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How is the image quality from e series lens.. have a chance to pick some up.. I understand no meter no af on my d70.. but with the new light meter I am getting soon.. was just wondering how these are.. thanks in advance
The series-E lenses were the budget line made from around 1978-1985. They were the first Nikon lenses to use significant amounts of plastic in the construction making them smaller, lighter and cheaper than the Nikkor counterparts. The optics are generally simple and the coatings are not as good as Nikkors.
The 28/2.8E has a simple 5 element design, not particularly good wide open although fine when stopped down. The AF 28/2.8 (non D) has the same optics but with better coatings.
The 35/2.5E is optically similar (but not the same) as the AiS 35/2.8. It's good when stopped down. The optics are not multicoated so take care when shooting into the sun.
The 50/1.8E has the same optics as the late AiS version and the AF versions including the current 50/1.8D, so it's very sharp. The E version is not multicoated. This lens is very compact. It only focuses to 0.6m (2 feet) compared to 0.45m (1.5 feet) for other 50mm lenses, so not good for closeups.
The 100/2.8E is Nikon's smallest, lightest telephoto. It is very sharp and near as good as the bigger 105/2.5, but the rendition is not as smooth. It is not multicoated so use a hood when shooting into the sun. One of my favorite E lenses.
The 135/2.8E is similar to the AiS equivalent but with a simplified optical design. Personally I'd go with the AiS version as it is only slightly longer and heavier, better built, and focuses closer.
The 36-72/3.5 is in some ways the successor to the 43-86/3.5 zoom, with a similarly odd focal range, one-touch design, 2x zoom and constant f3.5 aperture. It's supposed to be quite good but with low contrast. A big drawback is the long 1.2m close focus limit.
The 75-150/3.5 is my other favorite E lens. With a constant f3.5 aperture is it only 1/2 stop slower than the big "pro" zooms, yet it is a fraction of the size or cost. The optical design is similar to the Ai 80-200/4.5 with good sharpness at all settings, dropping of just slightly at the telephoto end. It focuses to 1m at all zoom settings so it quite good for closeup work. It performs well with closeup filters (3T, 4T).
The 70-210/4 was the last and biggest E lens introduced. It is similar to the AiS 80-200/4. As with other E lenses, performance is close but not equal to the AiS version.