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lens service: helpful or not?


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#1 Jimmy Ren

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:56 PM

Hi. I just purchased an Angenieux 12-120 f2.2 lens. I was considering having the lens serviced. Before I do so, I was wondering if anyone knows and can describe to me how useful such a service would be. How much does a full lens service usually cost? How much does it really help with the quality of the lens (sharpness, focus, etc)? Basically, I want to know if it's worth my buck to get a lens serviced.

I know this is a very broad, subject, and difficult question to answer. I'm sure it depends on where I get my lens serviced (which I'd also love to know), the current condition of the lens, and many other variables; but basically I want to hear other people experiences, opinions, and advice. Is it a normal thing that a person gets a lens back from service and their footage now looks like MAGIC? If so, how do they (the technicians) do this? Isn't a lens and it's glass a pretty static thing? I'd love to learn about it! Thanks!
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 03:38 PM

Broad question, but to put it as simple as possible, having the lens serviced may make a big difference.

First, what camera is the Angenieux being used with? Bolex, Arriflex 16S (S/B. BL), Eclair NPR, ACL, etc. And has the camera been serviced, as in, do you know that the FFD is dead on and the ground glass is set dead on. If the answer to these questions is yes, then proceed.

Second, who did you buy the lens from? If it was a reputable place like Visual Products or Abel Cine Tech, etc, then the lens is probably in pretty darn good shape as it is. If you happened to buy the lens off of eBay, even if it was that one that Helix in Chicago was selling, then the lens probably needs work.

The Angenieux lenses are an odd bunch. Some are very good, some are not so hot, even after service. Just the way it went with those 12-120 zooms. I do know who can get the best out of that lens though. Hands down, the best Angenieux lens tech in the United States is Paul Duclos of Duclos Lenses in LA. He was the head lens tech when Angenieux still had a presence here in this country.

How much will it cost, totally depends on the individual lens. Paul did a 12-120 for me and it only cost me $95 because it needed very little, and now that lens makes outstanding images. (as a side note, I am selling that lens with a camera package right now on eBay:Arriflex 16SR camera package)

But a complete rebuild could run as high as $1000, depending on how bad of shape the lens is in. I would recommend sending it to Paul and he can give you and estimate of how much it would cost to set up properly. Like I said, there is no one here in the States who can set up an Angenieux as well as he can.

Good luck,
-Tim
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#3 Jimmy Ren

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 04:16 PM

Hi. To answer your questions: I bought the Ang lens off of eBay. I'm going to be using the lens with an Eclair ACL 2 that I also bought off of eBay. I have not gotten the camera serviced yet. However, the seller claimed that the camera has been inspected and serviced (clean, lube, adjust, etc) by an ACL tech in LA. He's sending a copy of the work order. It seems pretty obvious that you recommend that I service the lens since it is off eBay. Thanks for the advice, I'll look up Duclos Lenses.
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