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  1. #1

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    Nikkor 50mm 1.2 Aperture Ring Question

    I just took delivery on a brand new Nikkor 50mm 1.2 ai-s lens today. It's a beautiful lens however something seems off with the aperture ring. There is considerable rotational play when adjusting from stop-to-stop. When moving from one full stop to the next, after the tactile 'stop' has been reached the ring has play back towards the previous direction of rotation. It does not appear to be affecting the actual aperture, its just as if the ring is loose. While adjusting exposure through the viewfinder the play in the ring makes it difficult to discern if I'm making fine-tuned aperture adjustments or if it's just play in the ring. Additionally at f1.2 the ring will continue traveling what feels like an additional half-stop and then stick, again not affecting aperture. This is my first Nikon manual lens so I'm not sure if this is just the name of the game or if I got a faulty lens. I've been using Olympus OM lenses of years and have never felt an aperture ring quite like this. If anyone has experience with this specific lens I would love to hear your comments. I'm gonna give B&H and Nikon a call tomorrow but wanted to hear some advice from fellow photographers. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    my manual nikkors behave exactlu the same. this is typical and called mechanical just use the full clicks and ignore the rest. as you said it doesn't affect the aperture or exposure.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
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  3. #3
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    My Ai 50/1.2 has no play at all in the aperture ring once it has clicked into a full stop position. It does have the approximate half stop travel beyond 1.2 though.

    Assuming that my (1980-1981) Ai 50/1.2 has the exact same build as your current-version Ai-s, I'd say there is something wrong with the aperture ring on yours.

  4. #4
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Just grabbed mine and tested, no play at all, everything smaller than F/2 has a solid feel. Then 1 longer click rotation to 1.2, and half click past 1.2 is possible as well.

    My beater 24mm F/2 is loose all around and very worn in, but you can still feel it engage correctly. It actually makes it faster. The focus is still well dampened though so thats the real important part imo.

  5. #5
    Blighty's Avatar
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    It seems pretty normal to me. I have a new 50mm f1.2 ais and it behaves more or less as you describe. Mine also goes a little bit more than f1.2. As for fine tuning your exposure, trust your meter and not the feel of the lens.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  6. #6
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    I have a Nikkor 55mm SC Auto 1:1.2. This one doesn't have any play at all. Lo puedo usar con la FM, FE,FM2n,FM3A, D200, F3, F4, F, F2 etc.
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  7. #7

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    AZB&W,

    Point the camera toward you and engage the depth-of-field preview. Hold the depth-of-field preview button/lever as you rotate through the entire f/stop range. You should see that the aperture changes with even with the most minute adjustments.

    I've always disliked the aperture ring on the 1.2 AIS; the click stops are definitely "mushy". Trust your meter and try using the aperture display in the viewfinder instead of adjusting the aperture by feel if it drives you crazy. It's possible remove the stops altogether, but it would certainly void the warranty if you bought yours new.

    I complained about the ergonomics of my 1.2 AIS in another thread; it seems like Nikon had some challenges when designing it. However, it is the only 1.2 Nikkor (save the AIS Noct) with nine aperture blades, if that's important to you. Personally, I want to try a pre-AI 55mm f/1.2.

  8. #8
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    I can tell you. It's better. I'll see if I have some pics.
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  9. #9

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    I no longer have the 50/1.2 but do recall that the detentes were not as pronounced as other MF Nikkors lenses of mine. Perhaps the depressions are shallower, the sides less angular or the 'spring' (flat, leaf-like) has less tension or the 'v' is not as angular as others . Presumably your lens is fine, being brand new. For a definitive answer one would have to disassemble the lens and inspect. Not worth it.

    "When moving from one full stop to the next, after the tactile 'stop' has been reached the ring has play back towards the previous direction of rotation." This may be due to the v-shaped bend of the spring coming to rest not in the bottom of the detente but just beyond it, requiring a slight reverse motion to seat it in the bottom. (This is a bit like card-tricks over the phone but the best I can do.) This ever-so-slight reversal to seat the spring is also common.

    The advice given by LJ is very good: "Point the camera toward you...see that the aperture changes with even with the most minute adjustments." You can do the same with the lens detached from the camera and a bright light behind it to detect movement of the blades. Lastly, re: the tiny bit of ap ring movement beyond 1.2, that is common but doesn't translate to an increased aperture (bummer...would have been nice to have a 50mm f.8!). You'll notice the blades don't open further with that additional movement of the ring. Alrighty then...back to shooting!

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. All my OM lenses have very smooth aperture rings so thats why I wanted to check. What Aja B was describing with the detent sounds right, but there is still a little slop back and forth. It's more of an annoyance if anything else. I'll probably still give Nikon a call just to get some more info on it, I'll keep you posted if I find out anything interesting.

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