View Full Version : Nikkor 135mm repair- I made an uh-o...

Roger Monroe
6-Apr-2006, 08:29
4x5 newbe here.

The sun is setting last night, and I'm moving my camera to get one more shot- clunk ! Apparently, the lensboard was not secured all the way in the camera, and the lens takes a big ding on the rim. The glass is ok, but the filter threads are trashed.

Can this part of the lens be replaced ? It looks like the glass element can be removed from the outer ring- am I correct ? Who does this kind of work if so ?

Thanks in advance.

Michael Gudzinowicz
6-Apr-2006, 08:36
How to repair the filter threads:


Ted Harris
6-Apr-2006, 08:54
If you don't wamnt to do it yourself any of the lens and shutter craftsmen that are alway shighly recommended onthis site can handle it. SK Grimes i sthe one I use most frequently (www.skgrimes.com). Others use Carol at Flotto's on the West Coast and Paul Ebel in the Midwest.

Jim Jirka
6-Apr-2006, 09:58
It is Carol at Flutot's Camera Repair on the West Coast.

Space Ghost
6-Apr-2006, 11:06
Why do we always hurt the ones we love? Why Banjo? Why?! Banjo! Banjo! Banjooooo!

Oh, they can fix your filter threads, don't worry.

Jack Flesher
6-Apr-2006, 11:09
Or you can get this handy tool for $35 : https://www.micro-tools.com/store/MainFrame2.aspx?Content=item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=LV1

Roger Monroe
6-Apr-2006, 11:58
Thanks guys ! I should have posted this last night before trying to fix it myself. In haste and a tremendous amount of frustration I attempted to straighten it, not doing nearly as elegant of a job as some of tools, tips and repair resources here would have done. It may be beyond repair. Truth be told, it might have been beyobd repair before my attempted fix.. The rim was bent in a 45 degree (or near it) angle to the glass. It looked like a potato chip. Pringles to be exact.

My haste was probably due in part to the frustration of getting used to LF and it's myriad of procedures. I need to give it more time for sure, but it is such a frustrating beast compared to smaller formats. For those of us ( ME !) not inclined toward the minutae of procedure it is a big stretch. Yesterdays outing took place under gale force winds also. " Hey, what's that black sail ?" - my focusing cloth. Of course , I need to give it more time. I haven't even burned through a 25 sheet box of film. ALthough, forgetting to close the shutter before loading film is enabling me to accomplish this faster than I anticipated.

;-) + :-( = ;-(. Frustrated/pissed but still retaining a sense of humor. Damaging a lens was the topper on the end of the day.

I'd like to think that 4x5 is for me, but maybe it's just not in my disposition. A matter of making a paradigmatic transformation OR using the gear that historically has fit my mindset ? For me MF, a Mamiya 7II with a couple of lenses. Time will tell, I guess.

The images for this work require some degree of higher resolution, fast shutter speeds to sync daylight and strobe. Other than that, the benefits of LF may be unneccesary. Trying to sort it out.

Any thoughts on this process? your experiences of LF paradigm transformation ? Solace ? Free beer ?

Thanks !

P.S. I carry a sidearm with me when traveling in the hinterlands. Briefly I considered turning my Wista into a Post modern sculpture via 15 rounds of 9mm. Better sense prevailed. Or maybe I just didn't want to clean my weapon afterwards. Hmm... which one was it ?

6-Apr-2006, 12:49
Roger: "P.S. I carry a sidearm with me when traveling in the hinterlands. Briefly I considered turning my Wista into a Post modern sculpture via 15 rounds of 9mm. Better sense prevailed. Or maybe I just didn't want to clean my weapon afterwards. Hmm... which one was it ?"

No, no, no---you misunderstand the concept. Nine millimeter is for really small format, like Nikon and Leica. For a Wista, you want at least a .50 caliber, or maybe a 10-gauge.

Maybe you should reconsider that move up to 8x10...

Roger Monroe
6-Apr-2006, 13:09
LOL ! I feel better already.

I thought it went like this:

Point and shoot- .380

Slr/Dslr- 9mm

MF- 6x6 and smaller- .40

LF- .45

Although only a 9mm, my Ruger is chambered with hollow point- does that count ?

Someone set me straight on this, please.

8x10- I can't even fathom that at this point. Hat's off to the larger than 4x5 crew folks !

Thanks for the levity, it was needed.

6-Apr-2006, 14:25
I did the same thing and SK Grimes repaired it perfectly.

Roger Monroe
6-Apr-2006, 14:54

Do you know if they replaced or repaired the ring? How much was it ?


Juergen Sattler
6-Apr-2006, 15:14

we've all been there - frustrated, ready to give up and just go back to 35mm or MF. We all make the stupidest mistakes. I dropped a perfectly fine 90mm Rodenstock in Monument Valley and the glass of the rear element had such deep scratches that the lens was worthles afterwards. We all forget to close the shutter, or pull the darkslide when the shutter is still open, we forget to set the meter correctly and on, and on, and on.
I've been at this LF beast for almost 4 years now and every now and then I feel like I'm back to square one - the more I learn the more questions I have, BUT that's also the beauty of this hobby - there's always more to learn.
Stick with it, send the lens to SK Grimes, or to Carol Miller (that's where I send all my shutters and lenses) and before you know it, you'll be out shooting with that lens again. And when you get that first perfect (or near perfect) picture, you'll know that it is all worth it.

Do NOT give up


John Berry ( Roadkill )
7-Apr-2006, 02:14

The caliber for 8x10 is claymore.

Roger Monroe
7-Apr-2006, 08:51

At this point, If I was using an 8x10 I'd save the claymore for myself. ;-).

7-Apr-2006, 09:54
Huh, you guys must be channelling Hercules, coz when I'm lugging an 8x10, my only option is an airweight j frame.. :)

gfen, with nothing useful to add.

Scott Davis
7-Apr-2006, 12:08
I think the appropriate caliber for 8x10 assassination is an 1861 vintage .58 caliber Springfield rifle firing minie balls. For a 12x20, it's an 8 inch Parrott gun.

7-Apr-2006, 12:48
As a co-instigator of this slightly bizarre diversion, I feel obligated to mention out that Scott has overlooked an important historical point: the Springfield and Parrott rifle are indeed appropriate, but only if one is using a cherry-wood or mahogany camera with a brass barrel lens and Waterhouse stops, and processing wet plates in a tent.

For a magnesium 8x10 with a multicoated lens, the ordnance of choice is in fact the claymore; if we move up to 16x20 or 20x24, we have to honor precedent and adopt either a 12-inch mortar or a tactical nuke, depending on the era of the camera.

And incidentally, to fill out Roger's schema in the other direction, it seems that we would choose .25 ACP for half-frame 35mm, .22 rimfire for a Kodak Disc camera, and reserve the .17 calibers for Minox and its ilk.

Roger Monroe
7-Apr-2006, 13:07
Bizzarre diversion yes, and oh so fun. I'm getting a kick out of this, although I feel outgunned by film sizes and calibers. Points for the aesthetic references to brass and wood selections.

I'm an AR-15 kind of guy, so should I go for a Canham all metal field camera- black finish etc.. ?

Good times ;-)

7-Apr-2006, 13:52
Roger: Yes, but only if the Canham front standard rides on Picatinny rails. To be completely correct, you would want to use two Grafmatic magazines taped back-to-back, but in California, you are limited to 10 frame capacity.

This is getting really strange, isn't it? It must be Friday...

Terence Spross
7-Apr-2006, 14:07
Does anyone have the link to a video of what appeared to be a pro in a studio who completely lost it? It shows that after realizing that he had no film in the magazines, following an important shoot he trashes his 5x7? , light stands, some things off camera, and when the back drop falls over his head keeps swinging with what looks like a tripod leg. His assistant implores him to stop but then leaves the area.

When I first saw it I was shocked, I mean what he did to the bellows etc was obsene. But now i'm in the mood to see it again.

I refer to one video as I hope there would only be one such video... wouldn't there?

Terence Spross
7-Apr-2006, 14:12
afterthought - I would hope the guy in the video -clip does not own a gun.

It was on a Geocities site I think.

Roger Monroe
7-Apr-2006, 18:12
"but in California, you are limited to 10 frame capacity."

Ahh, the joy of living in Arizona. I can use the 40 frame Grafmatic back- at least until the assault camera ban passes...Actually, a nght vision device would be great for low light focusing. I could have used one last night. Any tips on low/ no light focusing ?

It's definitely a Friday thing, with a touch of spring madnes thrown in for good measure.


If you find that video of me, err I mean the guy trashing his 5x7, please post a link. ;-). I imagine it to be quite entertaining.

E. von Hoegh
7-Apr-2006, 20:20
Mr. Monroe,
Welcome to LF.
Subminiature- .22 rimfire
Miniature[35mm used to be called miniature]- .25ACP
4x5 and larger are used with a tripod.Tripods have legs. Things with legs can charge when wounded.
4x5-.30/06, 220grn solids
8x10-.416Rigby or .505 Gibbs
11x14 and larger-.577NE or .460 Weatherby
A Gandolfi must only be shot with a double rifle. Side-by-side, there is no other kind.
All digital will be taken care of by the EMP of a nuke.

But seriously, have patience. Perhaps using the camera for something like tabletop or studio work would help raise your familiarity with the various manipulations. Alens shade screwed to the front of your lens at all times will prevent filter ring dings

Donald Qualls
8-Apr-2006, 20:26
Any tips on low/ no light focusing ?

Tried a laser sight? You should be able to see and focus the spot at a considerable distance... ;)

8-Apr-2006, 20:32
I'm frightened of you guys!

9-Apr-2006, 07:35
Grimes retrued the original filter ring, there was slight paint loss but it works perfectly.

Roger Monroe
10-Apr-2006, 18:00
E. Von Hoegh and Juergen,

Thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement. The table top approach makes a lot of sense.

Since I last posted, I went out and shot some more frames at night. I should have brought my Surefire to use as a focus aid, I had a heck of a time. I'm going to take my film to the lab tomorrow and wait to make a verdict about the LF realm until I've scanned the frames (color neg). I've got to say that I'm leaning towards selling it and picking up a Mamiya 7II and a couple of lenses for this project. I've always been a camera and one or two lens or two-kind of shooter. The LF is a huge stretch for my way of working, and it might not be the best fit. I really respect the LF approach and the medium, but it might just be a matter of accepting what fits and what doesn't for me. There's work I want to get into and I don't have the luxury of time to become proficient in LF. The resolution of 6x7 is enough for me, and I still have high speed shutter sync with the leaf sutter.

The thing I really like about the LF community is the serious and comtemplative culture that I've found on both this forum and View Camera magazine. There is a level of maturity and sophistication in the LF arena that I'm hard pressed to find in the broader photography world. Sure there's an interest in the cameras themselves, but a geniune interest in making art. I still need to continue to slow down more and more. See, before making a frame. The LF approach will benefit the user of any format. Heck, maybe I'll hold onto the camera just so I can hang out here. If nothing else.

And besides, you guys know a lot about guns...

Richard Ide
13-Apr-2006, 23:50
Parrot gun?? One more thing for PETA to gripe about. Besides if you leave the feathers on, the range is greatly reduced.

E. von Hoegh
15-Apr-2006, 18:03
Mr Monroe,
Was cogitating on your posts,perhaps these comments can help.
When I first started using 4x5[1987] Idid so many stupid things , it was embarrasing.The solution, for me, was to purchase a bunch of EFKE film, at that time$7-something/25sheets and play with the camera on all sorts of nonsensical subjects-lots of machined metal, glass items, parts of the car I was"restoring" and etcetra. The point is, that familiarity with the camera will only come through use, if you use the camera you will make mistakes. Learn from them. Don't sell the 4x5 based on frustration. Slow down, my problems can be traced to the 35mm/rollei mindset-meter-shoot!

John Kasaian
15-Apr-2006, 18:18
I think all LF is more akin to black powder. Roll film is smokeless. Digital is laser.

8x10= .50 Sharps

11x14= 4 bore punt gun

12x20 most definately 8 inch Parrott! Would 16x20=Dahlgren?

E. von Hoegh
15-Apr-2006, 19:34
Mr. Kasaian;
Punt guns usually threw apound or so of shot. 4 bore is 4 balls per pound. Has PETA realised that photographic emulsion contains gelatin? Itcomes from calves' ears. Hee Hee hEE

18-Apr-2006, 09:53
John K. : "I think all LF is more akin to black powder. Roll film is smokeless. Digital is laser."

Okay, now I understand. A roll back on a 4x5 camera would be bulk smokeless...

(Not so sure about the digital back on the Hasselblad, though. Smokeless powder, but a laser dot sight?)

18-Apr-2006, 10:23
Roger: I still need to continue to slow down more and more. See, before making a frame. The LF approach will benefit the user of any format. Heck, maybe I'll hold onto the camera just so I can hang out here.

Roger, you're catching on fast! From personal experience, I decided to get into LF last fall as a nice, intellectual yet physical hobby that would allow/force me to take a break, go out and slow down. Well, it is slow - between acquiring the minimum equipment (wanted to do it on the cheap), finding weekend time with business idle, decent weather, family busy with something that does not require my presence and me being in the mood for lugging the beast around, I'm still on my second 50-sheet box of film.

That's counting pulled slide with the shutter open, aperture not closed down after focusing, putting the slide back in white side up (double exposure), etc.

What can I tell you - I don't carry guns around, too afraid of myself, but there were moments I was seriously considering a good axe... But frustration and all, it does serve the intended purpose, perfectly. So, here we both are comiserating and having fun in general.

As a matter of fact, I'm thiniking that an occassional group outing with a couple of newbies like us could really be fun. Any takers in SoCal?


Diane Maher
18-Apr-2006, 11:04
Somewhere on this forum is a list of 'things that we've all done and admitted to'. I have only been shooting LF (4x5) since 2000/2001 and 8x10 since 2003. Believe me, I've done the oops left the shutter open with the 8x10 (With Provia 100F and Maco 820c IR (yes, the 8x10 sheets)).

Last time I was out shooting last month in the 28 F weather with snow on the ground, in the middle of a field with no trees and some serious wind, I didn't have the holder properly seated in the camera. Oops, there went one sheet of HP5+. :( So, for the rest of my shooting that day, I made sure that I had the holder seated properly. My fingers were starting to turn blue when I was putting stuff away to go home. Oh well, I did get some decent looking negs that day. :) Haven't taken the E6 for development yet.

Did you decide how you would sort out your lens yet?

Roger Monroe
18-Apr-2006, 11:20
Diane, Marko and others,

I have not sold the camera yet, but I have purchased the previously mentioned Mamiya 7II. I have two sheets of 4x5 left and I'll be exposing those tonight along with some 120 from the new cam. In all likelihood I probably won't be using the 4x5 for this project and I'm leaning towards selling it. Not sure yet, but it may have other uses for me. I'm not sure what to do about the lens. If I sell the camera, I'll take a hit and sell the lens as is.

I really appreciate the 4x5 approach and I'm going to be more conscious and intentional about integrating the mindset into using MF. However, I'd rather not deal with the attendant complexities of LF at this point.

The commisseration and the humor shared here has been great, there's alot of support and entertaining wackiness. Cool cool cool.