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LENS HACK: Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4... Last Strike With Oily Aperture Blades!


Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4... Last Strike With Oily Aperture Blades!
Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4... Last Strike With Oily Aperture Blades!




May 2017

The Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 is a vintage standard prime lens with wide aperture. This copy that I own was made in 1967, based on its serial number. So it is 50 years old by now. It was bought on December of 2015 and was the third lens I've ever owned.  This is the only lens that's been with me since the beginning, and the lens that's lasted in my possession for over a year!

This classic lens from Nikon has single coated optics but produces good images (it's soft and loses contrast/colors at f/1.4). The only problem I've had with this lens from the very beginning was oily aperture blades.

When the aperture blades of a lens is oily, they close very slowly. The result is that you will get overexposed images.

I've cleaned it many times, tried different materials, even undressed the whole lens to get rid of all the oil. But since it's very persistent, I thought there's only one thing left to do...

At the mount of the lens is a lever that helps to keep it open when mounted on the camera. That is what they call 'auto diaphragm'. When you press the shutter button on the camera, the lever that keeps it open will drop down, so that the aperture blades will close to the value you have preset.

For example, you set the lens to f/8. While mounted on the camera, it will always stay open at f/1.4, then closes to f/8 when you press the shutter button. With the oily blades, they close very slowly, so by the time the shutter curtain has opened, the lens is probably still at f/4 or somewhere.

What's left for me to do is to grind/file off that lever at the mount that keeps it open while mounted on the camera. Once it is filed, this lens has now become a 'manual diaphragm' lens. Meaning, it won't stay open, but rather, it is always at the value you set the aperture to.

There, problem solved once and for all. =)

Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4... Last Strike With Oily Aperture Blades!


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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