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Repair: Dented Rings (Using a Lens Vise)

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to show you how I fix dented front rings with a lens vise! Dings on the front ring can be caused by dropping a lens or having the front of the lens hit something really hard when you are not mindful of your gear. I usually will not bother with lenses with these kinds of damage because there is a big chance that other things are damaged by the shock. Imagine, the force is strong enough to dent metal so it’s common sense that other more fragile things inside the lens or camera might have been knocked-out of tolerance. Glass elements can be knocked-out of alignment and sensitive assemblies can be thrown out of sync. If you know how to fix these or you don’t mind at all then this is how you can fix the ding on the front ring and enjoy your dropped lens.

IMG_5676Here is a terrible example of a dented filter ring. The threads were ugly and mangled. Its lip are irregular because the previous owner attempted to correct it by using brute force. There are scratches on the outer surface of the ring and that is probably where the pliers or whatever he used sunk its teeth on it. The serrated nature of the scar is a telltale sign. More

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Tools: DIY Pipe Key Alternative

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to share to you an idea that was shared to me by Jon. I will not mention his full name for his privacy but I would like to thank him for sharing his knowledge to me; as usual, whatever I learned will go straight to you if it is beneficial and will help prevent any frustration while you work on your equipment. Read on!

IMG_5136I modified a pair of tweezers from the manicure section and bent it in the shape of a cow horn forceps. I bent them with a pair of pliers and being careful that the resulting shape is symmetrical. Finally, I flattened the resulting prongs to make them fit the tight spaces that they are required to slip into. Finish it off by sanding the flattened parts so you are sure that there are no rough edges that will damage anything. Make sure that it’s smooth by trying to scratch it on a piece of scrap plastic or metal. If it didn’t leave any mark then you are successful! Before I forget, make sure that the prongs are parallel to each other. More

Repair: Preset Iris Reassembly

Hello, everybody! I’m going to show you how to work on a preset iris. It’s a type of iris or diaphragm that was commonly used many older lenses made before the ’70s and I’m not sure wether this went on until the ’80s. A preset iris (my term) is a type of iris design that was commonly used on lenses with no automatic diaphragm feature, you will have to do the opening and closing manually as it’s not automatically actuated. An automatic iris is convenient because it did away with manual intervention and  SLRs benefitted the most from this because SLRs allow you to look through the lens or “TTL”. This is beneficial in many ways because the image you see on your viewfinder is bright and not darkened as you close the iris down. A preset-type iris won’t give you that brightness because it won’t open or close automatically so you see through the lens with the iris opened or closed so whatever light is gathered is what you see on the viewfinder of an SLR.

Mechanically, the preset-type irises are more complicated to make. Instead of the simpler cantilever-type blades used on automatic iris lenses, the preset-type iris uses leaves with pegs on either end. They almost always have more blades and so it tales plenty of time to put them together. All this means that things start to become expensive really quick and I can tell you that accountants don’t like this so to make a profit, this had to be simplified.

IMG_4535Preset-type irises are notorious for being time-consuming and frustrating to assemble! I am not fond of working with these but what can I do? Some of the best older lenses have them. They can be intimidating at first but it’s not as bad as it looks; just have patience. More

Report: Nikon Fan Meeting 2017

Hello, everybody! How are you guys today? It’s a bit stressful for me right now because I will have to make a few very important decisions for my career and family in the coming months. These sort of problems do not matter much for people who don’t have a family of their own yet so I will advise all the single people here in my readership to enjoy your lives while you still have the freedom! Speaking of enjoyment, I am going to share to you my report on last weekend’s event here in Nikon land. I enjoyed the event a lot so I hope you will enjoy my report of Nikon’s 1st Fan Meeting event!

Main Hall:

The main are is where most of the important booths and exhibits are situated. There’s an area where you can play around with Nikon equipment, a photobooth, a place to shoot 2 beautiful models (modestly dressed, unfortunately), and other miscellaneous activities. I forgot to mention that this event is part of Nikon’s centenary celebrations so the theme is consistent with Nikon’s rich history over the past 100 years. Surprisingly, Nikon made no mention of her interesting early years as Japan’s sole manufacturer of precision optics. I can understand that they would want to gloss over Nikon’s wartime manufacturing but I don’t understand how the important formative years were omitted. Maybe the venue is too small? Perhaps Nikon just wanted to showcase her consumer photography products.

IMG_5632This mural will greet you as you enter the hall. I like how they chose the Nikon F and the Nikon D5 to signify that there is continued and unbroken lineage between the 2 cameras in the form of the venerable F-mount. Come with me and let’s see what’s inside!

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Where we are so far…

Hello, guys and thanks for supporting the blog! Here’s where we are at this moment. Our stats are getting better since early this year after I began sharing my articles in social media. I was told that the traffic is not so bad specially considering that this is a blog with very specialized topics. We are here thanks for your support and clicks!

blogLook at that graph! This means progress! I am not going to sit idly by and be happy with this. I want to reach more people and with your help, we can make this blog a huge success! Can you help me do it? Let us join force and make sure that no more used or junk Nikon equipment will be thrown to the junker anymore! Help me save more cameras! We are also going to see more Bronica, Contax and Pentax repairs in this blog because I use them, too! See you guys again and thank you very much, Ric. More

Mod: Autofocus Helios-44 for Nikon pt2

Hello, everybody! We are going to continue with our Autofocus Helios-44 project and you will now see the current evolution of this project lens. I have many responsibilities so I’m not going to work on this project regularly so updates will take some time but here it is!

If you recall in part 1, we tried using a zoom lens as the donor body so that we can use its zoom cam for macro mode but this failed miserably because there is no space inside for the huge objective of the Helios-44! While it was working OK, I decide that I want to have a better solution for this so I found a junk AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 for little money to use as the donor body. I think that this is a better solution because f/1.8 isn’t too far from the f/2 maximum aperture of Helios-44. This will help us with the EXIF data. I doubt that there’s any difference the way the camera will meter with this lens because it’s a preset aperture lens so the camera will always meter though the lens in whatever aperture it was set.

IMG_5460I get plenty of stares from people who see this lens. It looks like the usual AF-Nikkor but there’s something strange with this lens which demands you to take a closer look. It’s like going to Thailand for a vacation, you will have to check if the woman you are hitting on’s the real deal and not a “kathoey”. The “farang” will fall for this but not us. I have a saying: Transvestites: more than meets the eye. A Helios in disguise, how novel is that!? More

Report: The 9th Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar

Hello, everybody! Today, I will be covering the 9th Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar! This is usually held around Summer by the Association for Promotion of Camera Commerce. It is sort of like a guild of some sort with members from all around Japan. There are others but this and the I.C.S. (Import Camera Society) are the bigger ones and they both organize bazaars like this in Tokyo. For a gear nut and “tinkerbug”, these bazaars are some of the bigger highlights for the year as far as photography is concerned. I hope you can join me!

IMG_5542Here is a panorama from my iPhone. The participants are all members of the same guild. They have been holding this event for a couple of years now and some come from distant prefectures like Osaka and Nagoya just to participate in this bazaar. If there is a heaven for a camera collector, then it will probably look like this and everything for sale is cheap or given away for free. How nice is that? I would prefer this to the virgins in the afterlife! More

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