Which 35mm AIS, 35mmf1.4 or 35mmf2?
I'am a happy FM2N user but not so sattisfied with my nikkor 35mm f2.8 (non-AI) which I had to convert in order to use with the FM2 body.
I am now willing to buy a new or even used nikkor 35mm AIS in order to achieve better results.
My problem is I don't really know which one I should buy?The f1.4 or rather the cheaper f2.0.
I mostly shoot B&W. Thankw for your help and your opinion
#1. "can't lose with either, but go f1.4" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberThu 07-Sep-00 11:14 AM
I have used every vintage of 35mm Nikkor and find this focal length to be my favorite. I have finally settled on the f1.4 AIS model, but was happy for years with the MF f2.0 AIS. I started into autofocus with the N8008s and my first autofocus lens was the AF f2.0 35mm. This lens was outstanding, and I found it worked very well on all of my MF cameras also. It focused closer than the MF version, and in relative terms, was very inexpensive for the performance.
In only a couple of short years this lens failed... the aperture blades didn't close. It was out of warranty, so I was on my own. On another Nikon web site, I found that this was common on this one lens, and even "repaired" lenses developed the same problem again. The lens was good, but I feared buying another because of the history. This was my "excuse" to get the lens I always wanted, but couldn't justify... the f1.4.
This was the best move I could make. I love this lens for my style of photography... journalistic, environmental portraits. The size is still good for the speed, 52mm filter ring, but it is a bit heavier than the MF f2.0 model. After f5.6, this lens is as sharp as a lens can be, very contrasty. When using polerizers, the f1.4 opening makes it very easy to see the finder, compared to your f2.8 version.
There is some edge image quality fall off at the maximum f-stop, but it is not too detrimental for normal subjects in bad light. The f2.0 version was better at capturing a flat field, but for real world, 3 dimensional subjects, like people, the curved field of the f1.4 model can actually help isolate better. You get the selective focus of a medium telephoto lens with the perspective of a semi wide. This is unique and can't be captured by a slow zoom. I find that the slight edge image deficit is worth the effect. I shoot at f1.4 even when I could stop down... it is clear what the intent is. At f2.0 or 2.8, there is so much sharpness that is just look soft overall, rather than the extreme "POP" of the sharp subject in a very soft background. As previously stated, after f4.0 or 5.6, the lens is simply outstanding, as it should be at three stops from the maximum aperture. In other words compared to a zoom, this lens will be at its sharpest, when the zoom is at its weakest... wide open.
The build quality is excellent... very solid and precise. It will last forever with reasonable care and after 15 or 20 years, the initial outlay of cash will long be forgotten, but the lens will still be giving you great images. Another thing, since you are replacing a 2.8, make the move worth while... two full stops, f1.4. Go for it!