It doesn’t come easy
Like I said, this blog is about my cameras and adventures I have . . . Sometimes it doesn’t come easy . . . Camera Mods are by far anything but easy. I use a lot of older lenses on my current cameras, and some of those date back before the advent of Auto focus and other things we just take for granted now days. There is nothing that says you cannot use manual focus lenses (unless the manufacturer physically changed the lens mount “shame on Canon, Pentax and a few others), Nikon was lucky I guess, or they had some forward thinkers. The advent of Auto Focus made some mounts mechanically and physically obsolete. A camera/component MOD
Here is the Nikon TC16A, picture credit (MIR.COM a comprehensive website on old Nikon gear) you can read more here about this accessory and other equipment at this outgoing link teleconverter
So with the above mentioned the subject of this post is about a Camera accessory Mod. Here is the basic premise “use a TC-16a Teleconverter on a current camera body (Nikon D7000) to achieve critical focus when the MF (manual focus)lens is rough focused” aimed directly at my 500 f/4 P MF lens & D7000 combo. As is the TC will work on some of the Nikon Camera models like my D2xs, but not my D7000. I wanted it to work on my latest cameras so I had found a mod on the web at the following website WWW.Foolography.com by Oliver Perialis. Many thanks go to him for his work compiling data and mod FAQs and insight with his running blog on this mod.
A word of warning, I am not responsible for any damage or voided warranties if you attempt this accessory mod, it requires higher then normal skills and dexterity as well as soldering and critical thinking, in other words MOD at your own risk, you and only you know at what level you are. That said, the fun began yesterday when I met up with my fellow photographer Ron (he’s a PJ for the local newspaper, and a damn good one). He and I had both purchased the TC with the same goal in mind, using older MF lenses on our newer cameras. Ron has a Nikon D3 and I a D7000. The converter needs to modified by moving a lens contact pin from it’s current position to a new one by means of drilling a new pin hole and then rewiring the flex circuit board (surface components mounted on a film based circuit board) to get a signal from that new pin position to the old contact point on the circuit board. Sounds easy huh . . . . NOT!
I will not go over the steps for opening or doing the exact mod steps here, if you have followed along because your wanting or doing the mod the please refer back to Oliver’s article by visiting his website. I am only documenting my own experience here.
Well Ron and I started by reading Oliver’s article and then (choosing a day to get together and do the mod) opening up our TC’s and putting the small screws and components in containers (tiny springs and screws that disappear easily and no where but Nikon to get replacements if you can even buy one) on the table. Opening the TC up is the easy part, once open you really get a scope of what the mod will entail as to your abilities and possible success/fail of completing the mod.
Three and a half hours later . . . both Ron and I sat at the same table with TC’s that had the various mods done to them with tired and well deserved grins on faces, both TC’s worked as hoped. I can only speak for myself . . . it was one of the more trying mods I have attempted in a long time. I would not recommend it to most people who have never attempted delicate or fine detail work. This mod will try your dexterity, patience, and critical thinking in over coming challenges as you “MacGyver” your way around problems due to space, materials, components and redesign. This has a difficulty level of 10 on a scale of 1 – 10.
I think I was lucky having done this with my friend Ron, as we are both good with critical thinking, I was a bit frazzled at the end of this. Ron helped me smile at some of the problems this mod posed, to that I owe him a big thanks.
Here is a final picture using the newly modded TC-16A with an old Nikkor 70~210 f/4 ~5.6 MF push pull lens on my D7000 body. I am happy with both the results and the mod.
GO Photograph something . . . Tim