35/1.7 Ultron - IT'S FIXED!!!!!~

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by charles barcellona (www.blueshottub.com), Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Ladies and Genglemen, Honored Memebers, and Fondlers of all ages....

    As some longtime followers of this forum may recall, some 35mm f/1.7
    Cosina-Voigtlander Ulton's have a nasty habit of becoming VERY loose,
    in fact becoming a 2 piece lens.

    Up until 5 minutes ago, I had one of these (and I didn't get rid of
    the lens either!).

    Basically there are three internal screws that hold the front lens
    optical section to the rear portion, with the aperture mechanism
    sandwhiched between them. Those screws become loose, or come out

    I took it partially apart, and upon fear of going in further, backed
    off before I got to the screws that needed tightening.

    I asked Steve Gandy about repair - His curt response: Common problem,
    $175 to make right.

    I asked DAG about repair, and he said he wasn't familiar with the lens
    (at that time at least, about 8 months ago), and said it would be $100

    Let me tell you folks.... I dont have the eyes I once had, but still
    hands to do surface mount repair in my shop (using magnifiers of
    course). If you have one of these lenses, you can fix it pretty
    easily, once you know how.

    Here's how. Read the instructions fully before doing this or you may
    lose the detent ball for the aperture ring. Tools needed are a piece
    of rubber tape or rolled up framers tape or other tacky material, and
    a Craftsman 45727 precision screwdriver.

    Remove hood and filter if present.

    Use some rubber to "grab" the nameplate ring and spin it off counter

    Undo the three screws that hold the filter holder ring on. BE CAREFUL
    AT THIS POINT and DO NOT REMOVE the aperture ring accidentally.

    Now... over a felt or velvet placemat - carefully ease the aperture
    ring off the front. The ball will be at the 4 o'clock position as
    viewed from the front of the lens. Make sure you watch where that
    ball goes. You can get a spare, but don't lose it and you won't need
    to worry about it. Be careful also that you don't lose the spring in
    the hole. Its a greased spring, and is not likely to get lost, unless
    you are careless with the next part you're about to remove.

    Next, look for the three larger holes in the ring surrounding the
    front element. Deep in those holes are screws (same screwdriver).
    The screws are held with locking compound. You'll need to make sure
    the screwdriver is seated well, and is not slipping, and... ease each
    of those three screws out.

    Lift off that ring, remembering to take some care so that the spring
    is not lost, and you'll see the heads of the screws that are loose.
    Tighten those, using a bit of locking compount (NOT LOCKTITE!!). I've
    got some special stuff we use on circuit boards that is disolvable
    easily, but nailpolish, or a small dab of Testors enamel will do well.

    Reassemble in reverse order, making sure when you put the inner ring
    back on, you get the hole for the ball, with the spring in it, at
    approximately 4 o'clock. The remaining locking compound on the screws
    will make them a snug fit when you seat them home. Thats a good
    thing, just don't let the screwdriver slip. When you ease the
    aperture ring back on, put the ball in the hole and lower the detent
    side of the ring over the ball first so its captive, then lower the
    other side of the ring while giving a gentle twist to find and engage
    the aperture arm. Once that's on, breath easy you're home. Put on
    the filter retainer ring (no alignment there), the nameplate and
    you're finished. Clean the front element, replace the filter and put
    the hood on... then go shoot.

    You don't really remove any optics, so there's no re-alignment to be
    done. The optics section sits flange on flange, so it goes where it
    goes, and that's that.

    People... I am now VERY thankful this holiday weekend. Whole
    operation took 15 minutes. Kinda ticks me off that Gandy, knowing how
    to fix it, wanted so much for so simple an operation.

    God bless you all!~

    (I take no responsibity if you mess up your already broken lens).
  2. Why is it when you told your wife you made $175 today, she just didn't see it?
  3. Charles, thank you for this instructive thread.

    I think if I had to do it, I mean if someone put a gun to my head, I could do it by carefully following your lead.

    I have a piece of advice for anyone who does not own this lens. Don't buy it. Optically it is a very nice lens. But you are better off not getting it because of its construction problems.

    Funny that Charles's piece comes the morning after I was very ticked off with Cosina. In October the rear grip of my R2-C started to come off. I gave it to the store where I bought the R2-C to send to Cosina. A month and a half went by. I got it back yesterday and by the evening the problem was back. I tried a rubber cement type of bond. It was okay. I tried another bond, a very tough one, and it acted as a solvant. Finally I took the rubber grip off and saw that it was apparently attached via double-side tape. I had some wide double-side tape and in desperation used it. Presto, problem seems solved for now. I had used some of the rubber cement-like bond on the front grip, just starting to come off, and after an over-night it seemed to have done its job.

    The build quality of C/V stuff is quite uneven. The grip material for the Bessa T and L bodies is spot on. The R2 rubber grips are for the birds.

    As far as I know the 35/1.7 is unique among C/V lenses in its terrible build quality.

    I have a disfunctional Triggerwinder and a 21mm external finder with a frame that tilts no matter what you do.

    PS: The horrid rubber grips and the painting-pealing back door aside, I love my R2-C. Especially after I scewed down the three screws on the Contax mount. Now it takes Russian Kiev lenses. In terms of ease of mounting and dismounting Contax and Kiev 50mm lenses it is better than the original Contaxt mount. I use a Contax Sonar 50/2 that works like a charm on it, a Sonar 85/2 (very cheap compared to Nikon S 85/2s) and a C/V 25/4 and 35/2.5.

    PPS: The hassle of CV stuff. You end up doing home repairs, like it or not. Charles deserves a medal for his work.
  4. I think once those screws are locked in place, it ought to hold.

    Hey... here's a tip on that 21mm finder. I had one of those too! (till I sold it). Yes, mine tilted.

    Take it apart. The etched frames are on the rear element, and it actually has a slight detent to position it. Problem is, its round, and the detent is shallow and it tends to rotate.

    I used a toothpick and a small drop of Weldwood contact cement to make it stay put. I mean it was a SMALL drop - DON'T over apply. More like a dab with the wetted end of the toothpick than a drop really.

    Thats it, close it up, keep it clean as you do and its fixed.

    I used mine for quite a while after "the fix", but ended up selling it because it kept falling off my Bessa-R.

    Speaking of which....that was "the worlds ugliest rangefinder" and lost a good deal of its paint in the year that I used it. Hopefully its getting some better use now (I sold it because the Ultron was inoperative....). Got the Ultron on a Zorki Leica counterfit now!
  5. Charles, fixing things is a matter of knowledge, not complexity.
    "A handyman fixes everything banging with a hammer and charges you for it. But the trick is, he knows where to hit with the hammer and we might pound it to death and it still won't work". So, I normally pay for someone that can fix it in 5 mins, whereas it might take me a day and then run into the risk of breaking it.
  6. Charles,

    Thanks for the tip. I've taken the finder apart several times and it always manages to tilt again. I just took it apart--worried the screws were stripped but no.

    Will report.

    By the way, put a thin layer of bond on the finder foot and smear. Works for me.
  7. Good work Charles - I've had various Leica and VC lenses apart in the past (and put them back together!!!) - it's all pretty simple stuff if you use the right tools and know how things work.
  8. I really liked the optics of the Ultron for B&W especially. Pleasing OOF, smooth tones. It also handles well on a body - its quite a bit bigger than the 35mm Summicron-Asph. Nice thing is it takes the Leica 12538 hood (past current 35 & 50 Summicrons). Yes, I red dotted it this morning. Sorry for the bad image - the only thing I have digital is a Agfa-Smile (340x170)
  9. Thanks again for the inspiration, Charles.

    I fixed the CV 21mm finder again today. I applied a little glue to the edges where the outer element with the 21mm frame. Hoping it holds this time.

  10. I was genuinely inspired by CV on learning of them at Gandy's site: broad product line, practical features, attractive designs. The clincher was pricing - cheap compared to Leica.

    Then I began to hear of the heavy wear on camera finish, and rickety construction. That's when I decided that Cosina (as usual) could not be trusted to ship a robust body, even for $500. So I bought an M instead.

    Now I'm looking for a starter optic, and know about CV lenses coming apart. Yet that price is so alluring! It's clear from Charles' report - and Gandy's response - that a CV lens is false economy. I will continue to entertain Konica and Minolta options, in addition to the Summaron 35.
  11. I've been told that the Worlds Uglies Rangefiner (which I sold to Jeff, and he resold) is up for a hammertone painjob. The camera never failed me, but its finish... thats another story.

    Similarly, the 21mm C/V lens I had was real charmer, I just decided that external finders don't get along well with how I like to shoot.

    I might be a sucker for punishment... but I've had a desire for a 75mm lens, something smaller and slower than the 75'lux. Wish Leica would have made a 35-50-70 tri-elmar, but that 75C/2.5 CV might be something I'd consider. I might end up eating those words if I actually get one though.
  12. All my greatest thanks to you Charles. I just followed your advise, and as toll... after 15 min. my broken lens is again as new.

    I had no parts at all falling out, no ball no spring. The biggest task whas getting the nameplate of. I found that a 5mm eletric rubber wire folded inside the front did a easy and safe job.

    Thank again.
  13. I am trying to fix my 35mm ultron, but I cannot get the front ring (nameplate ring) to come off. Where exactly can I grip it from? I have used everything rubber I can find and I even drilled a small hole to use to twist the ring off with an pin. No luck...
  14. Great article! It worked for me!! Although an old post one one wee tip….to get the front rim off use a rubber stopper, they can be found at beer/wine making stores and come in assorted sizes, they're usually a buck.
    Indeed the little ball bearing/detent is TINY! maybe a single MM so its easy to lose, it took me about eight tries to finally seat the aperture ring with the bearing in place so don't give up hope.
    Again, thanks for finding a solution to the puzzle, my 35CV is perfect again!! :)

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