Cleaning Oily Aperture Blades – Video Tutorial

Sticky aperture blades are one of the most common issues associated with vintage camera gear. Age, temperature, and neglectful storing habits can lead lubricating oils to weep from certain parts of the lens onto the aperture blades, causing them to stick when actuated. Here is a quick, casual tutorial on how to solve this problem at home with basic implements and supplies.

The lens used here is an old Minolta AF 50mm ƒ1.7. Other lenses will vary in construction, but the general principles carry through. With some patience and a little mechanical ability anyone can overcome this common problem.

Got questions? Ask them in the comments.

Good luck!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Hello James,
    I did clean the blades of a lens before I found your video.
    And I did it twice.
    Every time the oil kept creeping back from somewhere inside the
    lens into the blades.
    After the second time I gave up.

    Maybe by chance its been the same type of lens as yours.
    But maybe its been a fault in the production process of
    those lenses that resulted in the presence of oil inside them.

    To save the lens I believe its necessary to take it
    apart completely, solve away all lubricants,
    relubricate properly and assemble again.

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