My Nikkor isn't stiff enough.

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by EASmithV, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I have among others, a Nikkor-S 50mm f1.4. When focusing, the focusing ring turns too easily, and wobbles ever so slightly. It's not something that affects the usability, but it is highly annoying. How do I fix something like this?
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    The focus helicoid needs some damping grease. Not difficult to do if you are familiar with taking lenses apart and reassembling them correctly. :smile:
     
  3. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson Member

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    Rough schematic of Nikor Non A.I. 50 1.4

    I recall from years ago an old timer explained that the different metals with a special thin lube was what gave the focus mechanism its silky smooth but resistive motion. I also recall being told not to compare too closely the action of new (circa 1980) and older Nikon lenses.

    I would dismantle the bugger and have a look to see if the lubricant has dried or to see if the set screw has loosened a bit over time. Once upon a time, I had a small jar of special "Lens-lube," given to me by the old timer. I'll have a look for it. Who knows what I might find in the search.

    BTW, once you remove the first retaining ring ( a rubber ring on a plastic jar is my tool of choice), the rest is gravy.

    Let us know what you find.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2010
  4. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Please clarify.

    Thx for the diagram.
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    It could be worse - you could have the same insufficient stiffness problem, but not with your Nikkor.
     
  6. richard ide

    richard ide Subscriber

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    I had the same problem many years ago with the same lens. IIRC I used an ultrafine screwdriver to slightly tighten; I think 3 screws, on the outside of the focussing ring
     
  7. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson Member

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    We're going back a few years, but if I recall, the older (1960 vintage) Nikkors were never as tight or stiff as the modern (1980 vintage) Nikkors. I had the 50 1.4 & the 105 2.5 in both vintages. I bought the A.I. versions precisely for their tighter feel.

    It's certainly possible that the older lenses were once as tight (when new) but I never had the opportunity to compare two new lenses side by side.
     
  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Do you have a diagram for the older Nikkors 1.4 as well (the original Nippon-Kogaku that launched with the F)?

    Would a CLD fix this problem as well?
     
  9. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    :wink: :D
    :munch:
     
  10. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    I have the opposite problem, my 55mm Micro is too stiff........make of that what you will.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Should cost $40 or so to get your lens CLAd. Whether that is worth it or not is up to you...but it means you don't take a risk of not being able to get the thing back together, and you don't have to buy the proper supplies to perform the service yourself, not to mention the time. If you were going to service lenses often, sure...but in this case, I would just take it somewhere and see what they say.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I'm quite good at the first part of that procedure!


    Steve.
     
  13. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Yes I have two Nikkor 1.4s... One of them is the lens that originally came with the Nikon, and is one that I tried to "fix". I recently got the other one (the one that is not stiff enough) because I wanted a faster lens like the one I had originally.

    Since then I've told myself never to take apart anything smaller than a Speed Graphic... And only If I have instructions...
     
  14. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    What If I take the element section from the old lens, and drop it in the new lens? The old lens was plenty stiff.
     
  15. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    For the grease go to www.micro-tools.com ,
    they have a lot of other things for repairs aswell.

    Peter
     
  16. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Shame it's a Micro that's too stiff.
     
  17. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    And only 55mm at that... :tongue:
     
  18. rosey

    rosey Member

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    To the OP: If a lens isn't stiff enough, crush one Viagra tablet and rub it on the lens mount. Cialis is best for screw mounts. :smile:
     
  19. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If this persists for more than 4 hours, see your camera repairman ...
     
  20. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    All jokes aside, the late rubber focus ring non-AI and the AI lenses tend to have the stiffer focus rings. AIS lenses seem to have gone back to the smooth feel of the metal focus ring non-AI lenses, except for lenses like the 55f2.8, which are stiffer, but then again, so are the older 55f3.5's. Even my early compensating diaphragm 55f3.5's were pretty stiff in focus.

    It's possible that the 50f1.4 that you're dealing with was dropped @ one time. That could cause a loose feeling focus ring. I once owned a 50f1.4 Nikkor-S that had the ring become disengaged from the helix. Had to pull the focus ring toward the camera body to focus the lens, otherwise it would just spin.

    -J
     
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    Google Rick Oleson : I'm pretty sure he has a stripdown procedure and diagram for the 50/f1.4 on his site.
    In my experience this is an easy lens to get into,I've done two with no problems.