Aperture lever adventure

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As the title suggest, last weekend I came against one of the most strange situations concerning my camera. I purchased the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens to complement my 135mm f/2 both for stills and video.

As soon as I mounted the lens, my adventure started !

After a few shots, the viewfinder to darker and the camera was unable to focus. I noticed that the aperture blades were closed (f/16). On a DSLR camera, when you mount the lens, the blades are open to the widest aperture and they close to the selected aperture when you press the shutter button.

I tried all my Nikon lenses with the D800E and they worked fine. Since I suspected that I got a lens which was not working, I tested it on my Nikon D700 and three more Nikon bodies at my local store. It worked perfectly.

So, I was in a strange situation, where my D800E worked perfectly with all my Nikon lenses, excel the 85mm, and my new lens was working perfectly in every Nikon body I tested, with the exception of my D800 !!

I was ready to pack both the camera and lens and send it to service, and then I found out some info about the aperture lever.

It located on the right side of the mount, and is responsible for opening the lens aperture blades when you mourn the lens. Each Nikon lens has a small lever on it which moves and correspondingly, the blades move. There were different lever styles on the lenses, for example my 85mm and 24-70 have a wide lever, while my 50mm has thinner one, and although I could not measure precisely how the range they move, they probably had differences.

So, since my camera was going to service anyway, I decided to take a risk. I pushed with my finger the camera’s aperture lever on the left, and then pulled with force towards me. I crossed my fingers and mounted the 85mm lens… It worked perfectly !!

I suspect that the first time I mounted the lens, the aperture lever too a hit and maybe got a little bent. I remember that it felt more tight when turning it to lock position compared to my other lenses.

So, problem solved, and I now can enjoy my lens. I would not advice anyone to do the same, since I could really make things worse, and damage the camera more, but it worked for me !

(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses to Aperture lever adventure

  1. John Kennedy says:

    Konstantinos Besios : I have had the exact same issues with my D800 and 80-400 VR not focussing and darkening down, worked fine on the D700 as did all other lenses. Got my leatherman tool and very very gently moved the lever towards me, every lens now works….Thank you for the tip, your main large picture of the lever, through Google, allowed me to fined and identify your blog.

    Thank you from a fellow shooter.

    • kbesios says:

      I am glad you also managed to solve the problem, it is one of those strange situations that can happen very rarely.

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