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LENSTORATION: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI

The Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI is a short telephoto portrait lens and is the tiniest in Nikon's family of 85mm's. Despite its minute size, this lens is also capable of taking great images. This copy that I have came in badly beaten up condition. Looks like it fell in the mud as the outward appearance is full of grime and dirt. The aperture ring was stiff and it's not clicking snappily. A little bit of cleaning is required of the glass, but the main issue was, there were some marks on the front glass that the coating was scratched or peeled.

If you are a practical person, finding items that are in beaten up condition is one way to save money. You see a product's value not for its cosmetic appearance but for its performance. Besides, tinkering with stuff is a therapeutic hobby for me. I've been opening and experimenting on stuff before I learned to read and write.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
The anodized black paint has faded, so painting it black would help reduce internal reflections.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
I have removed the mount.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
The rear group of glass were removed next.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
So much dirt and grime in every nook and cranny of the lens.
The paint could also use some cleaning to brighten up.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Alot of grime were stuck between the gaps in the aperture ring, and the metal part that makes the click was deformed. That's why it doesn't click very snappy. I took care of this and it's now snappy as a sergeant.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Some of the paint on the focus ring had to be retouched.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Remove the name ring to take out the front group of glass.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
This will leave us with the focusing helicoid and the aperture plate.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
It looks like a dumb design. If you are familiar with Nikkor lenses, they have an 'auto diaphragm' or a lever which allows the camera body to push it up so that the aperture blades open up. Here, you can see that the blades do not fully open up.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
My remedy is to insert something in this gap. That soldering lead fell off, so later, I replaced it with a cement epoxy, which did the job.

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Last part is to clean the rear group (top) and the front group (bottom).

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI
Now the lens looks clean. It doesn't look like the most beautiful lens now, but at least we got a Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI at super bargain price!

Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI

Please stay tuned for sample photos.
Or you can see the photo album for the
Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI here:

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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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