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Archive 2009 · Best hellical grease?
  
 
Cableaddict
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p.1 #1 · Best hellical grease?


I hate choices. Someone please just tell me which is best for standard helical gears!


https://www.micro-tools.com/store/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=HG-30

or

https://www.micro-tools.com/store/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=744


- Much obliged !



Sep 03, 2009 at 04:37 AM
Cableaddict
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p.1 #2 · Best hellical grease?


Wow, it's been a whole 12 hrs and I don't see 20 replies. Is this really FM forums?




OK, I've been doing some research (Ughh...) and the answer seems to be complicated.

Here's what I have gleaned so far:
================================

The "best" helical grease will vary depending upon the lens, but several factors are important.

1: it must not be prone to oil separation. Many automotive greases fail in this regard.

2: It must be fairly temperature stabile.

3: It must not be prone to collecting dust.

A lot of people recommend synthetic bicycle grease (no specific brand, but the RED colored stuff is recommended.)
-------------------------

The required thickness of grease is affected by several factors:

1: The courseness of the gears. - Fine gears need thinner grease.

2: Condition of the teeth:
- Worn teeth can be helped with thicker grease.
note: "The focusing mounts on the very best lenses (Leica, Zeiss, and a few others) are hand-lapped, and most good lenses use dissimilar metals in the helicals because these bind a lot less than pairs of similar metals. A hard light alloy and brass should not wear significantly in normal use, but if both components are made of soft light alloy (East German lenses from the 40s and 50s, cheap Japanese lenses from the 60s) it's possible that they used LOTS of grease to disguise sloppiness from new."
note also: "the rough feel of a cheap lens can be masked, to some degree, by a generous application of thick grease, but this will lead to problems of high torque when subjected to cold temperatures or migration at high temperatures.

3: type of lens. Large zoom lenses need heavier damping-grease, to keep the focus from slipping. One such product is Nyogel 774. (medium silicone grease)

4: ## HOW YOU PACK: The standard method is to fill-in only the front & back races, keeping the parts separated. However, most folks here seem to prefer to pack the entire helical. This then requires a much thinner grease.

Application of the 3/4 dabs of the heavier greases: (suggested by a pro lens restorer, specifically for old & heavy lenses like the Jena 120 and 180.)

The ideal is to fill all the 'lead ins' ie a strip of approx 1/2" completely round the top circumference, and the same for the bottom 'lead outs' of the helix. The mating surfaces of the helix are thus held apart by the grease film, the un-greased portions never touchings.

However, If you like to fully pack the helix, so the 'recommended' products often give unsatisfactory results. My £3.00 pot of Paragon silicone has performed flawlessly over the years, on all but a few medium format lenses.
======================================================


The "medium" Japanese tub sold by Micro tools is evidently way too thick for a small, quality prime. (and way overpriced as well) The lighter Nyogel may work, but again is serously overpriced, and could cost a fortune if you need to experiment with different grades.
If I could find a cheap source for Nyogel damping grease, in an assortment of grades, (774VL - 779) that would be the way to go, but not from Micro Tools!

The silicone bicycle grease is looking pretty good to me right now. I think I'll buy a few different types and experiment.

- But I am puzzled about the Nye "Damping" grease. Worth the exorbitant price? see:
http://www.nyelubricants.com/pdf/DampGrease/DampGrease_Broch_English.pd
Here's the pertinent paragraph from that article:
"The difference between standard grease and damping grease is shear resistance. Damping greases are formulated with viscous (high-molecular-weight) synthetic oils, giving them a high internal shear resistance. While standard greases are slick, almost like cream cheese, damping greases are more like sticky peanut butter. When damping grease is applied to mated, moving parts, itís difficult for parts to come into physical contact. It also takes a degree of force to move through the grease. Since moving parts do not come into contact, there is little, if any noise and wear. And because a force is required to move the parts, there is little chance of free motion when the force is removed."

Is this some special characteristic, or just a marketing gimmick? If this "damping" is so important, how can folks be happy with plain old silicone grease? Perhaps all modern synthetic greases meet this "damping" description?

Not having an answer, I'm also ordering the Nyogel #744, as it's the one Micro tools specifically lists for helical gears. They also sell #767A but that is for heavier damping (probably zoom lenses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------


I'm diving in this weekend. Starting on a few cheapo small primes, but then on to the Rokkor 58/1.2's. (I desperately need to sell them) Any thoughts or quick suggestions?

(I just wanna get back to taking photos! )



Sep 03, 2009 at 03:31 PM
wlachan
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p.1 #3 · Best hellical grease?


I have the S-10, which is light, very light. I will use it on AF lens helicoils which requires very light lub. Many mild moving plastic parts in AF cameras use the same grease too. You did not say what lenses you will lub. If they are manual focus lenses with nice smooth damping feel, you should look at dampng grease. I happen to have the NYE dampen grease kit too, and I have found anything heavier than the lightest one (774VL) in the kit is really too heavy for camera lenses (mine are Pentax). Nikkors have even lighter feel so I am not sure what grease to use. What I have found is that while the grease itself feels light, the focus ring can be very heavy once assembled. The aperture ring however, is much more forgiving.


Sep 04, 2009 at 12:21 AM
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p.1 #4 · Best hellical grease?


wlachan,

You raise an interesting point. I hadn't considered AF vs MF. Most of my lenses are MF primes, but I have to do a couple of Canon AF's as well. I usually keep them in MF mode, but occasionally shoot AF.

My 85/1.8 for instance, has a horribly light feel when focusing manually. Heavier-than-stock grease might improve things, which I'd love, but would I then be in danger of burning out the AF motor?

BTW - what is S-10?



Sep 04, 2009 at 02:13 AM
wlachan
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p.1 #5 · Best hellical grease?


You are right. You don't want damping grease on AF lenses cos it will stress the AF motor. You just have accept EF lenses will never feel as great as MF lenses.

This is S-10 I have.
https://www.micro-tools.com/store/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=HG-10



Sep 04, 2009 at 04:57 AM
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p.1 #6 · Best hellical grease?


Thanks.

The Micro Tools guy told me that's Japanese grease, but didn't know anything else. So, this is NOT a damping grease? (even the S-20? - Or is it perhaps a very light damping grease (i.e. it holds the parts in place, but with very little force)

- or would it be considered a "regular" grease"

-And the same question holds for bicycle grease, which many folks on the vintage lens forum recommended.
Again, I'm trying to determine if the "damping" properties described by Nye are something unique to their product, or not.



Sep 04, 2009 at 01:31 PM
 

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p.1 #7 · Best hellical grease?


On another thread, Jim Buchanan had this to say:

"I have the Nyogel #744 for everything other than helicals. The magic lube is the #10, HG-10, very expensive but the best Japanese synthetic, for helical threads."

This is great to know, but raises more questions:

1: Is the Japanese stuff considered "damping" grease? (Is this actually an issue or not?)

2: Jim, are you packing the whole helical, or just the outer races?

3: Are we talking about just small primes, or even larger lenses & zooms?



Sep 06, 2009 at 01:20 AM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #8 · Best hellical grease?


I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over the "damping" terminology. Basically they are talking about a grease characteristic that to me seems like it would result in too much resistance for helicals. the HG-10 sounds like the best stuff, wish it was cheaper. I have a Rokkor that has a heavy throw that I'd like to lighten up a bit. Some other lenses have about the perfect resistance (Pentax-A 50/1.2 comes to mind, or OM 90/2).

Frankly, I'd not diddle around with silicone bike grease. Nothing I can think of on a bike takes grease light enough to match that of a helicoid, from my experience. (if it takes something that light it's usually oil vs. grease). There's other silicone greases out there too but IMNSHO it's not worth the risk. Any lens I have is worth at least the $25 for the good HG-10, and having to re-do a helical grease job from using the wrong stuff would be a huge pain in the ass and cost me well more than $25 worth of my time. That's my take.

Resist the urge to overpack the whole helicoid too. Most of that would get wasted since the fit between parts is so close that most of that grease is going to get pushed out once assembled. Plus you sure as hell don't want it migrating anywhere, e.g. blades, glass, et al.

Let us know how it works out.

-Ed



Sep 06, 2009 at 03:17 AM
JimBuchanan
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p.1 #9 · Best hellical grease?


Cableaddict wrote:
On another thread, Jim Buchanan had this to say:

"I have the Nyogel #744 for everything other than helicals. The magic lube is the #10, HG-10, very expensive but the best Japanese synthetic, for helical threads."

This is great to know, but raises more questions:

1: Is the Japanese stuff considered "damping" grease? (Is this actually an issue or not?)

2: Jim, are you packing the whole helical, or just the outer races?

3: Are we talking about just small primes, or even larger lenses & zooms?


Sorry, for being a little slow to catch up... I guess I need to visit other forums more often.

As far as the 744 for helicals, I find it still a little too stiff for my tastes. Others may like the stiffer action of the 744 or that HG-30. I had also found another source for the HG-10 in a larger size and higher price, but the cost/volume was about the same, so I stuck with the HG-10.

I forget the active part, but the white lube has a synthetic component for temp independence and also won't break down rubber or plastic, not that there is any rubber close to a manual focus lens helical.

If I re-lube, I always take the 3 pieces apart and clean with kerosene, then wash with soap and water. I use a small paint brush for a even thin coat of lube on both surfaces. Those Rokkor 58s deserve this treatment!

A popular camera repair shop told me once that he has 8 levels of lube ranging from very light to the heavy side.



Sep 06, 2009 at 10:33 AM
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p.1 #10 · Best hellical grease?


There's a pretty good discussion of the subject, with several folks recommending bicycle grease, here:

http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:VstwjI0DS38J:www.kyphoto.com/classics/forum/messages/13061/10855.html%3F1198151807+Best+hellical+grease&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

(copy-paste the link)

I'm definitely going to try the teflon-grease I bought, vs the Nye 744. Hoping not to have to buy 8 separate thicknesses!

I agree (based on nothing but common sense, which has backfired far too often) that it's probably best to do just the outer races, not pack the whole thing.



Sep 08, 2009 at 12:31 AM
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p.1 #11 · Best hellical grease?


UPDATE:


I have now done very limited tests wit the following grease:

Nye 744
The Japanese H-10 (HG-10)
Finish Line brand synthetic bike grease with teflon
Tri-Flow clear synthetic grease.

First, a few general thoughts:

The Japanese grease is said to have a high amount of added flouro-carbons, which is evidently a good thing for lenses. It turns out that Teflon is a flourocarbon, so that makes the Finish Line grease - And the Tri-Flow has P.T.F.E., which is also micron-sized Teflon particles.
At about 1/6th the cost of Nye & HS, these bike greases are starting to sound good.

As for "damping" grease: Using the Nye, I can clearly feel what this is. There is an initial stiffness, before the grease lets go. Both the HG-10 and the Finish Line Teflon grease also have this property. The Tri-Flow does not have much. (or it could just be really light)

Other important properties are: resistance to water, resistance to collecting dust, and resistance to oil-separation over time. We can assume that the HS-10 and Nye qualify, since they are sold for lenses. We also know that the Teflon qualifies, as it's a bike greases qualify for water & dust, and being synthetics, there can be no separation.

So I guess it just comes down to feel. (and price)

The HG-10 is definitely lighter than the Nye. However, unlike Jim, I prefer the Nye on my Rokkor 58/1.2's. The grease that was in there originally (and I have six copies here, all the same) is noticeably stiffer than even the Nye. I (lightly) packed the entire thread, and still like the heavier grease. It feels more precise to me. Maybe I'll change my mind later.

The Finish Line grease feels virtually the same as the Nye, in every respect (though it looks very different) It seems like a very smart way to go, if you need to do a lot of lenses.

If you don't need strong damping qualities, (as with an AF lens) then the Tri-Flow synthetic gives a nice light feel. It is very similar to the HG-10 (maybe lighter) but again,without much damping. It's too bad bicycle grease isn't rated for thickness. That would be a good way to cheaply have a wide selection.
=========================

The one thing I still don't know, is if any of these are better than the others at maintaining consistancy in cold / hot climates. At this point, I don't think I care.




Sep 18, 2009 at 06:53 AM
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p.1 #12 · Best hellical grease?


New question.

Again, referring to Jim Buchanan's statement "I have the Nyogel #744 for everything other than helicals. The magic lube is the #10... for helical threads."

What other parts of a lens do you use grease on?

In my research, I have yet to find any mention of this. I assumed that you don't grease anything else, as you don't want grease to migrate to the glass or aperture blades, though it's tempting to lube the aperture return mechanism.

Maybe grease the gears of a zoom lens? (I have yet to open one)



Oct 30, 2009 at 06:03 PM





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