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Angenieux P21 (180mm f4.5)
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:20 pm    Post subject: Angenieux P21 (180mm f4.5) Reply with quote

Here are a few photos of my Angnieux P21 recently acquired:









A P21 is not a special lens in the universe of Angnieux lenses. It's pretty common. But being an Angnieux it's a good lens and it's still nice to own. This lens, as you can see, came with a lot of warts, so the cost was low, less than US$50. This particular lens is a preset lens dating to roughly 1955 if I recall my research correctly.

Insofar as I can tell this lens was at one time submerged in dirty water. That's a guess but it is my best guess. Some debris (i.e., dirt) continues to cling to inner elements of the lens and is visible in photo #2. Also the focus is a bit gritty (not terrible, though) and obviously the helical needs to be cleaned and re-greased. The aperture, while working just fine, shows the slightest bit of (what looks like) rust. It might just be dirt, though. Regardless, it badly needs cleaning.

At this point my best efforts have taken me only as far as removal of the front element. I'm stuck. Recently I ended a five month long ordeal with a Spiratone 105 Japanese lens caused by glue (or thread lock) having been used on that lens. I cannot believe the French, or any Europeans for that matter, ever glued lenses together or used thread lock. Has anyone ever taken apart a P21 without the use of solvents?


Last edited by guardian on Sun May 10, 2015 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest you send it to CLA rather than fix it yourself.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

calvin83 wrote:
I would suggest you send it to CLA rather than fix it yourself.


Well, calvin83, you're probably correct. You customarily are, after all, and that has been true over many years. However:

(and this is only my opinion)

I have the misfortune, where CLA work is concerned, of being in the USA. I would anticipate a very high cost to CLA this lens here. I could probably send the lens abroad and have the work done at reasonable cost. But I'm not comfortable with that option, not wanting to pay two-way international shipping or risk loss of the lens.

I did attempt to use water as a solvent to dissolve the calculus which clings to the glass of this lens. That attempt failed. My next inspiration is to try hand lotion or some other mineral oil based solvent. Who knows, I might have luck.

There is one thing about this lens I found interesting:

The helical has no preferred engagement start point! They all work!!

With other lenses I have taken apart, if you do not get the helical started in the right place at reassembly, it will not re-engage properly. But with this Angenieux, you can start the two sides of the helical anywhere and they go together smooth as silk.

Why this is . . . I dunno.