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Wobbly C/Y Vario Sonnar 35-70 while I'm in Iceland
  
 
jlehet
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Wobbly C/Y Vario Sonnar 35-70 while I'm in Iceland


Forgive my not seeking out an existing topic to ask, but I'm in Iceland with only mobile devices.

I bought a CY 35-70 for this trip and tested it at home. This is mostly for the sake of my wife's sanity, as I do have good primes.

Over the last two days I had often had the sense that it was hard to get focus or it didn't look that sharp. But I "knew" it was good from my tests, so I kept using it much of the time. I've done a few tests here in the viewfinder, comparing 50mm to the Loxia. Yesterday evening I realized the base of the lens has about 2 or 3 mm of wobble/play. With that, I see there is no question I have been using a funky lens. I have a tiny screwdriver along, but the screws at the mount are already tight.

I suppose without a monitor to verify any fix it would be crazy to keep using it, but on the other hand I assume if I get that base tight it will be good. If there is a fix it would save my poor wife's fraying patience. Any way to fix this thing on the road? Thanks!



Aug 18, 2017 at 08:47 AM
jlehet
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Wobbly C/Y Vario Sonnar 35-70 while I'm in Iceland


Back home, still haven't taken the broken Contax zoom lens apart. I've started to review images, and at least on the first day of using that lens, it was good. I was pretty upset at the thought I had been using a bad lens all along (though at least I discovered it relatively early in the trip).

I did miss the convenience and also the 70mm focal length quite a bit (only a few periods of particularly missing that focal length, but I was quite aware I wanted it but didn't have it).

I also notice from the periods of using the old zoom lens while it was good that it was a bit more flare prone than any of the more modern primes I later used instead (CV 35 1.7 and Loxia 50). The Contax g90 2.8 was of course longer than the 70 and no good for when 70 was really needed, but it was much better to use the 90 where that was appropriate instead of staying with 70 on the zoom because I was lazy or in a hurry).

I did in fact try my wife's patience by being a slow photographer (and without any zooms). I made fewer exposures on this longer trip than I made on our first trip to Iceland 10 years ago -- back then I had mostly not-great Nikon zooms on the cameras, which sometimes did OK and which sometimes were heart-breakingly mediocre. I think prime lens changing, manual focus, and a generally higher standard of knowing what I'm doing and working carefully based on higher knowledge of my gear made me a lot slower.

Being a tourist in Iceland has changed a lot between these two trips. Food is a lot better and more available, more decent dining and vegetarian options. Everything except the most remote areas are much more crowded. Camp sites are 3 times more expensive, but still that was reasonable. We camped the whole time except the last night (that night we stayed at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, which I recommend.) The worst change from a photographer's perspective though is that a lot of the improved roads have no shoulders/fewer pullouts/more traffic. Ten years ago it was possible to stop in a lot more places than now. I could see a lot of places that used to be pull-off areas now considerably below the level of the road. I guess the good side of the improved roads of course is that it's possible to make better time. Though as a photographer in a place like this I'm rarely interested in making time vs being fully wherever I am. I think the improved roads are more difficult for photographers in the west than the east.

A few more notes if anyone is still reading: We had much much more pleasant weather than our first trip, or most average trips as far as I understand Iceland travel. It was often sunny and pretty mild in the middle of the day. We really didn't have any serious rain in two weeks. Overall there were less interesting clouds than the first trip, fewer moody dark clouds and also fewer dramatic cirrus feather clouds. There were a lot of days with a kind of hazy/milky light cloud cover which made the light a little less harsh mid day, but was not as interesting in the landscape than dramatic cloud events and changing/dappled light.

I brought a Sony a7rii and a bunch of primes, old and modern. I also brought along an Olympus OMD EM5 mark ii with two Olympus Pro zooms. I expected I'd be using that a lot in bad weather, since I consider that camera and those lenses to be basically waterproof. I have tested that a lot, and they stand up to any weather and even being dropped in water or snow or being left out in bad weather (some long stories around that). But I didn't use that camera much at all since the weather was good. I used it sometimes if I wanted more depth of field.

Some really helpful things I did on this trip: I used Wasabi batteries for both the Sony and the micro four thirds cameras (I use an MFT olympus body for infrared, and my wife is using an Oly MFT camera). The Wasabi batteries come with chargers that have car-power adapters. In addition to that I brought along an AC inverter that plugs into the car adapter, and that gave two AC outlets I could plug chargers into and it also had a USB port. All possible USB and camera charging options were in use pretty much constantly while driving (for some reason my wife's camera was really eating batteries, and of course the Sony goes through them). I also brought along an adapter with clips for the car battery with a normal "cigarette lighter" at the end. That way I could charge while setting up camp or leaving the car and going for a walk. The power inside the car shut off with the key, so clipping directly to the battery extended the charging time.

The first time I used outlets at campgrounds, which worked out a lot better, since the campgrounds were much emptier, there were fewer photographers competing for those outlets, and the Nikon DSLRs would go for days and days on one battery, unlike the mirrorless cameras we are using now.

It's going to be an insanely busy re-entry, including hanging an exhibition in the next week which I am not ready for. I don't know when I'll find the time to review images or post anything.



Aug 27, 2017 at 01:48 PM
jlehet
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Wobbly C/Y Vario Sonnar 35-70 while I'm in Iceland


I fixed the wobble, which was easy. Removing the bottom of the lens (the mount), two screws on the side of that slide-in part of the lens become visible. They have a few mm of play when loose, but the lens becomes tight if I push it together and tighten them. That big wobble solved.

However, now I can't put the lens back together so the aperture ring works, yet. I guess there are only a few possibilities, if that, for the exact position to get the mechanism to engage properly. Haven't got it yet. I don't suppose anyone has taken one of these apart?

The good news regarding the use of this lens in Iceland is that the images made with it were sharp right up to the period of use when I noticed it was off. I had been worried I had ruined a lot of photos in the days before the problem, using it all along.



Aug 27, 2017 at 10:57 PM







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