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How to remove M adapter from old Elmar?


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Suggestions will be appreciated: yesterday at a Leica dealer we performed lens tests of 1930's Summar and Elmar lenses, using both Leica (M2 50mm) and Metabones M adapters, with an M10 camera.

Unfortunately the old nickel Elmar is stuck (I hope not permanently?) on the modern (chrome) Metabones adapter. The lens base and adapter seem to be bonded together, perhaps by molecular bonding of dissimilar metals.

I don't want to damage the lens (infinity stop, and end-rotation pin) with forceful unscrewing when I hold the (sharp, dangerous) adapter in a strong leather glove.

As a last resort, I could apply a tiny amount of penetrating oil and try to keep it away from the optics.

Any other tricks from people who have experienced the same problem?

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When unscrewing bonded nuts and bolts generally, if penetrating oil is not working, or not advisable (in the case of a camera lens or food product) a very effective approach is to gently tap on the nut (the Metabones adaptor in this case) to “break” the bond.

 

Something like the back of a spoon, or other metal object shaped to avoid hitting the rear element, will work. Gentle tapping all around the rim of the adaptor is the best approach.

 

As an aside, this also works very well for stuck jam, honey, pickle jars, etc.

 

Good luck!

 

J

Edited by Mute-on
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Lock the lens on your M10 and turn, you did try that didn't you? You then remove the adapter from the body with an old style lens cap that has three short lugs moulded on the end, these fit into the cutouts in the adapter, engage and turn.

 

This is my usual method and it always works for me, but I assume, based on the description above, that this lens and adapter are effectively welded together and need to be eased apart. The penetrating oil may work if you cover the rear element. Any CLA person, if there is one nearby, should be able to prise the two items apart, as this is a common issue with older cameras.

 

William

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Regarding using the reversed lens cap etc. ... I should have mentioned that the shallow locking cutout on the Metabones adapter, easily jumps out of the locking pin on the five M bodies we tried at the dealer. So the adapter will not stay locked on the body.

The genuine Leica M adapter has a deeper locking cutout ("valley"), so it stays locked on an M body, enabling the classic process of first unscrewing the lens from the adapter, and then using the reversed lens rear cap with prongs, to unlock the adapter from the body.

So ... you get what you pay for, and that Metabones adapter is not a good match for real Leica bodies and lenses. Never again shall it touch my fine old nickel Elmar, should I get it removed.

I will keep you posted on progress.

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So ... you get what you pay for, and that Metabones adapter is not a good match for real Leica bodies and lenses. Never again shall it touch my fine old nickel Elmar, should I get it removed.

I will keep you posted on progress.

 

You need a cheap Chinese adapter, they work. For your current problem look up 'strap wrench' on the internet. You can possibly jury rig your own from bits and pieces. Or 'constrictor strap wrench' for opening jars (eBay-Hand Tools). Alternatively think about trying a filter removal wrench (eBay-Cameras). One very last thought, older M cameras have a longer lens catch pin that may get more purchase on the adapter, if you have an alternative to the M10 you could possibly try mounting your Elmar on another camera to try unscrewing it.

Edited by 250swb
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If you don’t care to save the Metabones adaptor, just get some Vise-Grips onto it and twist off. Then throw it in the bin where it belongs and buy a Leica adaptor. You are using it on a Leica, after all ....

Edited by Mute-on
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If you don’t care to save the Metabones adaptor, just get some Vise-Grips onto it and twist off. Then throw it in the bin where it belongs and buy a Leica adaptor. You are using it on a Leica, after all ....

 

Won't vise grips simply squeeze the sides of the thin adapter in and make it grip even more? Its the same as trying to get a stuck filter off a lens, grip it tightly in your hand and you are distorting the metal so it grips even tighter, try doing it with finger tips or by pressing down on a mouse mat which applies even pressure around the rim and it will come off easily.

Edited by 250swb
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Suggestions will be appreciated: yesterday at a Leica dealer we performed lens tests of 1930's Summar and Elmar lenses, using both Leica (M2 50mm) and Metabones M adapters, with an M10 camera.

Unfortunately the old nickel Elmar is stuck (I hope not permanently?) on the modern (chrome) Metabones adapter. The lens base and adapter seem to be bonded together, perhaps by molecular bonding of dissimilar metals.

I don't want to damage the lens (infinity stop, and end-rotation pin) with forceful unscrewing when I hold the (sharp, dangerous) adapter in a strong leather glove.

As a last resort, I could apply a tiny amount of penetrating oil and try to keep it away from the optics.

Any other tricks from people who have experienced the same problem?

You could try to heat the assembly a bit (not over 60ºC to spare the oil) to get expansion to free the ring.

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Won't vise grips simply squeeze the sides of the thin adapter in and make it grip even more? Its the same as trying to get a stuck filter off a lens, grip it tightly in your hand and you are distorting the metal so it grips even tighter, try doing it with finger tips or by pressing down on a mouse mat which applies even pressure around the rim and it will come off easily.

Not what I envisioned. Apologies for not being clearer.

 

The Vise-Grips can be used to gently but securely grasp the adaptor between the mounting flanges so that it will not rotate when twisting the lens against the adaptor.

 

The pressure exerted by Vise-Grips can actually be moderated to a very fine degree using the threaded adjuster. However, this approach may not be advisable for everyone.

 

Good luck to OP!

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...Any CLA person, if there is one nearby, should be able to prise the two items apart, as this is a common issue with older cameras.

 

William

Couldn't get a ltm-M genuine Leitz adaptor purchased from ebay off my M after trying all mentioned here.

A good CLA person solved the problem I put myself into.

Imo one should buy ANY such an adaptor only face to face with the seller of the adaptor, after it was tested on the seller's camera and the seller's lens. Ideally the seller having more than one lens and more than one M-camera for the buyer to chose from for the test. The M body should be as recent as possible with a like new bajonet mount, rather then a worn out one.

Being stuck with a minimally deformed adaptor ruins your day and if you proceed too hastily your gear, too. The offer of the seller to inspect the flatness by placing the adaptor on a glass surface is near worthless. The best way to solve a problem is to figure out before how not to get into one - that was my unpleasant conclusion.

Edited by tri
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Removing an adapter from the back of a lens is mostly difficult because the adapter is difficult to hold. Attaching a rear lens cap or even a camera to the adaptor might change things considerably. Your fingers gain purpose and the better leverage might make it possible to unmount the lens from the adapter. Removing the empty adapter from the camera or the lens cap will become the next exercise.

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Hooray, the problem is solved and my nickel Elmar is forever separated from the chrome Metabones M adapter flange. It took a combination of a productive suggestion from contributor “Mute-on“ (20 minutes of firm tapping with the back of a heavy metal spoon, moving around the protruding edge of the stuck adapter), common sense (for better access and stability, mounting the adapter with stuck lens on an M body, but NOT locked), and a little ingenuity and tool fabrication.

Tapping the adapter edge with a spoon must have been effective, and I am sure it did 75% of the job, breaking the “sticktion” bond between the dissimilar metal surfaces. The adapter flange has a larger diameter than the lens mount base, so the lens mount does not get damaged by repeated tapping with a hard spoon. I assume the “hammer” shocks do not hurt the lens elements in the barrel, which has a tiny bit of free play when unlocked and sliding in its mount.

Even with gloves on to protect my fingers from the sharp shapes under the adapter, and using fingernails to try and grip the infinity stop and rotation limit pin, I could not get a good grip on either the lens base or the adapter flange. Too much force will bend or even break off the infinity button or the stop pin. And the pressure of both hands probably distorts the system, making unscrewing the stuck parts difficult.

So I decided to stabilise and de-stress the system, and as contributor “DAU” suggested, I mounted the adapter with lens on my M3 body, BUT I did NOT twist it all the way to lock it on the body. Almost locked was good enough to work with. I did not want to have another problem with the adapter stuck on the body.

Then I saw (see picture attached) that I could push the adapter flange clockwise if I could engage its small half-moon cutout, and at the same time I could tap the protruding edge of the lens infinity lock tab with a screwdriver, to rotate it counter-clockwise. I used a file to make a notch in a strong plastic spoon handle, as shown, to push and hold the cutout of the adapter flange, using my left fingers. With the other hand, a couple of firm taps with a large screwdriver tip moved the lens base counter-clockwise, and voilà the lens finally unscrewed from the adapter.

Success at last! Without resorting to penetrating oil or damaging anything. Gentle persuasion worked.

My suggestion: in future, to avoid screwing the lens onto the adapter too hard, I will be smarter:

  • First, mount the (prefer genuine Leica!) M adapter on the M body, just locking it into place with your fingers (some adapters rotate and lock easily, others need more force to lock in place, and a very few will not rotate enough to lock – don’t use them);
  • Then, screw the lens into the adapter, just far enough to be tight, but not over-tight.

I believe that using the screwmount lens already mounted on an adapter, to lock the adapter on the M body, can often over-tighten the lens on the adapter. It is better to install the adapter first, and then screw on the lens, to avoid the “lens stuck on adapter” problem. Remove in reverse order.

And if firm finger pressure does not rotate an adapter enough to lock it on an M body, don’t force it, it will cause removal problems later. Use another adapter with better dimensional standards.

 

 

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I’m thrilled to hear the Elmar is released from its unwanted bond of unholy union with the Metabones adaptor.

 

I sincerely hope my suggestion of gentle tapping did not result in any damage, though I would think this unlikely.

 

I hope you and your Elmar enjoy the new found freedom!

 

Cheers

 

J

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Thank you everyone for helpful suggestions, and I wrote the long explanation as a "tech tip" for others to use in future.

Now I will re-unite my old Elmar with its 1932 Type D camera; that combination takes very good pictures, surprising quality for an 85 years old outfit. An example is shown below.

 

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It is a very good argument for putting a smear of silicone grease on mount, adapters and filter rings, filter step up adapters. The very useful Heavy2Stars adapters and rings are notorious for sticking and B+W filters are close behind. 

 

Wilson

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry to be late in the party but for those interested, suffice it to press gently the adapter onto a (clean) rubber shoe sole, turn the lens anti clockwise... et voilà... or not but works fine for my own Metabone and other adapters. Same trick to unstick filters and 12504 hood halves BTW.

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