Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    5,996

    Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    This is an ordinary Heliar. There a quite a lot of these 30+ cm around, having been a very popular item in Portrait Studios.

    The position of the iris, and therefore the internal mounting system, varies on these. The early ones had an iris well up on the barrel, whilst the later ones had one close to the flange. In these later ones, the central lens is attached to the front assembly with a light housing.

    This is the later "clean" design.

    Photo 1 shows the basic structure. The middle lens housing is shown with a few thread turns on the front cell/lens hood section. Unscrewing the front section will always "bring out" the middle section at the same.

    The rear section is quite traditional with quite a good purchase surface for unscrewing.

    I am not sure whether the hood is removable from the front cell. Certainly, the front lens could be removed from the rear. But there is a turned brass overlap, which would make re-balsaming difficult.

    As you can see, this particular lens hood as fallen twice! I have seen a number of big Heliars with broken off sections of lens hood rims. The metal used is too brittle and not suitable for the usual "brass-type" recovery operations. However, the inserted hardwood piece shown in photo 3 provided an excellent torque for unscrewing.

    Note that apparently clean bare metal interior is completely covered with fine crystalline dust (photo 4) which must be an oxidation/hydration product. This metallic dust doesn't seen to migrate onto the lens surfaces, but is best removed during the operation.

    I hope the pictures help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails heliarservice 001.jpg   heliarservice 003.jpg   heliarservice 002.jpg   heliarservice 004.jpg  
    Last edited by Steven Tribe; 18-May-2014 at 05:32.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    214

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    I had a later version of this lens that was my first lens for 8x10. I initially had a lot of difficulty with it since i could never seem to get sharp focus. Turned out that someone, sometime had taken out the center element (fully demountable in that version) and put it in backwards. Took a while to figure that out, but afterwards the lens performed extremely well. Just shows these old lenses have had a lot of history, and have typically passed through many hands, some capable, some not

    Cheers

    Tim

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,585

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    Tim,

    Actually if the central element is put backwards, it makes a very interesting soft focus lens when you shoot it wide open. My 210mm Lanthar lens had the same experience, when the factory took it out of the shutter and put it into a barrel for me to use on my Graflex camera, somebody examined the lens and put the central element backwards. I could not make a sharp picture wide open.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    214

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    Hi Hugo, that is what I experienced. But the images looked to me more like what you would get from Camera vibration, rather than a more pleasing soft focus look. I guess it depends on one's taste.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    5,996

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    Strangely enough, I have just cleaned a new Heliar 36cm. It had exactly the same internal dusty metallic/crystalline coating everywhere.

    Note that someone years ago had decided to reduce internal reflections with a little black paint.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails heliarclean 001.jpg  

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    20

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Deming View Post
    I had a later version of this lens that was my first lens for 8x10. I initially had a lot of difficulty with it since i could never seem to get sharp focus. Turned out that someone, sometime had taken out the center element (fully demountable in that version) and put it in backwards. Took a while to figure that out, but afterwards the lens performed extremely well. Just shows these old lenses have had a lot of history, and have typically passed through many hands, some capable, some not

    Cheers

    Tim
    Hi Tim, do you remember which is the right direction for the center element? I have the same problem here. Recently bought a 36cm Heliar from 1946 and the back element was in the opposite direction. This was figured out quickly, but how can I trust that the center element was correctly placed?

    Maybe you remember, otherwise I need to try it out.

    Thanks
    Matthias

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    214

    Re: Servicing a big Voigtländer Heliar

    Hi Matthais,

    Just try focussing with the lens wide open (f4.5) with the center lens in either orientation. It should be pretty obvious which is correct. I could not get sharp focus wide open with the lens in the wrong way.

    Cheers

    Tim

Similar Threads

  1. Universal Heliar - Soft focus mechanism servicing
    By Steven Tribe in forum LF DIY (Do It Yourself)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2019, 22:47

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •