Dandelion CPU chip for Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chulster, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Apologies in advance. I know this isn't the Classified forum, but I have a low-value item that may be of special interest to a certain class of Nikon users. If the forum admins determine that this post is inappropriate, I won't argue when it's deleted.

    I have a modified light baffle that will fit certain Nikon 50mm f/1.8 manual-focus lenses. It has been modified by having a Dandelion CPU chip glued onto it. This makes it super easy to add a CPU to certain models of Nikon 50mm f/1.8 MF lens. I know for a fact that this light baffle fits the following lenses:
    • Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-s (1st gen, long-nose version)
    • Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E (both versions)
    In addition, I am fairly certain it will fit the 2nd-gen Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-s (the first pancake version with serial numbers starting with "2") and the 3rd-gen Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-s (the pancake version with serial numbers starting with "4"). It may fit the Ai version, but I am less certain of that.

    If you're interested, please reply or PM. My asking price is similar to that of a new Dandelion chip, but you'll receive it MUCH faster than if you ordered one from Europe or China.

    DSC_2085.jpg DSC_2079.jpg DSC_2086.jpg
  2. Damn it. Never mind, the item is no longer available. Admins, please delete this thread!
  3. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... what happened?! It
    sounds like something bad
    happened to it...
  4. Nah. Someone bought it on FM as soon as the edit/delete grace period expired on the original post here.
  5. That rear light baffle, which is simply a piece of sheet metal stamped and folded into shape, is found on the early series-E 50/1.8 with the black plastic grab-ring. The compact Japan-only AI-S 50/1.8 up to serial no 22559xx has similar light baffle which might be interchangeable, see: NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 S AIS 2151766

    The Japan AI-S 50/1.8 from about serial no 22558xx has a different, solid rear light baffle, I'm not sure they are compatible. The later series-E version with chrome grab-ring and later pancake AI-S 50/1.8 share the same optics as the early series-E and Japan versions but also have solid rear protectors, which all have different profiles. The long-nose AI and AI-S 50/1.8 have a different optical design and also different rear baffles, I would be surprised if they are interchangeable. But who knows, maybe Nikon production was more standardised that I thought?
  6. An unmodified light baffle from the 1st-gen Series E 50mm (which this was) does NOT fit the 1st-gen Ai-s (long nose) model. I modified it to fit by removing some material where one of the lens's helicoid keys protrudes into the space the baffle occupies.

    The early pancake Ai-s (Japan-only) model has a baffle very similar to that of the early Series E, except that it has this cutout already there.

    My modified baffle also fits the 2nd-generation Series E (i know because i used it on one). This lens's default baffle is very similar to that of the last-gen Ai-s pancake; therefore i believe my modified one will fit on that model too.

    Tl;dr: All of the 50mm f/1.8 Ai-s and Series E light baffles are different from each other, but my modification made that baffle compatible with at least three of the lens models, and potentially with all of them.
  7. Thanks, that is good to know :)
    chulster likes this.
  8. I found myself dismissively thinking that surely the used price for the 50mm AF-D must be low enough to justify getting it instead of adapting a manual lens. Then I remembered that I explicitly bought the E-series just because it's a near-pancake - and actually being able to use camera aperture control might be welcome.

    Which brings be back to two of my key rants - why AI-S lenses can't use camera aperture control anyway, and why the 50mm lenses have such inset front elements despite having hoods available (although it's not as annoying as the old 90mm Tamron macro, where the indent actually affects working distance).
  9. I suspect the answer to this one is simply that Nikon wanted to eliminate one little cost on the DSLR bodies by removing the mechanical thing that sensed the presence of the Ai-s "divot" in the lens mount ring. As a result, DSLRs can't tell an Ai-s lens from an Ai non-s one. Which means they can't allow camera control of aperture with either type because it would be inaccurate with Ai lenses.
  10. The reason it frustrates me is that there's already the ability to enter maximum aperture and focal length for manual lenses, which enables matrix metering. And if you're doing that anyway, would it be so hard to have a checkbox for "Ai-S"? Or, since you can already choose whether non-G electronic lenses have aperture controlled by the lens or the camera, just use the same control to decide whether a manual lens uses the aperture ring and set it appropriately depending on whether the lens is Ai-S.

    It just seems like a pointless lack of functionality with no cost saving for Nikon (the kind of behaviour by which Canon left a bad taste in my mouth with my 300D). I get it perhaps for the F5 generation where Nikon may have wanted to encourage lens upgrades and settings were a little less convenient, but anyone using a manual lens on a modern dSLR probably isn't going to be talked into an autofocus upgrade based solely on metering convenience. Especially since you can chip the lens anyway - unless there's no electronic option, in the case of the f/1.2 optics which I believe Nikon still sell.
    mike_halliwell and chulster like this.
  11. Agreed on all points.
  12. A Dandelion chip is easy enough to fit anyway. I've modded about half a dozen lenses now. If the lens mount needs a cutout for the Dandelion assembly, then a new baffle isn't going to help.

    I don't know the current cost of a Dandelion, but it's got to be cheaper than any AF-Nikkor in useable condition. Plus MF lenses are generally better built, and with better aligned optics. With a proper infinity stop, a sensible focus throw, good focus grip that's easy to find, etc.

    A Dandelion mod also allows trap-focus to be implemented, and saves the menu fiddling needed to input non-CPU lens data - always assuming that you remember to change it after changing lenses.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    chulster likes this.
  13. Do you use that feature? I tried it once just to see it in action, but I've never really used it. Does the shutter actuate as soon as the focus confirmation dot lights up? Or does the camera wait for what it considers to be perfect focus? How slowly do you have to turn the focus ring in order that the focus remain good enough when the shutter actuates?
  14. When I first became aware of the feature I tried it out with my chipped 105mm f/1.8 Nikkor at full aperture, and it worked quite well. The plane-of-focus I was aiming for was hit accurately from one focus direction (far to near), but not the other. So I have to assume that the triggering is 'instant'. There's no indication that the camera waits for 'better' focus to settle in. Otherwise it would be a fairly useless feature for capturing a moving subject.

    Focus-trap isn't something I use on a regular basis. I would probably use it for handheld macro - jittery butterflies and the like - if I didn't already have AF macro lenses that don't need a Dandelion conversion.

    Now that I think about it, maybe adding a Dandelion chip to my 55mm f/3.5 micro-Nikkor might be on the cards. Thanks for the prompt! I'll see if the lens is suitable for 'chipping'.
    chulster likes this.

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