Old (Prior to 1977) Nikkor Lenses

MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
edited May 2013 in Nikon Lenses
A fun thread to see what folks have done to rebirth old lenses which require a conversion to be used on modern Nikon bodies. I asked John White in Ann Arbor, Michigan to convert two of the four I have. A NIKKOR-H Auto 1:1.8 f=85mm, and a NIKKOR-P Auto 1:4.5 f=300mm. The conversion is done on a milling machine and once completed it appears the lens was manufactured as seen. John does a nice job as one would expect from a retired automotive engineer.

So, one from the 85mm, before I even cleaned the old filter on the front which was horribly dirty.

NIKKOR-H 85mm f/1.8 (Ca. 1966)

Larger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8706468526/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Please: if you want to post a photo, let's try to post only one at a time. Then we can discuss each example. And, at first, we will see if anyone else has some of the pre 1977 lenses, then expand as necessary. I will get the 300mm up some time soon.

Oh, yes, the Exif data shows an f/1.0 lens...LOL I think this was at f/8.
Post edited by Msmoto on
Msmoto, mod
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Comments

  • GodlessGodless Posts: 113Member
    Well, of course the EXIF data shows f/1.0 if you have not entered the lens data into your camera´s Non-CPU Lens data menu..
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @Godless

    Oh, thanks....I was so excited about using it, I completely forgot this part. And, sure enough, it works....
    Msmoto, mod
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    edited May 2013
    I put his name and the service into google. Dedicated website came up in search (will not post link here, but think "AI" and "Conversions") but site would not load.
    Anyone know if he is still in business?

    EDIT: site now up!
    Post edited by shawnino on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @msmoto I have a few older lenses. Can you post before/after pics of the converted lenses? Is this filing off the ears or something more complicated? Thanks!
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    From time to time I've seen original factory AI conversion rings for different old nikkors on fleabay. I bought one for my old 16mm f3.5 NAI FF fisheye lens. I only paid $15 for it.

    framer
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    edited May 2013
    You were lucky it seems framer - the AI conversions are very expensive - right now you can get a mint '69 300/4.5 for a 'mere' £495 ($600) on eBay UK.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited May 2013
    I think the price per lens is $35for a Type B conversion which allows the old lens to be mounted on the D90 (electronic only) and the D4. See John White's website by Googling "al conversion for nikon" for additional information.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    I routinely shoot with a Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 '66 or '67 make and occasionally a Nikkor 200mm f/4 I think '68 make, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 '67 make, and a few other non-AI file conversion lenses. The old glass is perfectly usable on the D800 provided you understand that lens sample's limitations and behaviors.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited May 2013
    OK, one from 1965....
    NIKKOR-P Auto 1:4.5 f=300mm
    Modified for D4 and D90 by John White.
    This is wide open at f/4.5.
    Lens is Ca. 1965

    NIKKOR-P Auto 1:4.5 f=300mm

    Large size
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8715177423/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    This amazes me...so sharp and almost 50 years old
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Like me!

    I wish (on both of those points)... :D
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited May 2013
    OK,I think I have figured out the real progress with the newer glass. If one looks at the large version of this image, the chromatic aberration near the edge is quite severe. This was of little consequence in the days we shot mostly B & W, or I did, but in color, it is unacceptable.

    Nikkor 300mm f1-4.5 05.07.13-8

    Large: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8719552148/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    So has anyone seen, have, point me in the direction to convert the old lenses aperture rings? So you can "Ai'd" them yourself. The old parts for converting them go for more than the lenses, and I'm not sure if Nikon does it or not. Never got a straight forward answer from them.

    Anyway, I have often seen older lenses go for really cheap and wouldn't mind picking some up and doing the conversion/cutting/grinding myself.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I was fortunate enough to be in the area so I could just go by John White's place and drop them off, returning the next day to pick up. His price is so low, I would think attempting to set up the lens on a milling machine, keeping the grindings out of the lens, and obtaining a uniform surface around the ring would be very difficult and it is just more expeditious to send them to Michigan.

    I will try to get a shot of one converted and one not converted to post.
    Msmoto, mod
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @TTJ, stumbled across this the other day: http://members.tripod.com/rick_oleson/index-107.html
    Here's a sample of one of his drawings. Primitive but gets the general idea across.
    image
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Mmmmm.... not so sure I want to try that......

    If it cost a lot to have a lens converted I could see doing my self and setting up a jig, etc. But, for the cost and outcome of someone who does this routinely for a lot of different folks, including several pros, I will send mine off.
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    @Ironheart - That is what I was thinking of doing - thanks for the link!

    That is the haphazard way and what I was going to do. I was hoping someone had the "true" or mechanical measurements for each lens. I have a 50mm 1.4 that was a home job and it is just a tiny bit off so it registers at 1.8 unless I twist it hard. Neighbor has a CNC desktop machine that I was thinking of borrowing and loading the drawings in and letting it do the "precision" cutting.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    edited May 2013
    I just checked ebay and there are lots of these AI rings for sale. New OEM's.

    Example ebay example

    Search using this: (nikon,nikkor) +ring + (ai,ais,nai) -reverse -adapter -extension

    Doing this right saves the original and does no damage.

    framer
    Post edited by framer on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Nice search syntax! That is the most I have seen in years. Most all were from the same seller, and were for lenses most people don't buy (zooms and telephotos.)

    I have read once that there is a service manual that gives all the specs but I could never find the site again or which service manual had it. It is out there somewhere.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Well, I did a couple snaps of the 300mm f/4.5 which I had converted.

    Nikkor Al Conversions 05.12.13-2

    I have several shots of each of the "notches" on the lens, if anyone is interested. And they are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157630044833773/

    I am still of the opinion that the cost os so low, this might be best to have someone do it who knows the best process. I suspect if the clearance is off by as little as 0.1mm problems could arise.
    Msmoto, mod
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    When I had my 16 done I sent it off for a CLA and included the AI ring. I don't think $20 is that expensive to do it right.

    framer
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    I ghetto hacked all of my non-AI simply because I am not patient enough I have had no issues using them on the DSLRs and the AI supporting SLRs with the modifications that I have done. If I could find the actual rings I'd swap them in but so far I have not. Also all of my non-AI lenses were pretty much salvage/rebuild projects so doing a dirty quick hack doesn't bother me.
  • gmercergmercer Posts: 3Member
    When I had my 16 done I sent it off for a CLA and included the AI ring. I don't think $20 is that expensive to do it right.

    framer
    Hi, I have a 28mm I want to get CLA'd, but have no idea where to send it or what is a good price...where did you send yours, and how much was it? Thanks.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Contact John White in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Google "ai conversions john white"
    Msmoto, mod
  • gmercergmercer Posts: 3Member
    edited June 2013
    Contact John White in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Google "ai conversions john white"
    Thanks, I saw his name earlier in the thread, but I thought he only does the AI conversion? I just want to get my lens cleaned, lubed, and adjusted.

    glenn
    Post edited by gmercer on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I woud check with John and see what he suggests. he may know someone who he can recommend if he does not do the full overhaul.

    Or, here is one I have communicated with, and his security is so high you cannot visit him and drop off a camera. Must be shipped. My understanding is he can rebuild anything, and have the factory seals intact. Leica is his specialty. I have driven by his house thousands of times.....

    Gus Lazzari, TLC Camera Repair
    2731 West Lexington Ave. Ext.
    High Point, NC 27262-8227
    thegreatgus@gmail.com (thegreatgus@gmail.com)
    office: (336) 307-2126
    cell: (949) 275-0313
    Msmoto, mod
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