1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Clean lens change and left hand thread

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by ChrisNewman, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    After using a Pentax film SLR for 26 years, last summer I switched to a digital SLR (Nikon D90). I am aware that with a DSLR I should swap lenses quickly and carefully to stop dust getting on the sensor. The result? Out walking last week, I had a reasonable view of a heron. I carefully removed the rear lens cap from my telephoto zoom and positioned it with the white spot showing, switched off the D90, pointed it downwards, removed the mid-range zoom and attached the telephoto, and then put the rear lens cap on my mid-range zoom. (With my film SLR I used to remove the lens first, and gave priority to moving the rear lens cap, leaving the camera body look after itself.) I lifted the camera, only to see a large silhouette of an insect in the viewfinder. I switched back to the mid-range zoom, but again saw the insect. After looking more thoughtfully, I decided that the insect must be on the viewfinder screen itself. By now the heron had disappeared. I moved away to a spot where I could sit down, removed the lens again, and after a few blasts of air into the mirror box I could no longer see the insect. I hope it has gone, not just hidden in a corner of the mirror box.

    I never seem able to change lenses on my Nikon as slickly as I used to manage on my Pentax. I regularly get caught out by the unconventional action, equivalent to a left hand thread, contrary to the overwhelming majority of “push and twist” mechanical connections. I might make more progress in getting used to it if each lens change was not accompanied by reversing lens hoods, which mount with a conventional right hand thread action. (But thank you Nikon for supplying the lens hoods as standard, rather than only making them available as accessories, at excessive cost.)

    I would be interested to hear if anyone knows why Nikon use a left hand thread action on their lens mount? Was it chosen to match the mechanics of earlier Nikon cameras? Was it simply an oversight? Or was it a deliberate choice, perverse though it seems to me?
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes - the earlier cameras using a copy of the Contax rangefinder lens mount.

    I loathe the direction of mounting of Nikons. Most people seem to be able to get used to it, though.
  3. mediaman

    mediaman Well-Known Member

    been using Nikon SLR's since the late 60's. Never bothered me in the slightest about lens changing clockwise to remove ,anticlockwise to attatch......either way , you still have to turn it both ways [or use a megazoom, where you never need to change a lens ]
  4. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information.
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    If you have the camera on a strap around your neck when changing lenses you will find the action more natural than if you try to do the job with the camera facing you.
  6. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I'm used to it, but I still find it much easier and faster changing lenses on my Pentaxs than my Nikon.
  7. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    Same here. Screwed with my head for a while when I jumped ship from Canon to Nikon, but only took a short time to get used to it
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    If the camera is already on its strap around my neck I normally leave it there. To follow the advice to point it down to keep dirt (but not flying insects!) out, I hold the body with my left hand and use my left middle finger to depress the lens release button. But whichever way I hold it, I seem to have developed reflexes to make connections by pushing and twisting clockwise with respect to the direction I push, and to break them by twisting anticlockwise and pulling. I think this comes more from decades of screwing on nuts, opening bottles and jars, etc than from using my Pentax.
  9. hech54

    hech54 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry but I'm simply not understanding why this simple event requires such a detailed description of the lens exchange procedure or even requires a mention. Even if I found the heron had flown into my D90, it would not make me hesitate to change lenses the next time nor would it make me rethink the way I changed lenses. "Spit Happens" as my son's bib said when he was a baby.
  10. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Of course there’s nothing I can do about the situation. I made the post because I found the insect on my viewfinder ironic given the warnings to make clean lens changes with DSLR’s. Also, the incident reminded me that I find the Nikon mount action awkward, and I was curious to find its history. Thanks to "Benchista" I now know it.
  11. hech54

    hech54 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. That same incident could have happened on your old kit as well when you first bought it.....or even many years after you bought it. You may get another bug in your D90 years from now even when you think you've mastered the fine art of Nikon lens changes...."there's nothing you can do about it".
    Turning your camera face-down obviously doesn't apply with flying insects.
  12. mediaman

    mediaman Well-Known Member

    just as well focus is automatic.....lots of people switching to Nikon [pre digital ] found the focusing "wrong" to them, ie, as you look through viewfinder, you turn focus clockwise from min to max distance.
  13. ojb28

    ojb28 Well-Known Member

    I think the position of the lens release on Pentax cameras counts hugely in their favour, it falls naturally to hand, operated by the middle finger of the right hand and can be done without moving your hand from the grip. When I moved from Film to Digital, I looked at a D200 and I was left scratching my head over how a camera maker as well respected as Nikon could have made it so awkward! So I got the K10D instead!
  14. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Please be clear I had no intention of “blaming” the Nikon system for the insect. I repeat I simply found it ironic that for 26 years I changed lenses fairly casually on my film camera without any problems, but after only 9 months of trying to make careful changes to keep dirt from getting on my sensor, I got an insect in the camera.

    It is comforting to hear that I am not alone in finding the Nikon mount awkward to change.
  15. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    My situation is worse than that, as I have a Sigma 8-16 mm which focuses in the opposite direction to my Nikon lenses. However, I rarely focus manually, and when I do it doesn’t seem to matter much. Perhaps I simply notice whether my initial change makes the scene sharper or more blurred, and continue to turn in the same direction or reverse it in response. I notice more problems with my DX 55-200 mm telephoto zoom, where I must remember to switch the focusing mode before I try to focus manually.

Share This Page