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Manual Focus AI-S Gems?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by helmet155, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. I'm thinking of stepping up to the D200 or a D2Hs in the future and was wondering what your favorite AI-S lenses are? 50/1.4 is about the only one I hear people raving about...

    I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for good deals and pick a few of them up if I see them and hope you could give me some input.

    Thank you

  2. Check out Bjørn Rørslett's
    site for plenty of information on various Nikkor lenses.

    I own the 105/2.5 AIS and it is a beauty. Very sharp, small, lightweight and a dream to focus!
  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Here you have the hottest insider's tip for a truly superb lens on D2x/D200: the 28 mm f/3.5 (non-AI or early AI) Nikkor. Can be had dirt cheap, absolutely marvellous performance, allows you to shoot straight into the sun without creating massive flare and ghosting, small and inconspicuous, great for IR shooting, and almost nobody pays any attention to it.

    I've considered updating its rating to "5" on my web pages, but need to do a little more research as to the performance of the various generations of this lens before making the change. My lens is a late non-AI with 0.3 m close focus and the small rear element, while the following AI model had larger rear element and the importance of this for its imaging quality on DSLRs remains to be seen.

    If I told the world more about this little gem, asking prices probably would soar like they already have done on the 28/2 and 35/1.4 Nikkors. So keep the secret and snatch up a good sample while they still come cheap.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. Bjorn and all, thanks for the tips...is there a differentiation between the Early AI and others that are not as desirable?

    From what I can tell from the D2H and D200 lens charts, the AI, AI-S and Series E that have been AI modified will all work...


  6. nfoto

    nfoto Guest


    I simply don't know. There are substantial variations in optical design within the 28 line, hence my reluctance to publish a top rating for a lens which (in theory) may have variations of lesser performance.

    The last model of the non-AI had focus to 0.3m and a small rear element, thus can be whole-heartedly recommended. It needs to be AI-modified of course, but there are commercial sources for doing this modication.
  7. Hmmmm, so I guess I'll be holding on to mine then...:biggrin: :biggrin:
    (seriously, this is one of the very few old MF lenses that I kept mainly for nostalgia. I do have the Ai 50mm f:1.4 also :biggrin: :biggrin:
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Ok I have a Nikkor 28mm 1:2.8

    How so I know what vintage it is.

    Manual I know.

    Advantages disadvantages. Went to Bjorns site, but I am still to new at this stuff.

    Not really sure I should keep it.
  9. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi gale-

    roland vink has a very useful page with serial numbers that's helpful in determining the age and type of your nikon lenses.


  10. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I do have that seriel #

    Let me have a look.
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
  12. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Then you already own a gem (it has CRC and focus to 0.2m, very very sharp for near subjects).
  13. One other Ai MF beauty I have is the 300mm f:2.8.

    It is quite the beast (sorry UF) - built like a tank. Focusing is not that hard. I understand that a number of Pros use MF anyway in a number of instances. The lens makes great images and is sharp, sharp, sharp...

    (WARNING!! - shameless plug :biggrin: :biggrin: ):
    In fact I have it up for sale here - with some sample shots (unfortunately shot in dull winter conditions): https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=56106
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. Keaka


    Oct 13, 2005
    Richmond BC
    55mm Micro-Nikkor :) 
  15. There are lots of great MF lenses. I have been reading Bjorn's pages and have been buying a bunch to try during the last year.

    Here is my list:
    * 28mm F2.0 AIS, Very little flare and ghosting, sharp works well for night shots and of course sunsets
    * 35mm F1.4 AIS, the sharpest of them all
    * 50mm F1.8 AIS supersharp on the D2X, 60 dollars or so. How can you go wrong?
    * 55mm Micro F2.8 AIS, cheap and good for distance too.
    * 58mm Noct, but we all knew that before...
    *105mm F1.8 AIS, Sharp as you know what, bokeh smooth as butter
    * 50-300mm AIS ED Very heavy but supersharp with the D2X
  16. Hey bjorn, can you tell the world that the 35/1.4 and the 105/1.8 suck? I've been looking around and they're crazy expensive, help drive the prices down some so I can afford them :tongue:
  17. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Too late, I'm afraid. Too many people have reacted to my earlier messages and picked up these lenses.
  18. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Thank You Bjorn,
    Re: the 28 2.8 information.
  19. Mike,
    Where were you when I sold the 35mm f/1.4? I still have the 28mm f/2. It's way back in the for sale section. It has a very late s/n 607274.
  20. Seymore

    Seymore Guest

    Hey Brett... I picked up an older Nikkor 135/2.8 AIS that I can't say enough good things about. I think I spent $40 on it, and it's been used quite a bit... mounted on the D70. BTW, I do also have a 50/1.4... but it only comes out on rare ocassions.

    Now, without a focus screen, it hit-n-miss on finding the sweet spot with a MF lens on some digital bodies, but some of the shots... well, take a look!

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