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Rob Alexander

Canon 514XL - Scratchy zoom?

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Hi all! Kept finding myself reading various old threads from here while Googling various Super 8 related problems and so figured it was probably time to get involved and actually sign up! ☺️

I've got a little issue with a recently acquired Canon 514XL in that it has a slightly dry, scratchy sounding zoom mechanism. The power zoom also seems to be a little sluggish in comparison to the 310 that I've got. I assume this requires some lubrication of the zoom threads/mechanism and so was wondering if anyone had ever undertaken such a task and what sorts of things would be appropriate to use (watch oils etc.?)

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I don't know that camera, but scratchy sounds can often just be grit under the barrel, or if it's a power zoom it could be the motor bearings or the clutch that lets you override the motor manually. It's rarely easy to get right inside those Super 8 zooms, where the motor and clutch are, I wouldn't recommend it unless you're willing to throw the camera away and treat the whole thing as a learning exercise. I would just try and brush away any dirt under the zoom barrel and live with the noise if it remains. If the power zoom is sluggish the motor could be the culprit.

But if you want to get in there, it can be a fun project, so here's a few tips. Technicians don't use oil in lenses because it can migrate onto optical surfaces or iris blades. (Definitely avoid something like WD40 or silicone spray.) Grease is the preferred lubricant, and often there might be several different types used in one lens. To apply it you need to disassemble the part that needs lubrication. 

A standard zoom mechanism is not driven with threads, it's a barrel held closely at each end that can rotate, with cam grooves cut in it that move 2 optical groups back and forth inside. To get to the zoom mechanism, you usually need to remove the focus group at the front first, which will lose the focus mark calibration unless you carefully mark exactly where it screws together. 

Good luck if you give it a go!

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It's a bit of a beater camera so I'm not entirely worried about killing it - although obviously it'd be nice not to, ha! I took apart the front part of the lens earlier on to give it a clean (there was a fair amount of dust kicking around on the rear of the front elements) an dwhile it was open gave the zoom mechanism a gentle blow through with some compressed air and this seems to have dislodged whatever small grit was causing the scratching sound!

There does seem to be a little friction still towards the wide end of the lever's throw, alas, which I am assuming is likely to do with the small rails this runs along being dry (I assume these would've been lubricated in the first instance, certainly the upper one seemed to have been at some point) so I shall have to try and find some suitable grease and perhaps give them a small dab... If that doesn't work then perhaps I'll have to dive in a little further.

Thanks for the advice, Dom! ☺️


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Posted (edited)

I have a break down of the camera on the Yola site that I sent to Gareth, the owner of the site. There are two reasons for this to happen
1. The lower gear that engages to the zoom gear has worn teeth. 

2. Most likely it is the coil zoom . 



Repair guy

Edited by Kirk Billingsley

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