Nikon 35mm f/1.4 Ai vs Ai-S

Joined
Oct 3, 2008
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Leiria
Hi, guys.


I'd like to know if someone has made some comparison between these two versions.

Apparently, there are some differences: not only physically (at the front), but they also have different focus throw and, most importantly, the Ai has 7 aperture blades, whereas the Ai-S as 9.

Anyway, I was looking into a deal on a 35 1.4, but then discovered that it was the Ai version (serial #402xxx). And since pretty much all the internet reviews and samples of this lens are from the Ai-S version, I was wondering if someone has compared the two. Or, at least, has some samples taken with the Ai version - I just want to know if it is as good as the Ai-S version.

(Here, you can find the differences I'm talking about: http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html#35)

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
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The Netherlands
Hi,

I have had both, now I just have the AIS version for my own collection.
Wide open it is as good as the AI-S version.. they are both bad in my opinion. I collect fast AIS prime lenses because I love to shoot with available light. But the 35/1.4 lenses are wide open the worst I have ever had, it is full of CA and purple fringing.
I have not really tested them stopped down but I remember the AI is very sharp at f/2.8..but then again you don't buy it to use it at f/2.8. If you want to use them at f/1.4 just buy the cheaper AI version.. if you can live with f/2 buy the 35/2 AIS, it is a nice lens as well. Orr the samyang 35/1.4... that lens beats the nikon versions, I had it next to my 35/1.4AI and the sammy is just lovely.. drawback is its size though.
 
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First time I'm hearing that, to be honest. I'll have to take a better look at reviews and samples, then.

So that we're clear: you're saying that the fact that the Ai version only has 7 aperture blades isn't noticeable when using wide open? And the bokeh, is it about the same?

Thanks for your input.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
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The Netherlands
Hi,
In my opinion the MF 35mm 1.4's are my worst lenses wide open because of the CA.. (the 50 and 55 1.2's are not great but still acceptable)
wide open you don't notice the blades, as far as I have red the optics are the same. Here an example with the AI version (wide open).. I think shot with a Nikon FM with some 200 or 400iso film
nnk6bn.jpg
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The bokeh between the AI and AIS should be different when stopped down although I have never tested it.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
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Morten - BLX - has the Ai-s version of this lens and regularly posts some really lovely shots with it.

I'll take a look to see if I can find you some of his work.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
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well, I have the 9 bladed Ais version and like it. I now primarily use with my DSLRs so cleaning up CA is pretty easy in Lightroom - i get used to it since my older MF fast lenses have CA issues. The lens gets really sharp at F/2 and up. I will try to find wide open but I dont have exif access on this work pc - here are couple at F/8
from a D700 or D800

8303422651_0a40bd6a9c_c.png
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7625134520_8f2723df83_c.jpg
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7625132864_4ac18209bd_c.jpg
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Joined
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Very nice. Thanks for finding and sharing that.

well, I have the 9 bladed Ais version and like it. I now primarily use with my DSLRs so cleaning up CA is pretty easy in Lightroom - i get used to it since my older MF fast lenses have CA issues. The lens gets really sharp at F/2 and up. I will try to find wide open but I dont have exif access on this work pc - here are couple at F/8
from a D700 or D800

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8212/8303422651_0a40bd6a9c_c.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7127/7625134520_8f2723df83_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8168/7625132864_4ac18209bd_c.jpg

Yes, CA doesn't bother me that much as well, for the reasons you mention.
Thanks for the samples anyway.


Well, the truth is, the eBay auction of the Ai version of this lens that made me start this thread ended today and I managed to let it slip... It ended at 240€. Damn. :mad:
 
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