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Question - Metal tab on old lenses, why ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kiwi, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    When I see a lot of older lenses there seems to be a small metal tab that's attached to what looks like the apperture ring - why ? (I don't own any to have a closer peek) but it has me intrigued
     
  2. The small tab is a meter coupling shoe used to couple the lens to the meter of earlier Nikon cameras.
     
  3. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    ohh, that's interesting - thanks Ray - about what circa did that disappear ?
     
  4. In 1979 with the introduction of the Nikon EM. The coupling shoe was still included on the lenses though. You may notice that newer AF lenses with an aperture ring have two tiny screw holes on the ring. That is to enable the coupling shoe to be added for compatibilty with the older Nikons. Also Nikon's existing Manual Focus lenses that they still sell, all have the coupling shoe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2008
  5. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    thanks again, interesting stuff
     
  6. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    here's a photo of the meter coupling and the pin together on my nikomat FTn:

    original.

    to add to what ray said, the E-series lenses introduced with the EM were the first nikon lenses not to have the meter coupling tab. but you can add the tab to most lenses. some AF lenses even have two small marks for the mounting screws of the tab.

    ricky
     
  7. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    Thanks Ricky, that's a good explanatory photo.
     
  8. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Furthermore it's interesting to note the slight differences between the couplings on Pre AI and AI/AIS lenses, on the AI lens like the one shown in post #6 there are two notches either side of the main central slit. On Pre AI these notches aren't there.

    I have no idea why this is the case, does anyone know?
     
  9. Gray Fox

    Gray Fox

    551
    Jan 12, 2007
    London Ontario
    Sure, this identifies a lens as a pre AI lens, or not.
     
  10. Thymen

    Thymen

    311
    Jun 18, 2007
    The Netherlands
    One can recognize old-timers easily. After they mount a lens, they fully open-close the aperture ring, in order for the coupling prong to snap into place.... so used to it, they do not like the G-lenses without the aperture ring....

    Thymen
     
  11. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    So it's purely an aesthetic thing then? The two little holes have no operational purpose.

    Thanks for the response
     
  12. No, that's incorrect. The two small holes are to allow light to pass through so it can illuminate the Aperture Direct Readout, which in turn allows the selected aperture to be visible in the camera viewfinder. Without the two holes, not enough light would pass through the tiny window in the viewfinder, and you wouldn't be able to see which aperture you were shooting at.
     
  13. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Ahh yes, that makes sense... I though it might be something to do with that
     
  14. That's what I like about Nikon. You can really see the evolution of their cameras in the way our current bodies operate. It's like certain features go out of use while other features evolve. Kind of like a appendix!
     
  15. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Yeah I agree, however in the case of these coupling devices the users of modern cameras are better off removing them from their lenses as their sharp points do risk scratching things if they are stored in bags etc.

    Allthough as you can see on my avatar 28/2.8 AIS the coupling is still in original placement.
     
  16. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    but that'll leave two unsightly holes in your lens :wink:

     
  17. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    In most cases you can remove the aperture coupling shoe and replace the screws in the aperture ring, so instead of unsightly holes you have two neat little screw heads.
    In some cases (AIS 50/1.4 comes to mind) the screws are too long and lock the aperture ring when screwed back in. They need to be shortened or padded out with something the same thickness as the original prong.
     
  18. Gray Fox

    Gray Fox

    551
    Jan 12, 2007
    London Ontario
    I pass on the G-lenses for another reason. Not all (older) cameras have aperture adjustment options on the body.
     
  19. I broke mine off.....by accident of course :) 
     
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