Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-S 50/1.4 helicoid grease

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by dominik_jesenic, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. I'm repairing old Nikkor-S 50/1.4, it's first time I'm working with helicoids. I cleaned it all up, I even managed to get rid of all the fungus. I bought some graphite grease for the helicoid, but it was too damp, o I've decided to clean it all again and I reassembled it without grease for now. But the focus ring is still kinda hard to turn, compared to my Nikkor-S 35/2.8. Is there a grease that would loosen it up even more than it is now, without a grease?
  2. Had missed this earlier.
    Probably best that you cleaned it out.
    consider a little graphite and camera oil -- VERY Little
    Almost everybody over does the LUBE part
  3. When I have lubed helicoids in the past(which reminds me-I have a 135 f/2 I need to get back together) I've used silicon dielectric grease from the auto parts store.

    As a silicon grease, it tends to hold its viscosity across temperatures fairly well and-more importantly-doesn't run and migrate when it gets hot.

    I had experimented with Dow-Corning silicon high vacuum grease(a common lab item) but found it to be too viscous. The dielectric greases seem to provide just about the right balance between dampening and lubricating.
  4. It sounds like one of 2 things.
    • You did not get ALL the old grease out.
    • Something is bent, maybe from a drop, and you have mechanical binding.
    Since you have the lens apart, you need to CLEAN the threads WELL. Not just wipe it. You need to get ALL traces of the old grease out. This means getting into the corners of the threads to clean it out. I used a sharp wooden toothpick to clean the corners.
  5. Well, I certainly wouldn't run one dry! Too apt to seize up forever. I could suggest 37 varieties of grease that would only confuse the issue, but instead offer an observation. Original Nikon greases didn't offer much, if any, damping. They also had no real tendency to drift- focus stayed where you put it. Grease is a mixture of base oils and a "soap" of various types. It's the oil that does the actual lubrication. Nikon grease had a fibrous feel to it, isolating any metal-to-metal contact, but imparting its own texture. Silicone (not silicon) grease is good if it doesn't creep, and many silicones have a tendency to do that. Dow, Nye and other higher tech products are good. Almost anything from the auto parts store is bad. Some will turn almost epoxy-like years down the road. OK, I'll suggest something specific. Try just a couple drops of Superlube 51004, a synthetic with a bit of Teflon. I use that in Micro-Nikkors where grease drag is a huge issue. They also have a light grease if you need something heavier.
  6. Out of my area of expertise, but I'd at least look at white lithium grease. It's inexpensive, stable, and compatible with metals and plastics (insofar as one can generalize) about plastic.

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