View Full Version : disassembling a universal heliar

Tim Meisburger
4-Apr-2012, 06:47
While on a recent trip I picked up three beat up old soft-focus lenses, a Dallmeyer 6D, a Cooke Portrait Anastigmat, and a 30cm Universal Heliar. I was able to get the Cooke apart and lube the soft focus and aperture ring so they turn now, and cleaned the lens elements. There are still what appear to be spots in the coating on one of the elements, but otherwise it looks like its now in shooting shape. The 6D is aluminum, and locked up tight at both ends. It has a lot of crud inside, and at this point I'm not sure if I will be able to open it short of sawing it in half. I put the local equivalent of liquid wrench on the joints and will let that sit for a while.

Meanwhile, I have started work on the Heliar. I can get the back element off, but that is all, and I need to pull the whole thing apart as it looks like it has fungus on the internal elements. So, what next? The soft focus ring at the front turns for soft-focus, but does not unscrew unless I am not applying enough torque. It has two holes in the front ring that look like they might be for some sort of specialty wrench. The aperture ring has a set screw.

Anyone have any experience disassembling one of these, or can point me in the direction of a manual or something?

4-Apr-2012, 07:02

4-Apr-2012, 07:02
From my memory I remember the heliars having no need for special tools. Take off the aperture ring and there is usually a set screw or something. Sometime the two groups come out the front and other times out The rear. This is where my memory gets fuzzy. There should new set screw onthe from fuzzalator as well.

Good luck.

Steven Tribe
4-Apr-2012, 07:04
Dear Tim.
I posted an illustrated guide to disassembling, service and lubrication of the Universal Heliar a couple of months ago, based on my own experiences and of others that have done it. There is an obvious lock screw for the focus turn. It is restricted until this screw is removed. If you can't get this screw out, dont be bashful about boring it out and making a new thread - this is also covered in the photo series.

It is really quite easy.

As a coincidence, I have just finished making a "Epis Universal" which is an old triplet Leitz projector lens, which now moves the -ve central lens towards the front lens! I hope this won't influence the current price of the Heliar Universal!!
The old front and rear cells are now mounted in the barrel and the focussing slot/slider only moves the middle lens forward.

Tim Meisburger
4-Apr-2012, 07:08
Thank you CD. That is just what I needed. I'll crack that thing tomorrow night and see if I can clean up the fungus.

Thanks Eddie. Give me a shout when you to to BKK.

Tim Meisburger
4-Apr-2012, 07:11
Thanks Stephen.You posted as I was replying. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm hoping can clean the fungus and the glass will not be etched.