CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Dust in Zeiss Planar 50/1,4 DIY job

Hello fellow CZ afficiado's,

My second -hand 50mm 1.4 just arrived, and while the glass is scratchless, there seems to be some dust inside the lens. Have any of you any experiance with removing it yourselves? Is it very hazardess to open up a lens or can it be done (and reassembled!) by someone not too clumsy?

Regards Jaap JaN Helder


Well-Known Member
I would not suggest it. There are some "special" tools needed and you could do more damage than good. I've seen a few basket cases that repair shops wouldn't take, "just because". My local "wiz kid" (60 years old, multiple factory trained ) doubles the cost of repairing customer started repairs.


New Member
I haven't opened up my 50/1,4, but my distagon 28/2,8 to readjust the aperture. There were no bigger problem reassembling that lens. I've opened and reassembled a few manual fokused lenses of other brands as well without anything going wrong. Although I can't guarante anything about the 50 since I haven't dismantled it.



Hello all...for what it is worth I recently talked to a 22 year contax warranty service veteran about zeiss lenses. He told me that under no circumstances would he or anyone he knows, including the Contax folks in New Jersey, open a zeiss lens - at least not a German-made one (he indicated there were differences vis. The Japanese lenses). He said the ONLY thing was to send it to Zeiss in Germany. Just one more opinion on this subject.



Send it back. Unless the advert indicated that there may be dust in the lens, you should e-mail the seller to see if they will refund you.

I've done this a number of times, both off ebay and from UK shops from adverts in the press, and am now very reluctant to buy second hand lenses - even when they are sold under the almost obligitory MINT! heading.

If it was not described correctly, ensure you ask for a refund of your postage costs too.


Well-Known Member
I wouldn't open it any further than the rear aperture area. Once you accidentally remove the lens from the helical mount, you either can't get it back on or remember where the infinity point is. A cleaning or CLA for a lens usually isn't that much from a good camera repair person.

Sometimes a blow of air from the canned variety will dislodge some of the dust, but don't do it in an already dusty room as it'll introduce more dust! And never blow air at the aperture blades. If the dust is near or around the edge of the lens it may not affect the image. >


Active Member
I've opened my D28/2.8 and a Yashica 50/1.9. The rear group of element can be easily unscrewed and reattached without affecting focus etc, because the entire group come off as one piece. This allows access to the apature blade assembly - and is often where dust gets caught.

I don't suggest opening the individual groups as you'll need to align the lenses when you reassemble.

To open the rear element group - twist the ring that surround the rear element. Its like opening a bottle cap.

Good luck!


Yes, the rear group element can be unscrewed easily. I have applied this to some of my lenses for cleaning need and re-assemble is not a different task. Dust will easily get on the lens elements at the aperture blades part. It will be more effective to blow away the dust if you could remove the static electricity on the dust. Ions generator commonly attached to the air-purifier should be able to neutralize the static electricity. For some old lenses, the screws might already be slightly rusted and would be difficult to unscrew. You need to use a high quality and right size screwdriver to avoid damaging the screws. After opening the back, you need to pay little attention not to lose the small ¡§metal ball bearing¡¨ between the aperture ring and the lens shaft. You may also note that it is not uncommon to see that even for a new lens, the screws would already exhibit slight damages by over screwing. So you could not judge whether a second-hand lens was opened up or not before by inspecting the screw conditions.


Active Member
I would not recomend you to open it
yourself. My 50/1.7 front barrel came off
by itself even I didn't try to open it!!!! I spent much time try to re-attach the front barrel but I can tell you it is very tricky and not as simple as most people would think. It is no point to send it to Contax service centre because they
will charge a lot of money. So I got anothor paper weight! With regards to dust, you either live with it or ask for refund. Usually one or two dust specks have no effect on the optical
performance of the lens--but only have pyschological effect on the user's confidence.


Active Member
Hi Niclas Chong & Thomas Chin,
Thank you for your interest. I would hesitate to sell anything broken to anyone. My lens was purchased new 3 yrs ago in HK. Annoyingly, I took good care of it and never dropped the lens. To put back the front barrel, you need to break apart the front plastic ring (where the Zeiss labels locate) from the front metal barrel. They are very securely cemented togethor in a seamless join. There are three small screws needed to be re-attached. The plastic ring covers their threads. I have already scratched the plastic ring in my futile attempt to separate it from the metal barrel by using a Swiss army knife but I gave up because I didn't want to break the plastic.
You can get a used one in e-bay/shop for a very low price $135-$150.
So my lens serves not only as a paper weight but an anatomical model for learning the internal contruction of Zeiss lens!