Repair: New-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (Early Ai)

Hello, everybody! I was hungry for some Taiwanese food so I went looking but I found that most of them were ran by the mainland Chinese people and there was nothing Taiwanese about them apart from what’s written in the sign. This is unacceptable, I hope that this practice ends because it’s unfair to the peaceful Taiwanese people. If you do not know any better then you’ll get the wrong impression about the Taiwanese because the people running these shops are mainland Chinese. Speaking of being confused, we will talk about a confusing subject today in Nikkor land but this time, you will get an excellent lens whichever one you end up and unlike the example that I just gave, it is not some shoddy knock-off trying to deceive people but it is just Nikon being lazy and will show you why I said that and how you will know which version you’re looking at.

Introduction:

We are going to showcase the New-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 lens today, a lens that is usually mistaken for its successor, the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai since they’re almost identical apart from some insignificant details. This lens replaced the beloved Nikkor-S 35mm f/2.8 Auto in 1974 and it’s a total re-design from the optics to the barrel. From the old 7-element design it now sports a new 6-elements-in-6-groups design and a new barrel that’s more in-line with the New-Nikkor line of lenses. The successor to this lens (Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai) is essentially the same lens with an Ai-ring and a slightly-different rubber grip pattern. To the untrained eye, they look identical specially if the New-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 sports a factory Ai-ring upgrade. The parts can mostly be interchangeable as far as I remember so I lumped the two lenses into one. Why did Nikon do this? To save money, because in just a few more years the later Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai was sold and that’s what I believe is what Nikon really wanted to sell as the Ai version but it probably didn’t make it in time, that’s just my theory but it’s very likely to be the case.

IMG_0612It’s a wonderful little lens that not a lot of people know about but the few who do know it for a special reason which I’ll mention several times in this article so pay attention. Some people poo-poo this lens but it’s a great little lens if you know how to use it. More

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Camera and Lens Repair Essentials

In this blog post I will outline to you all the essential tools that you need for restoring manual focus lenses so that you do not waste your time and most importantly money or gear.

Most of the tools that you will need can be bought in regular hardware stores however some of them are quite specialised and can only be bought in specialty stores or online. I live in Tokyo so camera repair equipment is readily available to me from shops, big chain stores and online shopping. These tools are an investment so buy the best that you can afford but do not go overboard and buy something that is insanely expensive but of very limited use.

Luckily, camera repair has a lot in common with watch repair since both deal with precision tools and small hand-held equipment. Going to the watch repair department of your DIY shop can also be fruitful. I grew up in a watchmaking family so the tools and skills are all familiar to me.

I strongly recommend that you follow my equipment advise as close as you possibly can because tools like screw drivers seem to be common across the board but in reality they come in different types. Using the wrong type will result in a stripped screw head.

Finally, I am not going to be responsible for any broken equipment, tools, gear or your health, so please use your common sense and follow safety procedures. Now, on with the tools.

Screwdrivers and Screws:

IMG_1477First, you will need a set of precision screwdrivers. These things are great for smaller screws. Be very sure that you only purchase screwdrivers that are JIS (Japanese International Standard). Any hobby shop with a mini 4X4 or radio control section should have these and chances are they will be JIS. Japanese brands are also more likely to be JIS (Like Tamiya). Never ever buy cheap precision screwdrivers, you will use these for a long time and the damage caused by using the wrong screw driver can be very expensive. If JIS is not available, buy crosspoint drivers. The Philips screwdrivers look similar but work differently so never use the Philips screw drivers on your Japanese brand lenses. The best brand is VESSEL. If you want to, you can also buy individual drivers. More