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Disassembling Nikkor lenses.

Jose Lopez , Jun 21, 2004; 07:46 p.m.


I've posted this before but really I have not gotten much progress since then, I am practically stalemated. I want to clean two lenses: a Nikkor auto Q 200mm f4 and a Nikkor H auto 50mm f2 but I can't reach the front and middle elements. I removed the rear element and mount in both lenses but I can't continue, I don't know how to disassemble the part screwed onto the helical thread.

I have uploaded a picture of the lenses, please take a look at :


Please, does somebody know how to reach the front and middle elements ?

Thanks in advance for any clue.



Todd Peach , Jun 21, 2004; 09:18 p.m.

Try this group:

Those folks can share tips and sometimes sketches of specific lenses.

David H. Hartman , Jun 21, 2004; 09:20 p.m.


I have not been inside pre-AI Nikkors so all I can tell you is this is not the way I’d clean an AI or AIS Nikkor. I’ve only open one of about 60 Nikkors I’ve owned for cleaning. Are you sure you need to clean these lenses? It takes a fair amount of dust to make a practical difference.

With an AI or AIS 50mm lens you open from the front removing a small set screw or softening thread lock on a hole that looks like one that would contain a set screw. You then unscrew the ring that has the filter attachment threads. After this you need a spanner wrench for the 50/1.4 AIS and with AI you just poor out the front and rear element groups joined to the aperture assembly in to your hand. Finally you unscrew the front and rear inner barrels from the aperture assembly and clean the inner surfaces.

As I said I’ve not been inside these older lenses but what you are doing looks all wrong to me. Maybe someone can give better instructions for your lenses. If not put them back together and take them to a qualified camera repairman or woman.

The guy that trained a friend of mine wanted to hire and train me but I didn’t think I had the temperament to be a camera repairman full or even part time. When I do anything I check with my friend who is qualified. I’m not a camera repairman. YMMV.

Good luck,

Dave Hartman.

Mark Ci , Jun 22, 2004; 12:07 a.m.

Untrained person + lens disassembly = expensive paperweight

David H. Hartman , Jun 22, 2004; 02:02 a.m.

I almost made a paper weight out of a 105/2.5 Nikkor-P.C by torquing the head off a one of the screws that secure the bayonet. I didn’t know they were locked with a white thread lock. I then laboriously drilled a tiny hole in the screw with a numbered drill and a pin vise. Finally I jammed a larger screw into the hole and was able to turn the screw inside the lens. I had to take extraordinary precautions to keep the metal shards out of the helical. I risked messing up the helical and scratching the rear element. I was damned lucky that I didn’t butcher the lens.

What I was doing was a home AI job. I had two other 105/2.5(s) to compare and make sure the angle on the ridge was perfect. I save 35 bucks back in 1982 or so. As learning experience (cautionary) it was worth it. In a purely monitory sense it was stupid risk that paid off in the end. The lens was sold at a price. It had to be AI(ed). The customer didn't care if it was factory or my own job.


Mike Kovacs , Jun 22, 2004; 09:46 a.m.

There are some of Rick Oleson's tech notes HERE on disassembling the 50/1.4 and 50/1.2. Maybe worth having a look.

Tom Thomosy also has some Nikkor disassembly in his book on Nikon repair but I cannot remember which.

Jose Lopez , Jun 22, 2004; 12:24 p.m.

Well, really I decided to do this job myself for two reasons: repairmen charge way toooo much, I paid about US$18 for both lenses I think because they were very dirty and second I have done such work before with good success so I thought to give them a try but they are different to the lens and zooms that I've cleaned before. There is a lack of screws so you have to guess the way they assembled them, it's frustrating, but fight goes on.

Thanks for your responses



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