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| p.1 #1 · Disassemble & Clean My Own Lenses? |
I was away for the week on business. I just got home, and found that my dehumidifier circuit had tripped the breaker. (I live below ground) There was massive humidity, and virtually all of my lenses got coated internally with moisture. On some you could actually see large droplets coating the glass. On three lenses, I see tiny white specks on the internal dust, probably fungal spores just starting t grow.
I'm just freaking out. This is my entire collection, except for the camera & lens I had with me. I put them all in the oven, at super low temps, to dry them out. That worked, so at least I won't get massive fungus. I'll put them all out in the sun tomorrow.
-But now they all have watermarks inside. Many of them had a good bit of dust as well, so could have used a cleaning, but now they are basically useless without one.
There are maybe 20 lenses, ranging in value from $100 to $1500. Zeiss, Minolta, Canon...) I know I can send them to a shop, for around $100 each, maybe more for the zooms, but I'm REALLY strapped for cash right now. I was even about to sell a few of these to help pay my bills.
I'm trying to decide whether to buy tools & learn to do this myself. (I've always wabted to learn) Looking for opinions:
The biggest question I have is: To clean dust and haze, water marks, etc, how much of a disassembly is required? Is it something a guy like me can really do, or must I go so far "into" the lens that I will need special tools & calibration to get it back together right?
Any danger of misaligning the elements? (optical centering?)
On the other hand, if paying for a pro CLA, is it common to find vintage lenses (primes) that were slightly out of alignment? In other words, is it common for a vintage prime to come back from CLA sharper than when you sent it?
Can I shlub like me also build a collumnator and do my own alignment? (or is that just for infinity focus?) I've read of this online, but have no idea what's involved.
Can I also learn to re-grease the helical gear, and maybe clean the aperture blades on a few? Again, is this reasonably do-able, or major surgery?
If I do decide to do this, WHERE DO I START as far as gaining the procedural knowledge, and how to I figure out exactly which tools to buy? It's quite a daunting proposition. Are there websites that show this for various lenses? Books?
Any and all advice / opinions welcome. Thanks
Edited on Aug 23, 2009 at 09:21 PM · View previous versions