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Thread: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    32

    Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    Hello All,

    Using a lens wrench, I've tried to remove the retaining ring from a Calumet Board with Caltar II attached, to no avail. Several previous posts have suggested applying some combination of cold and/or heat to the board. In order to do this, I'd first need to remove both lens elements.

    Unfortunately, the front lens also seems to be stuck in the shutter, in addition to the retaining ring being stuck. (The rear element comes off fine.) I wouldn't want to put a lens into the freezer. . . .

    I'm assuming turning Left = Loosen for the front element in the shutter? Any other thoughts before I have to send this to a repair shop? I'm on the West Coast, so a more local, trusted repair shop would be helpful, rather than shipping cross-country to Grimes.

    Many thanks!

    David

    PS Just tried putting the board assembly in the heat of direct sunlight for a safe remedy, but no luck ~

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Dann Corbit
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Federal Way, WA USA
    Posts
    62

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    Quote Originally Posted by David Wolf View Post
    Hello All,

    Using a lens wrench, I've tried to remove the retaining ring from a Calumet Board with Caltar II attached, to no avail. Several previous posts have suggested applying some combination of cold and/or heat to the board. In order to do this, I'd first need to remove both lens elements.

    Unfortunately, the front lens also seems to be stuck in the shutter, in addition to the retaining ring being stuck. (The rear element comes off fine.) I wouldn't want to put a lens into the freezer. . . .

    I'm assuming turning Left = Loosen for the front element in the shutter? Any other thoughts before I have to send this to a repair shop? I'm on the West Coast, so a more local, trusted repair shop would be helpful, rather than shipping cross-country to Grimes.

    Many thanks!

    David

    PS Just tried putting the board assembly in the heat of direct sunlight for a safe remedy, but no luck ~

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	12 
Size:	44.4 KB 
ID:	208619Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_E2690.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	37.8 KB 
ID:	208620Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	208621
    I don't know if large format lenses are the same, but with regular SLR lenses, sometimes there is a bit of paint or sealant that makes things really hard to open. So a tiny bit of acetone on the end of a q-tip applied strategically to the problem area can help in that instance. If it will help with a large format lens system, I have no idea.

    Here is a video that shows that technique when (attempting to) remove fungus from a lens:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MfGg4PnqnU

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,449

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    The front element was stuck on my Fuji 360mm and the shutter needed work. My camera repair guy wrapped the front group rim in double-sided tape for a good hand grip. Came off easily.

    Hot/Cold is risky business. I wouldn't. Even with fridge temps, you risk condensation.

  4. #4
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pine Junction, CO
    Posts
    877

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    Go to Harbor Freight and get a set of strap wrenches. They are very inexpensive. I’d bet that you will be able to get the front element out of the shutter.

    As far as the retaining ring; put the shutter and lens board in the freezer for an hour. I’d bet you can get them separated.

    Let us know what works.
    Keith Pitman

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Collinsville, CT USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    Have mixed views on using Harbor Freight tools. You get what you pay for... Screwdrivers, sockets, bits, and alike wouldn't touch them with a ten foot poll, they can do more harm than good. Using a cheap strap wrench costing maybe under $10 verses using a quality one costing maybe $20 and risking damaging a lens worth hundreds of dollars is a no brainer. A machinist friend of mine told me that he does use harbor Freight tools when he is counting on the tool breaking before the part that he is working on breaking... FYI: he restores the metalwork on vintage 356 Porsches so I'd follow his advice. I've had good results with putting lenses with stuck retaining rings in a freezer.

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mendocino, California
    Posts
    1,286

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    I would suggest using a little stronger adjustable spanner and using some leverage if you need to.
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,775

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    I'm honestly surprised we don't have this problem more often with the aluminum barrels of lenses and aluminum threads on shutters. Sometimes they are so welded together they simply will never come apart; I have 2 or 3 of those on my 'projects' shelf. Aluminum threads are notorious for 'galling', where the parts basically weld themselves together and will break before unscrewing. Either from being threaded with excessively close tolerances, or having enough moisture to create more than the usual aluminum oxide buildup. Some suggestions here: try tightening ever so slightly first, before loosening, and while it is under torque, rap it sharply to see if the vibration from that will break the bond.

  8. #8
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pine Junction, CO
    Posts
    877

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Have mixed views on using Harbor Freight tools. You get what you pay for... Screwdrivers, sockets, bits, and alike wouldn't touch them with a ten foot poll, they can do more harm than good. Using a cheap strap wrench costing maybe under $10 verses using a quality one costing maybe $20 and risking damaging a lens worth hundreds of dollars is a no brainer. A machinist friend of mine told me that he does use harbor Freight tools when he is counting on the tool breaking before the part that he is working on breaking... FYI: he restores the metalwork on vintage 356 Porsches so I'd follow his advice. I've had good results with putting lenses with stuck retaining rings in a freezer.
    I agree that a lot of Harbor Freight tools are crap, but the strap wrenches are a good tool for removing stuck lenses in shutters. Guess what? They are only $4.99 for two! What do you have to lose?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/rubber...q=strap+wrench
    Keith Pitman

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    61

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    I had the same problem. After the freezer method did not work, I applied WD40 to the retaining ring and it went off easily. I applied the WD40 with a small brush on the side of the retaining ring. Don't forget to clean everything after the board is removed.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    A Scottish Island
    Posts
    232

    Re: Advice needed for stuck lens retaining ring, please

    You could always use a Dremmel or similar hand held grinder and cut into the retaining ring until you can snap it off but will obviously need a new one if you do.

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