Cleaning aperture blades?
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Old 01-21-2017   #1
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Default Cleaning aperture blades?

Is it possible to clean oil/grease off of aperture blades without damaging them?

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Old 01-21-2017   #2
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

Well, yeah, probably. The real question I now have is why is there so much on it that it needs cleaned? And how are you getting to them? Assume that if you can get to them, you killed any warranty, so maybe not a huge harm there. But I'd be very careful and use something that doesn't leave any lint whatsoever....
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Old 01-21-2017   #3
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

For the average person I'd say no. If you've dismantled lenses before and serviced them then maybe. Otherwise I would never attempt it.
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Old 01-23-2017   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

This would be on an old lens. I'm sure I can dismantle it to the blades, & use a microfiber cloth to gently touch them with the cloth having an alcohol based cleaning agent. I've never touched aperture blades before, & I guess my main concern is , will light pressure on the blades not harm their alignment?
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Old 01-23-2017   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

I'd say "light" means "light".... I mean they got them in there and working once, so they ought to be able to be "handled", but I'd be as sensitive as you can. But maybe it depends if they are open or closed. Not sure which would be "stronger". I'd assume you need them closed (stopped down to tiny opening" to clean them, but is that their strongest? A tiny whole and a lot of area so could be strong in one sense, but if wide open all the blades would be on top of other blades to would technically be twice as think and thus be stronger.

Now my head hurts. Take a lot of pictures, tight shots, and give us a report and good luck....
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Old 02-02-2017   #6
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

I've cleaned up oily blades in numerous old lenses.

I use lighter fluid ... naptha IIRC ... and cotton swabs.
While I don't brutalize them, I've never found them to
be fragile and I scrub them pretty good. Iris blades
are actually fairly rugged.

Oil removal is tedious. The oil resides in the space the
blades retreat into for wide open, but cleaning occurs
on the stopped down blades. I never dismantle the iris
mechanism. I clean stopped down, open to pick up oil
again, stop down to clean again, ad nauseum. After a
while the supply of oil is exhausted. Depending on the
lens's mechanical design, I may "rinse" or flush the oil
out of its "reservoir".

I do pretty much the same job to clean gummed up
leaf shutters, and I do NOT relube them at all. Unless
you run dozens of rolls of film per day, leaf shutters
are better off dry [no lube]. Iris mechanisms have no
intentional lube. Any lube that gets on iris blades is
an invasive substance.
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Old 06-16-2017   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning aperture blades?

You might want to search YouTube videos for inspiration. There are a couple. I've been researching this myself. I recently picked up a Zenit 3m with an Industar 50 lens, and the aperture ring is a bit stiff.

At least in the US, repairmen are getting fewer and farther between. Sending a lens out for a Clean Lube and Adjust (CLA) isn't as easy as it once was. Used to be a couple of camera shops in the area had their own repairman who could do the job.


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