AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Disassembly

This is for the 1st generaton AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 (NON D)

  • Proceed at your own risk, I actually recommend you NOT to tear your lens apart, putting it back together could be mentally exhausting.
  • If you’re doing this to clean out a few specs of dust inside, Don’t, you will ended up with more dust in there.
  • Anyways here is the guide for dis-assembly for whatever you wish to do to your lens, I didn’t take the photos till I am putting the lens back together, so bare with me, but then, you might not even notice the difference. I’m going to reverse the order of my photos so it looks like I’m taking it apart.


Fig 1.) AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4  NON D
[ The D version will look different inside! If you still want to use this post as a guide line, proceed at your own risk. One of the major difference is the D lens will have the distance electronics, which is consists of some tiny copper “brushes”. Watch out for tiny electrical connectors that brushes on the ring inside, do not bend them. Also there might be a cable connecting the inside of the lens to the rear lens mount, be careful when taking out the lens mount (fig.2), alternatively you can take off the electric contacts on the lens mount first. ]

Fig. 2) First, Take this 3 screws off. Don’t strip them, I literally had to drill one of them out. I don’t suggest you doing that, that is, unless you’re me.

Fig. 3) Take the piece I’ve painted red out, now remember how it goes in. This piece controls your aperture, and its hooked up to the notch on the aperture ring.
Reassemble, Push the lever inwards in figure 7, so the silver knob will rest /lean on this piece in Figure 3.

Fig. 4 )A view after that piece is removed.

Fig. 5) A side view of the current state. Now You simply pull the aperture ring up to remove it.

Fig. 6) Take off the AF Drive / Gear / Screw / Whatever you want to call it. Don’t lose it. If this one piece separates into 2 pieces for whatever reason (mine did), you can glue it back together.

Fig. 7) Now pay attention. This is the piece that also controls the aperture, especially the auto reflex.
Unhook the spring from the lever in Yellow.
Take the screws off in Red. (ignore the red directly on the lever, you only need to take those 3 screws off around the outside)
Lift the lever off (blue), you will see the lever pokes into a hole on the lens assembly, make sure you put it back that way during reassembly.

Fig. 8) The hole in blue, will be where the lever in blue in the previous step, pokes into.
Now, remove all the red screws and the 2 ‘holders/stoppers’ underneath the screw. Remember which one is which.

Fig. 9) Now the whole lens assembly will twist off from the barrel.
You can see I already applied electrical tapes on the inside of the barrel, above the silver part.
1 layers of electrical tape helps. 2 layers of electrical tape stiffens it right up, the AF motor stills turns it, but one might think its too tight. I prefer 2 layers. Its possible that it slowed the AF down a little bit. But now there’s no room of error, also feels better during manual focus especially helps if I throw this lens on my FE.

Fig. 10) If you would like to tear into the lens elements. Twist the red piece counter clock wise by hand. It will screw off. It might take some muscle as you might have to break the glue on couple spots. Don’t touch the aperture blades with anything.

If you do not have to clean the elements, DO NOT open it, or you will risk getting dust inside.

Don’t Stop Reading Quite Yet!

Now, we’re not done yet. That was the easy part. Now I have to give you hints on how to put it all back together.

Set your distance scale to infinity, and keep it at infinity during this procedure. You need to know that the lens assembly screws all the way into the lens when the lens is set to infinity. Since both the lens barrel and the lens assembly are both circle, you can indeed screw it in at any point, but it is not necessary going to work just like that.

When it’s screwed in correctly, (and there is only one way), the lens will go in all the way at infinity while you are able to hook up both stoppers/holders as seen in figure 8. Both stoppers are different shape, and they will have to go in the way you took it off, or, look at figure 8. If you fail on this step, simple screw the lens assembly out, turn it slightly, and try again, until you achieve what I mentioned. Just so you know, you can spend half an hour just doing this step.

I am sure there got to be some sort of markings on where you supposed to start threading that on, but I didn’t bother to figure it out, as I’m only doing one, not 100 of them. After you think its set correctly and have already put the L shape stoppers back in. Turn the focus ring and check. Your focus ring should stop right at infinity, with the lens is all the way in. The lens will extend all the way out when you turn it the other way around, and it will go pass the minimal distance on the scale for a little bit. If you’ve done everything I mentioned, now put all the other pieces back in and check it on the camera.

If it doesn’t focus to infinity, lens assembly have to go in further.
If it focus beyond infinity, lens assembly has to come out towards the front instead.

Now go through the whole thing again before you do anything to yours.

5 thoughts on “AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Disassembly

  1. Had to do this with a Mamiya 80mm, the iris shutter leafs were stuck together (happens over time with the Mamiya 80), Re-assembly was painful but a good learning process

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