Olympus 85mm f2.. play in focus ring?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, May 12, 2011.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Dec 14, 2003
    Multi Format
    I just received a Olympus 85mm f2. There appears to be a little bit of 'play' in the focus ring. It's not really loose, there is just less resistance for a short period when I turn it back and forth.

    Hmm let me see if I can explain this.

    Starting with the lens focussed at infinity, I turn the the focusing ring about half a turn and stop. Then I turn the ring the other direction. There is less resistance for about 1/2inch or 1 cm, then the normal resistance kicks in until it hits infinity again.

    Is this normal? Should I return the lens?
  2. Ian C

    Ian C Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Large Format
    I presume that this is a used lens and might have been made years ago.

    If so, it’s likely that the helicoid lubricant is drying. The grease is probably thinner in the most used focusing range, but thicker elsewhere. That would account for the differential focusing resistance you observed.

    As you’ve described it, it won’t hurt anything. If you want to restore the normal continuous resistance that the lens had when new, then the lens must be disassembled, all of the original lubricant removed, and new lubricant of the correct type must be installed.

    Unless it’s a new lens this is not a defect, simply the effects of aging of the lubricant.

    For most of us taking it apart, cleaning out the old lubricant, installing fresh lubricant and reassembling (the infinity focus must be re-indexed as a last step) is not a do-it-yourself project. Any competent camera repair service can do the job.

    If this is a new lens then it should be returned to the seller.
  3. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Old focus grease would have to be cleaned out and replaced with new lube. Old grease can separate and send oil out on the blades and glass surfaces. John