Fundamentals: Screws and Drivers (1/3)

In the previous blog post we have outlined most of the essential tools for the repair and maintenance of classic Nikkors. Now, we will be discussing the best application for these tools so that you will less likely to destroy your lens by stripping a screw head or misaligning your helicoids.

Just like everything else in life you may mess up in your first few projects and that is OK. In my case, I messed up three projects because there is just not a lot of online materials for this and any useful information out there are scattered or can be irrelevant at times. The lack of proper tools when I first started was also a big contributor to my failed projects since I thought that it would be just as simple as fixing your average kitchen appliance. The good thing is, I have managed to fix the failed projects now.

This guide is not going to be organised in any order and I will be updating it from time to time as I find new ways and remember anything that I have done in a previous project or find something in another person’s practice. A good deal has been discussed on the previous post so please refer to that as well and I will try not to repeat anything that can be found there. 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