Nikkor 55mm F2.8 Micro AIS - Comments/samples?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by rotxlk82, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    I just got myself a Nikkor 55mm F2.8 AIS (primarily for use with my film cameras). Does anyone have any comments on this glass or output samples to share? They’ll help ease my wait for the package to arrive!

    The focal length and close (1:2) focusing ability appeals to my shooting style so I thought it might be worth a try.

    Thanks for your input
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
  2. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    I have this lens. It's very sharp at all distances and at wide apertures. The deeply recessed front element is well shaded from glare. The shorter focal length makes it easier to handhold than the 100mm macro lenses. If you don't need a faster aperture it's an excellent lens to use in place of the faster 50mm lenses. In fact, I tend to regard it as a standard lens with built-in macro for occasional closeups, rather than a macro lens. If I want to do more serious macro, I use the longer 100 or 200mm macro lenses. The only downside is that the bokeh (rendition of background) is rather harsh.
     
  3. One thing to watch out for is oil on the aperture blades. According to Bjorn, it's best to store the lens with the mount down. This apparently helps prevent the problem.

    Enjoy the lens; it's a good one.
     
  4. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Thanks for your reply.

    I am glad you made the comment about the 55mm being like standard lens with built in macro because that's exactly what I bought it for! Don't get me wrong, I do like my 50/2 however my shooting style means I often demand close focusing distances which the standard fast prime won't give me. I am prepared to go from F/2 to F/2.8 to get this and what with older AIS glass being so reasonably priced these days I think I made a good decision.

    I still have my modern day Sigma 105mm for serious macro work.
     
  5. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    I will be sure to do that. Oil on the blades doesn't sound good.

    I am sure I have heard of this problem with other glass as well, I think it was the earlier examples of the 35/2 AF.
     
  6. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    suburbia, ny
    Robert
    I am looking into the 55 3.5
    seems like a gem for a nice price
     
  7. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Good luck finding that F3.5 version, I have read a lot of good stuff about it.

    Allthough as I mentioned above I am looking for a lens in the normal range that will also take good close-ups and therefore I figured that having a faster apeture would be an advantage.
     
  8. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    suburbia, ny
    I understand
    was just throwing one out there...:wink:
     
  9. As mentioned, it's a great example of the AIS lenses - sharp, well built, and largely faultless. Its primary failing is the lack of AF, hardly something to be held against a lens made before the introduction of AF systems.

    I find relatively few uses for this other than copy work - although when it works, it works extremely well. I've shot mostly historic documents with this lens, and it's really good at that.
     
  10. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Thanks for your input Brian, I am looking forward to shooting with this glass.

    The AF issue doesn't really bother me, I am buying this lens pretty much entirely for use on my MF film cameras. I may use it on the D50 a bit however that body will not give me metering and I have my Sigma 105mm attached to it most of the time anyway.

    I will be sure so share some digital images when it arrives however, it certainly seems to have some good positive acclaim from the online community.
     
  11. Mine had oil on the aperture blades, so it sat for a few years. I eventually decided to take it apart and clean it. This lens comes apart (and goes back together) pretty easily. I obviously cleaned the lens surfaces, whilst I was in there.

    I just did a quick text test with it wide open (f2.8) and the Noct at f2.8. The 55 aquitted itself very well. I also tried the 24-70 and the 50mm f1.8 ais - same result. This is only giving an idea of the sharpness capabilities, but even so.

    As Roland said, it's great that the front element is so deeply set that a lens hood is unnecessary. It feels like a well put together lens.

    Have fun!


    Regards,
     
  12. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Thanks for the input Steve. I will be particually careful to check that the apeture blades are free from oil when I get my hands on the lens, hopefully it won't be a problem.

    I have read elsewhere on the web about the performance of this lens even at F2.8 the fact that it holds up well against the modern 50/1.8D and 24-70/2.8 must be a good thing.

    I have good feelings about this lens and will be sure to report back to the Cafe once I have it (by Wednesday). Thanks again for you input, R.