Story of lens disassembly

 I think it happened first time in 2009 when the one of purchased heavily used lens required some serious repair. Nikon AF 80-200mm F2.8 MK-I had badly scratched front glass, and autofocus gear was missed. I came with an idea to create the missed part from the scratch : ) It was my first successful lens repair experience.

It’s always hard and challenging to disassemble anything properly without having any guide. Many land have Service Manuals accessible online, but even more lens do not. So they are like expensive and complex puzzles, and often it takes a lot of time to solve.

I was removing bolt by bolt, part by part, writing down steps taken and precisely measuring each piece. Typically you want to assemble everything back, right? So is my goal – to be able to stop and return to zero point, to the working lens condition : ) That is why I’m disassembling lens until I understand what is going on, until I feel confident that reverse assembly is possible.

Later it came to more challenging cases like this Nikkor AF-S 80-200mm. It required minor soldering.

Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 AF-S

Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 AF-S

Most cases need glass cleaning, simple mechanical fix of bended cylinders or broken bolts / gears. Often lens requires re-lubrication or mechanical part replacement.

Nikon 28-70mm F2.8 AF-S

One of the negative result of lens disassembly is optical misalignment. Large factories and professional service centers using quite large and expensive optical calibration equipment. I don’t disassemble optical groups and modules to avoid such calibrations. It’s often enough to disassemble other areas to clean the glass or replace/fix mechanics.

Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 AF-S

When you disassembling dozens lens – similar patterns appear in different lens. It is evolving your engineering thinking and helps to understand potential way of another lens disassembly.

Sometimes I also repaired cameras : )

Nikon D80

Nikon D80

Nikon D600

It’s my hobby, and I typically disassembling my own lens, or sometimes helping friends to solve the problem, not making any profit on that. I hope shared articles will also help you with disassembly questions. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have disassembly challenges, I’ll be happy to assist.