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  1. #1
    agphotography's Avatar
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    How to fix a "loose" Nikon lens

    Hi guys,

    I've got a Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI-S that is loose in the lens barrel and focusing ring. It has a slight wobble that is kind of annoying. I've not tried to disassemble any Nikon lenses before, but I was just wondering if there was any tips on how to tighten the lens up.
    - Abram

    Mamiya 7II / Hasselblad 500CM

  2. #2
    clayne's Avatar
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    Loose as in it's not loose on the mount, but the actual barrel feels loose in comparison to the focusing ring (or vice-versa)?
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    I do not know about this PARTICULAR lens but wobble on the barrel usually indicates that the robust side screws (usually under the aperture ring and/or focus scale ring?) are coming loose. It you can get to them (again, this particular lens I am not familiar with) all you do is tighten them. They are usually underneath all rings, including that focus scale ring.

    Usually, this is accomplished by loosening the tiny set screws holding the focus scale or aperture ring and then slide off all rings until you get to the bottom bare metal where the (usually three) robust screws are that hold the barrel in place. This might necessitate removing the mount (which is not difficult to do but work with a white cloth underneath so that you lose NOTHING!) - David Lyga

  4. #4
    clayne's Avatar
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    Yep and be on the lookout for small springs and/or bearings to fling out when you take the mount off. Not a hard job at all though.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  5. #5

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    The last time I experienced that exact "problem" was resolved by having a camera tech overhaul the lens. It came back feeling just like new. The biggest issue was refreshing the damping grease on the focusing mechanism. The price was well worth it.

  6. #6
    agphotography's Avatar
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    I suspect that's what it was, loose internal screws but I was reluctant to disassemble the lens. It still works fine and focuses easily, I was just bothered by the slight wobble, my other two lenses (a 50 1.4 AI and 50 2 non-ai) have no wobble at all. I may look into fixing it, but as I said, it still technically functions just fine.
    - Abram

    Mamiya 7II / Hasselblad 500CM

  7. #7

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    friction ring eg pill box or pill box cap and rubber glove on name plate ring to unscrew is normal first step needs to be 51-50 mm OD.

    remove screws may need acetone and qtip.

    the focus ring should lift off.

    unscrew both heliciod mark entry points.

    remove all damping grease, replace damping grease you should be able to reassemble the aperture mechanism by using a darning needle from mount end as shifting the screws in the mount even cooking them with soldering iron can be mission impossible.

    if the heliciod is badly worn try different entry points not nice to do.

    Note they are all different this is generic for nikon and you reset infinity on a star or moon

  8. #8

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    ... and then you sell on ebay as "freshly CLA'd but doesn't focus correctly" or "Lens for parts or repair".

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    friction ring eg pill box or pill box cap and rubber glove on name plate ring to unscrew is normal first step needs to be 51-50 mm OD.

    remove screws may need acetone and qtip.

    the focus ring should lift off.

    unscrew both heliciod mark entry points.

    remove all damping grease, replace damping grease you should be able to reassemble the aperture mechanism by using a darning needle from mount end as shifting the screws in the mount even cooking them with soldering iron can be mission impossible.

    if the heliciod is badly worn try different entry points not nice to do.

    Note they are all different this is generic for nikon and you reset infinity on a star or moon
    Really not a good place to start..
    As david lyga suggested loose screws are far more likely. When the helical is separated, there is only one thread that will give correct focus. *******See above.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

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    If there is no relative movement between the filter ring and the rear cell of the optic it is the grease absent or heliciod threads worn.

    Even if you retain the heliciod entry points you will have to collimate the lens when you rebuild.

    Many SLR lenses will work ok on different entry points, this would not be true for rangefinder lenses.

    The last one I regreased a late series E 5cm collimated easily on different entry.

    The build standard of the E lenses is good.

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