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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Nikon AI rings
Old 06-22-2009   #1
Harry Lime
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Nikon AI rings

Hello Tom -

Have you ever considered making AI rings for Nikon F lenses?

Some of these conversion kits are next to impossible to find, yet very desirable. Personally I have been looking for a conversion kit for my Nikkor-H.C 1.8/85 for quite some time. No luck so far.

Anyhow it seems like they would not be too difficult to produce via CNC machining and certainly would sell...


Just an idea.

Last edited by Harry Lime : 06-22-2009 at 03:28.
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Old 06-22-2009   #2
Bill58
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Harry:

There is nothing in the camera world that can be machined that S.K. Grimes can't make. Their work is impeccable Have your asked them?

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Old 06-22-2009   #3
Harry Lime
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I've considered Grimes, but that would probably be a pretty expensive option, as a one off. I also do not have an example they could copy...

But I figure Tom could add these to his growing catalog of items. If he sells a few hundred it may be worth his while.
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Old 06-22-2009   #4
Brian Sweeney
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Harry- most shops can cut the existing ring to work with the AI mechanism, and do a nice job, I had my 20/3.5 Nikkor UD done years ago by Mora camera in Washington, DC. He did a pro job, not a cut and hack. It looks good.

Unless you just want to to be very pretty, most good repair shops should be able to do this. Check with Essex, KEH, and Pete Smith.
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Old 06-22-2009   #5
BillBingham2
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Have you tried here:

http://www.aiconversions.com/

I have not used him but might for an old (but loved) Vivitar Series 1 200/3. I've refered several people to him and all have been very happy. Lots of folks in another forum I do not hang out at any more (they wanted money) have used him and love the results.

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Old 06-22-2009   #6
Ronald M
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Aiconversions.com. John does impecable work with fast turnaround.

It is not easy to make a true Ai ring as there is a "hook" opposite the step. Most will not need the hook, because only the notch is used on most new cameras. The Ai Tab ( ears) is also changed with an official kit.

With a small modeling flat file, it is not hard to cut the notch for the Ai step. For F1.8 lenses it is around half way from 8 to 11. perhaps a hair closer to 11.

The hard part is removing the mounting flange as a thread locker is used. Too much force and you strip the screw heads. Judicious use of heat will break them loose. Too much and you do other damage. A soldering iron is normally used.

I recommend you send it to John
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Old 06-24-2009   #7
Ben Z
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Pete Smith in the USA does AI conversions. He did my 85/1.8. AFAIK there never was a factory conversion ring for the first version of that lens.
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Old 06-24-2009   #8
BillBingham2
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Good catch Ben, I forgot about such fun. As long as the serial number is higher than 209445 the AI kit will work.

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

I bet John or Pete could do a fine jobs on the old ones too though.

B2
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Old 06-24-2009   #9
lawrence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lime View Post
Personally I have been looking for a conversion kit for my Nikkor-H.C 1.8/85 for quite some time. No luck so far.
That's a truly lovely lens -- in fact my favourite portrait lens -- and I'm fortunate to have one in the AI mount. I've used mine on the D700 as well as FM2s and it's well worth converting it...
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Old 06-24-2009   #10
Ben Z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrence View Post
That's a truly lovely lens -- in fact my favourite portrait lens -- and I'm fortunate to have one in the AI mount. I've used mine on the D700 as well as FM2s and it's well worth converting it...
I use mine via an adapter on my Canon 5D. I have the Canon EF 85/1.8, and really like the look of the old Nikkor (mine's just an H, not HC). Ditto to the non-AI-era 180/2.8, and the 35/2 also. Aside from a 20-35 3.5-4.5 zoom, my wide lens for the 5D is the old Nikkor 20/3.5-UD with the 72mm filter. I can't wait until I can pick up a D700 for a grand or less.
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Old 06-25-2009   #11
Harry Lime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrence View Post
That's a truly lovely lens -- in fact my favourite portrait lens -- and I'm fortunate to have one in the AI mount. I've used mine on the D700 as well as FM2s and it's well worth converting it...
It's really nice. Not the sharpest piece of glass (wide open), but a lovely signature. I mainly need the AI ring for my D700. I mostly meter by hand anyway and most of my F bodies don't even have a meter (F, F2 etc)...

As many have suggested there are options out there to have the existing lens modified. I'm not a gear polisher (my cameras are tools not accessories), but I would jump at the option of being able to buy a real conversion ring. A few years ago I got hold of a AI ring for my Nikkor-H.C 2/50 and was able to upgrade it myself.
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Old 06-28-2009   #12
Benjamin
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Where is Tom A? I don't know what his thoughts are on the matter, but I would be interested in couple for Non-AI lenses that I already own.

I have considered doing it myself, but the likely hood of not being able to source the proper ring should I decide they require them has put me off somewhat.
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Old 06-28-2009   #13
Brian Sweeney
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pacificrimcamera.com has a supply of factory original AI conversion rings.

They have sold out of kits for the more popular fixed focal length lenses, but you might get lucky.

http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/catalog/ch73.htm

http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/n.../aikithelp.htm
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Old 06-28-2009   #14
Benjamin
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Thanks for the HU Brian.
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Old 06-28-2009   #15
kshapero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Aiconversions.com. John does impecable work with fast turnaround.


I recommend you send it to John
Double ditto.
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