Lens w/ oil on aperture blades

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jglass, May 14, 2010.

  1. jglass

    jglass Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    Multi Format
    An honest seller tells me his lens (90mm tele elmarit 2.8) has appearance of oil on the aperture blades but says this is irrelevant bcs. "the aperture is not spring loaded" on a rangefinder.

    What does this mean and is he correct? If the price is right is there any reason to avoid such a lens?

    He says there may be a slight haze on an inner element also, seen thru a lupe. Could this be caused by the oil? How the heck does oil get in there?

    Should I stay away from this even if it's a bargain price?

    Anyone have an idea how difficult/expensive it is to have one of these cleaned internally?


    Jeff Glass
  2. R gould

    R gould Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Jersey Chann
    Medium Format
    Personally I would stay away from this lens, I would say that to get oil in there the lens must have been dismantled,and most probably by the present owner, you need prescision instruments to put it baqck together again,and haze could be a simple clean, or a damaged element,very expensive,could be the reason that the lens was taken apart, I say leave well alone,Richard
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Apr 3, 2004
    Aurora, Il
    Multi Format
    It's irrelevant unless the oil solidifies a bit, then you won't be able to move the aperture ring at all. This may happen in cold weather initially and then get worse.

    It shouldn't be an expensive repair though. Contact Sherry Krauter at Golden touch or DAG.

    Two things, If the price is really good or if he's willing to absorb or split the cost of repair it might be worth it.
    Keep in mind though, it's NOT a rare lens & shouldn't be too expensive in the first place and it should come with the lens hood. The hood could cost between $50-$100 by itself.
    So, not having the asking price available, my example would be:
    ( 75.)-service
    ( 100.)-hood
    ($25-$50.)-annoyance factor
    Net price for lens..........$150.-$175. If it's clean!

    The haze is most likely from the oil. It's not really oil, the focusing helical has grease on it & it liquefies over time & migrates from the focusing mechanism into the adjacent aperture housing.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2010
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    Multi Format
    The good news: Oil on a RF len's aperture blades (in itself) won't normally impede function.

    The (possibly) bad news: The Tele-Elmarit is one of those lenses which is (occasionally or rarely) susceptable to a nearly impossible to clean haze (reasons for are still being argued)...

    The oil I'd consider unimportant, but I'd avoid any Tele-Elmarit with haze.
  5. unclemack

    unclemack Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    4x5 Format
    Hi, the grease used on focus threads separates over time into thicker grease which stays where it is and can make focus stiffer - and a lighter, oily component which migrates and often finds its way to the diaphragm blades.
    SLR lenses need to stop down when the shutter button is pressed so the blades need to be free to close in an instant (spring loaded).
    Rangefinders don't need this so a little oil on the blades isn't usually a problem.
    I would be more concerned by the haze. It may or may not be due to a separated grease component - you never know until you clean the glass.