Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 (2/3)

Hello, everybody! Sorry for the irregular blog updates as I am very busy this month. We are scheduled to have a lens teardown this time but I am too busy to write a full teardown so I am going to continue a previous series that I started many months ago. This is supposed to be just a supplement of the first part so I will keep this short.


The Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 lens that I discussed previously is an important lens in the photography world because it was the first affordable (normal range) zoom lens for the 35mm format. As I mentioned in the previous part, the lens had some quirks that needed to be ironed out and some of it was corrected in this version with the addition of a modern lens coating – the Zoom-Nikkor C 43-86mm f/3.5 lens.

img_1115The lens balances wonderfully on the Nikon D750. I had to convert this lens to Ai before I attach this to the Nikon D750 or else the lens will damage the camera’s Ai coupling tab. More

Mod: Alternative Ai Conversion Method

Hello, everybody! I haven’t updated anything for a weeks now and it looks like it’s going to be that way for the rest of this month. I am currently very busy with visiting family and a friend who also happens to be my dog food supplier. I will resume our normal schedule on November when things slow down a bit, until then please enjoy this little article.


Some earlier Nikkors have a thin aperture enough ring that doesn’t even touch the aperture coupling tab of modern Nikon cameras. Converting these to Ai is much easier compared to the ones that have a thicker aperture ring wherein you need to grind off any material that is in the way of the tab.

Today, I will show you how I make these lenses work with any Ai interface so that you can enjoy these old lenses with your modern Nikon cameras and get aperture priority metering with it.

img_1339The Nikkor-H 50mm f/2 is one such lens. This is an easy mod since the tab needed for this is not as big as the ones needed for slower lenses. More

Repair: Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S

How are you, readers? I have not updated my blog for weeks and I can see that people are checking my site on the weekends looking for updates. The past few weeks were terrible. I got sick and the rest of the family got ill as well including our precious baby. I am so busy at work and having an idiot as a team mate doesn’t make things easier so I am left with no time to update this blog and stress levels are very high. Don’t worry, I will make it up to you because we are going to teardown a very special lens this time.


We are going to feature a legend in this blog post. A lens so steeped in hearsay and fantasy that it’s reputation preceded it. The fact that this lens is rare and out of production is also contributing to the hype. And as a Nikon tinkerbug, this lens ranks very high on my list. It is like hunting down and killing Moby Dick and this lens is no other than the now-legendary Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S!

img_1658This lens when coupled with a camera that has a Nikon D4 sensor will enable you to shoot in really dim situations like a candle-lit room with ease. The Noct is designed to be used in the dark or night photography. One of it’s selling points is how it corrects points of light found on the corners of the frame. Usually, large aperture lenses will distort these points of light when shot wide-open but the Noct is corrected to help keep the shape of the lights and prevent these from smearing. It’s not perfect, but it is much better than many lenses for this.


Mod: Nikon Df Split Prism

Hello, friends! This week was just a pain for me – literally! I had a new gout attack and my left foot was super painful! I haven’t gotten anything like this for 2 or so years now and as my doctor told me, it might be an indication that my uric acid level is going down. My foot is feeling much better now and I should be OK by Monday. The pain associated with gout is just as painful as manually focusing a fast prime on modern DSLRs like the Nikon Df and I will show you how I made my experience a lot better in this blog post, making me hate this camera a little less.


Today, I am going to show you how I replaced the original matte screen that came with my Nikon Df with the FM3A’s K3 screen for better focus confirmation with faster manual focus lenses (f/2 and faster)!

img_1698This is all we need for this project. Be sure to work in a clean place! More

Repair: PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5

Wow, it’s now September and it’s still HOT in Tokyo! Autumn is just around the corner and next month should be a lot cooler. I cannot wait to take pictures of the Autumn scenery in Tokyo because this is the most photogenic time of the year in my opinion. The boring concrete buildings will be accented with the vivid colours of Autumn and what better lens to take pictures that juxtaposition than this lens that I will be showing you on this post!


Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 lens! This lens is both unusual and historically important. I say unusual because this lens is a specialist lens that was specifically designed for architectural photography. This amazing Nikkor was also ground-breaking back in the days because it is the first lens for the 35mm format that can give you any control over the perspective of your image by modifying the vanishing point of your frame and hence – “PC” (Perspective Control) and not the destructive concept that is destroying our societies because it was taken too far and used out of context! Fuck PC!

IMG_0206Oh, such a lovely lens. This thing is heavy so do not let it’s small size fool you! It is a gem of a lens that was made with precision in mind. The lens is dirty in this picture but you are going to see it cleaned before your very eyes! More

Repair: Nikon FE Camera Back Lock

Hello, everybody. It’s a rainy day today here in Tokyo, it’s actually very bad timing since it is the annual Asakusa Samba Carnival today! I was hoping for good weather last night but it seems that nature listens to nobody. Oh,well…maybe it’s going to be sunny next time.


Today, we are going to talk about how I fixed the locking mechanism of my Nikon FE’s film door. My Nikon FE is supposed to be sold but I accidentally soiled the camera so it’s going to stay with me for now. I also fixed some other things on this camera and I will show you what I did next time. This is going to be a series like the one I did for my Nikon F.

IMG_1435.JPGHere is the Nikon FE along with the Nikon F. Notice how small it is but I assure you that this camera is very capable. In fact, I would say that it has most of what the legendary Nikon F3 has when it comes to features.

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.

IMG_1145 More

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.

IMG_0463 More

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