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Repair: Bronica Helicoids

Hello, everybody! My stomach wasn’t feeling very good this afternoon, I ate some cheese risotto with some very spicy chorizo slices. While this may seem to be an odd combo, it tasted very well because the spiciness compliment the sweetness of the cheese very well. In our lives we will encounter many such odd-combnations that work so well and today, we will talk about an odd combination that worked really well – Bronica and Nikon!

Introduction:

Today, we wil be covering a rare topic, the overhauling of the Bronica’s special helicoid! I didn’t find any good references online so I hope that this will help you fix yours. This is a rare topic and this should show you how this thing really works. There are people who’ll claim that there are no provisions for adjusting the focus on this thing but this article is going to show you how to do it and dispel this myth. Let’s go on a Bronica ride!

IMG_5940My Bronica S2a looks really compact because the Nikkor-P 75mm f/2.8 lens is small. If you think that the lens comes with its own focusing unit then you are wrong. Earlier Bronica-fit lenses don’t have any focusing units so you will need a separate helicoid to do that for you. The grease on the helicoid will sometimes get gummed-up and this is going to be our subject for this article. I don’t see any good references for this so I decide to make one. More

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Retrospect: Nikon Df After 4 years.

Hello, everybody! The days went by really quick as we approach the end of the year and I was looking at my photo archives from a few years back and found some pictures of the Nikon Df launch done in November 2013 and thought that you might be interested to see these. I am not sure where the other pictures are but I will update this blog post as soon as I find them so please come back to my blog to see if something new was published.

10883043645_ca874f862e_zThis is what the reception looked like. Of course, the pretty receptionists are a must in a product launch. Maybe they can hire me next time for the ladies? What do you think? More

Repair: W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8

Hello, everybody! The weather here in Tokyo is getting less humid because summer has ended. While that is a very welcome change, the thing that worries me now is the missile tests that North Korea has been doing. The country is literally locked in a Cold War stasis and all these worry of a nuclear war reminds me so much of the early ’80s where things can suddenly go downhill in an instant as best demonstrated by Nena. Now, not all things are bad in the Cold War and all that competition between the world powers pushed the limits of manufacturing and design. Today, we will talk about one of the more interesting products from the beginning of the Cold War that has endured the test of time. Read on.

Introduction:

Today, we are going to look at the legendary fast wide-angle lens for the Nikon S system, it is none other than the amazing W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 lens! This lens was introduced in the mid ’50s and is the fastest 35mm lens made by anyone at that point. Usually, things of this sort (world’s firsts) tend to have some flaws but this lens is one of the few examples wherein the manufacturer got almost everything right from performance to styling. Stay along and read the introduction to know one of the most important lenses made in the history of 35mm photography! I am sure that you will find this lens interesting.

IMG_5122Such a beautiful lens! This is one of the first black Nikkors on the market. The styling was so sexy that it carried-over to the Nikkors for the F-mount. As far as the small Nikkors for the S-mount is concerned, this one has a rather large filter size of 43mm. It had to due to the huge front element. Most wide lenses in its day are slow and have smaller front glass. More

Nikon D850 Negative Digitizer Mode

Hello, everybody! Here in this blog post, I will show you how to access the Nikon D850’s unique “Negative Digitizer Mode”. Now, I would apologize for the lack of sound on my video because for some reason my iPhone picked up nothing. So I was talking loudly making sure that you will hear what I was saying but once I got to see the video I was disappointed to find that no sound was recorded! This is probably good news for people who dislike my bastardized “Commonwealth English” accent. Again, my sincerest apology! I will make up for this!

img_3069I have been digitizing my negatives using DSLRs for some time now. I have been using the Nikon Picture Control so I will get a positive image when I preview my capture on the camera’s LCD. While this works well with monochrome pictures, I wasn’t very happy with this workflow when it comes to C41 process films due to the heavy amber tint and this requires more time and effort to fix in post but I have gotten used to it somehow (unfortunately) by now and Nikon rocked the boat so to speak when they implemented the new Negative Digitizer Mode. More

Repair: Dented Rings

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to show you how I fix dented front rings with a lens vise! Dings on the front ring can be caused by dropping a lens or having the front of the lens hit something really hard when you are not mindful of your gear. I usually will not bother with lenses with these kinds of damage because there is a big chance that other things are damaged by the shock. Imagine, the force is strong enough to dent metal so it’s common sense that other more fragile things inside the lens or camera might have been knocked-out of tolerance. Glass elements can be knocked-out of alignment and sensitive assemblies can be thrown out of sync. If you know how to fix these or you don’t mind at all then this is how you can fix the ding on the front ring and enjoy your dropped lens.

IMG_5676Here is a terrible example of a dented filter ring. The threads were ugly and mangled. Its lip are irregular because the previous owner attempted to correct it by using brute force. There are scratches on the outer surface of the ring and that is probably where the pliers or whatever he used sunk its teeth on it. The serrated nature of the scar is a telltale sign. More

Tools: DIY Pipe Key Alternative

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to share to you an idea that was shared to me by Jon. I will not mention his full name for his privacy but I would like to thank him for sharing his knowledge to me; as usual, whatever I learned will go straight to you if it is beneficial and will help prevent any frustration while you work on your equipment. Read on!

IMG_5136I modified a pair of tweezers from the manicure section and bent it in the shape of a cow horn forceps. I bent them with a pair of pliers and being careful that the resulting shape is symmetrical. Finally, I flattened the resulting prongs to make them fit the tight spaces that they are required to slip into. Finish it off by sanding the flattened parts so you are sure that there are no rough edges that will damage anything. Make sure that it’s smooth by trying to scratch it on a piece of scrap plastic or metal. If it didn’t leave any mark then you are successful! Before I forget, make sure that the prongs are parallel to each other. More

Repair: Preset Iris Reassembly

Hello, everybody! I’m going to show you how to work on a preset iris. It’s a type of iris or diaphragm that was commonly used many older lenses made before the ’70s and I’m not sure wether this went on until the ’80s. A preset iris (my term) is a type of iris design that was commonly used on lenses with no automatic diaphragm feature, you will have to do the opening and closing manually as it’s not automatically actuated. An automatic iris is convenient because it did away with manual intervention and  SLRs benefitted the most from this because SLRs allow you to look through the lens or “TTL”. This is beneficial in many ways because the image you see on your viewfinder is bright and not darkened as you close the iris down. A preset-type iris won’t give you that brightness because it won’t open or close automatically so you see through the lens with the iris opened or closed so whatever light is gathered is what you see on the viewfinder of an SLR.

Mechanically, the preset-type irises are more complicated to make. Instead of the simpler cantilever-type blades used on automatic iris lenses, the preset-type iris uses leaves with pegs on either end. They almost always have more blades and so it tales plenty of time to put them together. All this means that things start to become expensive really quick and I can tell you that accountants don’t like this so to make a profit, this had to be simplified.

IMG_4535Preset-type irises are notorious for being time-consuming and frustrating to assemble! I am not fond of working with these but what can I do? Some of the best older lenses have them. They can be intimidating at first but it’s not as bad as it looks; just have patience. More

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