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Nikon HC 5cm f2 lens woes
Old 11-09-2016   #1
mrjr
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Nikon HC 5cm f2 lens woes

Hello all.. I'm looking for some input, and for an opportunity to vent.

I've had the lovely little Nikkor for a while, and I'm using it via a cheap adapter on my M6 mostly. I bought it because I was drawn to the Sonnar design, and from the few rolls I've developed from it, I've been very pleased to have it. I also bought it because I find 1m minimum focus distance so limiting as to be prohibitive—my use is mainly casual candids—and this lens boasts a very nice .5m mfd. Oh, and I don't care to spend $$$$ on an M mount 50... I just don't shoot 50 enough to justify or desire that.

So far, so good.

Allow me to describe my woes. The most minor of these is—wow! An almost 360 focus throw. Ok, I'll deal with that. Gotta be precise with a 50 up close and in poor light anyway.

The next problem I now suspect to be adapter related: the rangefinder coupling checks out at 3.1". Is this normal? Or could a cheap adapter cause this problem by interfering with the rangefinder cam?

This is probably the most maddening: that STUPID detent/short focus warning that stiffly interupts me EVERY SINGLE TIME I move in for a nice little portrait. Come any closer than 3.4", and boom! That hateful detent. There are no words and no analogies for how great this irritation can be, and it seems like this is what I encounter on more than half my photos with it. It really distracts from the simple act of trying-to-take-a-freakin-photo, and it gives me measureable anxiety.

What input do you have? Is it possible to have a competent repair person remove the detent entirely? Is there another lens that I could turn to for a price that's comfortably under $200 that offers similar imaging and can do .7m minimum focus distance? Honestly... what do I do?
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Old 11-09-2016   #2
jonmanjiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjr View Post
The most minor of these is—wow! An almost 360 focus throw. Ok, I'll deal with that.
Glad you can deal with that, because the other two issues can be resolved!

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Originally Posted by mrjr View Post
The next problem I now suspect to be adapter related: the rangefinder coupling checks out at 3.1". Is this normal?
This is normal, and nothing to do with the adapter. These lenses were designed for screw mount cameras with a coupled RF that checked out at about 1 meter (a bit over 3 feet) so there was no point in designing them to focus couple any closer. But the lens can be modified for closer focus coupling by making a cutout in the lens mount as shown below. I did this cutout myself, but any decent repairman should be able to do it. With the cutout on the lens mount as shown, the limiting factor of RF coupling is now on the camera side i.e. you get RF coupling to the limit that the camera is capable of (about 0.65 - 0.7m on most M bodies).



Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjr View Post
This is probably the most maddening: that STUPID detent/short focus warning that stiffly interupts me EVERY SINGLE TIME I move in for a nice little portrait. Come any closer than 3.4", and boom! That hateful detent. There are no words and no analogies for how great this irritation can be, and it seems like this is what I encounter on more than half my photos with it. It really distracts from the simple act of trying-to-take-a-freakin-photo, and it gives me measureable anxiety.
Dead easy to fix this one. See that piece of metal held on by the two screws just above the infinity lock in the photo below. That is a spring which presses against a ball bearing, and that ball bearing is the cause of the detent. Try pressing on the spring while rotating the focus past the detent, and you'll see how it works. I don't remember if its possible to remove the ball bearing from the outside, but you certainly can remove the two screws and spring, and then bend the spring so it applies less (or no) pressure on the ball bearing when reattached, thus reducing or removing the detent.



P.S. you're lucky I just happened to have my Nikkor-H 5cm F2 and MP on my desk right beside my iphone
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Old 11-09-2016   #3
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Quote:
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Is there another lens that I could turn to for a price that's comfortably under $200 that offers similar imaging and can do .7m minimum focus distance? Honestly... what do I do?
Amadeo dedicated 50mm adapter + Kiev mount Jupiter-8.

But I would suggest just doing the fixes that jonmanjiro described. You will still lose the coupling after focusing closer than 0.7m. If you can live with that (and the aperture ring turning the "wrong" way)... this is your lens!
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Old 11-10-2016   #4
mrjr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
This is normal, and nothing to do with the adapter. These lenses were designed for screw mount cameras with a coupled RF that checked out at about 1 meter (a bit over 3 feet) so there was no point in designing them to focus couple any closer. But the lens can be modified for closer focus coupling by making a cutout in the lens mount as shown below. I did this cutout myself, but any decent repairman should be able to do it. With the cutout on the lens mount as shown, the limiting factor of RF coupling is now on the camera side i.e. you get RF coupling to the limit that the camera is capable of (about 0.65 - 0.7m on most M bodies).
Fantastic! I was beginning to suspect that a hack to the adapter would allow the cam to travel farther. I may attempt to tackle the modification myself. Can I expect that the rangefinder would be accurate for focusing down to the minimum focus coupling on my M body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Dead easy to fix this one. See that piece of metal held on by the two screws just above the infinity lock in the photo below. That is a spring which presses against a ball bearing, and that ball bearing is the cause of the detent. Try pressing on the spring while rotating the focus past the detent, and you'll see how it works. I don't remember if its possible to remove the ball bearing from the outside, but you certainly can remove the two screws and spring, and then bend the spring so it applies less (or no) pressure on the ball bearing when reattached, thus reducing or removing the detent.
Wow! That's great. I don't remember seeing that spring on my Nikkor, which is an earlier silver nose, but I'm sure it must be there. I'll check it out. I bet you're totally right.... I bet I can remove that spring--maybe entirely! That would make me a lot less suicidal (joke) when shooting with it.


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P.S. you're lucky I just happened to have my Nikkor-H 5cm F2 and MP on my desk right beside my iphone
Haha, Yes, I am! My thanks to you and to lady luck.

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Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Amadeo dedicated 50mm adapter + Kiev mount Jupiter-8.

But I would suggest just doing the fixes that jonmanjiro described. You will still lose the coupling after focusing closer than 0.7m. If you can live with that (and the aperture ring turning the "wrong" way)... this is your lens!
Wait! Does the Jupe 8 focus down below 1m? I've always wanted to try one, but didn't want to take multiple $40 dollar gambles on getting one that wasn't abused and that focused correctly.





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Old 11-10-2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjr View Post
Wait! Does the Jupe 8 focus down below 1m? I've always wanted to try one, but didn't want to take multiple $40 dollar gambles on getting one that wasn't abused and that focused correctly.
keep in mind, that brbo talks of the kiev mount lens - that one doesn't have any means of focusing. it is up to the adapter to provide it.

so, just choose the right adapter, and it will do.
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Old 11-10-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastel View Post
keep in mind, that brbo talks of the kiev mount lens - that one doesn't have any means of focusing. it is up to the adapter to provide it.

so, just choose the right adapter, and it will do.
Oh!! The Kiev mount one. I didn't read carefully, but that makes sense now. Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2016   #7
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Quote:
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I may attempt to tackle the modification myself. Can I expect that the rangefinder would be accurate for focusing down to the minimum focus coupling on my M body?
Yes, focusing is accurate down to the minimum focus coupling on an M body. If you search through this site, I'm pretty sure there's a thread or two that explains in a bit more detail how to do the modification.
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Old 11-10-2016   #8
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Yes, focusing is accurate down to the minimum focus coupling on an M body. If you search through this site, I'm pretty sure there's a thread or two that explains in a bit more detail how to do the modification.
Brilliant. I'll search for that and see what I come up with. Thanks!

Also, UPDATE: I bent the detent spring on the bottom of the lens and it no longer engages the detent! You were totally right. My sincere appreciation!
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Old 11-10-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjr View Post
Brilliant. I'll search for that and see what I come up with. Thanks!

Also, UPDATE: I bent the detent spring on the bottom of the lens and it no longer engages the detent! You were totally right. My sincere appreciation!

there are two different versions of the lens if i remember correctly.

if you want to take out the ball detent there should be screws on the mount where you can detach the screw mount portion and just remove the ball.

on another version it is lacking these screws so i couldnt remove the ball or the mount plate. bending the detent metal part is a good idea though.

i did the modification on a nikkor 5cm 1.4 so it should be the same.
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Old 11-10-2016   #10
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Also, UPDATE: I bent the detent spring on the bottom of the lens and it no longer engages the detent! You were totally right. My sincere appreciation!
Excellent!

I dug up a couple of links that discuss the close focus coupling modification (which is the same for both the LTM Nikkor 50/1.4 and LTM Nikkor 50/2)! Make sure you have the right position before you start filing.

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=73271

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=56962
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Old 11-11-2016   #11
Dez
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The benefit of hacking away at the threaded lens mount will depend on which M body you have. With an M3, for example, you will gain next to nothing. Unless such a mod is extremely well done, looking like the lens was built that way, you will destroy the resale value of the lens.
Check your camera body's minimum focusing distance before going for your Dremel tool!

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Old 11-12-2016   #12
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OP already stated that he's is using it mostly on M6. On my M6 it was coupled down to a little closer than 0.7m.
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The opposite problem
Old 11-22-2016   #13
Dez
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The opposite problem

I have the opposite problem from the OP's. I have a nice Nikkor LTM lens which has had the detent cover plate removed. I like having the detent, and miss it with this lens. If anyone has one of these plates and the little screws to mount it, I would be interested in buying them.

Cheers,
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