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Nikkors - Why do people grind material off of the stop-down lever?
Old 07-31-2018   #1
retinax
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Nikkors - Why do people grind material off of the stop-down lever?

Hello all,
The question is in the title - I've just received a Nikkor on which a fair bit of material has been removed from the business side of the lever that keeps the aperture open/stops it down. I've seen others on ebay that have had that done, for example this one: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Nikon-Nikkor...cAAOSw3UZbBlNO
Why do people do that? Is it trouble? How tight are the tolerances there? I don't have a Nikon body yet to try it out...
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Old 07-31-2018   #2
Hogarth Ferguson
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I'm not sure I follow what you're asking. That lens looks normal, non ai to me. Am I missing something?



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Old 07-31-2018   #3
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People don't, their cameras do.

Just my experience.

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Old 07-31-2018   #4
kxl
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If you are talking about why people convert a non-ai lens to and AI’d lens, it is to allow the lens to mount on bodies that are only compatible with AI/AIs/AI’d lenses. Trying to mount a non-AI lens on one of those bodies risks damage.
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Old 07-31-2018   #5
css9450
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I think he's asking about the little tab on the back of the lens which the camera uses to stop-down the lens to make a picture. I'm sure any wear on that component is due to years and years of use. And if my understanding of the mechanism is correct, the wear is probably caused not when its being stopped down, but instead when the lever on the camera snaps the lens back to its wide-open state. In other words, nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-31-2018   #6
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I think it's a factory or service adjustment to fine tune the aperture actuator. I've seen a few that were definitely carefully modified, not randomly worn.
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Old 07-31-2018   #7
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He's not asking about the aperture dial; he's asking about the spring-loaded aperture stop-down lever.
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Old 07-31-2018   #8
retinax
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Thank you, yes the lever actually keeps the aperture open when mounted, but not exposing, that's the one I meant, in the second picture. On mine it doesn't look like wear but rather like done with a file, maybe that was done to even out what uneven wear the camera had caused. I hope that it was used lots means it's a good specimen.
So even with lots of wear there, they will usually still open up all the way when mounted? There's an estimated 0.7mm of metal missing. Otherwise looks well used, but not abused.
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Old 07-31-2018   #9
Shac
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But the shiny surface one can see on the aperture tab in the ebay image isn't the surface in contact with the aperture lever in the camera body - so there would be no reason to file it would there?
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Old 07-31-2018   #10
madNbad
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Would there be any reason to modify the tab to use the lens for video?
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Old 07-31-2018   #11
peterm1
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I have used Nikon gear for ages (including adapted lenses on M43 etc) and have never heard of a modification which you seem to be describing. In fact I cannot see what you are referring to in the photos - they are of what looks like a bog standard (non AI converted) pre AI 50mm lens.

The only mod that is done regularly (and not done in the lens photographed) is to modify the metal annular ring around the outer diameter of the base of the lens (i.e. not the stop down lever) to undertake AI conversion. All Nikon cameras that support AI have an aperture follower that senses the location of the AI notch milled or filed in the ring of the lens which communicates the maximum aperture mechanically to the camera (no electronics back then) . This in turn allows the camera to meter properly given it must meter while the lens is still wide open at maximum aperture for focusing and composing.

If you are referring to the ridge of metal immediately surrounding the rear lens element, I think that is normal for some early Nikkors.

EDIT: When I enlarge the image and look very closely at the stop down lever it does have what could be some kind of notch on one side. I have an identical lens to the one depicted, have got it out of storage and examined it. It has exactly the same notch in exactly the same position. Which suggests to me it is normal for this particular model of lens not any kind of modification. As far as I know mine has never been modified except AI modification which as described above is another thing entirely. The notch in my lens is shiny like the notch in the lens in the photo. I would suggest this is merely due to years of use as this is the surface that rubs against the aperture lever in the camera not due to filing by a user.
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Old 07-31-2018   #12
JeffS7444
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That lens likely saw lots of use with camera bodies manufactured before the late 1970s?

I noticed this wear pattern on the lens aperture lever with some of my dad's mid-1970s Nikon gear, and it looked to me that camera bodies made by the late 1970s onwards (like my then-new FE) incorporated a modified mating part in the body apparently designed to reduce exactly this sort of wear.
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Old 07-31-2018   #13
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Interesting...

I have a set of K lenses all of which exhibit the "filed" look.

I have 3 later Nikkors all of which are square and sound.

Weird.
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Old 08-01-2018   #14
ChrisPlatt
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I too have never heard of such a modification for Nikkor lenses.
I suspect what you have seen are some well-used and worn lenses.

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Old 08-01-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
I too have never heard of such a modification for Nikkor lenses.
I suspect what you have seen are some well-used and worn lenses.

Chris
The notch on my lens is not wear, it is deliberate. And it looks as if it was done in production.
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Old 08-01-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
The notch on my lens is not wear, it is deliberate. And it looks as if it was done in production.
All of mine appear to be deliberately modified as well and a couple show wear too. I would say probably factory modified. (Looking at them again idk maybe it is indeed wear but I have a couple that are sure a lot more worn out than the others) I wonder why?

All of my K lenses have factory Ai rings btw. No longer own any early non Ai glass. Would like to hear from someone who does.

I bet Brian knows about it.
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Old 08-01-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
All of mine appear to be deliberately modified as well and a couple show wear too. I would say probably factory modified. (Looking at them again idk maybe it is indeed wear but I have a couple that are sure a lot more worn out than the others) I wonder why?

All of my K lenses have factory Ai rings btw. No longer own any early non Ai glass. Would like to hear from someone who does.

I bet Brian knows about it.
About 10 years ago someone advertised some factory AI conversion rings on eBay and I bought a couple when they suited non AI lenses I owned. All of my other early lenses I have hand converted myself - a simple enough operation, with the exception of two I have not gotten around to doing. I have plenty of early glass but the others are all converted for use. My most recent one was a lovely mint non Ai 85mm f1.8 that is delightful and was almost too nice to be converted. But I am a user not a collector!
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Old 08-01-2018   #18
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I too am all about using them. Yes sir.

So do your early non Ai lenses show the same thing?

So if this turns out to be wear and tear seems like it would be a good indicator of the mileage if you will of a lens???

Maybe if one gets heavy handed when mounting the lens to the body it can jack that aperture feeler up???
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Old 08-01-2018   #19
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After a quick inspection of some of my Ai and non-Ai lenses, most, but not all of the non-Ai have what looks like file markings, along with hammer spots. Only one of the Ai lenses has this, and I think it's an older lens that was converted. Some of the non-Ai lenses that don't have the file markings do have wear marks.


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Old 08-01-2018   #20
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I have a total of 10 Nikkor lenses, 9 of them of pre-AI (now modified to AI) and one them an AI lens. All of them exhibit to some degree the wear on the stop-down lever; however, the one AI lens I have, a 43-86mm zoom, shows the least wear most likely due to it being the newest and least used. I will also add that of the 10 lenses, only one of them was purchased new by me, a 35mm Nikkor-O that I bought almost 45 years ago. A couple of the other lenses I have are even older than that, but were purchased used within the past few years. All of these lenses continue to function perfectly to this day.

Edit: Just thought to add, none of the markings on the stop-down lever appear to be filed, at least to me.
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Old 08-01-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasuess View Post
All of these lenses continue to function perfectly to this day
Hear hear!

Never met one that didnt...

I am satisfied

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