Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sign of Insanity?

In my last post I mentioned having too many 85mm lenses.  What I didn't mention is that two of them had problems of one kind or another.  One had oil on the aperture blades which were only was reliable wide open (that is, completely out of the line of light, as it were).  The other's focusing mechanism sounded like it was an old straight cut tooth gearbox grinding itself to death.

After watching a few lens disassembly videos over on YouTube I realized these problems weren't really all that hard to correct.  I just needed to pick up a couple tools from the local bricolage (hardware store in this part of the world).

The aperture blade cleaning cleansing operation took 30mins from start to finish.  The Nikon 85mm f/2 Ai is now fully operational.  Happiness ensued just before lunch.

Lunch consisted of a salad, bread, figs, and chocolate.  This was good armament for the next task.

Field stripping an old Nikon 85mm f/1.8 K is rather different than working on a newer model optic.   I was a little surprised at the suddeness of seeing a whole heavy collection of glass resting in my hand.  All I'd done is remove the forward retaining ring.  That was all.  I was concerned, but still I was able to quickly sort things out.

Once inside the focusing mechanism I could see the lens had spent far too much time at the beach.  Sand was working it's way into the threads.  Ack!  Out came the denatured alcohol and the Q-tips.  An hour later everything was put to right and the lens was reassembled.

I pursued Nikon's early 85mm design "H" and "K" (same optical formula) because they behave very similarly to the Helios 40 Russian lenses in the treatment of the out of focus areas.  That is, they all "look" very similar to the 1800's Petzval lenses.  Yes, this has been all the rage, recently.  Which is, no doubt, why I felt I needed to "check it out" for myself.  OK.  Call me a Fad Follower.  ;-)

I really enjoy fixing mechanical things like this and today was particularly successful.  I now have three fully functional toys of, well, all the very same focal length.  What to do?  Until I figure that out, it's a champagne kind of night, me-thinks.  It's time to celebrate.

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