Repair: Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5

Hello, everybody! How are you guys this week? As usual, I am very busy with work, family and maintaining this blog. I find it difficult to balance the 3 and I got even less time now because I need to devote more time to my growing daughter’s development so I hope that you will understand if I am having a hard time publishing my posts on time.


Today, we are going to talk about a cheap and fantastic lens that is always considered by many as the underdog of the Nikkors – it’s the magnificent Nikkor-Q Auto 135mm f/3.5 lens!

IMG_0456The lens is overshadowed by it’s faster f/2.8 sibling, the Nikkor-Q 135mm f/2.8 Auto lens for obvious reasons but I will tell you now that this lens is even sharper than it’s f/2.8 sibling wide-open. That is saying a lot because the NIkkor-Q 135mm f/2.8 Auto is one helluva lens in terms of bokeh and sharpness wide-open! You get that kind of performance together with a compact housing and a reasonable price and the result is going to be a classic! More

Mods: DIY Focusing Screen for DX Cameras

Hello, everybody! We are supposed to have the usual lens teardown today but I am too lazy and tired today to prepare the pictures and commentaries so I will just write a short entry this time around. I am also very busy in our studio because my cute assistant is currently working off-site for a couple of months. She should be back by the end of this month.


When I still had the D7200, I was always straining my eyes at the tiny DX viewfinder every time I used a manual focus lens with it. I focus using the focusing scale so I generally get a nice and focused picture when I am using the lens stopped-down. Shooting the lens at it’s biggest aperture is another story and I had to find a better solution for this.

12241211_10153244985416911_7368475265942359102_n.jpgThe first solution that I thought about was using focusing screens! You can buy one for any camera or ask a shop to trim one for you but I am cheap so I simply opted to DIY the screen myself to save some money. I ended up saving enough money that if ever I failed at this, I would have enough money to attempt 3 more times! More

Repair: Nikon F Eye-Level Finder

Hello, my dear readers. I just unloaded plenty of digital gear yesterday morning. Shooting film and using analog equipment has been so much fun for me that I have relegated all of my digital equipment for low-light and indoor shooting exclusively or for really important events where there is no room for mistakes (paid stuff). Chances are if you are reading and following my blog then you are already at the same point in your photography adventure as me. Do not believe it when they say that shooting film is cheaper then shooting digital, we will talk about it in a future post because there is just so much cow dung being posted on the internet by film snobs.

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Repair: Nikkor 200mm f/4 K/Ai

Hello, everybody! Lately, there has been a shortage of cheap lenses in the junk markers in Tokyo so I haven’t added anything new into my lens collection for a couple of weeks now. There are many factors that contribute to this and one of them is the swarm of mainland PRC tourists flocking here to Tokyo. It was very different several years back but what can I do – it’s an open market and it is everybody’s right to shop. Luckily, I can still find a few good deals like the lens that we are going to talk about in this blog post.


We are going to discuss a very important lens in Nikon’s lens lineup during the 1970s and that lens is the Nikkor 200mm f/4 K/Ai lens! The K (New-Nikkor) and Ai version of this lens is near identical so you can use this guide for both lenses.  I have overhauled both versions and I cannot find anything different between the 2 versions.

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Repair: Nikon F Photomic Ftn (Foam)

Hello, everybody! Summers here in Japan can get really hot or rainy. All the heat and water will result in high humidity and we all know what that means. If you got the misfortune of having one or more of your lenses infected with fungi then head this fungus removal post to remedy the problem.


This is a part of our Nikon F series. Last time, we talked about how we can fix and clean the film counter display of Nikon F and now we are going to talk about how we are going to fix and clean the very popular Ftn finder!

IMG_1075The Ftn finder can be distinguished from earlier models by the lever on it’s right side. This lever is used to open the 2 clasps that help secure it to the front plate of the camera’s face. There are 2 other earlier finders with a light meter attached and this Ftn finder is the last and most advanced iteration, making this the most popular metered head for the F so far. More

Repair: Nikkor 135mm f/2.8K/Ai

Hello, dear readers! How are you this weekend? The weather here in Tokyo is beginning to be unbearably hot as mid summer approaches, there are afternoons where the mercury would even reach 38! Please stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water because I do care for your well-being. I do not wish to read about a photographer who collapsed because of heat stroke, that would definitely spoil my mood. Do take care.


Today, we are going to talk about the Nikkor 135mm f/2.8K lens! For those of you who have been following my blog for some time you may have remembered that I made a tear-down guide of the Nikkor-Q 135mm f/2.8 lens earlier this year – this lens is it’s successor!

IMG_0324This lens looks great on modern DSLRs like this D750. It’s image quality can still keep up with the best of Nikon’s (or Sony’s) sensor technology!

Detailing: Nikon F (Frame Counter)

Hello, everybody. For today’s short post, I will be showing you how I adjusted and cleaned my Nikon F’s frame counter. My F’s frame counter is a little bit offset by less than 1mm. It may not seem like a big deal, but the arrow on the counter is always pointing in between 2 numbers. This makes it hard to judge which frame I am currently at and this is driving me crazy! The camera is old and it is likely that the frame counter housing moved a bit when the previous owner was using it.

Fortunately for us, this is a very simple thing to fix and since I am detailing this camera to make it look as good as I can I also taking this opportunity to clean other things within the same assembly as you will see later.

IMG_1125First, loosen up these 3 tiny set screws on the frame counter housing. You do not need to remove them from their holes so you won’t have to place them back later. I really dislike these things because they are small and delicate. These set screws secure the housing to the camera by locking the whole thing into the groove underneath. More

RIP: Bill Cunningham

Hello, dear readers. I was still greeted by a sad news this morning with the passing away of one of my inspirations for taking people on the street, the great Bill Cunningham. The guy was so low-key and I would often forget his name and just remember his work. Unlike the majority of the current corp of photographers who would market themselves a lot on the internet all the while having mediocre portfolio and charging a lot for workshops, Bill is the type of guy who would just do the opposite. He hated the attention and money. He is happy just to do his craft and have people recognise him for his work rather than his own persona and he would even turn down money because he valued his art and freedom more than money, such a profound way to live.

It was already bad to learn that he had a stroke yesterday and waking up finding one of my heroes dead is even worse. The photography world has lost a remarkable person today.

Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 (1/3)

Hello, everybody! I hope that all is well with you. I am not feeling well the whole week and I am not sick as well as I write this post. Thinking about my readers and seeing my page view spike on the weekends by people anticipating a post gives me the encouragement to write this. Imagine Hulk Hogan rising up again after getting pinned by André the Giant in Wrestlemania III (after hearing the crowds chant his name). I know the feeling now.

I also made a Facebook page so that people can follow any updates that I made on this blog as well as serve as a venue for people to ask and talk about Nikkors and their maintenance. Just click on this link and “like” the page.


Today, we are going to discuss the “legendary” lens that started the small mid-range zoom trend, the Zoom-Nikkor 43-86 f/3.5! You can find many reviews on the internet for this lens so I am not going to discuss it’s performance here in detail. Besides, that is not the goal of this blog as we are more interested in the mechanical side of things.

This lens was made and designed in the early 1960’s to accompany the entry-level Nikkorex line of cameras as a built-in lens. Later, Nikon decided that this lens was worthy enough to carry the Nikkor name so it finally debuted as a separate optic for the F-mount. This lens is said to be the best selling zoom of all time, only to be superseded in sales by the amazing Nikkor 24-70 f/.8 AF-G  (which I own) lens several decades after.

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Tools: Lens Repair Starter Pack

Hello, everybody! It is starting to become really hot and humid here in Tokyo. I really miss the cool autumn breeze. The seasons go by so fast and my baby is now a toddler. I spend a lot of time at work as well as overhauling lenses that I sometimes feel that I should have spent more time with her instead. That is how serious I am with this thing and I hope that you share the passion with me,too.

I have also started a Facebook page so that people can get updates on this blog or whatever I am overhauling or fixing at the moment. The page can also be used as an interface to ask me or whoever is experienced on fixing lenses about your problems and see if it is actually worth fixing it yourself or have a real pro do it instead. Again, this is the Facebook page.

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