of use wear, but with very good optics, no oil, snappy aperture, smooth barrel, they are the good signs.

A perfect like-new very old lens? Sometimes it's a lens that was perfect but had a rich busy owner with too many options, or it was a so so copy lens that got little use due to that, or maybe it was a returned lens with some defect that got fixed but still not great.

This is a theory, possibly pure fantasy or rather, a nice hypothesis. But anyway, which lens would I sell last? The top performers with the worst barrel. I'd first sell the "ok" optic that looks like new for a premium, keep the ones I'll use a lot and confidently which would sell for a lot less.

Of course, I state all this because this C/Y barrel looks really good.

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