Repair: Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f/2.8 (Zebra)

Hello, everybody! Do you remember Bobby Goldsboro’s old song “Honey“? It’s a sentimental song about a man missing his lover named “Honey” who left him when her time came unexpectedly. It’s a favorite song of many people but some think that it’s stupid due to this being a country song with simple, corny lyrics. I personally loved it and I occasionally sing that at the karaoke. There are many things in life that divide our opinion. Today, I’ll show you a lens that some people love but some people hated it. And just like “Honey” I think it’s “kind of dumb and kind of smart”, too. You’ll know later why I made that remark so please read the whole article carefully.

Introduction:

This version of the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f/2.8 was made from 1964 to 1967, it is called “zebra” by many people because it has a barrel that has striped rings. Unlike the older Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/2.8 Tessar the iris could be actuated automatically but it now only has a 6-bladed iris instead of the circular one of the older versions including the semiautomatic version. This lens used to be the best 50mm Tessar of its time and it was nicknamed “adler auge” or “eagle-eye” because its sharpness. While I think that the older version sort of fell-short in this regard I think this one truly lived-up to that nickname and you will see why soon.

The build is typical of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses from this era meaning it’s all-metal. the engravings are easy-to-see but the depth-of-field scale seems to be rather vague because they’re not color-coded unlike what we’re used to seeing with Nikkors. The aluminum barrel feels nice and it also helps to keep this light but it is still quite substantial when you hold it and not flimsy at all. There’s a small tab at the base which you’re able to depress in order to stop the iris down for depth-of-field preview or metering through-the-lens.

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Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 ED Ai

Hello, everybody! We were jolted by a very strong earthquake last night just before midnight. People were so scared because that’s the strongest ever felt since that dreadful event in 2011. Some of my spare parts are on the floor and I’ll have to pick them up later today. It’s good that most building here were built in a way that makes them withstand strong tremors so there are no structural damages as far as I could see. It is something that we all have to accept living in such a quake-prone area. Today, I’ll show you something that is so tough that it could withstand a lot of punishment and just most of the concrete buildings here. I am glad to know that this one will survive a natural catastrophe so long as it has nothing to do with water and being soaked with it. Read my article to find out what this lens is.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 ED Ai was sold from 1977 to 1982. The later but similar-looking Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 ED Ai-S replaced it in 1982 and it was made until 1999. It one replaced the older Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 Auto which is one of Nikon’s most impressive super-zooms from the 1960s. Compared to the Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 Auto this one has a shorter, stockier barrel and its optics are much better in terms of performance thanks to the inclusion of ED glass. Both lenses are heavy, large and imposing. It’s hard to find a lens of this class that will impress or intimidate your subjects and clients. It’s one of Nikon’s best lenses from the all-manual era and it sort of acquired a legendary status amongst photo journalists and people who shoot sports, you will see why in this article.

This is a massive lens, it’s definitely going to leave your arms sore after a day’s work. The barrel does not change length when you zoom unlike the older Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 Auto. This is advantageous for people who shoot this with a tripod since the center-of-mass won’t change which is great for studio work. It’s also smaller compared to the older lens but it’s still huge.

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Repair: Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.8

Hello, everybody! Do you know “Saizeriya” or サイゼリヤ? It’s a Japanese restaurant chain that serves the cheapest Italian food you’ll find anywhere. It’s cheap and the quality of the food is great for its price. I am a huge fan of this chain because they offer very good value and the ambience is like a family-restaurant. I also see young couples dating here so it says a lot about their target market. Today, I will show you a nice lens that’s considered by some to be the cheaper alternative to the more expensive 25mm Nikkors but it’s quite decent so there’s nothing “cheap” about its performance. You can even say that It’s the Saizeriya of C-mount Cine-Nikkors.

Introduction:

The Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.8 was sold from 1959 and It’s part of the initial lineup of C-mount lenses made with the later barrel design which is bigger but it standardized the sizes of most C-mount Cine-Nikkors so they could share accessories such as filters and other customized gadgets. I don’t know when production ended for this lens but it’s probably around the late 1960s or even up until the mid-1970s judging by how some of the boxed look like. There are minor variations of this lens some of which have both meters and feet engraved on the barrel. The 25mm focal-length is like a “standard” lens for the 16mm format and it’s somewhat like a 68mm lens on 35mm or full-frame if you factor-in the recent concept of crop-factor. The f/1.8 aperture sounds fast but for a C-mount lens it’s kind of “standard”, giving you and effective-aperture of f/4.8 if you consider the 2.7x crop-factor.

As typical with all Cine-Nikkors of its class the barrel is all-metal, it’s a tough little lens. The focus-throw is moderate and is quite pleasant to be honest. The informative depth-of-field scale is useful and you could focus completely with it when shooting from moderate distances. The mount is adjustable so you will be able to reorient it regardless of which camera it’s used with.

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