Aperture Blade Fabrication?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by CAJames, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    Long story short I acquired an old 200-400 ED AIS lens in excellent shape except the aperture blades are damaged and need to be replaced. There are no replacement parts available (anywhere) so they would need to be fabricated. Anyone have any ideas where I might get this done?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I've never heard of anyone doing that, and even if it is possible, I doubt it would be economically viable. The only thought I have is to search for someone making/ repairing large format lenses/shutters. There used to be a good outfit in the Boston area, but I haven't been able to find them for the last 10 years or so.
     
  3. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    They are in RI, probably why I couldn't find them: Home « SKGrimes
    There are others that come up with Google Search
     
  4. Please update us with any info. I can't imagine this being cost effective in any way. Best of luck.
     
  5. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    Thanks, I actually sent it to them and they couldn't do it.
     
  6. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    I would have thought (naively) it ought to be relatively straight forward with a 3D scanner and printer.
     
  7. Maybe, but what about installation and getting it to work?
     
  8. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    That gets into the long story... The aperture mechanism itself (the part into which the blades fit and controls their movement) has problems but would work fine stopping down manually. So with good blades the lens would be usable, although not "good as new."
     
  9. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Those blades are very thin and alignment is critical. You're not going to cut a thin slab of metal with a pair of scissors and get something that works. The only option I can think of would be to find a bargain lens with bad glass as donor, as long as the aperture assembly is ok. Might be the only way out, but will still cost a few bucks to obtain the parts and then have them installed (unless you have the guts and skill to do it yourself.)
     
  10. A swap from a lens with something else wrong with it may be the only realistic option...
     
  11. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    If only it were that simple :). According to my repair guy (who should know) and my research the blades for this lens are unique for this particular model. And there were only about 450 made. They are highly collectible and I think it highly unlikely that any are available for parts, although if anyone knows about such a thing I'd be very interested in it. I've actually emailed a few "famous photographers" and all the usual national repair places asking exactly that question. Of course Nikon itself was completely useless. Hence the need to fabricate. I'm prepared to spend some money on this project if there is someplace that can do the work.
     
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