Zeiss T1,3 “Super Speed” Refurbishing

Zeiss’ T1,3 primes or “Super Speeds” as they’ve been deemed, are getting a little long in the tooth but still hold their own if well cared for. This is one example of such a lens. It is in superb condition optically but the exterior body of the lens has taken quite a beating. Particularly the painted rear housing surface. For some reason Zeiss thought it was a good idea to construct the rear housing out of brass instead of aluminum. This meant that the brass section didn’t receive the same anodizing as the rest of the lens but instead was treated to a nice coat of gloss black paint. Needless to say paint doesn’t hold up to daily use quite as well as anodized aluminum. In the much later models Zeiss switched to an aluminum rear housing with an anodized surface… Anyway. I didn’t think to take a photo of the rear helical housing prior to stripping all the paint, but you can guess the condition of the weak paint based on the anodizing blemishes and scratches. You do the math. So in this post I will show the process or refurbishing the rear housing of a Zeiss T1,3 Super Speed.

The old paint has already been removed and the surface is primed. I cleaned the engravings from any old filling to make sure there is enough depth to refill the engravings after a new layer of paint is applied.

Now that all the paint and engravings are free of old material the part goes to the spray booth to receive the first layer of high quality semi-gloss black paint.
The first layer of paint is applied in a smooth, glossy fashion. This layer is just barely thick enough to coat the brass entirely. This leaves a nice clean surface for the second layer to adhere to. The paint bakes for about an hour to partially cure.
After the second layer of paint the glossy surface is replaced by a textured, non reflective surface. This resembles the appearance of anodizing much more than the factory glossy finish and also helps reduce possible reflections. The part now bales for several hours at extremely high temperatures.
After the pain has baked for several hours the surface is hard and resistant to chemicals and impact.
At this point the engravings are refiled and the threads are prepped and lubricated, ready for reassembly.
Here you can see some of the blemishing and wear on the focus gear. That is anodized aluminum... So you can imagine the condition of the previous black paint on the rear housing.
And finally a look at the entire lens.

This was a minor re-furb considering the overall condition of the anodizing. A full re-furbish would involve re-anodizing all of the external body components as well as repainting the rear housing and cleaning/re-lubricating all of the mechanics. However, this particular lens didn’t need “the works”. It’s back in service and ready to make some great pictures.

Published by

Matthew Duclos

A connoisseur of fine motion picture lenses, Matthew has spent over half his life servicing, refining, selling, manufacturing, and collecting cinema lenses from around the world. Chief Operating Officer of Duclos Lenses and Founder of TheCineLens.com, Matthew has been contributing to the motion picture industry for over 15 years, and to this site for over 5 years.

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