Old lenses still in use?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by patrickh, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    The recent thread of LLD sufferers looking for their own grails of glass showed up a surprising number of people using AI and AIS MF lenses. One danger of starting a thread like this is the fact that many of these great old lenses are very cheap on ebay and elsewhere and demand could be fostered by sharing too many in secrets. I must blame my own LLD in this area on Bjorn Rorslett (listening?) - even though I have to go completely manual on the D70 with them.

    BUT - so many of them are incredible gems - I remember the thrill of the first portraits with the 105/2.5 for example. So, you MF users - what are your favorites? Dont have to be Nikkors - other makes with adapters will do.

    20/4, 28/2, 35/1.4, 50/2, 55/2.8 micro, 105/2.5, 135/2.8, 200/4 micro, 300/4.5 ED (not IF).
     
  2. Please delete this thread for those of us just beginning here... :roll:
     
  3. I just bought a 55mm f/3.5 AI macro. Little hard to MF on the D70 VF but it's a great and cheap entry to macro shooting. Looking around for a PK-13 to bring it to 1:1.
     
  4. I have to admit that I like the old Nikkors. In addition to the fact that some of them have timeless optics (as regards quality), I like the robust build. A pity that most of the really exceptional performers are not produced any longer (like the UV-Nikkor, etc.) and, even on the very rare occasions they are offered at ebay, they are not cheap.

    My most used MF lens, however, is not so antique - the 45/2.8 P.
     
  5. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Harry, that's interesting since yours was the list that partly got me to start this thread. I forgot to mention I have the 45, and that is one of the lenses with just about everything, including the fact that it can use the automatic light metering of the D70 and only manual focus is needed. GenoP has done some wonders with that lens.
     
  6. Patrick, I also have the 105 f2.5 AIS and love it. It's very sharp! (One of the reasons I bought it). I also looked at the 400 3.5 and 500 4 (I think). They wouldn't be good for flight shots but maybe the posed ones. Manual focusing is a small price to pay for incredible optics.
     
  7. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi patrick-

    the favorite MF lens that i own was my 50mm f/1.8E. it's a good all-around lens, plus it's small and light. it's since been replaced by an AF version though.

    i've added one MF lens since i went digital, the 300mm f/2.8 AIS. it's a recent addition, so i don't have that much experience with it yet. from what i've seen, the lens matches its reputation for excellent image quality.

    the one nice thing about MF lenses is the feel of the focusing mechanism. the clutch mechanism of some tokina and sigma AF lenses don't compare, and neither does nikon's AF-S.

    ricky
     
  8. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Ricky
    I have heard or read good things about the 100/2.8E and am keeping a weather eye open for one. I believe several are much better optically than the plastic construction suggests. But, as Harry S said, a lot of the attraction is the "built like a tank" quality of many of these older lenses. My 200/4 micro is really tatty on the outside (dings, brassing etc), but performs impeccably - I only wish the operator could say the same.
     
  9. Hi Patrick,

    I recently acquired a 28mm f/3.5 PC lens in immaculate condition from a local photographer through eBay. He babied this lens and included a bevy of accessories with it. It is the perfect lens for architectural imagery (interior or exterior). It will be a while before I can master this lens, even though I have zero experience with perspective control or manual focus lenses. :oops:
     
  10. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Crystal
    Take it slowly - get a meter if you can - use a tripod. And remember - it's only reusable card space. Take lots of shots and vary the exposures. You will soon master it I am sure.
     
  11. Igor

    Igor

    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    I've got about 50 old Nikkors in my collection, all of them are at least not worse than modern AF stuff...

    As for fav's: 50-300/4 AIS, 200/2, 400/5.6, 400/3.5 with TC-301 (wow!), 35/1.4, 105/1.8, 135/2, 80-200/4, 35-200.
    Oh, forgot about 180/2.8 (all versions starting from P)
     
  12. The MF Nikkors are pure sweetness, and one of the nicest things about the D2x/h series is the usability of the old lenses, complete with matrix metering.

    As for my MF favorities, here's how I'd rank what I have:

    AIS 105mm f/2.5 -- The consummate tight portrait lens. (I have two of them.)
    AIP 45mm f/2.8 -- Wonderful for full body portraits.
    AIS 135mm f/2.8 -- Excellent compact telephoto on the D2x.
    AIS 24mm f/2.8 -- High quality, compact.
    AIS 200mm f/4 -- A bargain among used lenses.
    AIS 85mm f/2 -- I love this on my FM3a, but haven't tried it yet on the D2x .

    I have coveted an AIS 35/1.4 for a long while, but for what I'd use that focal length for on the D2x I think I'd be better served by AF. (Hence my interest in the upcoming Sigma 30/1.4.)

    LLD tends to be somewhat less pernicious with MF Nikkors, simply because the cost of these lenses does less damage to the budget. Oh wait....that only means you can buy more of them. Dang, the affliction never ends. :cry:

    Best wishes,

    David
     
  13. 105 f2.5 (Original Sonnar construction). I had it AI'd and still use it viz:
    26636003.
    Still have a 55 f3.5 micro and a 50mm f1.4 as well.
     
  14. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Dave, What a fun shot, is that an old Bentley? That lens has to be one of the best ever made by any company.
    David, I recently acquired the 35/1.4 and am still practising with it, but so far it is certainly on a par at least with the greats (the 20/4 and the 28/2 that I also love). That is a great collection, I would like to lay hands on the 85/2. Is it as good as it is reputed to be? May be my next object of desire (or possibly the 1.4 AIS).
     
  15. Hi Patrick,

    I do envy you that 35/1.4....but somehow I'm going to manage to resist until reports are in about the Sigma 30/1.4. Really. I'm going to manage. Really I am.

    As for the 85/2, it is built beautifully, just like all the classic AIS Nikkors, and it's sharp with good color and pleasing bokeh. It is no match for the 85/1.4, however (I have the AF version), but for the difference in price the f/2 is a real bargain. They are unfortunately sometimes a bit difficult to find on the used market, but well worth hunting one down.

    Best wishes,

    David
     
  16. ...please stop it!

    as soon as my D70 will start to meter with these lenses I would be happy to join this LL Case.....

    But for now I have to look away (or rob a bank to get the $ for a D2H/X) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
     
  17. pssst.....keh has the 85 f1.4 and 85 f2, and quite a selection to boot. I'm being seduced by the 50-300 myself but I'm able to hold back -- for now! ;)
     
  18. Fantastic Advice...thank you!

    Patrick,

    Thank you for the advice. I do not own a meter. Do you have any suggestions with respect to brand and price? As far as taking plenty of shots, no problem there, I use 2 gigabyte cards. I wonder if the bracketing feature on the D70 works with this lens?? Hmm, much to learn. Thanks again. :D
     
  19. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi michael-

    you don't need the d70 to meter. the great thing about digital is the instant feedback. start with the sunny 16 rule, set your aperture and shutter speed, take a photo, check the histogram, and adjust as needed.

    there's also the option of having an AI lens chipped. the selection is limited, but it's one way to get metering on a d70.

    ricky

     
  20. patrickh

    patrickh

    666
    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Crystal,
    No meter, no problem. Guess the exposure from experience or using an AF lens to get a reading. Then take the shot. Check the histogram in the LCD viewer (use the side to side roll on the master button to get to it). Histogram far to left, open aperture or slower speed, histogram far to right, shut down aperture or faster speed, histogram mostly in the middle (nothing in the extreme ends) exposure spot on. You can use the garbage can for the bad exposures. Do not recommend this for action sports or birds in flight, but it works. Personally I have always been a fan of the Luna Pro series of light meters, very simple and reliable. German made and last forever. You can get decent copies from a place like KEH or take chances on ebay. Sekonic is another good make. You are entering this dark side at your peril, it can get very engrossing seeking that dead on exposure in perfect focus with no help from the camera.....
     
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