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Lens servicing and coating removal

canon lenses fd cleaning repair fungus coating ssc aespherical

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#1 Will Wertz

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:25 PM

What dependable companies or individuals can you suggest for lens services? I want to have a set of 70s/80s Canon FDs cleaned and serviced (slight dust, fungus, haze). Additionally I'd like to remove the lens coatings. They will ultimately be rehoused so mounts/seatings are not of concern.
 
The entire kit may include:
FD 14mm f/2.8L
FD 20mm f/2.8 SSC
FD 24mm f/1.4L
FD 35mm f2 SSC ii
FD 55mm f/1.2 ssc ASPHERICAL
FD 85mm f/1.2 L ASPHERICAL
 
I'm based in the states (midwest) but am talking with GL Optics/Nan to rehouse them. So could be open to someone near him in China.
 

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#2 Dylan Sunshine Saliba

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:50 PM

I would love to hear some answers on this topic too!  I've got my two EOS L series (16-35 and 70-200 2.8 IS) that are no longer supported by Canon for servicing.  That kinda support doesn't instill faith for future purchases but I think I can get some more life out of them with a tune up.  I'm also in the US.


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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 02:16 PM

You don’t want to have fresh coatings on them lenses, do you?


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#4 Will Wertz

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 11:37 AM

You don’t want to have fresh coatings on them lenses, do you?

 

No Simon. I'm ready for the uncoated FDs!


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#5 Simon Wyss

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 12:30 PM

Alright, then. Be prepared for increased flare and decreased contrast, too. But why not, the most beautiful films have been made with uncoated lenses, practically everything until the late 1940s. In a way I’m admiring your guts, would never have thought of doing something the like.


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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 12:14 AM

Uncoated lenses have been something of a trend for a while now, Zeiss and Cooke (and maybe others) can supply uncoated front and rear elements for certain lenses, Panavision have uncoated elements as part of their 'detuned' options, and there are sets of vintage lenses floating around rental houses with their coatings removed.

The process of removing modern coatings requires specialised polishing machines in order to only remove the coating without affecting the curvature of the glass. It's not usually something a standard lens repair facility would do, and in my experience the larger optical polishing firms aren't interested in small one-off jobs. I would ask someone like Duclos or Lens Rentals if they know of a facility. Being from Australia I don't know the US market so well, I have used local and European firms in the past.

Stills lenses have traditionally been a different market for service than cinematography lenses, with different mounts and format sizes, and quite different tolerances and materials. However that gap is being bridged these days, with lots of video work being done on stills lenses, and larger cine formats becoming more common. The quality of many cine lenses is dropping as manufacturers compete for the low budget market, which brings the two worlds closer as well. So it's possible a cine facility like Duclos or Abel Cine would service Canon FDs, but I think your best bet is a still photography repair place like Steve's Camera or something. There must be dozens across the US. Be aware that some facilities refuse to work on lenses with fungus.

Depending on the extent of the rehousing (is it just a cine mod or a complete new focus and iris design) the rehousing company may well need to remove lens cells and could easily clean dust/haze while in there. They may also balk at fungus though.
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#7 Simon Wyss

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:34 AM

If it’s about fungus removal, I understand. Spores and fungi themselves can be cleaned away, the dread is traces etched into the coating by acids the fungus has given off. Modern coatings are very hard, so one needs to know a radius precisely in order to grind and polish. It’s actually a combined grind-polish job. All the best for finding the right connection


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