Report: Nikon Fan Meeting 2017

Hello, everybody! How are you guys today? It’s a bit stressful for me right now because I will have to make a few very important decisions for my career and family in the coming months. These sort of problems do not matter much for people who don’t have a family of their own yet so I will advise all the single people here in my readership to enjoy your lives while you still have the freedom! Speaking of enjoyment, I am going to share to you my report on last weekend’s event here in Nikon land. I enjoyed the event a lot so I hope you will enjoy my report of Nikon’s 1st Fan Meeting event!

Main Hall:

The main are is where most of the important booths and exhibits are situated. There’s an area where you can play around with Nikon equipment, a photobooth, a place to shoot 2 beautiful models (modestly dressed, unfortunately), and other miscellaneous activities. I forgot to mention that this event is part of Nikon’s centenary celebrations so the theme is consistent with Nikon’s rich history over the past 100 years. Surprisingly, Nikon made no mention of her interesting early years as Japan’s sole manufacturer of precision optics. I can understand that they would want to gloss over Nikon’s wartime manufacturing but I don’t understand how the important formative years were omitted. Maybe the venue is too small? Perhaps Nikon just wanted to showcase her consumer photography products.

IMG_5632This mural will greet you as you enter the hall. I like how they chose the Nikon F and the Nikon D5 to signify that there is continued and unbroken lineage between the 2 cameras in the form of the venerable F-mount. Come with me and let’s see what’s inside!


Where we are so far…

Hello, guys and thanks for supporting the blog! Here’s where we are at this moment. Our stats are getting better since early this year after I began sharing my articles in social media. I was told that the traffic is not so bad specially considering that this is a blog with very specialized topics. We are here thanks for your support and clicks!

blogLook at that graph! This means progress! I am not going to sit idly by and be happy with this. I want to reach more people and with your help, we can make this blog a huge success! Can you help me do it? Let us join force and make sure that no more used or junk Nikon equipment will be thrown to the junker anymore! Help me save more cameras! We are also going to see more Bronica, Contax and Pentax repairs in this blog because I use them, too! See you guys again and thank you very much, Ric. More

Mod: Autofocus Helios-44 for Nikon pt2

Hello, everybody! We are going to continue with our Autofocus Helios-44 project and you will now see the current evolution of this project lens. I have many responsibilities so I’m not going to work on this project regularly so updates will take some time but here it is!

If you recall in part 1, we tried using a zoom lens as the donor body so that we can use its zoom cam for macro mode but this failed miserably because there is no space inside for the huge objective of the Helios-44! While it was working OK, I decide that I want to have a better solution for this so I found a junk AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 for little money to use as the donor body. I think that this is a better solution because f/1.8 isn’t too far from the f/2 maximum aperture of Helios-44. This will help us with the EXIF data. I doubt that there’s any difference the way the camera will meter with this lens because it’s a preset aperture lens so the camera will always meter though the lens in whatever aperture it was set.

IMG_5460I get plenty of stares from people who see this lens. It looks like the usual AF-Nikkor but there’s something strange with this lens which demands you to take a closer look. It’s like going to Thailand for a vacation, you will have to check if the woman you are hitting on’s the real deal and not a “kathoey”. The “farang” will fall for this but not us. I have a saying: Transvestites: more than meets the eye. A Helios in disguise, how novel is that!? More

Report: The 9th Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar

Hello, everybody! Today, I will be covering the 9th Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar! This is usually held around Summer by the Association for Promotion of Camera Commerce. It is sort of like a guild of some sort with members from all around Japan. There are others but this and the I.C.S. (Import Camera Society) are the bigger ones and they both organize bazaars like this in Tokyo. For a gear nut and “tinkerbug”, these bazaars are some of the bigger highlights for the year as far as photography is concerned. I hope you can join me!

IMG_5542Here is a panorama from my iPhone. The participants are all members of the same guild. They have been holding this event for a couple of years now and some come from distant prefectures like Osaka and Nagoya just to participate in this bazaar. If there is a heaven for a camera collector, then it will probably look like this and everything for sale is cheap or given away for free. How nice is that? I would prefer this to the virgins in the afterlife! More

Repair: Testing and Cleaning Junk Cameras (Nikon FE2)

Hello, everybody! How are you today? I got 2 days off from my work so I have a little bit of time for myself and my family. I used my free time to clean and work on some of my new junk acquisitions. I have been getting questions and requests to do a series on this and so I took the time to make on this morning. I hope that you will like this.


Many of my readers are also in the same habit of “recycling” old and junk gear. This is a very good habit because you are not only saving money by buying used/junk gear but it’s also sustainable. Old or junk doesn’t always mean bad; in fact, with the right techniques you can restore these back to decent operation! This is what I do with my junk cameras.

IMG_55662Our specimen for this article is going to be the amazing Nikon FE2 camera. If you look at the picture-in-picture, you will see that the camera is filthy! I don’t know what these are but they look like some fungi/dust to me. It has scratches here and there but no big dings that are serious enough to prevent the camera from operating properly. The 6000 yen tag is not cheap by Japanese standards when it comes to junk cameras of this kind but I got it from a brick-and-mortar shop so I’m OK with this. They need to pay the rent and salaries, too! Buying from online sellers is generally cheaper because the overhead is cheaper.

Repair: AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Hello, everybody! How are you today? I just took the family out to a Korean restaurant. I know that there are a couple of cheap eats there and I thought it would also be good for the family to see the other cheap deals at the vicinity. There are many things that we can get for cheap and being cheap doesn’t always have to be bad. In fact, some cheap things are just as good or even better than the more expensive things just like Stolichnaya when you compare it to the top-shelf vodkas. Today, I’m going to introduce to you a cheap and very good Nikkor that many people started out with and many pros used these,too.


Today, we will talk about a lens that almost every Nikon photographer owned because it was cheap and it exceeded expectations, the AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens! This lens was a big hit for Nikon because of its great price/performance ratio. The lens is “Made in China” and it lowered the production cost even more. I will show you what’s inside this thing so you will know how and why Nikon kept its cost down.

IMG_4830The AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 is the original “plastic fantastic” lens for Nikon users back in the days. Many photographers started with one, built their portfolio with one and made a lot of money using one. They are also very easily sold soon after as they usually lust for a faster f/1.4 lens so these were very plentiful back then and maybe even to this day.


Repair: Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series-E

Hello, everybody! I got back into smoking again after quitting it for 5 years. It has always been on-and-off for me but this time, I’m using the “heat-not-burned” type where tobacco is heated instead of burned. The most popular one sold here is the IQOS. It’s by far the most popular model because of the cost and availability, it is not the best option so mine is now up for sale. In the long run, you end up spending more on tobacco because of bad design decisions made by Philip Morris. This is what I would call “false economy”, you are given an impression that you save plenty of money but at the end you actually spend lots more. That’s the reason why GLO, is slowly kicking the IQOS out of the market. It’s much better designed and is the best option in the “heat-not-burned” market. I’m not endorsing you to start smoking but instead I want you to quit! While we’re on the topic of economy, I will show you a good lens that’s hyped-up as being inexpensive but is really going to cost you more in the long run, a good example of false economy.


Today, we’re going to look at the Nikon 100mm f/2.8E lens! This lens belongs to the cheap Series E line of lenses. Series E lenses were made by Nikon for the budget conscious. They really had great value way back when they were introduced with the cheap Nikon EM. If you guessed that the “E” in Series E means “economy” then you got it right. The Series E line and the Nikon EM were made for ease of use, light weight and economy. This family of Nikon products were aimed at women who are fussy at the size or weight of their gear and ease of operation is important. Now, before branding me as sexist remember that this was the late ’70s. Maybe society is indeed sexist because cameras are still designed to satisfy these parameters today and much of the mirrorless segment shows this (ie: Fuji X-A line).

IMG_5152Series E lenses are generally compact and lite, the Nikon 100mm f/2.8E is no exception. Its weight is almost half of the equivalent Nikkor, is just as small as some small primes and was decently made to satisfy Nikon’s marketing and accountants. They’re pretty good but not Nikkor-good. More

My Colour Photography 1

Here are more photos for my gallery that were taken around 2 years ago up till around last year. Some of the photos were shot with cheap C41 process film and the rest were shot with a Nikon DSLR camera. I take plenty of photos, probably a couple of hundred each year. This is a lot of pictures but if you consider the fact that I take photos almost everyday then this number doesn’t seem too much. I’m slowing down quite a lot lately because “wasting silver” is not practical and with the dwindling supply of that precious metal, this isn’t a good thing to do either.

Observing what people do can be a relaxing activity. Standing at the corner of a street just waiting for something to happen puts me in “the zone” and it has the ability to slow my though process down. You can take it as a form of meditation wherein you drop everything else in your mind and just focus on a single thing. More

My Black and White Photography 1

Hello, everybody! Here are some of my black and white photos that I took some 2-3 years ago. Most of them were shot with film but I believe that less than a handful of them were shot with a DSLR. I rarely ever convert my colour photos to monochrome so I can be sure with this. The film stocks I used were Kodak 400TX, Ilford HP5+ and probably a few were even shot with Kentmere. All were developed with Kodak D-76 as that used to be the only thing available to me here in Tokyo. The photos were mostly shot during my lunch break as I wander through the crowded streets of Shinjuku.


I was trying to do a series with bicycles and here are some of the pictures. Bicycles are a very common sight here in Tokyo and almost everybody owns at least one. It can be hard to make interesting photos of the subject but I tried anyway.