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Old May 22, 2009, 4:10 PM   #1
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Default Spiratone 400mm

Well, I was cleaning out the attic and found my ancient Spiratone 400mm F6.3 lens - T mount with the threaded Pentax adapter. It appears to have some fungus on the back element. As I recall this was not all that great a lens when it was new. But I am lacking any funds to purchase lenses right now. Is the Spiratone worth trying to clean up? Any suggestions of the best way to clean it? Thanks!!
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Old May 22, 2009, 7:45 PM   #2
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Well, I was cleaning out the attic and found my ancient Spiratone 400mm F6.3 lens - T mount with the threaded Pentax adapter. It appears to have some fungus on the back element. As I recall this was not all that great a lens when it was new. But I am lacking any funds to purchase lenses right now. Is the Spiratone worth trying to clean up? Any suggestions of the best way to clean it? Thanks!!
A solution of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia then rinse with denatured alcohol or lighter fluid. Let dry before reassembly.
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Old May 23, 2009, 3:13 PM   #3
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you'll probably be surprised with this lens.. it's just a little slow..
as dawg states ..
i've also used acetone but found it dries too fast..
white lightning is another.. it's real good at making you numb when you drop that lens.
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Old May 24, 2009, 8:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the great advice Dawg and Roy. Will try this out later this week and let you know how it works. Will not try the moonshine though!
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Old May 28, 2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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After much soaking, scrubbing, etc, the lens is clean. But the photos are disappointing. Colors were rather muddy and details not so great. Maybe it's me and not the lens. Will try it again later as time permits. Thanks again for the cleaning advice.
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Old May 29, 2009, 3:49 AM   #6
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If I remember correctly the old Spiratone stove pipes were usually that way. No sharpness to speak of and colors sort of drab.
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Old May 29, 2009, 9:59 PM   #7
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If I remember correctly the old Spiratone stove pipes were usually that way. No sharpness to speak of and colors sort of drab.
I used one when they were current (eons ago) and my impressions fit with this if you're using "sharpness" correctly.

In my experience, the lens had rather decent resolution but delivered somewhat low contrast images. Sharpness doens't existing in the real world; its a figment of our imagination. It is the brain's impression from a mix of detail and contrast, for the most part. Low contrast images look "soft" even when they hold respectable detail.

With decently high shutter speeds (1/1000th or higher) and low flare inducing subjects you may be able to get decent images. With digital, boosting the contrast and perhaps a little color saturation should help.
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