Repair: Nikkor 105mm f/2.5K

Hello, everybody! I’m busy these days due to some pressure at work. Since I don’t have a lot of time these days, I am going write something short this week. I haven’t written any lens repair articles for some time now so I think that this will be a good warm-up for me. I am going to introduce to you today a lens that has very good value because it’s not very collectible as far as Nikkors go and they are quite boring in terms of style. Just think of it as an “awkward stage” for one of Nikon’s longest-living lens line. Read on.


The Nikkor 105mm f/2.5K is merely a cosmetic upgrade with a new barrel and look to the older Auto-Nikkor-P.C 105mm f/2.5. The optical design is the same but Nikon is known to do small updates to the optical design in production without announcing anything. This is also the case for this lens. I have confirmed with an official source that the lens went a little bit of tweaking during production to fit engineering requirements like fitting a lens element to a reengineered housing. While the elements themselves don’t get tweaked in terms of curvature or spacing as a regular practice, there are times when that happens but the general formula is not changed. It has a new cosmetic design to give the popular 105/2.5 lens line a look that is in-line with the New-Nikkor (K) theme in the ’70s. The all-metal scalloped focusing ring was redesigned to have a rubber grip. The lens barrel is also now mostly black since the shiny silver scheme has been out of style after the ’60s. These are inexpensive even with the factory-made Ai-ring. You can find these for under $100.00 and they offer very good value for the price they’re sold.

IMG_6347.JPGThe Nikkor 105mm f/2.5K still feels substantial despite losing the all-metal construction of the previous version. The rubber grip makes the focusing ring easier to grip and because rubber doesn’t conduct heat as good as metal, it feels better to hold in the winter.


Ghost in the Shell VR teaser Rigging Notes

noname-2Kusanagi Motoko’s setup was made using an in-house tool that I wrote in 2014 which is a variation of an auto-rigging tool that I made around 2008. The character setup was made to be simple yet useable so sending data to other teams will not require a lot of effort or conversion because native Maya nodes were used.

preview.pngIt’s also capable of squash/stretch and even bendy joints were implemented but we never really use those because of the nature of our projects. Another reason for keeping the rig simple and robust is because we wanted it to be able to accept data from MotionBuilder without a lot of conversion work. Keeping things simple is the way to go.


The rigging done for Motoko was partly featured on CG World magazine. The picture to the right shows the team who worked on this including the motion capture crew and the producers, composers, artists and director. Thank you for this memorable project! More

Repair: Infinity Focus Calibration

Hello, everybody! I feel like I am writing the same thing every time I write a new article on fixing lenses when it comes to the part of calibrating your lens’ infinity focusing so I am going to write a dedicated article on this subject. I hope that you’ll enjoy this.

What’s Happening:

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a manual lens’ ability to focus at infinity accurately when you turn the focusing ring all the way to infinity is important. It is very important because if your lens can’t achieve this then the focusing scale is off and is not reliable for use with manual focusing techniques like hyper focal distance focusing and the like. So long as your lens can focus on something far (more than 4-7km) and the infinity symbol is dead-center with the centerline of the scale while the lens is racked all the way in until it can’t be turned any further then you are good. This is very important as far as manual focus lenses are concerned. Some manual lenses were designed to focus past infinity to compensate for the elements physically expanding due to heat. These are usually telephoto lenses as far as my experience goes but will depend on which design or materials used on the glass. You will have to make your own research on which lens does this because I don’t have a complete list for this.

HAW_8607Manual focus lenses need to be able to focus properly all the way to infinity. The building is around 1.2km from where I took this. Your lens will need to be able to focus accurately on a subject that’s about 4km far or more. Telephoto lenses will require you to do this as accurately as you can but wider lenses can be a bit more forgiving and a subject that is only about 2km away may suffice because the DOF of wider lenses is greater.


Negative Digitization with a Nikon DSLR

Hello, everybody! It’s starting to get cold here in Tokyo as we get closer to December. The temperature is beginning to get too cold for me to develop at home so I use this chance to digitize my film instead. Today, I am going to show you my film digitization workflow. I’ll also be sharing with you any settings that I use in post and I hope that you’ll like this one.


I’ve been getting questions on how I digitize my negatives using Nikon’s Picture Control. Hardware-wise, the technique that I use seems to be pretty popular and it was pioneered by somebody else nearly a decade ago but what makes what I do a little different is the use of Nikon Picture Control to invert the previewed images on the LCD. This makes this tedious task a little easier because you can gauge how much light you need to illuminate your negatives. I am not saying that this is the best way to do this task but I just want to show you guys a slightly different way of doing things that may appeal to some of you.

In order to digitize your slide using the technique I use you will need these:

  1. Nikon DSLR (ideal) but any digital camera with a TTL view will do.
  2. Flash that you can trigger remotely.
  3. Macro lens that can reach 1:1 magnification.
  4. Sturdy tripod.
  5. A setup to hold/secure your film strip or slide.

img_3069This is how everything works together. The macro lens has to be capable of achieving 1:1 magnification so you can fill the frame. The Nikon ES-1 is handy for digitizing mounted slides but I use a modified one for my strip film or else the spring on the stock Nikon ES-1 will ruin my strip film. Finally, a Nikon SB-700 flash is used to provide the high-powered illumination required for this kind of job. You can swap the tripod with a copying stand if you prefer to do it that way. Check out my article on the Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 to know more about the lens in the picture. I love this lens for this kind of work.


Update: Nikon D850 Negative Digitizer Mode Pt2

Hello, guys! A few weeks ago, I made a short post showing how the Nikon D850’s negative digitizer mode work. My iPhone’s video wasn’t working properly at that time that is why my accompanying video didn’t have any audio so people have to read my commentaries to get what’s happening. I would like to make it up to you so I went to Nikon’s office this afternoon and borrowed a Nikon D850 so I can show you how this feature works and this time I brought along with me a frame of C41 negative to use as a sample to help you guys see what’s really going on. There are many quirks on how this thing works and I really hope that this video will help shed some light on this feature.

Please forgive my speech, I have sore throat today that’s why I pause from time to time. More

Tools: Nikon A/R Ring Opener

Hello, everybody! I’m busy lately so I am writing a short blog post this time. Today, we’re going to talk about making a special tool to remove the lock/retainer for the A/R ring. It’s the ring or collar around the shutter button of the Nikon F, Nikon F2, Nikon SP, Nikon S3 and the Nikon S4. This ring is notorious for being difficult to remove as you will require a special tool to remove it and many beginners (and even “professionals”) botch this job by using the wrong set of tools to remove this. I will admit that I also botched my first try by using poorly-made tool that I DIY’ed but thankfully the damage wasn’t severe I ended up with some scratches instead of terrible scars on the surface of the A/R ring. I do not wish for that to happen to you and that is why I started this blog.

IMG_5948The A/R Ring has a retainer that has 2 slots milled on it. Many people botch this by using brute force to remove this with inappropriate tools such as a pair of screwdrivers,etc. It’s  used for switching between “advance” and “rewind” that’s why it’s called the A/R ring. On the Nikon F2, this part is used to switch between T or L (locked). More