Repair: AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-50mm f/3.3-4.5

Hello, everybody! I was listening to Modern Talking, their hits have catchy melodies that will leave earworms in your head for days. People will laugh at you when they catch you listening to them these days but the duo used to be very popular back then. I personally don’t mind what people think about my music choices, this is rather personal and we should listen to what we want wherever we want. Your choices shouldn’t be dictated by anyone and that includes what lens you choose to shoot with. Today, I will show you a lens that used to be quite popular back then but is now considered “unfashionable”. It’s not the best lens out there but people who know how to shoot with it will be able to enjoy using this and have a great time. You show the snobs what you could do.

Introduction:

The AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-50mm f/3.3-4.5 was sold from 1987 to 1995, it’s sort of the successor to the older Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4 Ai-S which was designed as a professional lens as evident by its fixed maximum aperture. It came out at a time when Nikon was making a huge move towards autofocus lenses to complement the then-new Nikon F4. Unlike the Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4 Ai-S it’s more compact and light so that compensated what I consider to be its biggest shortcoming, having a variable-aperture.

It’s well-built, typical of many Nikkors of its time. Despite not being all-metal like the classic Nikkors it’s quite dense when you hold it. The front and outer barrels are plastic but the chassis appears to be made from metal so it could take some form of abuse. Unlike many of the earlier autofocus Nikkors it has a decent build and the focusing ring isn’t flimsy at all.

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Repair: Nikon L35AF/AD

Hello, everybody! I am actually amazed by how many youngsters are into film photography these days. It is a good thing because it keeps the industry alive and the appreciation for older equipment ensures that the little mom-and-pop shops selling used cameras stay open. The side-effect to this is prices of used gear is on the rise, even cameras that used to be less-desirable now cost more than they should. I am not against this, in fact, it’s a sign of a healthy market. Today, I’ll introduce to you something that represents this social phenomenon, it was something that people forgot but kids these days remind us of what used to be precious and how photography is supposed to be enjoyed.

Introduction:

The Nikon L35AF/AD was sold from 1983 to about a few years after that since newer, improved models were introduced frequently to keep the market interested. It’s a handsome camera, the body shell was designed by no other than Giorgetto Giugiaro himself so it incorporated some of his design philosophies that you could see in a Nikon F3. Going back to its conception, this was made in order to give Nikon something to sell in this part of the market. Other manufacturers made early-advances with their all-automatic cameras and Nikon had to join the race in order to show them who was the boss back then. This resulted in this camera which is a good, reliable design and it performs consistently as you would expect from a Nikon. The designers were so proud of it that Nikon nicknamed this the “pikaichi” or “number-one”. It’s an impressive camera considering that it’s Nikon’s first fully-automatic compact camera.

It’s sturdy, certainly well-made compared to other cheaper compacts of its time made by other companies. Its plastic chassis is tough and the back is made from metal. The flash pops-up when the shutter-speed is too-low but you could trick it by covering the meter’s window and depress the shutter-button. You can also shoot with it in lowlight without the flash by depressing it so it won’t pop-up but the results won’t be as good because you are overriding what the camera thinks will give an optimal exposure. The flash’s GN is unknown but the user manual said that the flash is only able to give accurate exposures up to 4m at most. It’s also coupled to the iris module, ensuring accurate exposure within the 4m-range.

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Repair: AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G

Hello, everybody! My kid usually gets toys together with her “kiddie meal”, it’s a good tactic on the part of the restaurant because it keeps children occupied while eating or at least they could look-forward to something if they finished their food. These toys used to be made with better quality as opposed to how they are these days but they’re still quite nice considering how little they cost. It’s difficult enough to make a good product and sell them at a decent price but it’s even tougher to produce something that’s good at a much lower price. Today, I’ll show you something good that’s cheap, too. It will satisfy even the demanding photographer when you factor-in its price. A great value in today’s economy.

Introduction:

The AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G was sold from 2001 to 2005. It’s considered to be the first real kit-lens in the true sense of the word. There were many cheapo lenses that were made before this but the kit-lens idea hadn’t been clearly defined yet, this lens defined the standard which every manufacturer follow to this day. It gave us a concrete idea of how these lenses should be – specs, price and expectations. It should have a decent-enough performance, acceptable build quality, practical specs for general photography and most important of all, a low price. These were not meant to be used by professionals but they were so good that many people use them for a living even today specially in less-developed economies.

This is the first G kit-lens as far as I know. Its compact dimensions and light-weight makes it ideal for travel or hiking but not so much for the latter since its mostly made of plastic, even the lens mount is plastic, too. It will survive heavy use but it may not endure the professional use in the field. A hard knock may split the lens into pieces as you’ll soon see why.

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Repair: AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-80mm f/4-5.6D (N)

Hello, everybody! Recent events tells us that Nikon won’t be making cameras in Japan anymore, all cameras will now be made from the Thailand plant due to cost-cutting decisions made several years earlier. While it’s a big blow to Nikon’s prestige I don’t think it’s much of an issue since we’ve been using Nikons from the Thai plant for some time now and we’re shooting lenses that were made there for an even longer time. The earlier days of Nikon Thailand are now distant, they have now grown and acquired the precious know-how to create high-quality products. The growing-pains of setting-up an offshore company has all been ironed-out by now. I will show you something in this article that was made in the early days of the Thai plant, it harked back to the days when it was only relegated to manufacturing cheaper, bottom-shelf products but look at them now, they could now produce some of the best cameras on the planet! Let’s all support Nikon Thailand.

Introduction:

The AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-80mm f/4-5.6D (N) was sold from 1995 to 1999 and was made in Thailand. It replaced a similar-naming lens so it has the “N” suffix meaning it’s the “new” version. The older one was made in Japan, it has a different look which is more “premium”, that was made from 1994 until it was replaced by this one. A big reason for moving production to Thailand is to cut manufacturing costs and with it many of the products that were made there in the early days have a rather cheap feel to them. If you want to make it cheap why not go all-out? The Thai version has noticeably cheaper materials and methods used so people looked-down on it, so did I but I think I’ll have to look-back and correct my previous views of the early Thai Nikkors.

Handling is quite standard with all the conventional rings in their right places. The focusing ring is very thin, almost non-existent. Nobody was designing this to be focused manually it seems. The plastic body made this a light, compact but cheap-feeling lens. This is not the Nikkor that many people are used to, in fact, it feels quite cheap even compared to newer kit-lenses. The later ones also have plastic bayonet mounts so I replaced mine with a compatible one that I found in my spares box.

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Repair: Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/3.5 Auto

Hello, everybody! I was out shopping for some ginger. The market is flooded with Chinese ones and it’s hard to distinguish them from local produce but upon closer inspection you’ll find that their colors aren’t the same and putting one close to your nose will even make it easier to distinguish which one came from where. These imported ginger are less-fragrant and the color is a bit paler, they’re inferior but they serve a purpose that is why we see them at the grocers. They’re sold to the budget-conscious who won’t care about where their food came from and the subtleties in food quality. I’m not saying that Chinese ginger is bad, they’re just inferior to the local ones in every manner, that won’t fly with me but it’s good-enough for some people. Today, I’ll show you something similar, a watered-down version of a classic and it was done for the same reason, to cut cost.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/3.5 Auto featured in this article is the 6-bladed-iris version, an optimization of the older, more expensive 9-bladed-iris version that was sold from 1959 to 1960 with the rare Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/3.5 Auto (tick-mark) as its most-prominent model. This one was sold from 1961 to 1969 with later ones named Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5 Auto which should not be confused with the identically-named Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5 Auto which is a different lens with a modified optical formula and a totally-new barrel. The earlier 9-bladed models were difficult and expensive to make due to the intricate design of the iris. Nikon decided to give this one a simpler iris mechanism in order to cut cost, that and a couple of minor internal revisions made this easier to create. It certainly made the accountants happy.

It’s a well-built lens. It feels dense when held, its all-metal construction ensures that it will survive field use in the worst conditions possible.

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Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai

Hello, everybody! I was watching some videos of my favorite musicians when I was young and I was shocked to see them categorized as “oldies”. Some of them still sound great while a couple seemed “dated”. I consider them to be quite decent in their time but now they’re totally irrelevant, just a blip in the music scene. This is not to say that they’re bad if you put their music in the proper context, they did entertain us at a time when a lot of musicians simply made bad music. Today, I will show you something that used to be quite good at a time when many of its contemporaries simply couldn’t make the cut but it’s dated today, something that’s best left to the lens aficionado to appreciate. Read this article to know what this lens is.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai was sold from 1977 to 1981. It’s one of Nikon’s original “standard-zooms”, it was revolutionary in a way since it covers some of the most important focal lengths used for photojournalism and events or travel photography. That allowed this to replace 2 or 3 lenses, a big convenience at a time when carrying several prime lenses was the norm. Its maximum aperture speed of f/3.5 is respectable but not as fast as most primes lenses, that’s a price many people were prepared to sacrifice for convenience. I suspect that it was made for use by professionals because it has a constant-aperture and other features that many of use will consider to be premium such as the amazing build quality and its well-corrected distortion profile.

Unlike many zooms of its time this one came with separate zoom and focusing rings. That means it’s better for shooting with a tripod since zoom-creep won’t be a problem. You could make precise turns with it, too. All this suggests that it was originally intended for shooting with a tripod instead of action photography. I was merely making an assumption with that statement.

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