Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 AF

Hello, everybody! I am pleased that the site now earns around $1.15 a day from views and clicks. It used to be around $0.30 per day which is pitiful. a $0.90 boost is welcome but it’s hardly anything compared to the effort and love that I put into this thing. Despite that, I’m still thankful since this site is now recognized as one of the best there is for the Nikon shooter (and general camera repair). You couldn’t buy much with that revenue, it’s probably going to buy you 2 rolls of film at most. However, if you’ve put enough effort in finding a bargain it’s possible to acquire something more valuable with that amount of money. I will show you today what I bought for $15.00, a small amount of money but the joy I got from it is priceless.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 AF was sold from 1986 to 1994 and was made in 2 version. Today, we will look into the first version which is cheapest one on the market. It was made to complement Nikon’s then-new line of cheap autofocus cameras such as the Nikon F-501. It was designed to be cheap but adequate, this was a nice lens for its time and it covered everything an amateur wanted in the 1980s. It’s the original autofocus kit-lens for Nikon but there’s nothing cheap about its performance and build.

Handling is fine except for the inadequate focusing ring which is flimsy and thin, a common complaint of all 1st generation autofocus Nikkors. People made a big fuss over it since many still focus lenses manually back then due to the unreliable performance of early autofocus Nikkors.

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Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 Auto

Hello, everybody! There are rumors about an upcoming King Kong movie where he gets to fight with Godzilla. I would like to see that happen not only because I am a fan of Kong but I’m curious to see how this classic will be remade. Speaking of Kong, I will show you something big, long and dark. It’s not what you think because it is not Kong or Godzilla but a lens that’s just as monstrous.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 Auto was made from 1967 to 1975. This is the first high-power zoom for the 35mm format. It was difficult to design specially considering what was available to the engineers. They didn’t have the advanced raytracing software that lens designers take for granted today. Needless to say, this took a long time to develop but the result was astonishing, it cemented its place as the King-of-Zooms for years and it also has a non-variable maximum aperture as a bonus, too. Another highlight is it won’t change its focus as it is zoomed, your subjects remains sharp. This made it ideal for other applications such as videography.

Unlike many zooms of its time it has a 2-ring setup instead of the “pumper-zoom” layout that was common for its era. It’s a very heavy lens, certainly not something that you’d want to handhold all-day. Handling isn’t good at all because of its scale. Shown here is the later version with the black-nose, earlier ones have a silver-nose.

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Repair: Nikkor-S 35mm f/2.8 Auto (Late Version)

Hello, everybody! Anybody codes in Javascript here? I do not like it much, it is a language that was made in a hurry. Back in 1999, it was kind of limited in some areas but it slowly matured into a more complete language. It did not arrive to its current state in just an iteration but over many smaller upgrades. I don’t even think that there’s any standard implementation, it’s confusing. It certainly isn’t fun when looking for documentation for it due to its scattered nature. Today, I’ll show you something that has continued evolving. Just like Javasctipt, it could even confuse a lot of collectors since it’s not documented. I hope that I can help shed some light into its confusing nature.

Introduction:

This version of the Nikkor-S 35mm f/2.8 Auto is the later one that was sold from 1962 to 1974. It is a refinement of the older one, the most significant is its new optical formula which enhanced its performance greatly. It’s a good lens which bought Nikon some time before the excellent New-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 was sold with an even better optical design. Many people do not know that there are actually two versions of the Nikkor-S 35mm f/2.8 Auto. This is because they are named the same and they look similar, too. If you are a collector, you cannot be blamed if you didn’t even know about these little details since they can be easily be overlooked.

It’s a tiny lens but it feels dense when held due to its all-metal construction. I like how it feels in my hands, it was certainly made for professionals and it could withstand a lot of abuse.

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Repair: Repainting Lens Groups

Hello, everybody! This is a short article about repainting lens groups. I see many people online asking how it’s done and most of the replies that I read mostly mention the wrong way to do it and using the wrong materials as well. In this article I’ll be teaching you the right way to do it and also share with you what the people at the factories actually use and it’s a lot simpler than what many people think.

First, wipe the old paint with a lens tissue moistened with alcohol. The material applied here is usually water-based and should easily be wiped-clean. You don’t need to remove everything, just get most of it off and you’ll be fine.

Wipe the walls of the lens group clean with lens tissue and naphtha to remove any oils. Once that is done, get yourself some calligraphy ink or India/Chinese ink. Place a small amount on a container, use a Q-tip and dip it into the ink reservoir and paint the walls of the lens group. It dries quickly, you can apply another coat if you think it’s too-thin.

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Review: Fujifilm Provia 100

Fujifilm’s Provia 100 is my favorite slide-film but it’s not cheap so I only get to shoot with it occasionally. Every frame is precious and it takes me weeks to finish a roll. Luckily, I got a few rolls from one of my buddies who used to work in the late Alps-Do Camera shop before it closed for good. This gave me the chance to shoot more of it so I could present you with a simple review of this film.

It’s not cheap by any standard and having it processed in the lab will cost you more than a regular roll of C41 film. The results are worth it but I’d never shoot it for fun because of the cost involved.

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Repair: Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto

Hello, everybody! Do you like “Full Metal Jacket“? This masterpiece is one of Stanley Kubrick’s best films. I love the cinematography there and it also has this authentic-feel to it thanks to the late R. Lee Ermey. That movie showed a lot of realism which can be uncomfortable for some to watch, it could open a deep psychological wound in some people. The Vietnam War is something a lot of us wanted to forget and it still affects many of us today, good or bad. Today, I will show you an icon of the Vietnam War, a lens that took plenty of photos from the conflict. It’s an unwilling witness to a dark chapter in Asian history.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto is the first 50mm lens for the then-new F-mount. Nikon needs a standard-lens to compliment the Nikon F during its launch in 1959 and that resulted in the Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto (Tick-Mark) which is the very-early version of the lens in this article. The biggest difference between this and the Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto (Tick-Mark) is the 6-bladed iris but you’ll find that earlier production models still retained the coveted 9-bladed iris. I think that this lens is distinct from the Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto (Tick-Mark) so I wrote separate article for it despite both lenses having the same optics. Its angular-iris alone is enough to give small differences in bokeh quality. That and a couple of minor differences are all worth documenting.

It’s a stubby little lens. The minimalistic-look works and it helps give this an expensive, serious feel. Its tough, all-metal construction ensures that it will survive professional use, even in the battlefields of Vietnam.

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Repair: AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D

Hello, everybody! Do you know the song “My Boy” by Elvis Presley? This is a masterpiece, it’s about a father trying to keep his family together despite his hardships with his partner. He wants to explain everything to his child who is sleeping. It’s a depressing song but at the end, the father found the will to endure everything all because he wanted to stay to see his son grow. We do not hear masterpieces like this nowadays but I’ll show you an amazing lens that held-on just like the father in the song. It stayed in-production because it wanted to see its Nikkor children grow.

Introduction:

The AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D was sold from 1987 to 2005. It came at a time when the whole industry was making a huge leap towards autofocus and companies like Minolta were pressuring the big boys to make a system that would satisfy the demanding professional market. Nikon came up with the Nikon F4 at around 1988, always late to the game but ever-cautious. The new professional, upgraded F-mount needed to have an ecosystem of lenses ready to support Nikon’s new flagship and this is where this lens comes in.

Most zoom lenses come in either the now-standard 2-ring configuration or the older-style “push-pull” type where the focusing and zoom controls were combined into a single barrel but this one is different. You extend the barrel to zoom and turn the focusing ring to focus manually. You see this mostly in cheaper Zoom-Nikkors from the 1980s to the mid-1990s but not usually on a professional lens. I don’t know why the decision to use this type was chosen but it may have to do with making it compact. It resulted in a rotating front barrel which is quite annoying but nothing unusual for older-type Nikkors.

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Repair: AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED

Hello, everybody! Have you seen the latest iPhone? It looks great and it has a high-performance camera, too. I’m not the type who always buys the best and the latest so I’m not interested in the new phone at all. Newer does not always mean better either, some new features actually end up being buggy. That just makes upgrading pointless. Today, I’m going to show you another example but it’s for lenses this time. It’s an upgrade of a well-regarded lens but it seems that the old one is more reliable at doing one important thing.

Introduction:

The AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED was made from 1992 to 1997, this replaced the older AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED which is similar to it in many ways. The former is an amazing lens optically but it focuses slow, a big issue for some people. Its front barrel moves in-and-out as you focus so it’s not convenient to use circular polarizers. This model fixed that, its front doesn’t move as its housed within the main barrel. The focusing speed went from slow to not-too-slow, it’s now able to help you track moving subjects. If you look at them externally you wouldn’t think that much has changed but I will tell you that their internal constructions are totally different.

It’s a handsome lens. It’s heavy, big and inspires confidence when you hold one in your hands. It balances better with heavier cameras but it could still make your setup front-heavy. Carrying it with a Nikon F4 or a Nikon D3 all-day will make your neck hurt. I had this in my backpack and my back was not feeling comfortable for a few days.

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Repair: New-Nikkor 135mm f/3.5

Hello, everybody! Sean Connery’s passing came as a surprise to me because I am a big fan of his “007” movies. I loved every movie despite them being a bit repetitive when it came to plot. Secret agent investigates an evil villain, he screws some chicks, gets into a fight with some goons using gadgets and finally saving the world from said evil villain. They’re all predictable but it’s amazing how each movie has its own charm. Today, I am going to show you something that has become quite repetitive in Nikkor-land but like the “007” movies each version has its own unique quirks so it’s a lot of fun collecting them. Read the article to find out what this lens is.

Introduction:

The New-Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 was sold from 1975 to 1977, quite short if you ask me. It’s merely an update of the Nikkor-Q.C 135mm f/3.5 Auto, the optics are similar, if not identical. The barrel is totally-different so it handle much better in some areas. This was in-line with what Nikon was doing with their “legacy” Nikkors in the 1970s, they would update the lenses with a new look and sometimes even new optics and market them as “New-Nikkors“. You are right to say that New-Nikkors are some of the best-built Nikkors made, these are tough and the build quality remained until the Ai-series.

It feels dense when held, the wide focusing ring is easy-to-hold and you can turn it precisely. The focus-throw is a bit long which is typical of this family of lenses. This one doesn’t have the factory Ai-ring installed, you should not use it with modern Nikons that have an Ai-coupling tab that can’t be lifted-up or you’ll damage the camera.

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Repair: Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/3.5 Auto (Tick-Mark)

Hello, everybody! I saw a Cadillac a few days ago, something that I have not seen for decades. When I was young, the streets were filled with heavy-duty cars like Lincolns, Buicks and other models that people call “rolling coffins” today. They were built to last, slam a door and listen to how nice it sounds. I remember the sound of their engines but I don’t miss the smoke they made. For me, vintage equipment means a lot of things, not only are they tougher, they evoke a certain emotion that you’ll never get from recent products. It’s a shame how planned-obsolescence changed all that. Today, I will show you a lens that will give you a similar feeling when you hold one, it’s something that will bring you back to those times when things were made to be abused until they fall-apart. Read this article to find out what this is.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/3.5 Auto was sold from 1959 until 1960 so the Nikon F will have several lenses for a kit. These earliest F-mount Nikkors were made with different standards, higher than what was usual for Nikkors. All of the lenses in this series have 9-bladed irises, engraved lines (tick-marks) on the numbers, a red “R” on the depth-of-field scale, hidden screws, a satin-finish and better fit. The internal differences are harder to document since you’re not going to see them unless you get to service them. The workmanship of the internal parts are excellent, similar to what you’ll find from the vintage rangefinder line of Nikkors. These were sold for only a short time and they were given the unofficial nickname of “Tick-Mark Nikkors” by collectors for obvious reasons. There are 4 lenses that belong to this, the Nikkor-S 5cm f/2 Auto, Nikkor-S 3.5cm f/2.8 Auto, Nikkor-P 10.5cm f/2.5 Auto and this one. The other ones were never sold so we only have these 4.

The special hood is expensive but I got these for $10.00, lens and all. Visible here are the beautiful engravings. Later versions don’t have this. You won’t see any visible screws on the sleeve, too. Those are hidden so the lens looks clean. This level of workmanship will never be seen again in this lens class.

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