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Scotto

Haze / Fungus Summicron

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I have a non-collapsible 50mm Summicron M lens that I recently discovered had a case of the white haze. The haze seems to be in the shape of a ring corresponding to closing down the lens to f2.8, with the cloudiness filling to the edges. This lens already had a liberal amount of 'cleaning marks' on the front element, but I liked the way it rendered. It was a little soft, but in a way that was almost flattering when shooting people. I had checked this lens ~9 months ago and don't remember seeing anything. There also seems to be the beginnings of haze on other elements inside the lens. I haven't done any tests yet, and I really am not equipped to do that kind of stuff. So some questions:

 

How fast can this happen?

Why did the haze form the way that it did?

Can it be stopped, once it's started?

Can it be fixed?

Would the haze likely not affect images if I stopped down 2.8 or more?

Is there group therapy available for people who are watching a lens they love die?

 

Any help is appreciated.

 

@ f2 (below)

 

@ f2.8 (below)

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That looks like separation to me. Lens elements that were glued together are literally coming apart. If the front element is badly marked then it's probably not worth repairing. You might be able to continue to use it as a 'special effect' lens for some time, especially stopped down.

Edited by earleygallery

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Thanks James! I'm trying to do a little more research on this and I'm becoming convinced that you're correct about it being separation.

 

I discovered the problem when hanging up some negatives I've just developed. Some of them seemed fuzzy and soft. It turns out that the roll wasn't exposed through this lens and the negs were actually sharp, but with shallow DOF:o. I'll have to do some tests to see how this lens is really performing.

 

I'm still wondering about the circular shape and cause of it. Is this just a matter of age alone or age and getting tossed around? Can/is it likely to get worse?

 

It looks like I'm going to have to find a replacement. I've been looking at Sherry Krauter's site and see that she has a Summilux reasonably priced. She also has a collapsible and rigid summicrons at seemingly good prices. I've always been interested in a collapsible lens but have never used one. Do people who have them, actually collapse them or is that a hassle in practice? Does the camera rest forward if it is collapsed?

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There are shops which specialize in recementing separated lens elements. While this is expensive, it might be worth checking out before consigning your "old friend" to the curio cabinet or even worse, to the dustbin. You might inquire at Focal Point (Welcome to Focal Point - Lens Repair, Lens Cleaning, Camera Repair) or do a Google search to find others who specialize in this service.

 

Regards, Jim

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That looks like separation to me. Lens elements that were glued together are literally coming apart. If the front element is badly marked then it's probably not worth repairing. You might be able to continue to use it as a 'special effect' lens for some time, especially stopped down.

 

My 3.5/5cm Elmar was sorted out by Malcolm Taylor, including the cost of recementing the rear pair, for much less than a Summicron 50 is worth, give hime a try.

 

He actually does this in batches I understand, so in my case he swopped the rear pair for a set he had done before, having checked curvatures etc. Its now very good.

 

Gerry

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The OP says that the front element has a "liberal amount of cleaning marks" as well as the separation which is why I suggested replacement. Even if re-cemented the lens is still going to have very little value if it's badly marked, better to put the money towards a replacemt IMHO, and there'll always be someone who will buy the old lens on ebay.

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Thanks James! I'm trying to do a little more research on this and I'm becoming convinced that you're correct about it being separation.

 

I'm still wondering about the circular shape and cause of it. Is this just a matter of age alone or age and getting tossed around? Can/is it likely to get worse?

 

It looks like I'm going to have to find a replacement. I've been looking at Sherry Krauter's site and see that she has a Summilux reasonably priced. She also has a collapsible and rigid summicrons at seemingly good prices. I've always been interested in a collapsible lens but have never used one. Do people who have them, actually collapse them or is that a hassle in practice? Does the camera rest forward if it is collapsed?

 

Separation is basically due to age but I'm guessing that the conditions the lens has been used in over the years will pay a part in it. Yes, it will get worse over time, but who knows how long? Look into the cost of repair by all means, if you want it as a 'soft focus portrait' lens, given the cleaning marks, but you could continue to use it as-is for some time too.

 

As for the cleaning marks it depends how bad they are - a lens repairer may be able to do something with them, but the costs will ramp up so I still think you'd be better off buying a replacement.

 

I use several collapsible lenses, Summars and Elmars. The advantage is a very compact camera/lens to carry around or pack when travelling. It's no hassle in practice, takes a second to extend/collapse and I only do that when I'm putting the camera away - there's no law that says you must collapse a collapsible lens.

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Scotto,

 

The cleaning marks are likely to have affected the lens coating rather than the front element - if not, then the wrong grade of sandpaper has been used for cleaning <joke:rolleyes:>. Malcolm is one of the few who is able to re-coat lens elements so in addition to re-cementing he may be able to repair the cleaning marks depending on their extent and if he has the coating for this particular Summicron.

 

Pete.

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