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Pre AI conversion in UK

Roy Skridlov , Mar 04, 2011; 05:10 p.m.

Does anyone know if anyone is offering conversion of pre AI Nikkors in UK? I'm waiting to hear if Nikon have a kit available for my 200 F4, so if they don't I prefer to get it machined rather than hack it about myself. A few searches has only thrown up a US service (very reasonably priced apart from UPS charges involved).
Roy

Responses

Steven P , Mar 05, 2011; 06:20 a.m.

It's not that hard to do it yourself.
Flip up the Ai prong on an F3, mount the lens, score a mark on the lens' aperture ring. Remove the lens mount. (Those screws are usually pretty tight.) Aperture ring pulls right off. Remove the bunny ears and use a small file to notch out the area needed, including mounting clearance. The ring is aluminum and easy to form. Rough file the location, and finely work back to the exact place where the ring meets the tab. You can even lightly paint or use a sharpie to blacken the filed area.

I've done several in the past and it doesn't take long. Having seen photos of some lenses done "professionally" (I don't remember the guy's name.) my "hack job" actually looks better. The only thing missing are the aperture numbers for the finder window.

Kent Shafer , Mar 05, 2011; 09:22 a.m.

Have you considered just picking up a 200mm f/4 AIS instead? They're readily available in the US for $150 or so. It's one of my favorite lenses—light, compact, and very sharp. Far better than the non-AI version in my experience.

Richard Williams , Mar 05, 2011; 12:25 p.m.

http://www.fixationuk.com/Fixation/Repairs.html

'AI conversions;Do you have old manual pre-AI Nikon lenses which you wish to use on bodies with AI-rings to enable you to get full metering functions? As the AI conversion kits are no longer available from Nikon, we are (in most cases) able to machine away part of the existing aperture ring in order to give accurate linking with the body AI ring. (We must point out that you will not get direct readout of the aperture through the viewfinder, but many customers feel this is a small compromise to make in order to give a new lease of life to older lenses). Our charge for this work is £65 plus VAT (+return postage where relevant).'

Scott Murphy , Mar 05, 2011; 09:54 p.m.

AI conversion kits are getting very rare indeed. Even if you can find someone who can do the work, there is no guarantee he can find the required kit. You can check Fleabay occasionally, sometimes kits show up there and most are reasonably prices. Depending on the lens, most AI conversions are not that difficult to DIY. I converted my 50mm f/1.4 non-AI and 80-200mm f/4.5 non-AI in about 10 minutes each with instructions I found on the wab. The hard part was waiting about 6 months to finally fine the kits!

Roland Vink , Mar 07, 2011; 03:22 p.m.

AZTECH SERVICES located in Dorset: http://www.aztechservices.com/
They bought out the old stocks of AI conversion kits from Nikon UK, and have a good range still available.

Roy Skridlov , Mar 10, 2011; 12:59 p.m.

Thanks to all those who responded.
Roland
Thank you for this lead. I found aztech by a roundabout route but they do indeed have a kit for this lens - there are relatively few left particularly for the more desirable lenses.
BTW I believe mine, which is a "K" series model, made just before the introduction of AI, is the 5 element version which was incorporated in the design of later models. It's said to perform well. I'll find out soon enough.
Roy

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