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AIS and other manual gems?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by faenix, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    My first ever camera was a Nikon N80 and a 28-80. I moved straight onto a D70 and have never looked back since.

    I can't help but notice the beauty of these manual lenses though. I used a 50mm f/1.4 on a FM3 (I think) and it was built like a rock and it took tack sharp, contrasy b&w photos.

    Do you guys know the gem's of Nikon's AIS/manual lens era? I might be interested in picking up a few. Also, which will meter with a D70/D2H and which won't?

  2. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    No manual lens (without a CPU) will meter with D70 or its ilk, but they will on the D2X/D2H/D2HS and the D1/D1X/D1H cameras.

    You might consult my lens reviews at http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html for a taste of which gems there are to sample (many :)  )
  3. Hi Faenix,

    Bjorn is, of course, correct about the lack of metering with the D70 and the AIS lenses. However, with digital all is not lost. By using the review and looking at the histogram, you are able to somewhat overcome this hurdle.

    An example of a nice lens where this might work is the 55mm f2.8 micro. The speed of working might not be that important, and this is an excellent AIS lens.


    Steve D.
  4. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Bjorn was the cause of my lens lust built around the AI/AIS lenses from the past and his reviews are very accurate in my experience. I use them regularly on the D70 and they behave impeccably, but you have to do everything manually - focus and meter. I use an old light meter, which is how I grew up anyway. As for lenses - there are a myriad of them, and all available at decent prices. 28/2, 35/1.4, 85/1.4, 105/2.5, 135/2.8, 200/4 micro, 300/4.5 EDIF all spring to mind. All are built like proverbial tanks and all are sharp in the extreme.
  5. Same here. But I'm happy that I read his reviews thoroughly. Although I don't use them that often now, I have been very happy with the results I got with the 28/2.0 and 35/1.4.
  6. Bjorn has a lot to answer for!

    I think I will have to give his e-mail address to my wife.

    I have just won an auction on eBay for a 50-300ED! The thing is I do not yet possess the D2X, so I guess I will need to get that to really make it shine. And then maybe a Wimberley Sidekick, or even the full Wimberley!

    Yes! A lot to answer for. This has really put back my purchase of the 85mm f1.4. That would have been the sensible buy.

    What was it again ... naturfotograf or something like that.
  7. Tom_Kline


    Apr 24, 2005
    One does not metering for a lens to work! Case in point is that I have used the D70 on microscopes with some success - both stereo and compound. I have a metal focusing mount 28/2 with faked Ai and it works fine on the D70, and even meters on the D2H!
  8. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    You can establish a correct exposure for manual lenses on the D70 in one of three ways - keep guessing until it looks right on the LCd, check the histogram on the LCD and make progressive adjustments or use a light meter. One way or another you must get the correct combination of aperture and shutter speed for the exposure - and the camera will not set either of them on manual lenses (AI and AIS). You are correct - you do not need to use a meter.
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