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180mm Lens Focus Questions


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I just picked up a used 180mm lens. It doesn't focus very well in the low light so I went outside to test. It's slow, to be expected, but sometimes it just goes a bit and then stops. I have to keep pressing to focus and it makes tiny movements. If I help it a bit manually, then it does better. Is this normal?

Thanks,

Joel

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1joel1,  I agree with John's post above.  My 70 and 180 had similar symptoms before the motors failed.  The good news, the lens will focus manually if the motor dies.  Second, if you decide to get the AF motor replaced, Leica will replace the motor and do a complete CLA.  The lens will come back looking and running great.   I have never had a new AF motor fail once replaced.  r/ Mark

Edited by LeicaR10
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Not everyone who has had AF failures (various lenses) were able to focus manually thereafter.  Some here reported complete focus breakdown.  I would carry a backup for a critical shoot until the motor is replaced with the latest iteration.

Jeff

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  • 2 months later...

Is the 180mm prone to overexposing? Anything other than wide open it wildly overexposes. The AF motor is fine so maybe the aperture blades are stuck open?? As I can't set the aperture manually to visually see if all the f-stops close how else can I prove this to the seller? I guess it would be an easy fix at Wetzlar but it's the expense of getting it there that's annoying!

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19 minutes ago, Sarnian said:

Is the 180mm prone to overexposing? Anything other than wide open it wildly overexposes. The AF motor is fine so maybe the aperture blades are stuck open?? As I can't set the aperture manually to visually see if all the f-stops close how else can I prove this to the seller? I guess it would be an easy fix at Wetzlar but it's the expense of getting it there that's annoying!

There is the stop down lever, or you could just go to bulb or set a long exposure (over 15 seconds etc) and trip the shutter. It should stop the lens down. If it is still wide open, something is off.

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Okay, so... the stop down button doesn't work (at any aperture) and the lens just makes a *gritch* noise. Is this an easy or expensive fix?

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10 hours ago, Sarnian said:

Is the 180mm prone to overexposing? Anything other than wide open it wildly overexposes. The AF motor is fine so maybe the aperture blades are stuck open?? As I can't set the aperture manually to visually see if all the f-stops close how else can I prove this to the seller? I guess it would be an easy fix at Wetzlar but it's the expense of getting it there that's annoying!

Set the aperture to a value, say f4. Detach the lens while pressing the stop-down button on the lower left of the lens throat. This will keep the aperture af f4. Look through the lens to see the aperture opening. Do the same with the aperture set to eg f16. The aperture opening should now be almost closed. If not, the there is an issue with the aperture blades, implying a trip to Wetzlar/the seller. 

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3 hours ago, helged said:

Set the aperture to a value, say f4. Detach the lens while pressing the stop-down button on the lower left of the lens throat. This will keep the aperture af f4. Look through the lens to see the aperture opening. Do the same with the aperture set to eg f16. The aperture opening should now be almost closed. 

I just tried that... no difference. That's a shame as the test photos that I took at f3.5 are really sharp!

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41 minutes ago, Sarnian said:

I just tried that... no difference. That's a shame as the test photos that I took at f3.5 are really sharp!

Its a fantastic lens! In your case the aperture blades are stuck and/or don't receive the electronic signal from the doby, so it must be repaired, I'm afraid. 

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My 180 is probably the fastest and most accurate focusing S lens. I often start shooting with the S100 and when I get frustrated with the "confused" focusing of that lens, I tend to switch to the 180 to get some images that are in focus, for a change. No problems with overexposure, either. Interestingly, the 180 and the 45 are my only S lenses that are still on original AF motors.

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:20 PM, 1joel1 said:

I just picked up a used 180mm lens. It doesn't focus very well in the low light so I went outside to test. It's slow, to be expected, but sometimes it just goes a bit and then stops. I have to keep pressing to focus and it makes tiny movements. If I help it a bit manually, then it does better. Is this normal?

Thanks,

Joel

Joel, curious how that turned out.  I sent a 180mm in because the DOF readout on the S007 was wrong and didn't match where the focus was.  I.e., I could only focus to infinity, but not use a high f/stop and go from infinity back.  In any case, not your problem, but when I got the lens back it was incredible.  The focus mount moves effortlessly and the lens was just well CLA'd... 

 

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29 minutes ago, davidmknoble said:

Joel, curious how that turned out.  I sent a 180mm in because the DOF readout on the S007 was wrong and didn't match where the focus was.  I.e., I could only focus to infinity, but not use a high f/stop and go from infinity back.  In any case, not your problem, but when I got the lens back it was incredible.  The focus mount moves effortlessly and the lens was just well CLA'd... 

 

I am thinking about sending my 180mm for a CLA service (mine copy works fine but it has the original motor). Does your 180mm have the new motor? What's the cost for S-lens CLA service, if you don't mind sharing? Thank you.

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@ocean2059  good question.   I purchased the lens from the Leica Store Miami, used, and they took care of the CLA on the lens.  It already had a new motor, the issue was the manual focusing ring (and the first ring I've ever seen needing repair).

If your's works great and you can live without it for awhile, I would wait until you need a CLA.  That is the price difference on most of the lenses - does it already have the new motor or not.  Original motors were discounted for the price to get a new one.  That and I prefer the great service from the Leica stores and some of the other Leica dealers because they typically sell equipment that works well or get it repaired (presumably at a little bit of a discount) and then sell it...

Sorry not much help here.

 

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2 minutes ago, davidmknoble said:

@ocean2059  good question.   I purchased the lens from the Leica Store Miami, used, and they took care of the CLA on the lens.  It already had a new motor, the issue was the manual focusing ring (and the first ring I've ever seen needing repair).

If your's works great and you can live without it for awhile, I would wait until you need a CLA.  That is the price difference on most of the lenses - does it already have the new motor or not.  Original motors were discounted for the price to get a new one.  That and I prefer the great service from the Leica stores and some of the other Leica dealers because they typically sell equipment that works well or get it repaired (presumably at a little bit of a discount) and then sell it...

Sorry not much help here.

 

Really appreciated. Thank you. I will keep on using mine until it develops a problem. I live near Washington DC and the Leica store here provides excellent services for three of my S lenses for motor replacement. 

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