Storing lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by matt_veld, Nov 1, 2000.

  1. I know this is bordering on the ridiculous but I have noticed that when buying new Leica lenses that the apeture is always on smallest
    setting i.e. f/16 etc.

    <p>

    Do you think this is to relieve stress on the aperture blade springs?
    And if so should we be storing any seldom used lenses we may have the same way?

    <p>

    My wife thinks I'm mad and obsessive, I may as well confirm it with this question.
     
  2. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Let me be the first to admit: I'm mad and obsessive about my Leica
    equipment! Seriously, I've never heard of this being an issue, but
    maybe one of our resident Leica experts will kick in with some
    surprising wisdom on this subject.
     
  3. Thanks Terry for asking this question; I'm also curious about the
    correct way of storing leica lenses too, if there is indeed such a
    thing, and I'm watching this thread closely. OK, now where can I
    sign up for Obsessive-about-lens-storage Anonymous?
     
  4. Terry,

    <p>

    I think the lens storage theory--with the aperture blades closed to
    minimum f/stop--originated with the SLR type lenses that have
    spring-loaded, stop-down aperture mechanisms. I was told years ago
    that storing these SLR lenses at the minimum aperture releases the
    spring tension on the stop down mechanism, thereby prolonging the
    spring's life expectancy and maintaining proper tension. Leicas don't
    have this, so I would think that's not the reason.

    <p>

    It could be that the aperture blades tend to become coated with
    lubrication if stored at maximum aperture. I had an older Leica lens
    CLA'd and it came back with a trace of lubrication on the blades. If
    I stored it at maximum aperture (wide open), the lubrication seemed to
    build up on the blades, revealing itself as I closed down the lens.
    When I kept it at minimum aperture, the trace of lubrication on
    the blades seemed to disappear and dry out over time.

    <p>

    Just a thought, Sergio.
     
  5. You are all missing the fundamental flaw in this question.
    NEVER store Leica lenses! Use them! :) :) :)

    <p>

    Seriously though, the main concern when storing camera
    equipment is humidity, and by extention, fungus. If you are
    fortunate to live in a dry climate like Tony and I do, then relax a
    little. If you live in a more humid climate, then building a dry
    cabinet would be a good idea.

    <p>

    A simple dry cabinet is an box with a light bulb inside and turned
    on all the time. Make sure that the box is made of
    non-combustible materials and that the temperature is warm but
    not hot. There is some thinking that exposing the lenses (and
    finders) to light can help against fungus formation so
    incorporating some clear panels in your dry cabinet would be a
    good idea.

    <p>

    Now that humidity is dealt with, it is important to exercise Leica
    camera gear at least every three months or less. Work it through
    all shutter speeds, more all the controls that can move such as
    aperture, focusing rings, frame selector, etc. This keeps the
    lubrication where it should be and prevents the works from
    getting gummed up.

    <p>

    I would like to end by repeating the first statement that Leica gear
    that is used stays in the top working condition. Always be wary of
    used gear that has "never been used" or "slight use only" as it
    will probably need at least a CLA to get working properly.

    <p>

    Cheers

    <p>

    PS: Your wife is right! :)
     
  6. M lenses- it makes no difference. With R-lenses the apertures always
    "relax" to the set aperture stop when removed from the camera (they
    open up when attached). I would hope it should make no difference
    with an R-lens either, but if I was obsessive I might set the lens to
    the smallest aperture. I am not, so I don't. It would be a poor
    outlook for Leica if this aperture twisting did make any real
    difference.
     
  7. The aperture blade axles of the old type of the lenses have been
    lubricated. Any lubricant is an evaporative material. It is
    evaporating and settling on glass surfaces faced on aperture blades
    during a long time. As a result a muddy efflorescence appears on
    these surfaces and the lens loses its contrast characteristics.
    I repaired a lot of these. For example, I have seen the lens (Zeiss
    Sonnar 2/85, like new, never used) with the exact Boil printB of its
    (set on f-stop 22) aperture on the surface of the inner element
    facing to the aperture. This lens was stored about thirty years. Non-
    AI Nikkors, old Leitz, Zeiss and many others lens have such kind of
    efflorescence, as a rule, when looking through its aperture (set on
    16-22 f-stop) on a light source. The above forced me to keep my old
    lenses with full-opened aperture blades. But it doesnBt matter for
    the modern lenses. It is my two kopecks.
     

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