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. More

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

Hello, everybody! I hope that all is well with you. I was not feeling well this whole week and I’m a bit sick as I write this post but thinking about my readers and seeing my page view spike during the weekends because of people anticipating a new 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 cheer). I know how it feels 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, it’s the Zoom-Nikkor 43-86 f/3.5! You can find many reviews on the internet for this lens so I’m not going to discuss its performance here in detail. Besides, that is not the goal of this blog as we’re more interested in the mechanical side of things but I’ll at least show you some sample pictures that were shot with this lens to help illustrate my point and to give you a better understanding of how to use this lens, something that most reviews for this lens won’t show you.

This was designed in the early 1960s to be used with the entry-level Nikkorex 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 is said to be the best selling zoom lens of all time and only to be outdone in sales volume by the very popular Nikkor 24-70 f/.8 AF-G  (which I owned) lens several decades after.

People are divided when it comes to this lens, some say that this is the worst that Nikon made while some say that it’s respectable in a way so it deserves more respect. I fall into the latter because it was revolutionary, it’s responsible for pioneering new concepts in photography. Having this alone gave the 1960s photographer the freedom to change focal-lengths without changing lenses. It replaces a 50mm and 85mm lens in your bag and it also didn’t cost a lot, too. This meant that journalists and amateurs won’t lose a shot just because the wrong lens was attached to their camera.


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.

IMG_0748.JPGIMPORTANT: I do not offer this package anymore because shipping can be difficult due to restrictions, etc. There are people who seek glory in other people’s suffering and these people made it difficult for honest people like me to ship combustible materials like oils and grease. I do not earn a lot from this to justify all the paperwork and effort.


Repair: Micro-Nikkor 5.5cm f/3.5 (2/2)

Hello, everybody! We are finally going to see the second part of the Micro-Nikkor 5.5cm f/3.5 teardown! We were side-tracked a couple of weeks ago when I featured a teardown of the venerable Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai but we are finally going to finish this series. I can even make a third part but that will be too long, I am sure people will get bored so I am going to stay with the original plan of having just 2 parts.


These look unique as far as Nikkors go. You can’t find any other Nikkor that looks like this lens. This is novelty lens and it’s best-left to the collectors. The later Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 Auto is a better lens in every way, if you are looking for a practical macro lens for cheap then that lens will fit the bill.


Tools: DIY Lens Spanner

Hello, everybody! I hope that all is well with you. It is starting to get really hot and balmy here in Tokyo as summer approaches. This means that the air will be humid again and we should pay more attention on keeping our glass fungus free!

Today, I am going to show you how to fabricate your own lens spanner with the use of some plastic scraps and a little bit of patience!

IMG_0311There are times when you need to access a retention ring or lens element that is placed too deep inside a barrel or tube and using the lens opener and compass is just out of the question because it may damage the surface of the barrel or it simply just won’t fit ot reach the slots that you want to access. More

Tokinon 50 1.4, a Photographer’s Pub…

Hello, readers. I am going to share something different to you guys this time, I am going to make a pub review! Yes, a review of a pub! But this is not your ordinary pub as you will see soon in the next paragraph.

Today, I am going to introduce you to a very nice place near my house in Tokyo. It is a pub that is inspired by photography and is being ran by a photographer and his partner. The place is appropriately named Tokinon 50/1.4 and the place is in Nakano Station (2 stops from Shinjuku). The place lies in between 2 of the better camera shops there when looking at the map, they are Fujiya and Nitto respectively. It can be difficult to find at first because it is in the back alleyways. In fact, I used to live within 2km of this place and I frequent the area but I would not have known about this place unless somebody had told me about it.

IMG_0666The front of the bar is simple. The only clues that it is a photography related place is the sign which reads “Tokinon 50/1.4” as well as the photographs featured in the front. If you are walking past the place with no intention of looking at the details then you can be sure that you will miss this place. More