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Repair: AF-Nikkor 70-210mm f/4

Hello, everybody! I was looking for some cheap eats the other day and I discovered this shack near my work where they sell nice meals for $4.50 only. The meal was great for its price and despite the cheap-looking exterior the meals inside can rival a more expensive restaurant’s offering. It’s the same camera equipment, there are times when some of the better things cost less and if you consider using it despite its age and appearance then it’s going to satisfy you so long as you know what you are looking for. Today, we are going to talk about one of the better deals today in AF zooms. Read my article and enjoy.

Introduction:

Today, we’re going to talk about the AF-Nikkor 70-210mm f/4 zoom! This lens is a favorite of many film photographers back in the day because it’s lite and compact. It’s a very good lens for traveling lite for people who use autofocusing cameras. Its popularity has waned a bit during the DSLR days because it lacks coatings on some of it’s rear elements and we all know that sensors are more reflective compared to film. It has gotten a bit of hype in recent years due to reviewers and online personalities expounding the lens. Let’s see if it really lives up to the hype and I will also show you how to clean this “forgotten” classic.

IMG_1995The lens is small for a tele-zoom with a constant aperture. It’s liberal use of plastics is the key to this lens’ weight. If you’re backpacking then you will know that every gram counts in the field. Despite the plastic housing, the lens feels solid and will tolerate some abuse. More

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Report: Nikon Repair Gods (Kiitos)

Hello, everybody! I’m going to introduce to you what we consider to be the gods of Nikon repair here in Japan and that is Kiitos. Kiitos is a camera repair workshop ran by former Nikon employees and they specialize in everything that is not digital. Digital cameras are best sent to Nikon for repairs because they have the parts for those and Kiitos also does not want to compete with Nikon on this field. Kiitos has such a good reputation that even Nikon itself will refer you to them if you have any manual equipment to repair. I had the pleasure of visiting them last weekend and I will show you around their workshop!

Here’s a demo by a Kiitos repairer during Nikon’s 100th Anniversary Road Show. See how she teared-down a Nikon F apart and put it back together in 45 minutes! She is a real pro and I am a pathetic amateur compared to her! I hope that they take me as an apprentice!

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Repair: Tokina 28-70 AT-X PRO

Hello, everybody! I’m very busy these days and I only got a good rest today. Today’s just another lazy Sunday and I was just listening to some oldies. Speaking of oldies and easy weekends, I will show you today a very good lens from almost 30 years ago but it’s still a pretty good lens for its price and since it’s a slow weekend for many, cleaning this lens is just as easy as going to the barbershop and getting a haircut (if you’re experienced).

Introduction:

The Tokina 28-70 AT-X PRO is a lens that I owned around 10 years ago and I sold it when I bought a Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 AF lens. It was a very good lens and I loved using it on my Nikon D90. I shot pictures for billboards with that setup and it was a great lens for general photography. Here we are now almost a decade after and I missed the lens a lot so I bought another one for use with my film cameras because it has a real aperture ring unlike the current generation of lenses where there’s no mechanical aperture ring so it’s useless for use on older film cameras like the Nikon F3. This was a very sought-after lens back in the day and there were many versions of this lens. Every version is great except for the last one which was made with cost-cutting in mind hence the “SV” or super value specification on the name. The most desired version of this lens is the one featured here on this article and it was based on the legendary zoom from Pierre Angenieux. The zoom from P. Angenieux (Angenieux 24-70 f/2.6 AF) was considered to be excellent and common knowledge dictated that Tokina bought the rights to this lens but recent findings actually pointed that Tokina actually made the Angenieux 24-70 f/2.6 AF for the French company until its license expired enabling Tokina to use and modify the design for their own use.

IMG_5895The Tokina 28-70 AT-X PRO is very well-balanced when joined with a heavy professional camera like the Nikon F4. The setup feels very balanced and inspires confidence. Shake is also reduced because of the weight and you can even shoot at slower speeds than usual.

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Repair: Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto

Hello, everybody! How are you guys today? I am sure that you have noticed some of my personal things creeping into this blog like my work-related things. I work as a creative but I also do lots of technical stuff that is a bit closer to engineering. There will be times that I will have to devise a clever solution to a problem and this is what’s keeping me up in my game. Being both a creative and technical person, I’m comfortable working in both scenarios and that makes me a generalist of some sort. Speaking of being multi-role and using clever gimmicks, I will now showcase to you a very innovative lens that utilizes a very clever solution to a problem, making it flexible for more than one purpose.

Introduction:

We’ll talk about a very influential lens this time so let me have the pleasure to introduce to you the Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto lens! The Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto is the first lens to introduce the innovative CRC (Close-Range Correction) mechanism. The CRC system is used for altering the spacing of the elements as you focus in or out. This is a creative and efficient concept because up until this lens, most if not all lenses use simple rack-focusing  wherein the objective only moves in and out. In a CRC lens, rack focusing is coupled with another movement wherein one or more lens elements groups move closer or further in relation to the film plane to correct for some optical flaws. In the case of this lens, CRC is in-charge of making this lens achieve an impressive 0.3m minimum focusing distance. It also ensures that the image remains sharp through-out the frame at 0.3m. This was hard to achieve back in the day for a lens this wide and it also helped make the lens compact while giving it a reasonably-fast f/2.8 maximum aperture. Retro-focusing techniques was used on wide-angle lenses of the day and it was yet to be perfected because the technique is known to produce terrible corners at very close ranges. This was the main reason why the then-amazing Nikkor-H 2.8cm f/3.5 Auto lens only has a so-so 0.6m minimum focusing distance. CRC enabled this lens to master that because a wide-angle lens that can’t focus really close is limited when it came to creative use. You just don’t use a wide-angle lens to get things in-frame in tight spaces, this is one thing many beginners get wrong.

IMG_5763.JPGThe Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto is such a lovely lens. It’s dense and compact so it balances really well on most cameras. This lens is also great for people who shoot videos because 24mm is pretty good for videography to help give your composition some depth. You can use this for storytelling or simply to showcase a subject in your story.

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