Just got my 2nd MF lens - a 20mm f4 AI. I've only shot as wide as 28mm before this week, so the 20 and 24 are quite a treat! And thanks, Raphael - I managed to pick up a reasonably-priced, well-worn F2AS that should hopefully work better than it looks. A decent CLA should get it up to speed.
You're on a roll there Anthony. The 20mm is one of the lenses that I've been lusting over, though I'm looking more at the F3.5 UD version. Either lens is definitely a joy to shoot with. Especially with it's incredible DOF.
For CLA, check up Sover Wong. He's well worth every cent. A true F2 aficionado
>Just got my first MF lens in the mail - a 24mm f2.8 AIS. >Works like a charm on my D600 - now to find a film body for >it. An F2AS would be great, but they're a bit pricey... > >Anthony
I purchased a 24mm f2.8 pre-AIS in 1971 when I was in Southeast Asia getting shot at. I love the lens. The contrast is fantastic and the lens is really sharp. In 1984 I have it converted to AIS and used it on my F3HP. Now I have a new D800 and am waiting to ry it out.
Seems to be not too bad. Does have some CA showing up, but that's to be expected from an early 1990's aftermarket lens design when deployed on an earlier high-MP digital body. Does have some barrel distortion at 18mm. Got it for $25, so not complaining much.
20130410-012 by longzoom, on Flickr. My last lens - Nikkor 35/2.8 AIS, mint. A month old - in my hands. First image - crop about half of original, but even so, sharp. Second one - a little crop, sun in the frame, but no flares. Amazing old school glass. Dimitri.
Sun 11-Aug-13 11:28 AM | edited Sun 11-Aug-13 11:30 AM by geneluck
I find that the 2 lenses I still use regularly are the 105 f2.8 micro and the 180mmf2.8 AIS Just a couple of weeks ago, I experimented using the 180mm with extension tube on the D800. see attachment attachment 1 D800 180mm F2.8 and extension tube.
The second one is just the 180mm mounted on the D800: I really like the out of focus on this one. attachment #2 D800 and 180mm.
Pop the 135 onto your D700 and shoot with it. It's supposed to be a decent lens. With respect to the 20/4, if it's around $100-$150, then that's a steal. Cheapest I've seen a 20 was around $175, but that was a few years ago. Just make sure it's AI'd before you mount it to your cameras.
At the same time the 20/3.5 pops up. No coincidence?
Is that of the same quality?
Kind Regards, John
>Pop the 135 onto your D700 and shoot with it. It's supposed >to be a decent lens. With respect to the 20/4, if it's around >$100-$150, then that's a steal. Cheapest I've seen a 20 was >around $175, but that was a few years ago. Just make sure >it's AI'd before you mount it to your cameras. > >-J > >Nikon: D200, F5, F4, F3HP, F2AS x2, F, FM2n >Nikomat/Nikkormat: FT2, FTn > >John Laughlin Photography - nature photographer > >My Flickr account >My Facebook page
My most recent MF lens is my mint condition Nikkor 135mm f2 AiS - it looks like it's never been mounted on a camera ... I've had it for about a month or so now. There's a lot of glass in this lens! Only been messing around with it to date... I love KEH!
Fri 02-Aug-13 11:49 AM | edited Fri 02-Aug-13 01:56 PM by Googlyelmo
Since they happened on the same day, I count two lenses I acquired in replying to this 'poll':
55mm/f1.2 Nikon-AI'd and 35mm/f1.4 AI-S
When I was back in NYC last August I answered a Craigslist ad for the 35/1.4, and a pile of other stuff. When I get to the guy's apartment at E. 10th near Ave. C. I find one of about 10 buildings left in Manhattan where you shout (I actually called) up, and a key comes down wrapped in a red sock (sometimes on a string, or in some other container). At the back of a VERY cluttered 4th floor "shotgun" apartment the seller has about 20 lenses of all makes and descriptions laid out on a table, with index cards for each, and careful descriptions, and another table with filters and cases, and a little of everything else. I linger and study, and only after a second person arrives do I point to the 35/1.4 and ask "how much?" This being a very clean 1985-vintage copy, I expect to hear $500+: "$200 and it's yours" and not believing my luck I hesitate for maybe 3 seconds, so he says: "OK, $175, and it has both caps." Hee-hee. Yes. So I get this classic sweeetie for $175. And it is my favorite piece of glass, period. And my last/recentest. Except,
That was about 11 a.m., and when I got back to my brother's apartment uptown early that afternoon, and since my birthday had just past days before, an old friend of mine called to invite me to dinner to celebrate, and to say that he had something for me. At Veselka's, waiting for a plate of pierogi and kasha varniska, he hands me a box, and inside I find a 55/1.2 AI'd. Heavily rubbed focus ring and lettering, but optically and mechanically near-to-perfect. So that is how my day went. The 55/1.2 actually has two nicks in the middle of the front element that look like they SHOULD appear in the photographs, but not that I can find, on either film or digital, in almost a year of looking (at first very intensively). It also will not safely mount to my F4 without serious modification, but that is OK (just need more cameras, and the 35/1.4 and the F4 are very happy together).
I know that twenty years from now, barring accident or misuse, both of these lenses will be in use and in good condition. I can't say that with confidence about any AF lens I own, except perhaps the 28-70/2.8D. What a day, whee!
And just today received my new copy of Zeiss 50mm f/1.4. I already had the 50/1.4D and 50/1.4 AI-s Nikkors, but after seeing the results with the Canon version of this lens on a friend's 5DII, I couldn't resist.
And a comment: the "problem" with MF these days isn't really that AF is so great or that much faster. The problem is the lack of MF focusing screens with microprism/RF aids. AFAIK, Nikon makes none, and Canon only for the 1D-series. Not inspired by the aftermarket screens, especially the way they are installed, either. With a P or K screen, my F4 is as fast as I need it to be. If I had the screens, the D600 and D7000 would be too, and I'd have more MF lenses.
A better question might be "what is your most desired MF lens?" I'd love the 20/3.5, and both the 50mm and 58mm f/1.2 (I have an AI'd 55/1.2 with some damage to the coating/front element that is invisible on film, and on digital less than 100% pixel-peeping). Might like the 45/2.8 AI-P, if I could get a read on whether it is a good lens or not (mostly, the price reflects collectors and the oddity of its chrome finish, plus it is a pancake, and the smallest lens Nikon ever made, AFAIK).
Some questions: what is your most desired MF lens? What is the most overpriced/overvalues (new or used) MF lens? What is the biggest sleeper/greatest value MF lens?
Sorry about the multiple posts, something somewhere was being very slow and I got impatient and pressed the 'post' button a couple of times, and now can't figure out how to delete the excess. Again, my apologies. . .
So in October, from the auction site: 55/2.8 Micro (with stiff focus ring), $81; and 50/1.8 AI-s which came with an FM2n, $199 all. The latter lacks the non-AI meter coupling shoe, or pilot holes for installing one. As a result, I thought it was Series E, at first, but definitely marked "Nikkor." I don't think Nikon ever made a 50/1.8 that was less than very good, anyway.
The stiff ring on the 55 Micro was not mentioned in the auction listing, and it almost did not turn at all at first, so I was quite disappointed and p*ssed mightily, but after cooling off, I fixed it. Since this lens is a design that when focused close expands the lens barrel to an extent that allows view and access to the focus helicoids, I swabbed them thoroughly with alcohol/pecpads & hemostats, and then very carefully applied a tiny amount of DeOxit (4 drops, non-aerosol), cycled the focus a few times (feeling it free a little each time), applied 2 more drops, and set it aside. An hour later, it was smoothly focusing with proper torque. So instead of spending maybe another $50 to have the lens "repaired" I ended up paying very little for one of the best Nikkors ever. BTW, DeOxit is something anyone who fiddles with mechanical or electronic things should have around. I would never have tried this with any other lube/cleaner.
HIGHLY recommend the 75-150 F/3.5: it's sharp and pretty small so it's easy to throw into a travel bag (it's been my travel zoom for the past couple of years). Nice bokeh, too. The 100mm f/2.8 has become my favorite portrait lens. Strangely, I'm struggling to love my 50mm f/1.2. It's softer wide open than my F/1.8 and tends towards a green fringing.
>HIGHLY recommend the 75-150 F/3.5: it's sharp and pretty >small so it's easy to throw into a travel bag (it's been my >travel zoom for the past couple of years). Nice bokeh, too. >The 100mm f/2.8 has become my favorite portrait lens. >Strangely, I'm struggling to love my 50mm f/1.2. It's softer >wide open than my F/1.8 and tends towards a green fringing.
I also have the 75-150E and 100 2.8E and really like them both. The 100 doesn't have as good bokeh as my 105 2.5 P-C, but it's sharper(and lighter).
That's why I don't get the 50 1.2-color fringing, soft at large apertures, and price.
D7100 D300, F4e, N90s, N6006, N2000, N6000, D40, N5005, black F2 eye level, chrome F2AS, black Nikomat FTN
Non Nikons: Pentax 645, Pentax ME Super, Pentax Spotmatic II, Minoltas SRT 102, SRT 202, Maxxums 7000 and 7000i, Praktica LB, Kiev 4 rangefinder, Canons TX, A1, FT QL, EF, EOS 630
Today I received my order form KEH. Ext tubes for Pentax 6X7, BR-3 ring, PN-11 tube, and 4 Nikon lenses, 3 MF.
EX+ 36-72 Series E. Looks WAY better than that Ebay junk 36-72 I got a few years ago. Focus and aperture rings move much smoother also.
EX+ 70-210 Series E. KEH kinda goofed and didn't sell it as a zoom loose. But I'll keep it-it's borderline, not super loose like others I've had.
BGN 35 2.8 PC. Needs to be AI modded by John White. The focus ring is a little loose. And the aperture ring is loose as a goose(is that normal with that lens?) But I'm not complaining, it was sold as BGN.
But KEH really goofed on the AF lens- EX 85 1.8D. There is glue residue on it. Looks like at one time the focus and aperture rings were glued in place. I called them and going to send it back for another.
Yes. It is. It was badly yellowed. I have been bleaching it under a UV light for approximately a month now and finally I'm starting to see results. It would already be in useable condition but I will try to clean it completely.
Beacause of that I haven't been able to use it as much as I would have liked but it really seems like a great piece of glass.
A Nikkor AI 105/2.5. I already own a AI'd K-version but when I found an AI in great condition for a good price I couldn't resist. This is a great lens, really sharp and very pleasant bokeh - the best I have seen actually. Some CA wide open but it doesn't bother me.
HS-8 lens hood was included, but I don't use it often since it won't mount backwards.
Had not seen this thread, so I posted this in the "bodies" thread--80-200/4.5 AI. Just got it today from eBait in Excellent + condition. I have always wanted a copy of this lens since I was in college (when it was new) and I couldn't afford it. Can't wait to use it. (Much lighter than the 80-200D with Kirk adapter on it!)
35/2 Nikkor-O turned out to have been milled. Still going to receive the #34 AI ring that I picked up for it. Also sourced a 300/4.5 EDIF AIS for $53+tax. Needs front cap, sticker removal, a tripod collar, and to have the prong straightened a bit.
This may be a little different. I came across a 135mm f4 Schneider - Kreuznach lens for the Kodak Retina. I ordered an adapter for F mount. preliminary test in failing light looks very interesting. looks like fun to come! It also looks "way Cool" on my D90.. I love mounting interesting vintage lens on my D90. I have a pentex 1.4 to play with as well. K mount to F mount adapter is mounted and ready for action. JB
BGN grade 200/4 compact version (may be AI or factory AI'd - will find out when it arrives) and an UG grade 50/1.4 Nikkor-S factory AI'd. Funny thing is that I won't be surprised if the UG grade 50/1.4 is nicer than the one I own currently.
The 200/4 is an AI lens. Focus ring is binding at infinity and there's a dent in the hood. The 50/1.4, as I expected, is nicer than the one I already had. If anything, the 50 should've been marked BGN, and the 200 should've been marked UG.
Kiron (Lester Dine) 105mm f/2.8 and ring light. It came from a dentist and has the dental markings added. Glass is like new as is exterior. I also have a Kiron 105mm f/2.8 AIS with most of the exterior brand/model info worn off. I bought it used in the 1990's, as I recollect, from a repair shop. The glass is excellent and focus is buttery-smooth, but I always though it was broken because below the focus ring the DOF markings were clearly way off. The new lens explains that the original Kiron is missing a ring that mounts just below the focus ring that has the distance scale. What're the chances of finding that???? Few to none I guess. So now I have two operable lenses when I thought it would be one excellent and one for parts. Woe is me.
Today I bought off Craigslist a fungas special. I could not buy it just to play with. Got it for a song. a Nikkor 50-300 ED 4.5 monster. Such a sin, it languished in a case in a non climate controlled storage building. Is there anyone that specializes in giving lens a light regrind to put them into service minus their coatings? I have taken a few shots and have yet to view them on a large screen. I am sure they will be a tad soft. cringe. what a gorgeous lens.... if only....JB
A few months back I got a 135mm f2.8 AI-S in very nice condition. A couple of weeks ago I managed to get a 400mm f5.6 IF-ED. I am loving the feather light very accurate focussing on this lens - and it is still pretty bright through my D600 viewfinder.
Most recent is a 50/2 Nikkor-H "Nikon" version. Cleaner than my "Nippon Kogaku Japan" version, which was owned by a chain smoker. Swapped aperture rings, turning the "Nikon" version into a factory AI'd lens.
I just received a very nice 105mm f4 short mount Nikkor-P bellows lens today. I've wanted one for a long time but the prices have always been too high, even from KEH. It will work nicely on my PB4. I check used Nikon mf lens prices every day and when I saw this one in EX+ condition for a reasonable price from Adorama I jumped on it.
About a year and a half ago I was gifted some old equipment (a coworkers was cleaning out a closet after his father died). With the recent acquisition of a DF and a better focusing screen enroute, I'm looking forward to using the following:
• Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 • PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 • Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 • Nikkor-P 105mm f/2.5 (my favorite, most used lens in high school)
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
I have the MF Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-s. Sharper than the other Nikon 50s at f/2, despite being a 33 year old model. The manual focus is a model of precision engineering and it feels like a jewel to hold in your hand.
I just received a 35mm f1.4 Nikkor-N. It has been AI'd and looks like maybe a John White conversion. It's otherwise very nice. I would rate it as maybe a 9. It has less yellowing due to the Thorium radiated element than I expected. I want to take a few photos with it and compare it to my AIS 35mm f1.4 before I give it the UV treatment. I've had very good luck with removing the yellowing from a Pentax lens in the past. I'll use a combination of sunlight when available and a blacklight when it's not and at night.
Sun 06-Apr-14 12:55 AM | edited Sun 06-Apr-14 01:22 PM by cameraniac
Just received a like new, in the box, #1044XXX, Nikon Nikkor 105 mm F/2.5 Ai-S lens. Got it from the auction site.
I've had a couple of these but this is my first Ai-S and it is the nicest one that I've had. Not a US example though. It has a gold, ribbon looking sticker on the box with the number 3 on it along with a letter that is foreign. Maybe Japanese, Indian or Arabic? With the lens being as old as it is, I wasn't too concerned about where it came from.
Got a Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 35mm 1:2 Ai Lens #773XXX that included an L39 Nikkor filter. The lens was described as being in "excellent" condition and looked pretty good in the pictures so I figured that I'd take a chance and bought it. The lens arrived today and boy was I surprised to find out that this baby is in absolutely perfect, flawless condition. Just the way I like them. Only problem is....it's so nice that now I'm afraid to use it.....
Fri 18-Apr-14 12:42 AM | edited Fri 18-Apr-14 03:34 AM by cameraniac
Added another Nikkor 35mm 1:2 Ai lens #926xxx to the stable. Condition is almost but not quite that of the lens in my previous post. I'd rate it as at least an ex++ though. This lens will be my user lens.
Just in the last week I bought an almost mint 20mm f/3.5 late-AI and a very clean-looking 35/1.4 AI-S (the latter from Tokyo for a giveaway price (for some reason?). I'll be holding my breath until I get my hands on it 8>)
Also, less than a moth ago, a minty 105/2.5, my second of this classic in 30 years.
This 35/1.4 will be the 3rd one I've owned. I'm hoping it will be very much at home on my D700 8>]
I'm having very bad luck on fleebay lately (which reminds me that it's always a bit of a crapshoot) - the 35/1.4 AIS turned out to be 'unavailable' (after I'd paid for it), and the 20/3.5 AI is in fact far from the 'mint' condition claimed for it, so it'll be going back 8>/
Hands-on at local camera swaps is definitely the way to go with the old lenses. D2xer
The evil-bay strikes again. I just received the three lenses I've been waiting for, 2 from the bay and 1 from KEH. The KEH lens was the oldest, a 10.5cm f2.5 lens made the first year of production. It was marked BGN so I didn't know what to expect. The two from the bay were shipped back today. Neither one had aperture blades that would stop down below f5.6. One wouldn't even stop down at all even though the seller's listing said the blades were clean and worked perfectly. It looked like someone rubbed grease all over the blades. For me it's either KEH, my local dealer or here on Nikonian's. But I didn't mind so much. The lens I really wanted was the 105 from KEH. Even though it was cheap and marked bargain it had a smooth focus and aperture ring and the blades were very snappy. It also looked like it just had a CLA and should have been rated at EX .
I used to buy my stuff from KEH until they started charging sales tax. They were never exactly cheap, but that was a deal-breaker for me. As you say, their condition ratings are very conservative and I was consistently impressed. Fleebay on the other hand, well you never really know. It's funny how a lens can LOOK pristine in pics, in the right light, but there is much you can't tell. If you're not careful, I suspect wishful thinking can come into play, too(!) This latest 20mm I bid on, even though the guy vastly over-rated the condition, is still the cleanest one I can find right now for anywhere near the price, so I'll probably keep it. Oh, and I ALWAYS take some pictures before sending a lens back - it may be better than average optically despite an unlovely appearance (which seems to be the case with this 20mm f/3.5.)
Sat 26-Apr-14 12:56 PM | edited Sat 26-Apr-14 07:30 PM by cameraniac
>The evil-bay strikes again. I just received the three lenses >I've been waiting for, 2 from the bay and 1 from KEH. The KEH >lens was the oldest, a 10.5cm f2.5 lens made the first year of >production. It was marked BGN so I didn't know what to expect. >The two from the bay were shipped back today. Neither one had >aperture blades that would stop down below f5.6. One wouldn't >even stop down at all even though the seller's listing said >the blades were clean and worked perfectly. It looked like >someone rubbed grease all over the blades. For me it's either >KEH, my local dealer or here on Nikonian's. But I didn't mind >so much. The lens I really wanted was the 105 from KEH. Even >though it was cheap and marked bargain it had a smooth focus >and aperture ring and the blades were very snappy. It also >looked like it just had a CLA and should have been rated at EX >. > >Len
Sorry to hear that two of the lenses were not as you had expected. Lousy descriptions and poor packaging practices seem to be a lot more prevalent these days than they used to be. Last year, I think I either returned or received refunds for more items than I kept. I know it gets pretty old but it still hasn't cured my "NAS". In fact, last night, on eBay, I bought a 50mm f/1.4 K lens #280xxxx with what appears to be a factory Ai kit installed. It's all your fault, Len Until you mentioned them, I'd never even thought of or heard of a "K" lens. Now, I have this uncontrollable urge to find out what they're all about. What makes them special to you, Len? I wouldn't ask if it weren't for the fact that I haven't been able to find much info anywhere online. I hope the lens turns out to be okay because I've been wanting a 50mm 1.4 for awhile now.
> In fact, last night, on eBay, >I bought a 50mm f/1.4 K lens #280xxxx with what appears to be >a factory Ai kit installed. It's all your fault, Len Until >you mentioned them, I'd never even thought of or heard of a >"K" lens. Now, I have this uncontrollable urge to >find out what they're all about. What makes them special to >you, Len? I wouldn't ask if it weren't for the fact that I >haven't been able to find any info anywhere online. I hope the >lens turns out to be okay because I've been wanting a 50mm 1.4 >for awhile now. > >Thanks - Bill > >
Hi Bill, The K lens to me is a sentimental favorite. It's nearly identical to the AI version but considerably different than the AIS. I love the build quality of these lenses. I also prefer the longer focus throw than the AIS lenses. During the mid 70's to 1980 I spent a total of 2 years in the far East and would visit Hong Kong frequently. At that time cameras and lenses were cheaper in Hong Kong than in the US so I took advantage of it. During that period I bought Nikkormat ELW's for myself and my wife. I also bought quite a few K lenses. When Nikon implemented their AI conversion program I sent them quite a few lenses for conversion. I also then bought the FE which was an early AI body at the time. My favorite converted K lens at the time was the 85mm f1.8. That lens was never made as an AI or AIS lens. My 2nd favorite was the 35mm f2. Currently my favorite converted K lens is the 55mm f1.2. I also still have the K 50mm f1.4. My serial number is close to what you have coming in.
Sat 26-Apr-14 08:06 PM | edited Sat 26-Apr-14 08:07 PM by cameraniac
> >Hi Bill, The K lens to me is a sentimental favorite. It's >nearly identical to the AI version but considerably different >than the AIS. I love the build quality of these lenses. I also >prefer the longer focus throw than the AIS lenses. During the >mid 70's to 1980 I spent a total of 2 years in the far East >and would visit Hong Kong frequently. At that time cameras and >lenses were cheaper in Hong Kong than in the US so I took >advantage of it. During that period I bought Nikkormat ELW's >for myself and my wife. I also bought quite a few K lenses. >When Nikon implemented their AI conversion program I sent them >quite a few lenses for conversion. I also then bought the FE >which was an early AI body at the time. My favorite converted >K lens at the time was the 85mm f1.8. That lens was never made >as an AI or AIS lens. My 2nd favorite was the 35mm f2. >Currently my favorite converted K lens is the 55mm f1.2. I >also still have the K 50mm f1.4. My serial number is close to >what you have coming in. > >I hope you enjoy your new 50mm. > >Len > >
Thank you for your reply, Len.
After I posted, I did do a little more research and was able to determine that the "K" lens is considered a transition lens. The style of the lens changed but had not yet become an Ai type lens. That makes the "K" type lens a pretty interesting lens IMO. Thanks for the education.
I've got three new (very old) lenses coming in tomorrow.
50mm f1.4 S about 1962 10.5cm f2.5 P 1959 13.5cm f3.5 Q about 1963
All three are Nippon Kogaku and have the screwless lens mount. They will not be converted to AI. The 10.5cm is the oldest made in the 1st year of production. I will be using all of these lenses on my Df and early film bodies.
I also took my 35mm f1.4 N off the UV light yesterday. The yellowing due to the Thorium is totally gone. I was very curious how this lens stacked up against the AIS 35mm f1.4. It has less flair wide open than the AIS version but by f2 both lenses perform nearly identically.