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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:17 pm 
A person in my family has just lent me a Nikon EM. That's a piece of 1970's technology - budget technology. Anyway, the interesting bit is that it has a 50mm f/1.8 mounted! And yes, it seems it will mount on my D40.


The photo itself is slightly noisy (ISO 800 was used). For bigger sizes, there's a link in my signature.

I intend to clean the lens and take a few photos, possibly during the weekend.

There's a manual ring for the aperture, that goes from f/1.8 down to f/22. All numbers are in white, except for the f/11, which is in blue and f/22, which is in yellow. Now, to use it on my D40, how do I position the aperture ring? What settings must I use on the camera body?

If metering fails, how do I overcome the problem?

I'm afraid there seems to be some mould (fungi) on the lens. Will ethanol (alcohol) get rid of it? Will it spread to the D40's body - i.e. will it contaminate it?

Would anyone care to offer additional advice?

I'm really looking forward to this. Imagine that, a 50mm f/1.8 for free! :D

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:15 pm 
Ethanol got rid of the dirt, but not of the fungi (they only seem to be on the inside of the outer lens, anyway).

Metering doesn't work.

The lens can be used with the camera in manual mode. I can set the aperture with the ring on the lens and the shutter speed with the camera dial.

I'm trying to get a hang of the manual focus (kind of a new thing for me).

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:15 pm 
Hi Luis
I have a 50mm too I found awhile back but also infected with fungus.
I tried to clean it - front and back lens - but the lenses inside is still affected.
Tried it on the D40X regardless but only works under Manual Mode - all other modes, the Camera will prompt something like no lens or unrecognised lenses, shutter will not release also.

Does not AF though, :?
I've asked around and someone from the camera shop told me, once a lenses have been affected by fungus and cleaned the lenses will never be the same, picture discolouration will appear. Not sure how true is this though. Any comments anyone ?
I'm tempted to have it cleaned and ready to be used for future DSLR, D80 or 90 or whatever Nikon names it later..

Are you planning to have yours cleaned ,Luis ?

Last edited by DavidL on Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:01 pm 
David, I've heard that it's possible to completely remove the fungus and then re-apply the coating on the lens but it's not really feasible once you take the cost into account. Is that true? I read about it on a Malaysian photography forum where lots of people have fungus problems!

I know that humidity is not such a problem for most of you all as many of you live away from the equator but do any of you use dry boxes or dry cabinets?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:32 pm 
DavidL wrote:
I'm tempted to have it cleaned and ready to be used for future DSLR, D80 or 90 or whatever Nikon names it later..

Are you planning to have yours cleaned ,Luis ?

Actually, no. As things are, there is a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on the market with an accessible price. And that one will autofocus on a D80 or superior, which my Series E 50mm won't do.

The lens has been sent to cleaning (on a local photo shop) about 25 years ago, but "it came the same". I would assume the money and trouble involved in sending it to Nikon would surpass what would be need to buy that modern one I mentioned.

I've taken a couple of test photos. Here they are.

I'm not sure I got the focus to be 100% perfect.

Here it is, the Series E 50mm at f/2.8 (see full size here):


And here we have the same lens, this time wide open at f/1.8 (see full size here):


One thing I noticed right away was that there was no barrel distortion. I guess that was to be expected. :D

Now, to the thing that really surprised me. This 1970's budget Nikon 50mm, when wide open at f/1.8, is by far superior to the 2005 Nikkor VR 18-200mm, when wide open at f/4.8!

Here is the VR 18-200mm, set to a focal range of 50mm and wide open at f/4.8 (see full size here):


Is there any colour chart, for colour comparison, that is freely available?

I also did a brief portrait session and I'm really pleased with the results (can't post the photos on that one, sorry).

Last edited by luis on Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:37 am 
Thanks Luis
Somehow I kinda knew getting a new one is cheaper and cost effective plus with warranty ! :wink: then to get the old one cleaned.
Was trying to save some bucks which cannot be saved.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 8003
Location: Germany
Very sharp indeed wide open, Luis. Congrats on your new find.
Unfortunately you will find exact manual focussing wide open quite a chore, but for the D40 there is no alternative, as sadly there are no AF-S 50mm primes around from Nikon :(

Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D810+assorted lenses

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