Nominations for the Cheap Glass Hall of Fame - Updated 12/21/13

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Lens prices have skyrocketed, and to make it worse, suppliers threaten to cut off any retailer who cuts us a break on list price. It's time to get pool our knowledge and create a catalog of affordable (as in dirt cheap) lenses.

If you personally own a lens that cost you less than $300 when you bought it, used or new, tell us where and when you acquired it, and show some samples of its renderings. I'll maintain a list of lenses that have been submitted. Please consult it, and no repeats please.

Cheap Lenses Nominated

BELL AND HOWELL
Bell&Howell 135mm f2.8 AIS Post #66

NIKKOR
Nikon 18-55vr Post #105
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G Post #51
Nikon 18-105mm VR Post #5
Nikon 20mm f/3.5UD (AI'd) Post #42
Nikon 20mm f/3.5 AI-s Post #6
Nikon 20mm f/4 AI-s Post #185
Nikon 24-85G f/3.5-5.6 Post #145
Nikon Lens Series E: 28/2.8 Post #73
Nikon 28mm f/3.5 K (AI'd) Post #2
Nikon 28mm 2.8 AIS Post #181
Nikon AF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 D Post #27
Nikon 28-80 3.3-5.6 Post #112
Nikon 28-85 f/3.5-4.5 Post #69
Nikon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 Post #55
Nikon 28-200 G f/3.5-5.6 Post #142
Nikon 35 1.8 DX Post # 13
Nikon 35mm f/2 AF Post #4
Nikon 35mm f2 AI Post #104
Nikon 35-70 2.8 Post #31
Nikon 35-135 f3.5-4.5 Post #204
Nikon 40mm 2.8 Post #33
Nikon 50mm f1.2 AI Post #44
Nikon 50mm E-Series f/1.8 Post #72
Nikon 50mm f1.8. Oldest AIS Post #134
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Post #8
Nikon 50 1.8G AF-S Post #110
Nikon 50mm f/2.0 H.C. Post #29
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 AIS Post #166
Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5 AI Post #168
Nikon 55-200mm VR Post #11
Nikon 60mm f/2.8D Micro-Nikkor Post #9
Nikon 70-210 f/4-5.6 AF-D Post #35
Nikon 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 D Post #175
Nikon 75-150E Post #136
Nikon 85mm f2 AI Post #20
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 Post #103
Nikon 100 f2.8 E Post #14
Nikon 105 2.8 AIS Macro Post #90
Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-s Post #7
Nikon 135mm f3.5 AI Post #151
Nikon 135 f/2.8 Ai-S Post #12
Nikon 200mm F4 AI Post #100
Nikon 200mm F4 Ai-s Post #108
Nikon 500/8 mirror (1:2.5 version) Post #43

QUANTARAY
Quantaray 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF Post #62

ROKINON/SAMYANG
Rokinon (Samyang) 8mm F3.5 Post #63
Rokinon (Samyang) 85mm f/1.4 Post #144

SIGMA
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5 - f/6.3 DC OS Post #197
Sigma 24mm f2.8 Post #22
Sigma 24-60 f/2.8 Post #68
Sigma 28-300 3.5-6.3 Macro (full frame) Post #131
Sigma 90mm macro Post #111

TAMRON
Tamron 17mm f/3.5 Post #24
Tamron AF 17-35mm f2.8-4 Post #177
Tamron 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 Post #135
Tamron 20-40 f2.7-3.5 Post #106
Tamron SP 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Post #57
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 Post #40
Tamron 28-105 f/4-5.6 Post #149
Tamron 28 - 200mm 1:3.8 - 5.6 Macro AF XR Post #47
Tamron SP Adaptal 35-80mm f/2.8-3.8 macro Post #141
Tamron 60-300mm (23a SP) Post #64
Tamron 70-210mm f3.5-4 macro Post #147
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Macro Post #132
Tamron 500mm f8 mirror Post #107

TOKINA
Tokina AT-X 28-70 pro II Post #178
Tokina AF 300mm f/4 AT-X Post #171
Tokina 500mm f/8 mirror Post #15

VIVITAR
VIVITAR (Komine) 28mm f /2.8 Post #116
Vivitar 28-70 2.8 macro Post #10
Vivitar 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 Macro Post #195
Vivitar 70-150/3.8 CF Post #58
Vivitar I 90/2.5 Macro Post # 199

ZENITAR
Zenitar 16mm f/2.8/16 Fisheye Lens Post #124
 
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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
I picked my ai'd Nikon 28/3.5K from KEH.com last year for the princely sum of $50. It was bargain grade, but the glass is clean, and the focusing mechanism is smooth.

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Due to it's enormous DOF, it's pretty easy to get well focused results from this lens on the d700.

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Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
462
Location
Kingsville, Ohio
50mm f/1.8, just about any version.

That 28 f/3.5 was the first Nikon W/A I bought when I got into Nikon in the early 1980s. We used film then.
It was great. Much better than the very costly 35 f/2 that I bought after I sold the 28mm to fund the purchase.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
6,690
Location
So Fla
the often maligned 35/2
non D, when they were still metal and made in japan
$150 on the cafe

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vastly underrated 75-150E
free here on the Cafe
can find them for $100 or less easily

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the two are my street staples
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
5,049
Location
San Diego, Ca. (Fallbrook)
20mm f/3.5 AI-S.

Lens prices have skyrocketed, and to make it worse, suppliers threaten to cut off any retailer who cuts us a break on list price. It's time to pool our knowledge and create a catalog of affordable (as in dirt cheap) lenses.

If you personally own a lens that cost you less than $300 when you bought it, used or new, tell us where and when you acquired it, and show some samples of its renderings. I'll maintain a list of lenses that have been submitted. Please consult it, and no repeats please.

Already Nominated
Nikon 35mm f/2.5 K (AI'd)
Great idea Frank. I purchased this lens used from a camera shop (Bev-Ray) in Temecula, Ca. and I think I paid $50.00 for it several years ago.

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Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
5,049
Location
San Diego, Ca. (Fallbrook)
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI-s. Bev-Ray camera in Temecula, Ca. purchased used several years ago for $100.

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Nikkor 50-300mm f/4.5 AI. Craigslist @ $275.00 three years ago.

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Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,472
Location
Lompoc, CA
50mm f/1.8 AF for 50 bucks on ebay. Truly the thrifty 50.

Reflections on Bridalveil Falls:

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Last light on Half Dome:

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Fall Colour:

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Rabbitbrush and granite:

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Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
779
Location
Destin, Fl
Vivitar 28-70 2.8 macro

$25 at my local store

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Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
200
Location
Oregon Monsoon Central
FWIW all my lenses cost less than $300

Nikon 55-200mm VR is my favorite. I have two.
One was $150 as part of a D3100 package deal. I have a second that cost $60 at a pawn shop. It's stashed away as a spare.

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View attachment 972998
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
6,595
Location
Arizona
135 f/2.8 Ai-S

Can't recall what I originally paid, but they are going for about $200 - $225 at KEH right now (EX condition).

I like the focal length. The bokeh on this one is generally nice, but sometimes can be a bid odd. Under certain conditions color fringing (green and purple) occurs. Overall very surprised at how well it performed on the D700.

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Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
2,445
Location
South Orange, NJ
I have to throw the 35 1.8 DX in the group.

Only $199, silent AF-S, and it works wonders on FX in FX mode.

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Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
1,659
Location
AZ
100 f2.8 E, $99.00 from KEH
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Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
682
Location
Houston Texas
Tokina 500mm f/8 mirror
$75.00 at a local store

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Also my mint copy of the Nikkor 180 f/2.8
Paid $300.00 at another local store

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Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
662
Location
Hollywood, USA
For DX, this is the easiest thing to answer... The 18-55 VR, 55-200 VR and 35 1.8. A three lens kit that does just about everything a serious amateur with good technique needs with low cost and light weight.

I didn't follow my own recommendation. I spent a lot more on my lens kit. But I know that I'm gaining very little in sharpness or low distortion... Only speed.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
1,117
Location
New Zealand
The 28 f/2.8 AI-s. Exceptionally sharp right up close to middle distance. The AI-s has a floating element design where the earlier AI version does not.

The 105 f/2.5 AI. The same optically as the AI-s version but with a much longer focus throw and a larger metal hood which is detachable. It also can be bought for less than the AI-s version.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
743
Location
Southern CT River Valley, CT
I like the 85mm f2 AI. It's one of my pappa-wannabe-razzo lenses. $102 at Fleabay in 2007.

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I also enjoy using the 200mm f4 AI. about $100 at KEH in 2010, BGN rated.

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