Author Topic: Troubleshooting 85mm f2.8d PC lens  (Read 202 times)

Jethro Sang

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Troubleshooting 85mm f2.8d PC lens
« on: October 13, 2020, 14:32:48 »
Has been forever since I touched my camera. Recently when I got an offer for a 85mm f2.8d PC lens (not the PC-E), I decided to get back into this hobby once more. The offer came with a catch, when the lens is mounted to a camera (I am using a D600), the aperture does not show up on the camera. Basically I have no metering capability with this lens, and have to treat it something like a non-AI lens.

I believe there is something wrong between the aperture reader(?) on the lens (expensive there), or it could be just down to the bad connector with the camera or even the ribbon. Just to confirm here, PC lens should be able still communicate the aperture value to the camera, right? That the lens that I got is indeed faulty. Technically I should still be able to use the A-mode, even if I am not supposed to.

By the way, as you can tell with the age and inactivity of this account, I have been out of touch with this site. Has the fierce bear of the north retired from the scene?
Jetty

Matthew Currie

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Re: Troubleshooting 85mm f2.8d PC lens
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 17:44:15 »
Yes, this lens should communicate its aperture setting to the camera.  Since this is coupled to the aperture ring, it will overexpose if you forget and leave the preset button out when it's stopped down.

You can still use this on an AI-capable camera as you would any preset lens, and it will meter to the aperture that is set, but only by the change in light, not through any mechanical communication with the meter. A preset lens has no meter connection, and no automatic aperture lever.  So if you're using this lens in manual mode, you must remember to meter it while stopped down to whatever aperture you're using. 

If you're using this without tilt or shift, it will expose quite OK in A mode, as will, for example, any preset or manual lens with no electronics.  If shifting or tilting, you must either set a manual exposure first without the movement, or learn by experience what exposure compensation is needed.  But that's true with the electronics working too, so there's really not a whole lot gained from the chip.

In normal use, I find little difference between this lens and the old 35/2.8 PC I use as my "normal" DX lens, except that that lens never returns correct EXIF information, whereas the 85 will if the chip is working.

My first guess on this would be that perhaps the ribbon cable has been disconnected or broken.  If you undo some screws, it's possible to change the orientation of the lens, so that it both tilts and shifts on the same axis, but the supplied cable is apparently a bit too short for this, and must be replaced with a longer one. I have read that sometimes it's just possible to do it with the original cable. I have never felt the need to try it on mine, but I would not be too surprised if someone tested the theory to the detriment of the cable.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Troubleshooting 85mm f2.8d PC lens
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 23:10:38 »
... Has the fierce bear of the north retired from the scene?

Not at all. However, due to gender changes, the formerly very fierce bear of the north has been cast into a much gentler version aka Birna.

As to the 85PC, it certainly should show aperture readout on the camera display. If not, either the contact block is damaged, or, more likely, the internal ribbon cable is broken. The latter could easily happen if the lens previously had been converted to make tilt and shift operation parallel, as the stock cable is a bit on the short side for the rearrangement.

Jethro Sang

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Re: Troubleshooting 85mm f2.8d PC lens
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 12:38:17 »
My first guess on this would be that perhaps the ribbon cable has been disconnected or broken. 

I tried shining light into the space, ribbon cable seems intact but I wouldn't know until I take it apart. Or just use it as a pure manual lens. Thanks for the reply!

Not at all. However, due to gender changes, the formerly very fierce bear of the north has been cast into a much gentler version aka Birna.

Noted! And I am glad the bear of the north is still roaming about!
Jetty