Repair: Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.4

Hello, everybody! There are many classic movies that were remade in the past couple of years. Some were good but the majority is rubbish, never surpassing the originals in terms of impact and reception. I think it’s unnecessary to do remake great movies such as Ghostbusters and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because I consider them to be “perfect” but The Fly benefitted from an overhaul. Today, I’ll show you one such “remake”, unlike Ghostbusters this lens had to be updated and resulting lens is a lot better than the original. Read the whole article to know more about it.

Introduction:

The Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.4 is an upgrade of the older Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.4 with the smaller, old-style barrel. It has new optics and the barrel is now similar to the concurrent models such as the Cine-Nikkor 10mm f/1.8. I don’t know when this was made but I assume that production ran from 1962 up to an unknown date. It’s difficult to date these because there’s no data available. The only information available are from leaflets and there are no dates available. Regardless, it’s apparent that the older Cine-Nikkor 25mm f/1.4 had to be replaced for an unknown reason and this lens replaced it in the catalogs. It’s the premium option for a “normal” lens for the 16mm format and it gives a field-of-view close to 67mm if you were to consider its crop-factor. Crop-factor is a rather new concept, people who shoot movies don’t even think of it. It may sound like a super-fast lens but it’s sort of mediocre for this format and it’s not unusual to find lenses with an f/1.2 aperture for shooting with 16mm.

The barrel is built like most C-mount Cine-Nikkors, it’s solid and feels substantial despite being tiny. These were popular lenses so it’s not unusual to find these with scratches and heavy-wear. The scales are easy-to-read and you will need to rely on this when you shoot this with a 16mm camera. Focusing precisely without looking through-the-lens can be difficult but you’ll get used to it.

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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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Repair: Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 40mm f/4.5

Hello, everybody! I am recently eating sushi sold at the convenience stores more often. These are not as good as what you will find in restaurants, even the ones from a sushi-go-around tastes much better. Their price and convenience are the main factors why I kept eating them, specially for breakfast. It hits the spot, even just barely and that’s good enough. It always leaves me craving for better quality sushi but when I’m hungry and lazy anything will do I suppose. Today, I’m going to show you something that satisfied a need back-in-day. Just like cheap sushi this was better than nothing at all specially at a time when people were demanding for a cheap-but-acceptable solution for a wide-lens that’s capable of being mounted to early SLR’s. Read the whole article to find out more about this.

Introduction:

The Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 40mm f/4.5 we see here is the later version of the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 40mm f/4.5 with the smaller barrel. It’s not clear when this was made and for how long but I suspect that it was made from around 1951 and it stayed for a few years until the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f/2.8 was introduced. It’s merely a stop-gap and this was soon phased-out when the more practical Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f/2.8 was unveiled. Needless to say, this is kind of rare but not valuable at all because the demand for it is low owing to its odd choice of focal length.

It has an all-metal barrel that resembles its peers from the same era but unlike them this does not have a preset-ring so you will have to precisely stop the iris down yourself. This is a bit of an annoyance because you’ll have to tale your eyes off the viewfinder just to confirm that you’ve go the right aperture value set before you make an exposure.

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Nikkor-O 2.1cm f/4

Hello, everybody! Do you know the “Tokyo Shock Boys” or “電撃ネットワーク”? They’re a comedy act back in the early 1990s. They did many stupid and dangerous stunts and their catchphrase is “it’s very dangerous!“, which I think is very catchy. The stunts that they did are only for our entertainment and should never be copied at home, children shouldn’t watch their shows because they’ll probably imitate them. Today, I’ll show you something stupid and dangerous. I spent a long time thinking about whether I should publish this. Read this whole article to find out more about this.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-O 2.1cm f/4 was launched in 1959 and was sold until 1967. This used to be the widest Japanese lens for SLR photography at the time it debuted, it helped push the Nikon F into dominance of the professional market. It was such a landmark lens that it soon gained legendary status because it opened new avenues for creative photography. There’s another version of this made for the S-mount because rangefinders still dominated 35mm photography at that time, its production was quite limited because the Nikon F would soon bring an end to that era. This lens has a lot of dedicated fans and they swear by its reputation but is this lens really what it’s made out to be or are people merely ruminating on the mythology surrounding it? We’ll find that out for sure in this article.

It’s all-metal which makes it tough but its characteristic stalk at the rear makes it look delicate. It’s actually quite rigid, I was surprised at how well-made it is. The rear is exposed but there’s a guard which helps prevent damage. The scale is very useful, it’s the only way you’ll be able to focus with it without viewing thought-the-lens. This isn’t a problem at all, the depth-of-field is very wide so you just guess the approximate distance of your subject or just use the scale to focus using hyperfocal distance, a technique that’s forgotten by many people apart from landscape photographers and those who shoot street photography.

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Report: Nikon Museum (Cine-Nikkor)

Hello, everybody! There’s currently an exhibit going on at the Nikon Museum about Cine-Nikkors! I am currently doing my best to give you all the information I have about this obscure part of Nikon’s history so I was very happy when the Father of Kit-lenses messaged me about this exhibit. I was so happy at that moment but I was also sad because there’s lots of Nikon historians who couldn’t come to the exhibit due to the pandemic. I dedicate this article to all of you who are unable to look at these with your own eyes and breath the same moldy air that these relics are exposed to.

The exhibit is rather small, befitting the tiny nature of many Cine-Nikkors. Despite being merely 2 tables the specimens shown here are very important.

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Review: Nikon FM10

Hello, everybody! Many people are excited about the Nikon Z fc, Nikon’s latest hit. It’s an amazing camera that conjures the feeling of using a classic film camera and it’s not expensive, too. I recalled buying a Nikon D90 when it came out, it costs about $950.00 at that time so if you put things into perspective the new Nikon Z fc is actually quite reasonable. At the moment many people do not even have the money to buy one due to the current economy or some people aren’t interested with shooting with the smaller DX format like me. To scratch the itch it’s probably a good idea to shoot with an actual film camera and I will show you one today that will certainly bring you lots of fun while you decide if buying a Nikon Z fc is going to be the right decision for you.

Introduction:

The Nikon FM10 was sold from 1995 and production ended recently along with the venerable Nikon F6. It wasn’t made by Nikon at all, it was Cosina who made these for Nikon. The Cosina CT-1 is the basis of this camera and that was sold under different brands and names such as the Canon T60 and the Olympus OM2000 to name a few. Its sister camera is the Nikon FE10, it’s basically shares the same chassis but the internals are electronic. You may wonder why Nikon made the decision to go with this when they had the legendary Nikon FM2n and the groundbreaking Nikon FM3A being sold at same time as this plastic camera. Well, not everybody could afford the expensive Nikons so people with less money bought these instead if they wanted a new camera that comes with a warranty. It was also said that these were initially targeted for the overseas market specially to developing nations where money isn’t as disposable compared to wealthy nations, there may be some truth to that because these were sold at the same time Nikon began its Thai factory.

The chassis is certainly made from metal but the exterior is covered with plastic. The finish is kind of ugly, the plating is easily-scratched and it frankly looks cheap, like the shiny parts of a toy. The dials were all made from plastics, too. I do not think this will survive a hard-knock or being dropped. The plastic exterior will definitely crack. You should never use this with large lenses, a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 Ai-S and similar-sized lenses will be the best ones to use with it. These were also sold with the Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Ai-S as a kit, this setup will certainly satisfy any amateur, they’re not going to disappoint even the advanced amateur when there’s nothing left to choose.

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Repair: Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 (semiautomatic)

Hello, everybody! I just had my first Corona vaccine shot and my body aches as if I had the flu. Mundane things felt like chores because my body feels heavy. I wasn’t expecting the side-effect to kick-in this fast. This is fine at least my body will bounce-back and acquire some immunity from the dreaded virus. Speaking of squeaky-joints and bouncing-back, I will show you something that was squeaky when it got to me and thanks to my efforts it was restored and it’s now fast, smooth and in a much better state than it was when I got it.

Introduction:

The Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 (semiautomatic) is a redesign of the earlier preset Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2. It was made from 1953 up until about 1960. The reason for its development coincides with the newer Zeiss Ikon Contax models which could actuate the iris automatically with a push-plate near the bayonet.

The biggest difference between this and the preset Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 is the addition of a semiautomatic iris. You basically cock the iris by turning the aperture-ring towards f/2. This will lock the iris to its maximum-aperture, it will stop-down to the value that you’ve set when you depress the shutter-button. If you’re metering through-the-lens it is important to meter with the iris stopped-down, you could do this before-or-after focusing. It all depends on you. The desired value can be set by pulling the aperture-ring towards the camera then turning it to the value you desire.

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Repair: Cine-Nikkor 10mm f/1.8

Hello, everybody! Do you like eating instant noodles? I don’t eat them much because there are healthier alternatives, I only eat them for convenience or when I occasionally crave salty, savory food. Some of them are quite tasty specially if you’ve added more extra ingredients such as fresh vegetables and seafood. The fancier ones even come with expensive chunks of meat and special sauces. For the most part I just see them as a necessity for certain people. You’ll get full and they’re cheap. Today, I’m going to show you something that’s not really remarkable but it’s the only option you have if you want to stick to Nikon. Unlike junk-food these are not cheap and they used to be quite expensive, these were sold as specialty lenses in their days. Read my article to know more about this rare gem.

Introduction:

The Cine-Nikkor 10mm f/1.8 is the widest Nikkor for standard 16mm apart from the Cine-Nikkor 6.5mm f/1.8 which is a specialty lens. Its production date is unknown but I suspect that it was made from the 1960s up until the 1980s. I could not find any information about this so I’m going to speculate a lot here. Even the engineers at Nikon don’t know much about it.

The barrel is all-metal, it’s beautiful and the build-quality is rather high as expected from a Cine-Nikkor. This was made for professionals that’s why many Cine-Nikkors today look the way they do. This was certainly used extensively for a lot of assignments evidenced by the scars you see here.

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