kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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de-hazing a leica 35mm f 3.5

In November of 2010 for some stupid reason I was tooling through the used Leica lenses on KEH and saw a 35mm f3.5 Summaron for $179 marked "ugly" and I bought it because ... actually, I have no idea why I bought it, other than that I didn't actually own any genuine Leica lenses. I thought, "hey, I don't care about condition, I just want to use it" -- the lens arrived and I took a couple of photos with it and it was terrible. It was like shooting with a Lomo inside a ziplock bag, so it sat in a drawer for a long time until I came across some web page that said "The Summaron's suffered notorious hazing problems as oil from the helical condensed on the inside of the lens and they often need to be cleaned." And I thought, "oh, this lens is probably just hazy from oil. Maybe I can clean it."

Clickenzee if for some reason you want to see this lens larger

So I looked around on the Internet trying to figure out how to get it open. (Previously I'd used two pairs of channel locks to get a lens apart, it worked but boy does it leave a mark.) They suggested that I needed something called a "spanner wrench" I found one of these for about $10 on amazon, ordered it and was able to dismantle the lens in about 2 minutes. It came apart into two easy pieces and it was simple to see that the rear of the front element was in fact covered with a haze of oil. I used a q-tip lightly doused in Windex and the stuff just wiped right off. Lens back together in another two minutes and wow, what a difference.

Clickenzee to see the difference

I'm putting this here just in the event that someone's googling "My Summaron seems to have haze in it. Can I fix it myself?" -- Yes. You can. It's easier than emptying your dish washer.

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