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World of F-mount Nikkors (2/3)

Hello, everybody! We will continue with our World of F-mount Nikkors series! This seems to be a very popular series judging from the response I got. People like gear porn and it’s totally understandable. Part 1 talked about the normal lenses and an introduction to our new series, this part will continue where we left and we’re going to look into more types of lenses. This is a long read so I hope that you guys enjoy this (and the iPhone pictures).

Wide Primes:

Nikon is a very important part of the photography industry and many lens types that we know of today started with Nikon such as the various 70-200mm lens types and some of the wide prime lens types that we know of today. Somebody told me that Pentax and the others would open a Nikon catalog in the ’60s when thinking about which lens to make next. I shall not name the source because he is a famous photographer here in Japan but this was how things were and that is one of the reason how Nikon pioneered many of our  lens types today. In fact, the word “fisheye lens” is of Japanese origin and there was only Nikon who excelled in this field until the other caught-up. The normal-macro lens family was also pioneered by Nikon, nobody thought of making a multi-use lens for macro and normal lens photography back then until the advent of the 55/3.5 family of Micro-Nikkors for the F-mount. In the wide lenses field, Nikon was making wider and wider lenses for the 35mm (SLR) format and we are going to talk about some of them here.

IMG_5704This is what the card says about wide angle lenses. These are mostly used for landscape photography but there are also other fields where these lenses excel. Nikon pioneered a lot of technologies as far as wide lenses for the 35mm format is concerned such as its CRC and the first tilt-shift lens for 35mm photography (SLR).

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World of F-mount Nikkors (1/3)

Hello, everybody! I am going to start a new series today. It is about the exhibit currently being held at the Nikon Museum. Due to this exhibit’s vast collection, I’ve decided to write this in several smaller parts or else I won’t be finishing this article any time soon! I have started working on this a month ago but it’s just too long so I’ve turned it into a series. It’s a very interesting topic and I am sure that many collectors will enjoy this article.

The Venue:

The exhibit is called “The World of F-mount Nikkor” and it is the 4th and last installment for the centenary celebration of Nikon as far as the Nikon Museum is concerned. If you are new to my blog, please read my article about the Nikon Museum so you will have an idea about the venue and what it’s all about. Going back to the exhibit, the Nikon Museum will be showing their collection of F-mount Nikkors from the very early years up to present. It is not 100% complete but a vast majority of F-mount Nikkors are represented here. There are no prototypes being shown here and everything that’s exhibited here are production models. I am not sure when the exhibit will last so be sure to check it out in Tokyo!

IMG_5712Here’s my Nikon Df together with my Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S. To the right is its twin setup. It has gold accents because it’s a limited edition offering from Nikon. As the flyer at the back says, the exhibit is called “The World of F-mount Nikkor“. I will take you along a virtual tour of the exhibit. Please pardon the poor and blurred (at times) iPhone pictures.

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Repair: Camera Leather

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to show you a simple repair that you can do for your vintage (and newer) cameras! The leatherette of older cameras may not last as long as its metal surroundings but that doesn’t mean that you cannot replace them. It’s not easy for anybody to look for a perfect match when it comes to pattern but the important thing is you get to cover your camera again because the leatherette usually covers something in the camera and prevents moisture from getting into it. It’s not only there for cosmetic or design considerations. Read this article to see how I usually go about doing this.

IMG_6348The thumb rest of my Nikon Df has swollen and I have to replace it with something new! Nikon’s rubber on their modern cameras are notorious for peeling! I don’t know why this happens but Nikon should fix this! Sure, it feels better in my hands but at the end of it all I want the rubber to last longer than this! Maybe this is due to “planned obsolescence”?

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Shopping: Alps-Do Camera (Shinjuku)

Hello, everybody! Looks like my camera shopping article is popular and today I am going to introduce to you Alps-Do Camera (カメラのアルプス堂). Alps-Do Camera is close to my previous studio and I used to go there almost every day, sometimes even  3 times a day. I had to do this because the inventory turnover is so quick and you can miss something if you are just late by a few minutes! I highly recommend that you visit them in Shinjuku.

They accept cash or credit card and the prices are very competitive. If you ever buy from here please never do what many Mainland Chinese (阿中、大陸仔) do here which is to ask for discounts and haggle. Not only is this rude, you are insulting the business’ goodwill to the camera community at large. They’re doing us all a favor and we should be thankful.

IMG_6336This is the storefront, you can easily miss it even if you read Japanese. The shop is inside this and is about 3m away from the entrance of the building. Make sure that you use this picture as your guide when asking people for directions. More

Repair: Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I just came back from a nice dinner with the Nikon Df Japan Group last night and we had lots of great seafood! One of the things that I liked was the fried fish in batter. The fish is about the length of a finger and just as fat as thick pencil but it was so tasty! The portion was small but it was more than enough to satisfy me. Great things does not always need to be big. In fact, some great things in life are really small. In this article, I am going to show you one such thing. It’s such a great lens that it’s still popular despite being introduced around 1981! Read along to know more about this “millennial”.

Introduction:

Today, I’m going to introduce to you the Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 Ai-S lens! This lens is a classic, it has a cult following for many reasons. Many landscape photographers love this lens for its performance and its size. The lens is also one of the few Nikkors that were calculated to work just as well in reverse when attached to a bellows unit. In fact, if you search the net you will find some people use this lens for shooting very small things that require a magnification of 5:1 or more. The Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 Ai-S can be had for cheap because it is slower than the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 Ai-S lens but people who know what they are doing will want this instead because of its performance when used in reverse. The minor f-stop difference doesn’t really matter when you intend to shoot with this lens at f/8 or smaller with your setup mounted on a tripod. The money you saved from buying this instead of the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 Ai-S will be better put to use buying filters or even a tripod. Let me show you what this lens is all about in this lens repair and review article. Don’t go away!

IMG_0752The Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 Ai-S is very compact lens. It’s no bigger than usual Nikkor primes like the Nikkor 50mm f/2 Ai/K lens! It also has a very short focus throw which can be good or bad depending on your taste, I personally prefer it to be just a little longer than this so I can precisely set my focus. This is a matter of taste so don’t think of it negatively. The Ai version may be older but it has a slightly longer focus throw than this version so people who would want that should look for the older Ai version, they’re also a bit cheaper. More

Repair: AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D

Hello, everybody! How are you today? I’m currently enjoying a few days of vacation. I’m going to start working for a new studio so I need some time to prepare. I now have more free-time to do things and look through old stuff. There are things that I sold many years ago which I regretted and so for the sake of nostalgia, I bought a copy back. Today, we’re going to see one of those things that I regret selling and that is the topic of our article!

Introduction:

Today, we are going to talk about the AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D lens! It’s a very good lens so its popularity hasn’t really changed much throughout the years. I had one almost a decade ago and sold it for an AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D so that I will have a better working distance between me and my usual subjects for macrophotography (bugs). That was a big mistake because this lens is so good that I began to miss it and after a long time looking for a junk, I finally got suckered into buying a real junk advertised as having few fungi inside the lens but it turned out to be more than that. Let’s see what’s special about this lens that has people buying this lens for nearly 3 decades (since 1989) now.

IMG_6658The AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D is a very compact lens. It feels solid but in reality it has plenty of plastic parts. Despite that, it was built solidly and it will take a beating. This is a very handy lens for macro photography but you will have to get really close to your bugs and at 1:1 magnification, the end of the lens is just about 2 inches away from the subject! This will make lighting your subject difficult and in the case of natural lighting, you will have to position yourself very well in order for your subject to be properly illuminated. More

Shopping: Nitto Camera (Nakano)

Hello, everybody! How are you guys today? I wasn’t suppose to publish another part for my “camera shopping” series until next month but I would like to publish this as soon as I can because of its urgency. Nitto Camera (日東カメラ) is a shop close to my heart because it’s being ran by an elderly couple trying to maintain a 74 year-old business but they are going to close their shop by the end of January in 2018. They still do not know where they should set up shop next and there is a chance that they will just close for good. The thing is, the rent is too expensive in their area and they aren’t making enough profit. The shop owner is a kindly old gentleman and I have bought some stuff from them in the past and seeing them shut down is very sad not only for me but also for people who are into this hobby. Please visit them when you are in town before they go on a hiatus. I am sure that you may find something worth buying there though I must admit that their inventory is not as extensive as the other shops. I do get lucky here sometimes so I wish you the best.

 IMG_6781.jpgThis is their storefront. They are open from 12:00PM to 7:00PM. The owner is old and this is the best that he can do. He has just recuperated from an illness so manning the shop is tiring for him especially if he is alone. It’s a small shop but it has a decent inventory.

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