PDA

View Full Version : Not digital, but still a lens problem - aperture blades are stuck - advice needed



Sir Les
01-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Sorry to discuss a non-digital lens, but I'm hoping someone can advise me. I have a very nice 28mm wide-angle lens from the days when I was shooting 35mm film in my Minolta XG-2. It's an ordinary manual lens, not auto-focus. It's been sitting in my camera bag for ages. The other day, for no particular reason, I took it out to have a look at it and found that the aperture blades were stuck in the wide-open position. Usually you can close them by moving the little spring-loaded lever at the back of the lens, but now all that happens is that the lever moves as usual but not the blades. I've tried gently banging the lens on my palm, but no dice. Has anyone any suggestions how to fix this, short of taking it to a camera repair shop?

Tim Wilson
12-21-2012, 09:35 PM
Sorry to discuss a non-digital lens, but I'm hoping someone can advise me. I have a very nice 28mm wide-angle lens from the days when I was shooting 35mm film in my Minolta XG-2. It's an ordinary manual lens, not auto-focus. It's been sitting in my camera bag for ages. The other day, for no particular reason, I took it out to have a look at it and found that the aperture blades were stuck in the wide-open position. Usually you can close them by moving the little spring-loaded lever at the back of the lens, but now all that happens is that the lever moves as usual but not the blades. I've tried gently banging the lens on my palm, but no dice. Has anyone any suggestions how to fix this, short of taking it to a camera repair shop?

This problem can overtake a lens for different reasons. In the fullness of time corrosion, for example, can find its way onto the blades. Also, depending on storage conditions and helicoid lube, there can be migration of the lube onto the blades owing to evaporation. This is not a problem, though, with modern, proper, helicoid lubricants.

I'm sorry I've not worked on your particular lens. If it has eccentricities, I'm not aware. But speaking in general, and taking into consideration it's a normal lens and not a zoom, tear down and reassembly should be straightforward. This subject of course to your abilities and available tools. Once iris access is gained, a Q-tip, a bit of lighter fluid, and a gentle hand will clean the blades straightaway. Gaining that access might, or might not, be within your capability. I would not hesitate to have a go if you're up for the challenge.

Because moisture is an enemy of lenses, be certain to store yours only in presence of silica gel. Also, avoid if at all possible storing your lenses in a warm location. This counsel applies to all sorts of lenses, not just the older MF beauties.

Sir Les
12-22-2012, 10:07 PM
Hi Tim, thanks very much for replying. After having a look at some 'how to clean aperture blades' articles on the web, I think I'll leave it to the professionals -- or just forget about it altogether. It's a shame really as although I never use my 35mm film gear, it pains me to see it going to waste -- but I don't want to sell it either, as I'll get peanuts for it. I guess many photographers who started in the days of film are facing the same problem.