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Servicing the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX macro lens

Personally, I've encountered auto focus problems with my Sigma AF105mm macro lens ever since I've had it. I find that sometimes AF is completely redundant in situations without bright illumination or strong contrast and I have to use manual focus. Even manual focusing takes extreme patience, as I always wait for the focus confirmation beep to sound (which takes a while.) I use it for medical applications where I want to work quickly and accurately, so this is a significant problem. A shame, because in every other respect its a beautiful lens.

Lee M

Lee Morrall
Tue, 7 Mar 2006 04:00:33 -0800

You should not be using general oils to lube anything inside the camera lens! If nothing, that oil you picture is grossly impure.

The correct oils to use vary with their application. If you want to lubricate moving gears, use a pin-prick of watch oil on a jewellers screwdriver and tough the gear pivots (I can't remember what its called), not on the gear teeth itself.

For a manual-focusing helicoid, you will need a heavier grease. I use one that is intended for lubricating binos.

If you don't have professional oils ... you can use WD40 for the gear pivots... but you need to let the oils sit in a small cup and seperate. The good stuff is the stuff on top after settling.

For the helicoids, you can use a commonly available teflon grease called "superlube".

Sun, 30 Jul 2006 06:52:07 -0700

Perhaps the best oil is Dextron type 3 automatic transmission fluid. It is red in color. Transmission fluid is an excellent lubricant that never dries and gums-up as many light-weight general purpose oils will after a number of years.
Caution; using any oil around a lens can lead to gassing and depositing the vapors onto the lenses. If you do oil it, then blott away as much excess as is possible.

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 18:19:47 -0700

Transmission fluid? I think that would have a long term effect on the life of the plastics in the lens.

As for oil, well it's probably not going to stick for long enough as you found. You'll also find that if you use too much it will spray around inside the housing as the gears spin at high speed, and you don't want that stuff anywhere near your lens elements!

As previously mentioned, I'd recommend using a small amount of teflon grease. Always does the job for me ;)

I'm curious why Sigma use a belt drive system in this lens... didn't we learn anything from belt/direct drive record players in the 70's?

Tue, 28 Nov 2006 18:25:32 -0800

We have tested all different lubricants but so far we find Synco's Super Lube grease to be the best for cameras !

Leonard Van Hulst
Thu, 11 Jan 2007 03:23:36 -0800

Do you have a full disassembly guide for this lens. I have managed to spin the internal barrel outside the external one.
Its only hanging on by the data cable! looks tricky to reset.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:20:06 +0000

No. I do not have a disassembly guide. I just look for screws and ways to take it apart.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 03 Apr 2009 15:26:53 +0000

Can you tell/show where the AF belt is located please?

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:42:49 +0000

i am camera lover also i trying to clean lens my self. it's very pleasure to note that my canon EOS body repaired my self,and now looking for lens. Thanks for your help.

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:07:19 +0000

Perhaps of interest.

Micro-Tools has and sells a variety of lubricants for cameras and lenses.

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 11:21:18 +0000

Hi, thank you very much for inspiring me to take the lens apart myself enough to be able to lubricate the motor workings, and now my Sigma lens autofocuses perfectly. I notice other people mentioning oil, I normally use a 'watch oil' when tiny amounts of lubrication are required, applied with the tiniest of artists brush. Many thanks again for taking the time to put instruction photos on internet.

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 23:17:46 +0000

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