Repair: Nikon S2 part 4

Hello, everybody! It’s now time to wrap-up our Nikon S2 repair series. This one took me a whole month to prepare since I wanted to show every part of the camera to you. I will admit that I am exhausted by now and I’m relieved that this series in almost done. Please enjoy the last part of this series.

Continued:

The Nikon S2 is “primitive” compared to later manual Nikons but it’s still an amazing camera to work with. It’s fun to work on this because of its simple and well thought-out design. It’s a big departure from the Nikon S but it has lots of similarities with that camera. This camera represents Japan’s revival during the post-war years and what it would become after just a few years of further development. It laid the foundation in design, engineering and a lot of other things that would eventually give us the Nikon SP and later, the Nikon F which many people consider to be one of the best cameras made in the past decades. This is how important this camera is and it’s fitting that it should be memorialized here in our blog with its own repair series.

I juxtaposed my Nikon S2 beside Nikon’s new mirrorless camera setup here in this picture to show how small both cameras are. The Nikon Z7 is a great camera but I prefer the simplicity of the Nikon S2. I don’t need the autofocus and other modern conveniences to have a good time taking photos. Maybe I will want this for paid shoots but I don’t do that these days.

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Repair: Nikon S2 part 3

Hello, everybody! We’re going to continue with part 3 of our Nikon S2 series and we’re going to tackle the more complex mechanisms in this article. I’m going to make-up names and terms for the parts here so don’t treat this as a definitive guide. This is designed more as a walk-through to educate you on how the Nikon S2 works. If you missed part 1 and part 2 then read them and come back after so you won’t get lost. This series is proving to be one of my more popular camera repair series so I hope that you’ll enjoy this.

Continued:

The Nikon S2 is Nikon’s 2nd consumer camera design. The Nikon I/M/S series is merely an evolution of the Leica Barnack cameras and is the best attempt by any Japanese company in making one. The Nikon S2 is more advanced, it laid the foundations for Nikon’s best rangefinder camera, the Nikon SP. This is such a big departure from the Nikon I/M/S and it has features that you can even find on the Nikon F. This is a very important camera for the Japanese, I see it as an attempt by the Japanese camera industry to distance itself from its reputation of being a copy-cat and Nikon did it after just one model. This was the best that Japan had to offer back then.

What a handsome camera! I love the Nikon S2 so much that I own 2. These 2 cameras were bought as junks, sold for parts and were restored by me. This is how my collection grew and repairing my own gear saves me money and I am also assured that my cameras will work properly. I use my cameras all the time and they don’t sit inside the cabinet collecting dust.

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Repair: New-Nikkor 135mm f/2

Hello, everybody! I love Prince’s song “Purple Rain“. It’s long, full of soul and a true masterpiece in its time and even to this day. You can’t find something today that can match this song since they’re mostly made with the help of a single algorithm that record labels use. This is the reason why songs today sound “generic”, as if they were made from a single template. Today, we are going to talk about a lens that’s still amazing to this day since it was made as an artists’ tool, focusing on the “feel” rather than on chart scores that many lenses today seem to fall victim to. And just like “Purple Rain“, this lens has a reputation for purple fringing but we’ll see how that works with the scheme of this lens.

Introduction:

The New-Nikkor 135mm f/2 debuted in 1975, it was the fastest 135mm Nikon has ever made at that point and is a high-point in lens design. It’s big, heavy and impressive with its big front element. People will pay attention to you if you point this to their faces. It’s also the first lens in the 135/2 class which is still being made today in the form of the AI AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D. This lens is the expensive alternative to the New-Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 which is an exquisite lens but Nikon thought that they could make something better and so this lens was designed. The benefit you get from the faster aperture of f/2 is a brighter viewfinder, extra light-gathering capabilities, thinner depth-of-field and smoother blur as a result of the latter. This was a game-changer, it enabled photographers to take pictures that they weren’t able to before.

The impressive front element of this lens is huge and clear. You will want to deploy the built-in hood when using this to protect the front element and to shield it from stray light hitting it from an angle which can cause flares and ghosts to appear in your photos. The built-in hood is a nice touch, it is a big help despite being prone to being knocked out of position because it doesn’t click-into place which is a shame.

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Repair: Nikon S2 part2

Hello, everybody! I saw that part 1 is quite popular with my readers and so I made some time to write this part before I take the weekend off. It’s been a crazy week at work as we’re laying the foundations for the next project and I don’t even have enough time for sleep these days. I hope you’ll enjoy this.

Continued:

I showed you how to work on the exterior in part 1 so we will talk about the inner parts of the camera in this article. It’s been easy so far but it’s going to get much more difficult from now as we dismantle the camera down to the bare chassis. Never attempt repairing your camera yourself and just send it to a qualified repairer. You may be thinking about saving a few dollars but I will tell you that you’ll spend much more than that on tools and time. You’re also going to need the right skills that can only be learned through years of experience. Just make sure that you send your camera to a trusted shop. It’s common to find people who will say that they can do the job but the truth is they don’t even know where to start.

The Nikon S2 is one of the most beautiful cameras Nikon has ever made. The lines and curves are clean and the layout is basic, making this camera great for studying the basics of photography because it will slow you down. Your clicks will be more deliberate because you will have the time to think about your shot instead of the instant gratification of modern cameras.

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Review: Cinestill 800T

Hello, everybody! I am going to show you one of my favorite films today. It’s popular these days and many people use it to get unique-looking pictures. I love it a lot because I like taking night-time photos and this works great for my style. If you’ve been following me you already know what I am talking about. Enjoy this review.

Introduction:

Cinestill 800T is one of my most-used stocks. I was looking for an alternative to Fujifilm Natura 1600 so I tried my luck with this film which turned out to be a good find. It’s originally a motion picture stock that was re-spooled for normal use and development by hobbyists, I will get into the details later in this article so be sure to read everything.

It comes in its familiar black container because it’s very sensitive to light. It is sold in both 35mm and 120mm formats which is nice. I have seen how it performs with medium format and the results blew me away. They’re a bit pricey depending on where or how you buy them but not unreasonable.

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Repair: Nikkor-Q•C 5cm f/3.5 (Collapsible)

Hello, everybody! Do you remember “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeve? I love that movie a lot despite it being corny. I think its soundtrack is also one of the best scores ever written for a movie, I can still remember the first time I heard it and I can never forget it when I hear it. Movies like this are timeless and you can still enjoy them to this day. It’s difficult to think of a movie made today that has the same impact, it is easy to forget a movie as soon as you walked out of the theater. Today, I will show you a lens that will bring you back to the olden days, very much like the plot in “Somewhere in Time”. It’s also a classic that only people who have a deep appreciation for the past will revere.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-Q•C 5cm f/3.5 is one of Nikon’s oldest lens designs for the 35mm format. Its history dates back before the war and it was also supplied to the first Japanese 35mm cameras made by Canon called the Kwanon. The design is very simple and it’s simply a clone of what the Germans had. Nikon didn’t know how to make or design lenses for 35mm cameras so they had to start somewhere and the best lens manufacturers at that time were German. The lens has undergone many changes through-out its life from 1935 to 1956. It has seen several barrel updates and they were sold in different mounts. It’s what gave Nikon the required know-how so they can start making original designs after the war and that makes this lens special. Many people are not even aware of these and you certainly won’t find a lot of information about this lens online and photos that were taken with this lens can be difficult to find. Most people who own these are collectors and they usually do not use their gear to take pictures, which is a shame.

I got this lens for a small price but these usually go for around $500 and up. I was lucky and it was fated that this lens ended up with me. The barrel is a clone of the Leica Elmar 50mm f/3.5 but you adjust the iris via a ring behind the front ring which makes it more convenient since you can see the values without having to look at the front of the lens. The optical formula is also a clone of the Leica Elmar 50mm f/3.5’s which is a clone of the Zeiss Tessar. It’s a clone of a clone!

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Repair: Nikon S2 part 1

Hello, everybody! Do you remember Quiet Riot? They’re best known for the cover of Cum on Feel the Noise by Slade and Metal Health. The Slade song is one of my favorites but Quiet Riot’s version is better in my opinion because it gave the music a more modern, grittier sound. I don’t know if the younger head-bangers know what I am talking about so just check them out if you’re not familiar with them. Speaking of revisions, I will talk about an important camera today that turned Nikon’s first camera into a world-class product by implementing many clever changes.

Introduction:

The Nikon S2 replaced the Nikon I/M/S line of cameras. It’s an important one because it laid the foundation for their next camera, the Nikon SP. It’s still a simple camera when it came out but it was a huge leap from the Nikon SIt now sports a much bigger finder, an advance lever, 1/1000s speed, a rewind crank, a proper A/R ring and much better build. This camera made Nikon an important name in cameras because Japan now has something serious and respectable to rival the German cameras to a certain extent. It sold well, it’s Nikon’s most numerous rangefinder camera and the most common one you will see in the used market. Despite the numbers, the prices for these aren’t going down but they’re getting more expensive as people get to know them and how comfortable they are for regular use.

IMG_9590The Nikon S2 is a beautiful machine because of all the big dials and the nice silhouette. It’s probably the sexiest Nikon rangefinder camera in my opinion specially if you mate it with a good-looking compact lens. It only comes with a 50mm viewfinder, a standard for its day but it’s life-size and very bright. I love how you don’t have to squint because of it since what you see on both of your eyes is the same magnification. It’s not parallax-corrected, which is a missed-opportunity. If you need to shoot with a different focal length you will need one of Nikon’s many external finders such as the one you see here.

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