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Auto Super Paragon PMC 200mm f3.3...

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by FujiSigmaNolta, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    I got this lens off Ebay,£10, it looks great and all with a nice almost new looking classic pouch...had a look inside and it's all smudged with some liquid marks :( .
    How easy and or expensive would be to have it clean?
    Can I just dump a load of 95% ethyl alcohol in it, swish it around and dry it off with a hairdryer? I like to look and feel of the lens plus it looked as if it was gonna be a corker of a lens.... I was gonna use it on my SD10 and Fujifilm S3...I haven't tested it yet, but it's looking more door stop now :(
  2. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    That will have the effect of redistributing whatever muck, grease, and dirt is there onto any surface that the alcohol sloshes over. Don't do it. If the lens really needs cleaning then dismantle it as far as possible and physically remove the muck with a soft, lint-free cloth - using a solvent like ethyl alcohol on the cloth should be okay though.
  3. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Actually I didn't think of that- that it will just spread the muck around. I am not sure if I could open it, I'll try. But I think I am gonna pop out tomorrow with it and take some test shots. But at first glance it looks as if some photos may come out with a bit of fogging or a kind of faux soft focus (I was buying it for sharpness! :D)
  4. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Hi Huw,

    Right, just took a few test shots, but the weather isn't brilliant to make any precise judgments (I am using it with my Sigma SD10, so it's ISO100-400 useable, it's the only one I have a decent M42 adapter that doesn't lose infinity, but it does seem that the lens is suffering from the muck that's inside (a bit of fogging).

    The muck is in the second element just behind the first front element. How can I open the lens? It doesn't seem different from any other M42 lens in terms of how it's constructed. What kind of tools do you think I would need?

  5. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Generally front elements are held in place by ring nuts - they will normally be slotted to take a suitable spanner, or they might have holes instead, but for the same purpose. You can get special tools for undoing these, but they would cost more than the lens did. So I'd just try a small jeweller's screwdriver and work alternately at either side to loosen the nut until it will unscrew freely. After that you would basically have to play it by ear.

    Worth a try though, for a lens that only cost a tenner. But bear in mind that the 200/3.3 type was an inexpensive tele from the days when special low-dispersion optical glasses were virtually unknown, and it will probably have a ton of uncorrected chromatic aberration. I had a Makinon version pass through my hands a few years ago, but I didn't actually try it out. I do remember someone I knew at school turning up to a sports day with one on a Zenith E, HP4, and a yellow filter. He seemed quite happy with it, but I can imagine that might be the best way to use it.
  6. nspur

    nspur Well-Known Member

    You may be able to use a pair of scissors to just loosen the ring that's holding the front element in place and then use a small screwdriver to push it round until it comes off. As for cleaning, I often use Brasso wadding for fungus or isopropyl alcohol for spots. I've got a Paragon 70-220mm f4, bought off eBay for a fiver, and that's quite a good lens but very heavy.
  7. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your tip, but yesterday I followed Huw's advice and opened it with a couple of screwdrivers, cleaned it...dare I say it...with Windolene...(I will give it another clean when I get the ethyl alcohol) gave it a good clean and took some shots with it today. I am very happy with the lens, it is very good wide open albeit for my own focussing errors. I have some samples from today here. most were taken with the lens wide open (f3.3) and the best one of the set, the one I think I had the focus totally spot on is this one. . Not great composition but the sharpness I wanted i there. I still think it needs a clean still.

    Thanks Huw!
  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Looks like you got a bit of a bargain...
  9. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    I can remember the Super Paragon, first time round, always thought they were OK. It looks like it's quite a sharp lens and as you are only using the centre of its original field, you get less fall off than film users of old would have got.
  10. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    It's a long-focus lens - focal length nearly five times the required image circle diameter for 135 format, so fall-off would be insignificant anyway.
  11. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Glad it has turned out so well - contrast looks excellent, which is the great thing about long primes with simple construction.

    Windolene, eh? that's a first for me! :) But, I guess, why not? Probably as you say, though, worth giving everything a good going over with the ethyl alcohol when you get the chance.

    Anyway, sounds like a success story - not bad for a tenner. :)
  12. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    It does occasionally get some strange reflections and the thing had a strange acid smell when I opened it.

    You should have heard all the swearing while I was trying to put the elements back and in the right order.Thanks again!
  13. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Acetic acid - vinegar, basically - is a common ingredient of glass cleaner. It helps to cut through grease and leave a smear-free finish. Not normally used on camera lenses though. :D

    Generally speaking you want to keep acids away from coated optical glass, because it can damage the coating. But it's only a weak solution in something like wondow-cleaner, and if you removed it quickly enough I dare say there would be no great problem. Still, make sure you remove any lingering traces of it when you get the ethyl alcohol.
  14. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    I will do, thanks. It is a good lens and now I am about to see what a Hanimex 135 f3.5 can do ( I lost the auction for a, Pentacon 135 f2.8, I used to have one it was great on film one for a Chinon 135 f2.8 and a Super Takumar M42! 135 f2.8, but I'll be back for a M42 Takumar, I never seen a M42 Takumar I though they were all PK).

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