Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS
I'm pretty interested in getting both those lenses for my F4s and would like some feedback on their performance.
Thanks in advance!
Life is on a random reinforcement schedule
#1. "RE: Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberTue 12-Feb-02 11:35 PM
I have used both of these lenses extensively. I sold the 35mm lens, but still have the 85mm f/2.0.
35mm f/2.8 AIS- I bought this lens in Japan to use as my "already wrote off" outfit. I use to travel to some dangerous places, and didn't want to subject my more expensive gear to the hazards. This lens was my "other" 35mm lens, with the f/2.0 version being my main working lens at that time, (mid-1980s). I was not expecting too much, but this lens surprised me. The only thing it lacked was the maximum aperture of the other lens. At the mid-range apertures, this lens performed very well. My opinion is that it is a bit less suseptable to flare than the faster lenses, due to less glass being involved and the smaller front element, (the new AF model f/2.0 has a similar small front element, while the older MF f/2.0 had a front element that spanned most of the entire 52mm front lens diameter). I used this lens at full aperture without any problem, and from f/4.0 or f/5.6 it is very sharp. Back in the day, an aperture of f/2.8 was thought to be a bit slow, but today many zoom users would kill for this lens speed, so the usefulness of this lens is relatively high.
85mm f/2.0 AIS- I bought this lens even though I already had the classic 105mm f/2.5, just because I wanted a slightly shorter lens for indoors. This lens is very good from about f/2.8, and outstanding after f/4.0. The wide open f/2.0 aperture is not extremely sharp, but it is just right for a portrait lens. I still keep this lens just because of its physical size and the feel of the manual focus action (I also have several other 85mm lenses... see profile). I have done some extensive travel with a two lens outfit of either a 24mm and this 85mm lens, or a 35mm and the 85mm, and this was a good versatile, minimalist outfit that didn't break your back after a long day of walking. When this lens was purchased new, it came with a deep hood which is nice, so make sure that if you locate one used that the hood (HS-10) comes with it.
My tastes have changed a bit, so today my 35mm lens of choice is the f/1.4 AIS and my number one choice for a short telephoto is the 105mmf /2.5. I can however pull out over a thousand slides from Austrailia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and about a dozen other countries made with the two lenses that you are asking about, and I can in no way find fault with the optical quality.
Good luck, Al
#2. "RE: Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS" | In response to Reply # 1Mark_D Basic MemberWed 13-Feb-02 02:27 AM
Thanks for that thorough write-up. I went ahead an ordered the 85/2. While most people get the 105, I decided to go with the 85 due to its smaller size and shorter focal length for indoor work. Glad to hear it's a solid performer.
I'm still, however, on the look out for a wide angle. I was thinking of eventually building a 20, 35, 85 kit for the F4s. Perhaps it might be better to have a 50/1.8 or 5/2 and a 24. As I'm still learning the Nikon system, are there any wide angle recommendations you might have? I'm particularly interested in lenses that perform well wide open.
Life is on a random reinforcement schedule
#3. "RE: Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS" | In response to Reply # 2f8bthere Basic MemberWed 13-Feb-02 01:45 PM
I have a pretty thorough compliment of fixed focal length lenses (see profile), and after much experimentation I have come to conclusions that are right for me about the interval between focal lengths.
First... You can not effectively carry every lens you have and get much photography done. I therefore have developed several "mini-kits" that I put together for certain situations, (travel, portraits,etc...).
Second... If a gap between two lenses is too close, it would be counter productive. you would spend too much time agonizing over the variations available to you and spend too much time doing mechanical things, like changing lenses, rather than just getting on with the shooting.
I have a 20mm lens, a 24mm lens a 35mm lens and a 50mm lens... but I would most likely skip every other lens for a "mini-kit" using a 20mm and 35mm lens or a 24mm and 50mm lens (possibly going right to 85mm for some situations). This reduces both the weight in my bag and the amount of decisions. It forces me to move, which can open visual sights I might not have seen standing in one spot and playing around in my bag.
I believe the 24mm lens is more universal than the 20mm lens. Both are optically excellent (I have the manual focus AIS versions), so it would not be one or the other as far as performance. With great care, I can shoot with the 24mm lens, and the focal length doesn't dominate the shot... it doesn't scream "WIDE-ANGLE!" With the 20mm, there will be some wide-angle effect especially at the edges, and any situation where the camera back is not totally parallel with the subject will jump off of the print or slide. I would never give up my 20mm lens because when you need it, there is no substitute. The 24mm lens allows a more casual approach with great results. You can still screw up with a 24mm lens and get distortion, so "casual" doesn't mean sloppy.
Your interval is kind of set since you have the 85mm lens. If I were where you were at now, I'd try the 24mm and 85mm combination for a while. the 24mm lens is about half the focal length of a 50mm lens, and the 85mm is just under twice the 50mm. With some judicious use of your feet, you can frame pretty well. Additionally, the effort of swapping those two lenses will be rewarded with a truly different effect... you can't mistake a 24mm lens from an 85mm.
Eventually, you might want to incorporate some speed, so a fast 35mm or 50mm lens would be welcome. I have both the 35mm and 50mm f/1.4 lenses, and use both wide-open a lot. The 35mm lens gives me a slight advantage for available light hand-holdability since the rule of thumb is to use the inverse of the focal length as the maximum allowable time for shake-free photos...1/50th for the 50mm and 1/35th for the 35mm lens.
One last thing... don't give up on the 105mm f/2.5. One day you will check it out and wonder why you didn't get it sooner.
#5. "RE: Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS" | In response to Reply # 1jrp Charter MemberWed 16-Jan-08 11:53 AM
My 35mm? I don't have it anymore. It went away with a whole set of lenses and two Nikkormat bodies. But I still have the 85mm f/2. Below a more or less recent sample image of this lens, from my improvised gallery.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Have a great time :-)
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#4. "RE: Feedback on 35/2.8AIS and 85/2 AIS" | In response to Reply # 0
Interesting thread, I'm looking at getting a 85/2 or 105/2.5 to complete my travelling "light" kit.
As far as Mark's question goes, I'd recommend a 35/2 (or 1.4) over the 2.8 ...The 35/2 can be had at a reasonable price and rates very highly with users. Myself I was lucky to get a 35/1.4 at a good price and it has become my main lens, it is great even wide open.
The 35/1.4 is a lens I hope I'm never without....its that good IMO
As far as wide angles go I haven't owned anything wider than a 24 but have looked at a few. I tend to think a 24mm is a must have wide angle, very useful .. I currently have a 24/2AI that replaced a 24/2.8AI that was stolen last year...Both of these lenses have taken great shots and I have used both wide open... If I was buying again it would come down to cost, the 24/2 is nice but I wouldn't pay a lot for one if a nice 24/2.8 could be had at a great saving, the 24/2.8 is another highly rated Nikkor.