Nikon Nikkor 105/1.4E ED AF-S teardown

It was with keen interest that I read through the lens tear down by the excellent Roger Cicala (of, of the Nikkor 105/1.4E ED AF-S. This is a truly “high drool factor” lens, however, the complexity and use of many plastic parts, specialized/dedicated electronic circuitry, and “made in China” build, left me wondering… ” Have a look:

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A recent project – Nikon 800/5.6 AIS customization

We often receive special requests (“while you’re working on the CPU, could you please take a look at—”) as part of our routine CPU, CLA, or other services.

Among the interesting projects we’ve had in recent months is this 800/5.6 AIS Nikkor. Although in generally very good condition, this lens came to us with a dented retractable lens hood. After completing an extensive CLA on this lens, we attempted to repair the hood, but after some efforts we determined that its out-of-roundness was not correctable. Also, the lens’s original leather lens cap had fallen on hard times, and the lens was now missing a properly fitting front cover.

So, we undertook to machine a new front cap and hood befitting this classic super telephoto Nikkor. We matched the original dimensions, style, and finish for the hood along with the crinkle style paint finish, and created a complementary style cap, complete with plush felt lining.

In addition, our customer wanted to mount an existing filter on the end of the hood. So, we fabricated, also of aircraft grade aluminum, a threaded filter ring.

Our customer’s comment on the work? “The shade and cap are excellent!”

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L2D Announces Lens Service for F mount lenses

As Nikon F mount enthusiasts, we are pleased to announce our lens services. Our customers can combine CPU installation with cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting as well as have other maintenance and repair work done. Our service emphasizes the “manual focus experience,” which means that we are committed to providing the highest quality work available—and to ensuring that your lens “feels good” in the hand. This means smooth focus, proper damping, and consistency across the range.

For video shooters, also offer a reversible “declicking” service. We skillfully and carefully remove click stops from the aperture ring, and install damping material for a smooth and quiet “glide” so that you can change F-stop without transmitting aperture ring clicks to the audio track of your video.

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Legacy2digital is pleased to report a growing user base of satisfied manual focus Nikon lens aficionados, many of whom have gotten new life from their legacy lenses–as well as many new users who have discovered the pleasures of using non-AI, AI, and AIS lenses on their Nikon DSLRs.

Requests for used lenses, along with buying advice, has increased significantly this past year as have requests for “CLAs,” repair, and lens modification (such as “declicking” for video).

In response to our customers’ interests, we retain a stock of used Nikon lenses, all with excellent condition glass and priced for a range of budgets. We have also expanded our used offerings to include cameras and accessories. So, let us know what you’re looking for. All of our equipment comes with a guarantee, and has been rigorously tested by a photographer–one of us.

Not sure whether our service will work for you? Feel free to send an email or give a call. We’re always glad to speak with enthusiast photographers. The conversation will be all about “fit” for your needs, and never any pressure.

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Pro CPU now available

Our new Pro CPU provides the following enhancements for users of Nikon cameras with aperture control tabs – D7000 and higher.

  • Optional “classic” mode shooting: set your camera’s menu to accept aperture rather than Command Dial F-stop input, and use the lens to input F-stop without having to hassle with the non-CPU lens database.
  • “FEE” warning when lens is moved from minimum aperture. Useful when shooting in A, P, or S modes.
  • Linear exposure with AI and modified AI lenses (Command Dial F-stop setting may result in some discrepancy in exposure with these lenses). Does NOT apply to AIS lenses, which can be used with direct aperture input or Command Dial without exposure variation.
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The Unicorn CPU Nikkors: 50 and 55 1.2s

One of what we call the “high drool factor” Nikkor CPU lenses is the 1.2 normal lens series, available since the mid 60s in non-AI, AI conversion, AI, and AIS–the last of which is still currently offered by Nikon.

These lenses have been notoriously difficult to convert to CPU, mainly because of a rear elements that fills the exit pupil of the lens mount, along with very little interior room to house electronic components.

We have developed a method for converting these lenses that involves custom fitting a CPU, wire harness, and specialized pins to a modified lens mount. We perform all of these modifications ourselves, and warranty these conversions

Here’s an example (click on image for detailed view):



Current AIS Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS with custom CPU.

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We have had a very encouraging response from Nikon aficionados since the launch of our CPU installation service, and now have many converted Digital Matrix chip in the field — with customers reporting high satisfaction using Nikon CPU lenses on their digital and film F-mount cameras. In addition, a many photographers, some new to manual focus, have discovered the optical and tactile pleasures of working with classic Nikon glass from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.

Have you had a lens converted? Interested in sharing your experiences with other Nikon aficionados? Let us know!

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