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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    What should I do with this lens?

    Hey gang,
    My girlfriend dropped her Nikon FM, but luckily it was in a soft case and it landed on the lens instead of the camera. The lens is an E series 50mm f1.8. The front of the lens has been pushed in on an angle due to the impact and the focus ring won't turn anymore. It's a nice lens, but my camera repair guy told me to not even bother having it repaired. I ended up getting her another one on eBay for about $40. Now I have this damaged lens (which is mint other than the obvious problem) sitting on my kitchen table begging to be shot with. I'm thinking of taking it apart and trying to fix it myself. I'm sure it won't be a perfect fix so I'm wondering if I can turn it into a special effects lens somehow. Does anyone have any ideas?
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  2. #2
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Take it apart and try to fix it. If nothing else it will be a learning experience.

    *

  3. #3

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    find the point of focus on the lens and use it for creative imagery. it might be your personal lensbaby. think about the DOF and bokeh that this aberrant lens might create for you. a one-of-a-kind 50mm shift lens.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  4. #4
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    Take it apart and try to fix it. If nothing else it will be a learning experience.
    Ditto that, risk free learning experiences are worth far more than $40.

  5. #5
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    Nikon 50mm 1.8 E's were never meant to actually take pictures with. Best use is to turn it around backwards and make a focus loupe out of it for the view camera ground glass. It should work good as ever for that.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  6. #6
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Nikon's E-series lenses were intended to accompany the EM body as part of a "less expensive" package designed for entry-level casual photographers. This was long before digital - and even before P&S became popular. They were optically quite good (the 100mm f2.8 series E was a fabulous portrait lens that also was very good with extension tubes in macro applications), but mecahnically they were not in the same class as Nikkors.

    What that means is that if your girlfriend's camera landed on the lens, the lens is probably toast. But as Mrcallow has noted, an unrepairably trashed lens could provide an interesting education. So take it apart to see how it's built. You may not be able to repair it, but you could learn a lot about lenses.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by unohuu
    find the point of focus on the lens and use it for creative imagery. it might be your personal lensbaby. think about the DOF and bokeh that this aberrant lens might create for you. a one-of-a-kind 50mm shift lens.
    I would do this, too. If it proves worthless at that, too you can try to repair it.

  8. #8
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgalli
    Nikon 50mm 1.8 E's were never meant to actually take pictures with. Best use is to turn it around backwards and make a focus loupe out of it for the view camera ground glass. It should work good as ever for that.
    Well... perhaps I am guilty of ignorance or my lack of experience makes me easy to please - I don't know, but I have one of these lenses (got it on an FG that I picked up for $5 with a Nikon flash... all work 100%!). And I found that, yes - it is flimsy and feels cheap, but... it is rather good optically from my experience.

    I would try to fix it - its one of those "can't make it worse" situations, so you might as well. Then again, I like tinkering, so any excuse is a good one - only my total lack of faith in my abilities and knowledge of optics repair prevents me from doing it. But in a case like that, I certainly would.

  9. #9
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unohuu
    find the point of focus on the lens and use it for creative imagery. it might be your personal lensbaby. think about the DOF and bokeh that this aberrant lens might create for you. a one-of-a-kind 50mm shift lens.
    One step ahead of you. I already tried that and found that there is no point of focus anymore. Very strange indeed.

    I will try to repair it, the only thing is that if I do repair it how will I know it's up to par again? What if it's slightly off in which case I may ruin many future photos?
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  10. #10

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    Ara,
    As you've discovered, the series E lenses aren't the most durable. What has happened is, on impact, one of the threads in the focusing helix has jumped or been pushed onto another. If you're going to attempt disassembly, start at the front. The back won't get you anywhere.
    Remove the decorator ring with a large rubber stopper by holding the stopper at an angle & unscrew the ring CCW. Just removing the ring may give enough play to squeeze the focus ring & "pop" it back in place. If you live right, that is. If you end up popping it towards the lens mount, you may find that focus will need to be adjusted. I don't feel comfortable trying to describe that procedure. It's kind of like knowing how to get somewhere but not being able to give someone else directions.

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