This is my fix for the Industar-69 28mm 1:2.8 pancake lens famous infinity focus problem. I read several tutorials and pieced them together and came up with this non-destructive hack that still allows an infinity stop and close focus stop with only one minor setback of the aperture scale mark.
I used a digital camera for this fix which I suppose 90% of the uses for this lens is but, if you have an old 35mm film camera with the M39, Leica screw mount (with a hinged or removable back plate) you can use this lens too, just use a frosted glass plate of some kind, a removable SLR focus screen works good, or I’ve even used scotch tape pulled tight over the film guides to focus test lenses.
As mentioned above, leave the top stop-post and the post in the focus ring but remove the lower post.
The lens top won’t be pointing up, even before this fix because the depth of the mounting thread group is shallower than a standard M39 lens. This lens was originally on a Soviet CHAIKA half frame camera. The lens could also be mounted on an enlarger.
Here are a few images taken with this lens.
some milkiness to the original, fixed here (above)
(above) This led me to believe the elements themselves needed to be cleaned. Indeed, I removed the rear element and with my loupe, found tiny spider-web fungus on the rear element of the front group just in front of the aperture blades, (a usual spot) I cleaned it with a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia (put some on a Q-tip, wet area, let set 5 min. wipe dry, clean with fresh water, repeat if nec.)
This is a fun little lens. It is said that it’s glass is modeled after a Tessar. Great quality and uber cheap. I got mine on eBay from the Ukraine for $28 with free shipping. I could have got it cheaper but you want sellers with good feedback from Ukraine and Russia.
Giving my 1937 Zeiss Ikon Contax II as best of a CLA (clean, lube, adjust) as I could without dismantling the mechanism itself, I doused with lighter fluid twice, avoiding the shutter slats, tapes and glue, which is fairly easy as, everything is on one side. then I oiled a few choice spots, avoiding escapements.
With the help from forum friends, I fixed a problem with the Infinity on the RF, the previous hacker put the longer screws on the RF side of the front plate and they were preventing the plano-convex lens from traveling all the way to the side.
I also removed foam light seals from the film back surround. originally there were no light seals (so I’ve read} around the camera back. The Kiev clones used Yak hair as a seal. I’m opting to use my smaller size black yarn just to be safe on this 80 year old camera.
I re-glued a loose flap of leatherette and cleaned with Meguiar’s leather foam. I touched up some rubbed off chrome on the top plate with my faux chrome plating kit.
Here are the steps to open it up, remove the shutter cage from the frame and clean. I did not disassemble the shutter mechanism itself, it is for experts and usually is not necessary to clean it.
remove rewind knob
rewind knob removed
remove body screws
remove winding lever center
remove advance knob
remove speed scale
remove single screw
lift off chrome top plate
frame counter disc
remove cast top plate
remove cast top plate
cast top removed
remove shutter cover
remove screw here
remove this rod-screw
lift out cradle
self timer lever
I use Zippo lighter fluid (any brand will do) for flushing and cleaning the gears and other parts. just be careful to keep the fluid off of the shutter curtain ribbons, they are glued on and could become unglued by the lighter fluid.
For the oil, I use sewing machine oil. You can use watch oil or any light oil of that type. use very sparingly and never use it on the gears of the slow speed escapement.