Repair: W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8

Hello, everybody! The weather here in Tokyo is getting less humid because summer has ended. While that is a very welcome change, the thing that worries me now is the missile tests that North Korea has been doing. The country is literally locked in a Cold War stasis and all these worry of a nuclear war reminds me so much of the early ’80s where things can suddenly go downhill in an instant as best demonstrated by Nena. Now, not all things are bad in the Cold War and all that competition between the world powers pushed the limits of manufacturing and design. Today, we will talk about one of the more interesting products from the beginning of the Cold War that has endured the test of time. Read on.


Today, we are going to look at the legendary fast wide-angle lens for the Nikon S system, it is none other than the amazing W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 lens! This lens was introduced in the mid ’50s and is the fastest 35mm lens made by anyone at that point. Usually, things of this sort (world’s firsts) tend to have some flaws but this lens is one of the few examples wherein the manufacturer got almost everything right from performance to styling. Stay along and read the introduction to know one of the most important lenses made in the history of 35mm photography! I am sure that you will find this lens interesting.

IMG_5122Such a beautiful lens! This is one of the first black Nikkors on the market. The styling was so sexy that it carried-over to the Nikkors for the F-mount. As far as the small Nikkors for the S-mount is concerned, this one has a rather large filter size of 43mm. It had to due to the huge front element. Most wide lenses in its day are slow and have smaller front glass.

The W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 was a world-beater. It bested everything the Germans had and it took others some time to catch up. Having said that, you must understand that after the war the German optics was in ruins and uncontrollable political variables would impede it’s growth for a few decades until it was too late. While the Japanese optics industry had it just as bad, the political climate is less complicated here and this allowed the Japanese optics industry to recover earlier and dominate the world’s optics industry.

35f18formulaHere is the diagram for the W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 lens’s formula. It was basically based on a Xenotar or Gauss-type lens and it has a 7 elements in 5 groups. You will notice that the rear of the lens is bigger than the front. It’s said that this lens is capable of giving you an aperture f/1.4 but vignetting was too poor so it was conservatively designed for a modest f/1.8 instead. This may be a marketing gimmick so don’t take this at face value. Everyone knows that marketing can be full of BS and will say anything just to sell something.

IMG_5123The real key to this lens’s success is the big rear element that was calculated to be bigger than the front element and it was made with an exotic radioactive material (La). As you can see, there is a bit of fungus damage that affected the coating. This is common in this lens and the majority on the market have this. Don’t worry, it won’t affect anything.

This lens was the brainchild of the genius optical engineer Mr. Azuma Hideo. It was made so that Nikon would have a fast wide-angle lens for low-light situations. At the time this was calculated, the usual speed for wide-angle lenses hover around the f/2.5 – f/3.5 range. There was definitely a need for something like this and this lens delivered in spades. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this lens made a name for itself. It became a desirable lens to own by both users and collectors. Some Leica photographers would buy these in the Leica screw mount (with different aesthetics from this) or just adapt these so they can use it with their modern Leica M-mount cameras. Sure, newer Leica lenses surpassed this but they cost a small fortune to acquire so in terms of cost-performance, this lens is hard to beat even for Leica users. While owning one of these isn’t at all cheap (about $700), it’s still cheaper compared to the native Leica offerings. Even the rarer Leica mount version of this lens is cheaper (about $1400) but looking for one is not easy due to the scarcity.

IMG_4807As you can see from the picture above, the f-numbers on the aperture ring are now found on the outer surface of the aperture ring! This is very convenient when you compare it to what the W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5 has which was typical for wider Nikkors lenses back in the day wherein the f-numbers were engraved on the front of the lens so you’ll have to look at the front of your setup just to know what aperture you’re at and make changes to that. This change alone makes this lens handle better then the rest and many W-Nikkors were given the same treatment later in production. See how dirty this lens was? Yuck!

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These pictures were taken with a Nikon SP and C41 process film. Since film is much more forgiving when it comes to sharpness, you can still see that it’s pretty sharp wide-open. It has some flare but not very distracting at all and while some vignetting is present, it isn’t too dark as to make you feel like you are peeking into a keyhole. While it’s expected that the results with film should look good even wide-open, how will it compare on digital?

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Here are some sample taken with a Sony NEX-5 and to the crop factor of 1.5 on the APS-C format the W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 behaved more like a standard 52mm lens. It’s still sharp wide-open just like how it is with my film samples but the “glow” or veiling flare is much more prominent. The rendition is exquisite for such an old lens and while the look felt a bit “outdated”, you can simply label it “character” and think of it as one of the things that makes this lens special and standout amongst the rest. Not bad for a lens 6 decades old!

All of the samples below were taken with a Sony a7 and these should show you how this lens performs on a 24MP full-frame sensor. The images were all taken wide-open at f/1.8 so please forgive me if there are any shots which are slightly out of focus. All were taken with the base sensitivity of ISO100 and the mode was set to aperture priority.

DSC00502.jpgHere is a boring shot of some leaves near the minimum focusing distance of 0.9m, I took this picture to show you how this lens performs with foliage on the background. Foliage is traditionally a bit difficult to render when not in focus and you can see from the image that the foliage indeed look a bit busy but not overly ugly at all. Also note that big blob at the center of the frame, that is the ghost you get with the Sun near the frame. Of interest is the character of the bokeh on the shiny part of the blue car to the right. The good news is that the leaves on the foreground rendered beautifully and they’re sharp and clear.

DSC00513.jpgAnother boring shot, this time with a biker. See how sharp this lens can be wide-open?

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The pictures above show how this lens renders subjects that are close to the lens. A lens can behave differently depending on the distance it is focused on. This lens looks great at minimum distance to midrange. I am not sure about subjects that are far away. It’s a very exquisite lens at these distances and the pictures above demonstrates that.

DSC00516.jpgDue to the older coating technology, this lens tends to flare a bit on bright subjects. This is what many people refer to as the “Zeiss glow” wherein the subject is sharp but there is a nice and pleasing glow surrounding it, making it very pleasing for use with fair-skinned people. This is now lost in modern lenses that are overly-corrected.

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The 3 images above show how this lens performs in contra-light. The first picture shows how delicate this lens can be when shot wide-open. The following 2 pictures should give an idea on how bad ghosting is on this lens. This is the limitation of the older coatings.

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I am not sure if the compression would kill the details on these pictures but the man with the bicycle is sharp on my monitor. Again, very exquisite rendering and sharp where it is focused. Of course, modern lenses will be sharper but these 2 pictures show that this lens can still hold its own even with modern 35mm full-frame digital cameras.

DSC00535.jpgI imagine that this would be what this lens was designed for, to take pictures of lowlight situations with slower film. I remember back in the day that ASA400 is considered a fast film and most people shot ASA50 or ASA125 film. This lens enables journalists back then to have a usable shutter speed while shooting in the dark. Pushing film also helps but it’s generally better to have as much speed as possible in these kinds of scenarios.

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The images above were shot from f/1.8, f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6 (ascending order). A 35mm lens is not one for blurred backgrounds and considering that the minimum focusing distance for this lens is a mere 0.9m, you cannot get close to you subject and capitalize on the fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 (wide-open). Despite that, we can see the background blurred decently on the pictures to the left. If you click on my sample images and zoom you will see that the center is already very sharp and free from most flaws like CA. The rare earth element lanthanum really works wonderfully in correcting this lens! Stopping it down to f/2/8, you will notice that the DOF just widens but sharpness still remained very much the same. If anything, the small amounts of flaring is now gone. Contrast improved a little bit probably due to the increased DOF so it gave this impression. We can see this pattern on happening as you stop-down to f/4 and f/5.6 but doing so doesn’t really make the center any sharper because it’s already pretty good by f/1.8 and nearly at its peak at f/2.8 so you only stop your lens down for wide DOF. I would say that this lens peaks at about f/4 and I would shoot it at this aperture if maximum center sharpness is important. The bokeh on the hand is not bad for a lens this old. The background looks blurred up until f/4 where it begins to lose its blurriness and by f/5.6 it now looks boring since it’s now more focused. Of course, we’re shooting these at the minimum focus distance so our observations are derived from this. This lens may behave differently at different focusing distances so you will have to find that out for yourself. Just check my other samples and you will see that it’s still pretty good across the board at least for the distances that commonly matter.

Having seen the samples, do you think that this lens is still up for it in modern times? Of course! In fact, Nikon re-issued this lens together with the Nikon SP in 2005. These were coated with modern coatings and the materials used are a bit different. The radioactive La was dropped due to it being radioactive so I wonder if the original optical design had to be recalculated to compensate for this. Like what I said earlier, the La in the rear glass helped with the sharpness and flatness of this design. I will try and ask the people who’re involved in this and get some answers and I will update you guys about it, deal?

IMG_4849The W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 is a very sexy lens. I find it such a joy to use and I don’t see any point in using my slower 35mm lenses for the S-mount because this is the best there is.

Now that you have heard me say the good parts, it’s time for you to hear the bad. What I don’t really like about this lens is that it focuses only to around 0.9m and for a wide lens that isn’t really optimal because wide lenses are meant to be used up-close. This issue has more to do with the rangefinder on the camera than this lens’ design. On the mirrorless camera bodies, this can somehow be remedied with a thin extension ring. This is the real turn-off for me but we really cannot do anything about this.

That’s it for the introduction, are you now pumped-up for the teardown? Let’s now begin with the teardown and repair article!

Before We Begin:

If this is the first attempt at opening a lens then I suggest that you read my previous posts regarding screws & driversgrease and other things. Also read regarding the tools that you will need in order to fix your Nikkors.

I highly suggest that you read these primers before you begin (for beginners):

Reading these primers should lessen the chance of ruining your lens if you are a beginner. Also before opening up any lens, always look for other people who have done so in Youtube and the internet. Information is scarce, vague and scattered (that is why I started this) but you can still find some information if you search carefully.

I highly recommend that you also read my working with helicoids post because this is very important and getting it wrong can ruin your day. If I can force you to read this, I would. It is that important!

For more advanced topics, you can read my fungus removal post as a start. This post has a lot of useful information here and there and it will be beneficial for you to read this.

About Me:

I am a photographer based in Tokyo who scours the junk section of the camera shops here on a regular basis. I started this hobby of fixing old lenses and cameras because I kept on getting scammed before when I purchase online. This turned out to be a blessing because I now buy junk lenses for a fraction of the price and then fix them to add to my growing now collection. This allowed me to buy gear that were otherwise off-limits to me if I were to get them in better condition.

I was a scale modeller before who built models for other collectors for a very longtime, got an education as a dental prosthodontist (but didn’t pursue dentistry) and growing up in a watch repair shop gave me the useful skills that would help me in this craft. Fixing my car also contributed some know-how.

Having mentioned the above, I will tell you now that I am not a professional repairman! So please take what I do with a grain of salt and I will never be held responsible for anything wrong that will happen to you and your project. I hope that the pros would guide and teach us but nobody is writing anything.

As my collection of repair notes grew, I get requests from people with similar interests and from professionals who just needed some notes just in case. Now, I am sharing my library with you for your entertainment and reference. I hope that you find my work useful.

Disassembly (Focusing Unit) :

Just like most W-Nikkors, this lens can be separated by removing a ring on the rear part of the lens. Unlike most W-Nikkors however, this lens has a more complicated design and you will have to remove a few things first before you can separate the focusing unit and the objective. This is a very delicate task so be sure that you are ready for this.

IMG_4810To be safe, I will remove the rear element to get it out of the way first. Get a lens spanner and carefully remove the retainer ring and be careful not to scratch anything!

As you can see from the picture above, there are 2 retainer rings. One to secure the rear elements group and another thinner one around the outer surface of this ring to secure the whole assembly. This thinner one can be hard to see in the picture but you can make it out by looking at the 3 o’clock position and see the slot for the ring. The thinner ring is situated between the retainer ring for the rear elements and the wall of the housing.

IMG_4811Be sure that the lens is facing down or you will drop that precious rear element. The rear element is bigger than the front element in this design and is key to this lens’ success.

IMG_4812The rear elements group is a doublet and you will want to be careful not to contaminate the cement used to bond the 2 elements. Use a lens sucker to extract it out of its housing. When working with lens elements, never forget which side should face which direction!

IMG_4844Here’s another view of the exotic rear elements group. Notice that there are small gaps in between the elements. Be careful when cleaning this and make sure that you don’t leave any cleaning fluids in the gaps. Some people even claim that the cement used for binding lens elements together (Canada balsam) doesn’t actually cure completely especially in the middle of the lens where there is no air. I have seen cases where the cement has at times deteriorated to the point where there is some stickiness when you handle the elements.

IMG_4845It is made of lanthanum and is slightly radioactive. It turns yellow over time and the best way to bleach it is to expose it to sunlight. I will never do that to this because this is not a single lens element and heat from the sunlight may be enough to alter the cement. I will leave this as-is and just think of it as like having a in-built yellow filter; just kidding here.

IMG_4813Once the precious rear element group is gone, you can remove casing after removing its retainer ring. Use the proper tool for this because this is delicate. I use this tool to remove it but you can use whatever is available to you so long as you are sure that you won’t do any damage to the threads surrounding it. It is made of brass and can be easily damaged.

Now, I do not remember it very well but I think you can remove the rear assembly while leaving the rear elements intact simply by only removing the thinner retainer ring. This is something that you will have to find out for yourself as I do not trust my memory at all at this point. Since the rear elements group is very important, just be on the safe side and remove the glass first before doing anything. Better to err on the safe side!

IMG_4808Before you remove the cam, you should remove this screw first because this secures the cam. This screw is notorious for being troublesome to put back. You should sit it perfectly below the spring or it will not sit properly at all! Before you remove this screw, you must take notes and pictures to remind you how this should look like when you put it all back and you’ll also require 3 hands to put it back again, in my case I used my lips to push the screwdriver just to help put things in position so I can screw it properly!

IMG_4814Now that the screw and the housing for the rear elements are gone, you can now remove this collar/cam. This thing is used for coupling the lens to the rangefinder mechanism on the camera and it only moves in 1 axis, that is why it’s called a cam.

This design is taking ’50s lens engineering to its limits. Usually, this collar/cam is situated around the rear elements on conventional W-Nikkors but this design requires a big rear element so the rear elements assembly will not fit and it had to sit behind this thing. This is as complicated as it gets when it comes to W-Nikkors.

IMG_4815The spring for the cam can be easily extracted just like this. Depending on the state of the lens, this spring can sometimes be rusty and you should clean it properly before you put it back. I will slightly go further by lubing it very lightly with some lens grease. You will only need to leave a very thin film of lube because a thicker layer of grease can gum up in the future and impede its movement, this is enough to affect your focusing!

IMG_4816You can now finally access this retainer ring that holds everything together! I used this tool to unscrew it. Be careful not to damage the exposed glass or you will end up with a very expensive paperweight. If you did that then donate your lens to me for spare parts!

IMG_4817The retainer ring can now be safely extracted. Remember never to pickup your lens or it will separate and drop to the floor. This little thing is responsible for holding everything together and without it, the objective’s casing and focusing unit will separate.

IMG_4818with everything facing down, carefully lift the focusing unit from the objective’s casing. I know that some people will want to separate from the opposite end, you are welcome to do so! This is just how I work and I am not forcing my way to my dear readers.

IMG_4819This thick brass shim is used like a washer/spacer. Be sure not to lose this part because it is used to help calibrate the focus of this lens against the film plane. At this point, I stored the objective in a safe place so I can work with the focusing unit without having to worry about damaging the objective. See the dirt accumulated under the aperture ring? Yuck!

IMG_4832To remove the focusing ring, simply unscrew these grub screws around it. I think there are 3 of these situated around the focusing ring. Use a precision screwdriver for these as they are very delicate. Damaging these screws is out of the question!

IMG_4833The focusing ring can now be safely removed. Notice that hole? That is where those grub screws should be sunk into. Remember where these holes are later during reassembly!

Notice that there is a mark on the helicoid’s upper lip scratched by somebody else who’d worked on this lens. This is a sign that somebody worked on this thing.

IMG_4834That mark corresponds to the infinity mark in the focusing scale. This will help me later to determine if I put the lens back together properly or not. See that screw below the line that I scratched? Don’t bother removing it as it doesn’t help you disassemble anything. I got rid of mine and I just wasted my time. That screw’s there to serve as a kind of stop for the focusing ring so that it will not turn beyond its range. Again, leave that screw alone.

IMG_4835I also made a small diagonal scratch on the side walls of the helicoids when the helicoids are collapsed all the way. When I put the helicoids back together later, I should have this mark lining up perfectly or else I did it wrong. Be sure that your marks are made on the surfaces that will not be seen once the lens is put back together and avoid making these on threads or any surfaces that will slide over another part of the lens and keep it small.

IMG_4836The helicoids can now be separated. Remember to always mark where they separate! Not doing this will leave you with plenty of guess-work later and you will waste lots of time just guessing where everything should line up correctly! Read my post on working with helicoids! There are plenty of people who disassembled their lenses but get stuck at this point just because they forgot to mark where their helicoids separated.

That’s it for the focusing unit. You can go further by taking apart the bayonet mount but I will tell you that there’s no benefit in doing that so you’ll just waste your time if you did. I am going to warn you that threads on the helicoids for this lens are easily damaged. If it’s a bit gritty then will want to clean the helicoids properly with a stiff-bristled brush. Let it dry and then mate the 2 clean helicoids together. Turn the helicoids and then feel if they are gritty or wether they will mate cleanly or not. If any of the above happens then you’ll have to clean the helicoids again until these problems don’t show up again. It may take a lot of time and effort for it’s worth it. I was told to use fine steel wool for this and while I didn’t follow that advice, I did use a coarse kitchen sponge to help me do the trick. I think both will work very well when it comes to removing caked grease but the best way that I know of is to use a sharpened toothpick and carefully go along each individual groove on the thread to pick and dislodge any stubborn hardened gunk that won’t go away. Give the helicoids another soak in an alcohol bath and then scrub it a little bit more and then give it another shot and see if it feels smoother or not. Remember that the helicoids will feel a lot smoother when grease is applied so don’t overdo it. Speaking of grease, use a thinner type of grease for this or you will end up with a stiff-focusing lens because the helicoid in the camera is coupled to this and when you turn the focusing ring or the focusing wheel on the camera, you are essentially turning 2 sets of helicoids. This is common sense so I am sure you got what I’m trying to say.

Disassembly (Objective):

The objective is pretty simple and there were no surprises so far but you will have to be a bit careful when handling the glass so you won’t damage it. You will also need small lens spanners that have tips that are small enough to fit inside the casing.

IMG_4820This doublet is secured with a retainer ring. Carefully remove the retainer ring with the proper tools and be careful not to scratch the glass!

IMG_4821You can now extract it with a lens sucker. Remember to note which side should be facing where by using a sharpie and making a small mark on the wall of the elements. A simple dot is more than enough to remind you which side should be facing the front of the lens!

IMG_4822This lens element is secured with a housing. Carefully remove it with a lens spanner. See the mark made by the guy who worked on this previously? This is to help him remember how this part should be oriented when he puts this thing back.

IMG_4823You can now carefully extract this with the help of a lens sucker. At this point, the iris is exposed and be careful not to damage it.

IMG_4824The front elements group can be removed from the aperture ring by using a rubber cup with the correct diameter. Make sure that the inner diameter of the rubber cup is bigger than the front element so it won’t get into contact with the glass.

The front elements can be accessed just like this. It can be tight depending on the lens but it should be pretty straight-forward. If yours is tight then just drop some alcohol or MEK on the threads and let it sit for awhile. That should make it easier for you to separate it.

IMG_4825To remove the aperture ring, locate this screw and remember where it is situated before you remove it. If I remember it correctly, there is another hole on the other side and that may confuse you later on. This screw couples the aperture ring to the iris mechanism so be careful not to “brute-force” it. The screw is also delicate because the pin is slim.

IMG_4839Look at the 3 o’clock position and you will see the spring for the aperture clicks. You can adjust how hard or soft the clicks are by carefully bending the spring a bit. Remember to not bend it too much or metal fatigue will ruin your spring!

IMG_4837This is not necessary but to make it easier for me to unscrew the aperture ring I removed the spring used for the clicking-action of the aperture ring. It is gone in this picture but I would like to put your attention on that little scratch that I made to mark where and how the spring was installed before I removed it. The spring has a bit of sideways play before you tighten up the screws. This can be frustrating later on when you put everything back together and find that the ticks on the aperture ring aren’t lining up properly to that dot on the focusing ring. Doing this will help save you some time and headache later! You’ll have to backtrack a couple of times if you forgot to do this. In case your lens is exhibiting this problem where the aperture’s f-numbers aren’t lining up properly, this is how you’ll be able to adjust it. I know that it is a pain and a bit low-tech but this is how it really is!

IMG_4826You can now safely remove the aperture ring once the screw is gone. It’s also helpful to take some notes on the tolerances of this thing in relation to the objective’s casing. See my picture above and that should give you an idea of how high or low this thing should sit. I always do this so I will know how much I should turn this thing when I reinstall it later.

This thing should not be difficult to unscrew and if yours feel gritty then it may be due to the dirt accumulated underneath it. See how dirty mine was? The threads have to lubed lightly with a thin film of grease. Use the same grease for the helicoids just to make sure that different types of grease won’t mix together. You don’t want to put a lot of grease on this thing because if that grease deteriorated it will migrate to the iris and make it oily!

That’s it for the objective! If you have been following my blog for sometime then you will be familiar with the steps here and a guide really isn’t necessary for you. All of the weird an unconventional stuff are found on the rear part of the lens on the previous section so if you are done with that then everything else should be smooth-sailing for you.

Disassembly (Iris):

The iris on this lens is typical Nikon design so there’s nothing odd about this. It’s similar in design in the sense that there is a rotator cup, a ring that holds the cup together and a set of iris leaves that open and close. The only thing that I would want you to be careful with is the orientation of the individual iris leaves and just read along to see why.

IMG_4827The iris leaves are held in-place by a rotator cup. Everything is secured with a brass ring. This brass ring can be easily removed by positioning one end of the open ring above the slot as shown in my picture and with a toothpick, pick out the brass ring from below and used a pair of tweezers to carefully pry the brass ring off. While working on this, don’t be careless or your tools may slip and damage the iris. This is a very delicate job!

IMG_4828Here is the brass ring. On modern lenses, this will be a C-ring but back in the day, a brass ring like this was sufficient as far as Nikon is concerned. Older Zeiss lenses uses proper C-rings, I think; that is quality engineering for you!

IMG_4829The rotator cup can be easily removed by picking it up with the tips of your fingers. The rotator cup should be oriented precisely in relation to the pegs of the iris leaves so make some notes before you remove this to save you time guessing how the rotator cup should be oriented when it’s time to reinstall it. Don’t be mad at me if you forgot to do this!

IMG_4830The iris looks dry enough for me but there’s dirt on them and since I have gotten this far I might as well give it an overhaul. Take a picture of the iris before you remove it. These iris leaves can be a bit ambiguous when it comes to the shape of their ends. Usually they will have one rounded end and an angular one on the other end. For more info on how to work with this kind of iris, please read this article to save you from getting frustrated.

IMG_4831Here are the iris leaves and they are ready for cleaning! I dropped these onto a soft and clean surface because I do not want to damage any of these. A damaged leaf means that your iris will not open and close properly. Always handle these with care!

IMG_4838Putting the leaves back carefully. I hate this part of the repair process but whatever.

Here is how it should look like when you put the iris back together. The rebuilt iris is so clean now and free of any grime! If you look at the picture on the right you will see that it will only open this much. Do not worry, this is how it really is and you cannot adjust it without having to modify it by drilling a new hole for the coupling pin; forget about it!

Putting the central elements back together can be scary because they are delicate. These lenses don’t come cheap so you don’t have any room for any mistakes!

We’re done! All we have to do now is to put everything back together. It’s not difficult but it will take you some time due to the more complicated construction.


We’re now done! Time for you to enjoy a freshly-overhauled W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 lens! It is such a wonderful little gem and all that effort to overhaul the thing will pay off. I have overhauled a few of these and never get tired of working with these. OK, I’m going to say that it’s a bit of an exaggeration when I said that I don’t get tired of overhauling these but I just want to convey that these things aren’t boring to work on if you are an experienced repairman or “tinkerbug” like me. Will I recommend this to somebody who doesn’t have any experience with working with Nikon rangefinder lenses or a neophyte in this hobby? The answer is NO and I say that because this lens is valuable and the supply is dwindling by the year due to collectors buying these and some are lost to people who modify these for use with their Leica cameras. The price of this lens fluctuates just as wildly as Bitcoin prices so if you want one, just wait for one online and you will be lucky to find one that’s priced reasonably. They are currently selling for a bit less than their going rate so I think it’s the right time to buy one now. Remember, a dollar saved is a dollar earned!

IMG_5253Here it is together with it’s partner, the RF-Nikkor-P.c 8.5cm f/2 lens! I find that these two focal lengths complement each other very well. One is wide enough for most situations and the other one isn’t too long to create a big gap between the two focal lengths. In case you are wondering where I got the hood, it is from my old Fujifilm X20 compact camera. It was a very good point and shoot camera but I find that the Fujiflm system and brand just isn’t for me for many reasons. Well, at least the hood fits! By the way, be careful with using filters or hoods with older Nikkors like this one. Older lenses usually use different pitch and measurements on the filter threads and using modern fittings like this will risk ruining the thread on the filter ring. I have since stopped doing this and I now use period accessories for my older lenses just to make sure everything matches.

It can take me a whole afternoon to overhaul one of these and most of the time is spent on cleaning the helicoids and putting back the rangefinder coupling cam. The first time I worked on this lens, I spent plenty of time wondering how things should come apart and where I should be looking into because there’s not a lot of resources about this lens and I don’t have anybody else to ask. I hope that this guide will help you and save you time and effort working on this lens. I saw a few people online looking for an online guide for this lens and I wrote this in response to that. If you have one of these that needs repairing, do everybody a huge favour and send it to a qualified repairman if you don’t own the right tools or if you are inexperienced on working with Nikon rangefinder lenses. These lenses are delicate and not cheap. Besides, it is very good to support your local repairman,too!

That’s it for now! This has been a long one because I haven’t written a lens repair article for some time so I decided to make an extensive one this time. I have a request to write a teardown article for the Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S lens but I am currently too busy and I think that an article for the W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 lens is more urgent. To the person who requested for the Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S teardown, don’t worry I will write one and it’s currently in it’s draft form! You will see that published in the near future. It’s now time to say goodbye (for now) and like always, I hope that you enjoyed this article. If you found this article helpful, the biggest thing you can do to make me happy is to share this with your friends or by donating to my blog to help with its upkeep. See you guys in the next article and as always, keep on smiling! Love, Ric.

Help Support this Blog:

Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my account ( Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.


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