CP+ 2016 (pt.2)

Continued from Part 1…

There you are. I have split this blog post into two parts so that people one mobile devices will not have a hard time scrolling and loading everything as well as to give me some time to pause and take a rest (I’m only human. Flesh and blood, I’m made…)

Tamron:

Oh,boy! You guys are going to like the new Tamron lenses! Just check these out…

The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is the only lens in it’s class. It is the world’s first fast 85mm for the 135 format to have VC. That thing (VC) actually works! The focusing is very fast as you can see in my video above.

HAW_4017It is also sharp wide open and contrast looks just about right. Some lenses of this class will exhibit low contrast when shot wide open with boatloads of chromatic aberration but this lens showed none in this picture. The rendering is pleasant to me and I actually like this better than Nikon’s new 85mm f/1.8G. The Nikon lens is considered by many to be one of the best 85mm’s available in the market. More

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CP+ 2016 (pt.1)

Hello, my dear readers and friends. It’s that time of the year again! I will give you an early bird’s account of this year’s CP+ in Yokohama, Japan. I only went to the exhibits that I am interested in so you will not find anything about Sony, Fuji or Canon in this post because these brands do not appeal to me in any way.

In my usual way of posting, this will just be a series of pictures accompanied by a short commentary. Some of the booths are boring (Nikon) but I promise you that the ones for Tamron and the rest will be worth the read so please read the whole article and I hope that you guys will enjoy it!

HAW_4000The exhibit opens at 10:00AM but 15minutes before that a crowd of old Japanese men and camera buffs from here and abroad can be seen forming at the entrance. I talked to some clerks at the camera shops and they told me that it’s the same old Japanese men that buy and spend money on cameras. Here in Japan, a typical hobby for retirees is fishing and if you have saved more money then photography will end up being your hobby.

HAW_4001.jpgJust look at that crowd and imagine if this was held in summer. I am one of those people who are allergic to body odour. The scent alone overwhelms my senses and I may pass out! More

Repair: Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! It has been a long busy week again for me and I really apologize for not posting in a timely manner. I was busy with work and my family as usual and since spring is just around the corner, I am down most of the time due to hay fever. In fact, I’m currently a bit dizzy as I type so please forgive me if I have typographic or grammatical mistakes. Time flies very fast and my baby is going to be 1 year old soon and this blog is on it’s 1st quarter now. I hope that I can maintain this blog for as long as I can and I am happy for the support that you are giving me. I’m pleased by my growing readership and some of my new readers request that I do an article on a classic, the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 Ai-S. This lens has a reputation for the tendency to develop oily aperture blades so it ends up being in the most-requested list. This lens can be difficult or complicated so this post will be longer than my usual so please bear with me as I explain how to break this down as easy as I can for beginners to service this lens.

Introduction:

The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 Ai-S is probably one of Nikon’s most popular lenses ever. It was introduced in late 1979 and is still currently produced at the time of writing. This is a really good lens and it’s difficult to replace something that’s so useful. Sure, most new lenses today can auto-focus and other fancy features but there will always be a need for a basic no-BS macro lens for scientific or medical purposes. A simpler lens will be much-more reliable in the field as there are less things that will get broken and since it doesn’t need power to operate it’s going to be better to adapt it as a “dumb” optic for instruments in the field or lab. There are currently 3 successors to this lens but people still buy these for the said purposes and more.

IMG_1061Compared to the previous versions, this lens has a completely-new optical design and it’s also packing Nikon’s CRC technology. It has a simple 6 elements-in-5 groups formula that gives excellent results and later ones have modern coatings applied. It’s a small, compact lens that balances perfectly on any type of Nikon SLR camera and makes for a great lens for travel and general photography. Of course, it’s great as a macro lens and many lenses are compared to it to this day when it comes to resolving power for reproduction jobs or product photography. It’s also useful as a lens for scanning your film because it has a flat field and there’s nearly no distortion in the pictures it creates. The faster f/2.8 maximum aperture is helpful for focusing, attach extension tubes to it and you will see a difference because any tube you add takes-away more light and so your viewfinder gets dimmer. If you are using a camera with a split-prism you may also not be able to see what is behind the prism because there’s not enough light. If you think this is terrible then try using the older Micro-Nikkor-P.C 55mm f/3.5 Auto to see what I mean because that lens is slower so your viewfinder will be darker.

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Repair: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! It has been a busy week at work so I haven’t got the time to update this blog for 8 days. It’s difficult striking a perfect work/life balance here in Japan because the working hours tend to be long and can sometimes encroach on weekends so by the time you get home, you’re left with just enough time to clean yourself up and read your email. All that plus the expenses of rearing a child makes things difficult for the average person working here in Japan – No wonder people here prefer to be single all their adult life!

Having mentioned all that, I’m still grateful that I have a wonderful family who supports me in the profession that I chose and for encouraging me to maintain this blog. With the little time I have left this week, I am going to post a short but interesting tear down of a popular Nikkor that has become a favorite due to its small dimensions and the amazing cost-to-performance ratio of this little gem – the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S has a big following because it’s Nikon’s smallest 50mm lens. It was preceeded by the short-lived Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S (long-nose version) and this has a different optical formula if I remember it correctly. The newer lens formula is compact so its lens barrel was also made smaller. Many people consider the older lens to be better optically but not by much. If you ask me, having a smaller lens out-weigh any advantages that the older lens may have in terms of image quality because smaller lenses enable me to use them on scenarios where a bigger lens will just be bothersome.

IMG_0882The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S was introduced in 1980 and stayed in production up to 2005. A lens that was produced for 25 years can be considered a success if you ask me. There’s a big surplus of this lens and I remember that you can still buy these new up until some 12 years ago as “new old-stock” lenses so excellent versions of the last variant can still be found in the used market. Many people loved this lens and it’s part of many people’s kit. I personally see myself keeping this lens forever just because of its practicality. More

Repair: New-Nikkor 55mm f/1.2

Hello, everybody. I’ve been busy the whole week with the unbelievably overcomplicated and ill-reputed Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 so I have not updated the blog in a week. I’d also like to thank my readers for the growing support that you are showing me. All that support will keep me motivated.  I’m also happy to know that there are many people who share my passion that some are now starting to share their knowledge in the internet. It is time for another lens teardown and I’m going to write this guide for a friend that’s why I chose this lens instead of the other ones that I have in my repair notes. Enjoy!

Introduction:

The 55mm f/1.2 lens line started with the Nikkor-S.C 55mm f/1.2 Auto lens and then it got updated to the K (New-Nikkor) version and lastly into Ai. The subject of our article is the 2nd version (K). It is a very nice lens and I hope that I can convince you with this article. This lens is what many people call the “poor man’s Noct because it opens all the way up to f/1.2 and the focal length is also close to 58mm. While the Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S is in a totally different category of specialty lenses, this lens was designed to be a normal lens best-used at night for more light and easier-focusing due to the brighter viewfinder. This lens was also a product of an industry-wide race to produce the fastest normal lens at the time and this lens was only discontinued when its successor, the Ai-Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 came into production more than a decade after this lens line was introduced.

IMG_2697The New-Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 is just a cosmetic upgrade of the Nikko-S.C 55mm f/1.2 Auto. It had its main barrel re-engineered to make it simpler to mass produce and make it look a bit better (subjective). I am not sure if the optics were slightly improved by changing the curvature of any elements or whether any surfaces have received better coatings but for all intents and purposes, you can consider these 2 lenses to be identical in handling and in performance or at least be very similar in those regards. They’re both excellent lenses if you know how to use them properly. More