Disassembly of Vivitar 28mm f/2.8

So I was one of the two photographers for our Sisters’ Appreciation Night at GOC a couple of weeks ago. My 50mm f/1.8 was too long for the room we were in, so I used it only for capturing portrait-like shots. For group shots and action, I ended up shooting a lot with the 28mm part of my 28-105mm lens (essentially using it as a prime lens). The problem was that the lens was f/3.5-4.5, which isn’t particularly fast. I decided that getting a 28mm f/2.8 lens might be a good investment. It gets me an extra half stop of exposure and the image quality might be better, since it’s a fixed length lens, which is generally regarded than comparably priced zoom lenses. Also it certainly cuts down on the weight of the lens attached to my camera. Thus I have come into possession of another manual focus lens.

Like the Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5, it came with a bit of fungus. (This time, it was unexpected. The seller kindly gave a partial refund.) Time for a bit of cleaning!

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It’s hard to see in this embedded picture, but there is fungus on the lower left hand portion of the lens. There is some towards the top and right, as well. (For a larger and better view, click on the image.)

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You know the drill. Duct tape on the lettering portion, find something smaller than the diameter of the lens nose to attach to the duct tape, and twist counter clockwise. In this case it was the lid from a Trader Joe’s Vitamin C tablets bottle. (More duct tape was required than usual because I had so little area of the lid to grip. That thing cut into my hand pretty harshly until I added more duct tape. I counted on increased twisting power from the duct tape-lens juncture rater than lid-duct tape juncture.)

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A better view of the fungus. This is the housing for most of the lens elements, which is visible right after the ring with the lettering is screwed off. This entire unit simply unscrews from the body.

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The element housing unscrewed. There are two elements that belong to the housing unit on the right (one of which is on the far left) and two elements that belong to the unit on the left. The fungus is in between the elements on the left, which, as you can see, is secured by a ring. I don’t have a tool to fit into the diametrically opposed notches, so I almost gave up. Until…

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I thought to myself, “Why not try the duct tape solution again?” I put plenty of duct tape to increase twisting power on the miniscule surface area of the ring, and I used a housing unit (unscrewed from the one on the right) to do the twisting.

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It worked. At this point I was so excited I stopped documenting. Basically all that is left to do is pop out the element that you see in the center, which gives you access to the very front element, on the rear of which was the fungus. I used alcohol and a Q-Tip to kill and clean off the fungus. Reverse all the steps and you should be good to go. (If you need it, a lens diagram will be quite handy.)

Ideally I would have a clean room with this, with no dust, since it turns out that it is easy to get dust trapped inside when you disassemble a lens. I cleaned off the biggest particles with a microfiber cloth and I’ll live with the rest.

Note to self: When you place any of the glass elements in contact with something, make sure it is free of anything that might scratch the glass. There are a few small scratches on the front (nose side) of the front element that I suspect may have come from me placing it on my desk, which might have had small rocks or something. (I’m pretty sure it didn’t come from the shipping process, though I’m not certain.) It shouldn’t affect picture quality, but it’s still bothersome. Amateur mistake.

There you go! Another cheap, manual focus lens fixed up for a little over an hour of time. Now if only I had adapters to try these guys out…

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