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Seeking sources/advice for vintage lens repair in NYC/Boston area.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Forum' started by gduncanson, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    There's nothing mechanically wrong with the lens. It's my 100-300 Contax. The problem is that a cloud of what looks like haze has developed on the rear element.I removed the rear element and cleaned both sides of the glass which made no difference, then I noticed that the rear lens is actually two thin pieces of glass sandwiched together and the haze is in between the two.

    Hunting around for a professional to take this element apart and clean it I found someone half-way across the country through a referral of a referral. To the members in the New England, NYC metro area--Could you suggest a place that you were pleased with their work?

    Also, for my benefit and for interested parties: What's the typical scope of work? Are there various levels of repair? I thought of sending only the rear element, but the repair shop suggested I send the entire lens so that it could be taken apart, checked, cleaned. I really don't want it taken apart. I have visions of my wife's uncle who repaired fine watches for a living and customers would demand their watches returned after being in his repair shop for weeks, but he'd have fifty dismantled at a time with labeled envelopes of their associated parts, some never got their watches back as his workshop had watches in pieces when he retired and later passed away.

    Attached a picture of the rear element and a picture of Lady Liberty taken @300 from DUMBO park last October and the Lightroom Dehaze filter was probably as high as +50.

    IMAG0027.jpg

    DSCF8331.jpg
     
  2. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    I've never actually used them, but I have heard great things about the Nippon Photo Clinic (Please login or register to view links) in mid-town Manhattan. They work on Contax.

    I recently passed on buying a 100-300, but seeing that image makes think I made a mistake! Wow. Sharp!
     
  3. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    @Activatedfx -- Work takes me to town tomorrow so I'll stop in and see what they say, Thank you!

    As I remember, dumbo is/was a favorite haunt of yours.

    A couple of handheld test shots if interested: I think it must have been a sunny day :)
    Please login or register to view links
    Please login or register to view links
     
  4. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    Great! Good luck!

    Yes. DUMBO is my "backyard". I live about 3 minutes from that area of Brooklyn. It's one of the biggest tourist draws in NYC these days, which is good for businesses, but I miss having the area all to myself just a few years ago!
     
  5. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    Nippon Photo Clinic was a great tip, went there today for an opinion. Two people took a look and each said "uncleanable, what you see as cloudy is actually damage to the coatings". Rather hopeful of them--they suggested if I knew someone in Japan, there's availability of NOS Contax parts in brick & mortar stores, I do have a son in Iwakuni.

    Thanks again!
     
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  6. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    Wow! Yeah. As I said, they seem to be a stand-up operation. Good luck!

    My son and his financé are in Osaka right now, then Tokyo next week.
     
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  7. niggyl

    niggyl Premium Member

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    @gduncanson - curious about their diagnosis about the coatings. If you think the haze is between the elements then is that not simply separation - which can be cured by an optomechanical technician. Of course if those folks were of the optomechanical persuasion and reviewed the element under a microscope then back into my box :) That said, I'd be doing whatever I could to get that lens back up. They're legendary for a very good reason. Good luck either way :)
     
  8. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    @niggyl, input always appreciated. I didn't mention it earlier b/c I didn't think it was important--the senior person I spoke to at Nippon said "there wasn't separation, but that a fix would be to replace the glass", which returns us to the comments above. To round out the rest of what he said--"there most likely was a little bit of fungus which typically grows very slowly at first, unnoticeably in most instances and then it matures and can grow very quickly becoming a problem in a very short period of time". When I bought the lens, the seller discounted it to me because he said there was a tiny bit of fungus along the outer edge, I couldn't see it and the lens was crystal clear up until last Fall when I first noticed it was a little hazy. It was either a very good guess on his part or he knew his business. It doesn't look like the spidery tendrils I normally associate with fungus eating it's way across the glass surface. Anyhow--I enjoy old lenses so I have other tele's

    If you think I should consider another option, let me know, Geoff
     
  9. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    Is at an "MM" version? As far as I know, Contax will still work on MM's. Could be worth an email or call to see if they have a new element you could buy...
     
  10. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    It is an MMJ, I knew Kyocera bought the rights, I knew Kyocera continued support for some lenses after they closed their camera operations, but I didn't realize it extended to the Contax line. Another great tip--that would be amazing if it worked out. Email to Kyocera Japan support sent.
     
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  11. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    I've owned quite a few C/Y lenses over the last 3 years, and still do. When I get "into" something, part of the fun is researching and learning everything I can about it!

    The Contax UK web site says all repairs have ceased at Kyocera Japan, and to direct inquiries here: frazer@alphaodl.co.uk

    The Contax UK web site also has specs for every Contax lens ever made, which can come in handy when looking for a C/Y lens! Please login or register to view links
     
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  12. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    Here is the response from Frazer. I feel like whether the bread crumb trail leads to a fixed lens or not, theres something to learn in the journey and I'll update any general knowledge here.

    Screenshot_20180812-080110.png
     
  13. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    Interesting. I'm a big do-it-yourselfer. If the haze can be polished off, I'd probably try taking some very low-abrasive polishing cream - maybe a mild toothpaste like Tom's - and try to buff it! haha
     
  14. gduncanson

    gduncanson battery sherpa

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    Info sharing: B&H says they do not repair, and could recommend a place and then cryptically said "there is a place in your neck of the woods, Connecticut Massachusetts, just Google it"

    Zeiss replied to my query with this.

    Screenshot_20180816-064437.png
     
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  15. Activatedfx

    Activatedfx Premium Member

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    I feel like a feature film chronicling your journey will be in order once the mystery is solved...
     
  16. George S.

    George S. Premium Member

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    I can't say where or what the haze is, if it's between two cemented elements, then it's the adhesive that went bad, IMO, that's a less likely scenario than it being some type of fungus. I do know that repairmen use Pond's cold cream to remove fungus and polish the lens elements.
     
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  17. fks

    fks Premium Member

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    I have something similiar with my 50mm 1.7 AEJ. Decided just to live with it since the lens was relatively cheap, and it still shoots nice photos (haven't shot into the light much though).
     

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