Nikkor 50mm f1.2

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by iversonwhite, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. I just bought a used 50mm f1.2. The only mechanical problems seem to be an un-smooth focus ring-- loose on one end, tight on the other-- and a slightly loose fit on the camera body. Does anyone know who can repair for a reasonable amount of money? Thanks.
  2. where are you from?
    a local camera store?
    a big store like b&h?
    you obviously are not qualified, hence the post.
    where did you buy it?
    was it supposed to be in this shape?
    if not...send it back...
    reasonable amount of money...
    i have had different experiences with lens repairs.
    they were always around 300-500 euros (nikon 16-35, 70-200).
    once they screwed up the alignment of the segments in the wideangle, given it a heavy blur on one side of the 16-25...they fixed it for free. a second time with another 16-35, i checked the cornersharpness, the lens was better than before and with the 70-200 the technician forgot to put glue on the screws inside, the tubus became lose and this happened months after the repair..that was annyoing. however they fixed it for free after i had it opened by a local technician confirming it was their bad as none of the screws inside had any glue on them.
    so here is the funny thing.
    do not buy broken stuff in the first place...and if you do, be prepared for repairs.
    there is no reasonable amount of money..there is just what you are planning to spend your money on...
    next time you will probably be more carefully...sorry to be that harsh...but there isnt much to add to that..
    something i guess we all learned the hard way ;)
    my advice to you:
    send it in and let them give you an estimate of what the repair might cost.
    this however costs you around 25euros
    try nikon.
    good luck
  3. Have you checked it with the lens attached on the camera, or just on the lens` ring?
    I`m asking this because many times the culprit of this unevenness is on the camera coupling, not on the lens.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Yeah, wouldn't it make more sense to buy a used 50mm/f1.2 in good condition? Those older manual-focus lenses should be very solidly built, especially a higher-end f1.2 lens, but they are indeed older and might have gone through a lot of usage. An uneven focusing ring may indicate some prior impact damage.
    If possible, returning it for a refund maybe a better approach. Should you want to repair it, I would check with Authorized Photo Service in the Chicago area:
    P.S. Jose, I would imagine that camera mount coupling is not going to affect the focusing ring on a manual-focus Nikkor lens. The OP can un-mount the lens from the camera body, and the focusing ring should still have the same problems, right?
  5. Slightly loose fit shouldn't be a problem.
    Running the focus ring back and forth a couple hundred times might smooth things out.
    Otherwise, pay for a CLA (clean, lubricate & adjustment) at a competent camera service center. Surely there's a Detroit area camera store that could recommend someone.
  6. Ooops, definitely I`m getting mad, don`t know why I was thinking on the aperture ring! My excuses.
  7. I suppose it's serial number would give an indication to it's actual age, rather than it's apparent age? Meant with regard to lubricant drying out etc.
    AI variants were made from May 1978 > June 1981 (177256 - 250513)

    AIS were June 1981 > 2005 nos. 250005 - 391098
    2005 > ???? 400069 - 418514
  8. I'll just add this. In the last couple years I purchased 24mm AiS and 200mm AIS lenses. Each had some minor issues like yours. I called my local camera shop (Arlington Camera) and asked if they know anybody that worked on these. They had a couple guys in the area that did this kind of work. The work I had done was about $40 per lens, and the guy did a beautiful job.
    Whatever you do, do not send it to NikonUSA.
  9. Whatever you do, do not send it to Nikon USA.​
    Hummm, by all accounts a sad, but true, indictment of the current state of Nikon customer service.
    I'd really, really like it to be the other way.
  10. Nice lens, I would get another one, sounds like impact damage as Shun pointed out, but what else is wrong with it? It's hard to know, lens elements might be out of whack. When lenses collide!
  11. do not buy broken stuff in the first place...​
    That is not helping much, is it?
    There is a level of risk buying lenses 2nd hand from sites such as eBay. There are also significant savings - I've had luck on several items (including a 50mm f/1.2 which went for a price which made me expect at least lousy esthetics, but came out of its original box like it was never used), bad luck on others (180 f/2.8 with rather worn out AF mechanics). As long as the price difference makes it worth the gamble....
    For the loose fit, I'd try it on at least two cameras; there is a level of play (both for lenses and cameras), I've had lenses that seemed to be slightly loose on one camera (and work fine) and not on the other (and work fine all the same). Unless it's really wobbly, I'd try first before worrying too much.
    Uneven focussing - if you know a local photoclub, photographer who is in the business long enough, ask if they know a local guy with some experience. Advantage of these lenses is that they were designed to be taken apart (to some level), not put together with tape. So somebody with a bit of experience could possibly make the magic happen.
  12. Thanks, everyone. This lens was so cheap that even if I spent $200.00 to refurb it, that would still be less than the average used price. Found two vendors who say it can be repaired for $75-$100. No obvious signs of impact. Cosmetics 9 out of 10. Nothing else appears wrong. No fungus, a few specks of dust. It's sharp wide open.
    Bought it with an eye to shooting video, so I may just invest the money in a follow focus device. Smooth focus isn't that big a deal to me for stills.
    People regularly buy equipment "as is," and restore it or use it, as is. I don't see how a lens is that different. I wasn't looking for advice on keeping it. I was just looking for info on technicians who might be able to repair it. Thanks again.
  13. You don`t mention if the ring smoothness issue is more like a metal-to-metal friction or maybe just solidified grease... I have some unused lenses with almost stucked rings that get hard to turn or very loose in the same barrel. When the temperature raise in the summer, they use to be softer all the way.
  14. If it was mega-cheap Iverson, I'd just use it for a while until you see if you think it's worth spending more money on. The 50mm f/1.2 is a bit of a "Marmite" lens - you either love it or hate it. At f/1.2 it's definitely soft and low in contrast. So if you were expecting sharp results wide-open then forget it. However, it's the best manual focus f/1.4 lens that Nikon has ever made. And impressive to look at.
    The softness wide open has a halo-like quality to it that some people like, but you can probably get much the same effect in post, or with a diffusion filter on a sharper lens.
  15. For any Nikon repair, I would also recommend the previously mentioned Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove, Il. I recently brought them a badly stuck lens hood. They fixed it while I waited at no charge. A nice gesture that left a good impression.

Share This Page