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Vario-Switar 86OE Repair


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#1 Tim Halloran

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 03:38 AM

A REX4 I just purchased locally came with a Vario-Switar 86OE that I believe is damaged and I was wondering if it was worth repairing or just selling as junk. The exterior of the lens is in perfect shape and the glass looks to be pristine. However, the galvanometer mechanism, which contains the auto meter needle and is also used to manually adjust exposure, seems to be defective.

Now I haven't put a battery in it to check if the meter is even connected because the whole barrel of the mechanism seems to be loosely spinning in the outer housing. By pulling out the chrome ring (used to manually adjust) and fiddling with it, I can feel that it wants to grab something inside, and I can kind of get the needle to move to a specific setting, but it is not solid and doesn't click into positions the way it is supposed to.

So, given this description, is this lens worth repairing? Does it sound like something that can even be repaired for a reasonable price? Or should I just write this one off and sell it as junk for parts? And if it is worth repairing, does anyone have any suggestions on who might be willing to take on this kind of repair?

Any info or advice would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

Tim
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#2 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:35 AM

Having spent years and years messing with these particular lenses, I would say no to servicing it. Twenty years back I would have spent hours with one of these lenses with similar problems. Tweaking the bent meter needle, readjusting the Cds cell and electronics, lubing the zoom tracking, collimating and calibrating etc, etc.
After all that, the lens was finally ready to perform. One big problem remained. It wasn't a showstopper. Optical quality left a lot to be desired. Group 4 zoom tracking and focus breathed. Coatings were old world. I could go on.
I will say, once in a while, one of these lenses looked really good. Maybe they looked better when they were brand new. For some reason the lens cement (Canada Balsam) seemed to yellow/oxodize more than other lens types.
Sorry for the negative post.
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#3 Tim Halloran

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Bernie.

Tim
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#4 Parviz

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

Dear Bernie,

I need your help in regards to my vario switar,i was hoping you could kindly help me since you have spent many years toying with them.

I have opened my lens in order to get rid of a fungus rests between the two inner lens barrels.

I would like to know how to remove these two lens barrels and how to safely put them back.
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#5 Chris Elardo

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:34 PM

Hello- I would just like to add that it's probably better to just step up to the 16-100mm POE lens if you need a good zoom. It has very good optics and also covers Super 16 should you decide to go that route. If you get the late POE4 model, it has settings up to asa 400. The older version only goes up to 200 asa. Just a thought.
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