Diagnostics on an old lens?

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by mimstrel, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    I have an old Vivitar 200mm f3.5 Nikon non-AI mount prime that I got off eBay almost two years ago.
    I've used and loved it... and then, it stopped focusing. Or rather, the focus no longer changes. It's an old lens, obviously, but cosmetically, it's in great shape. No indication that it has ever been dropped or abused, and I have certainly never dropped or abused it. My laptop gets more abuse than my glass!

    Does anybody know what might have gone wrong? Is it just a case of some gear inside getting worn out? Can that be fixed? Is it WORTH fixing? Is there some really obvious thing I'm missing? I really can't afford to take it in for repairs or to replace it at the moment, so I'm really hoping it's something really obvious or easily adjusted.

    I can post photos of the lens, but like I said, from the outside it looks just fine; I don't think looking at a picture of it will help.
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you shake does it rattle?
     
  3. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    Very quietly, but yes.

    ETA: But my other old lens rattles just the same way, and it works just fine...
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  4. spazoid1965

    spazoid1965 TPF Noob!

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    I have this same lens. Mine works perfecltly. But when I shake mine the slight rattle sound seems to come from the apeture ring area of the lens. Is that where the rattle is in your lens? Or does the sond seem to come from the middle of the lens? I've never taken this style of lens apart before. But they definately aren't worth taking in for repairs. They are just to cheeap on ebay to bother paying for repairs. If you feel brave and have the proper tools try taking it apart. What do you have to lose since it doesn't work anyway.
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    These Vivitar 200/3.5 lenses are great and they were made with different
    cosmetics over the years. Does your lens have a rubber grip on the focus
    ring? If so, it's possible the adhesive on the grip has simply dried out so
    that when you turn it you're only turning the rubber grip and not the focus
    ring beneath it. You should be able to tell by simply gripping the focus ring
    more firmly while turning to see if that works. If that's the case it's only a
    matter of replacing the glue. Fold back as much of the grip as you can and
    apply contact cement. Then wrap with elastic or rubber bands until it sets.

    Otherwise, if it's an internal mechanical problem, a repair would likely cost
    more than replacing the lens.
     
  6. Dallmeyer

    Dallmeyer TPF Noob!

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    I have a Viv 70-200 here that works ok. I shake it and it rattles too. Mine sounds like the spring connecting the actuator lever for the iris.

    Mimstrel, when you turn the focussing-ring towards minimum focus, does the lens become physically longer in length?
     
  7. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everybody! Sorry it's taken so long to get back to this. It's been a crazy couple of months.
    Nope, there isn't any rubber grip. Darn, that would have been a simple fix!

    Not anymore.

    The rattle is from the aperture ring area. If I had the tools I would be willing to take it apart - I'm pretty handy and, as you say, what do I have to lose?
    I'll do some research and see what it would take to do so. If nothing else, I get an education in how lenses are put together.
     

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