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What's so great about the Nikkor 45 P manual focus lens?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. I'm just wondering what's so impressive about the 45mm 'pancake' lens? I'm just wondering what makes it better than the 50mm f/1.8 at 3 times the cost, with no AF? Is it that much sharper? Not trying to doubt the performance, I'm just curious! Thanks for any convincing other-wise!
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jonathan :

    Sensei Ron (or "Ron Sensei" if you prefer the other usage) has extolled this lens for some time. I had the opportunity a bit back to shoot maybe fifty photos with it (not Ron's), and I can see why. It's small, focuses easily, and gives crystalline results. I generally find Ron's comments on lens are eminently fair, and he doesn't praise a lens without very good reason.

    In a sense, if you need a "lens of opportunity" to shoot quickly, this one has a lot of advantages. It's also pretty robust for those moments when you want to have a body and lens ready to yank out of the bag to shoot - something we can't always say about other lenses.

    Like Paul, I miss the split focusing screens of yore, and that's been a prime reason (pun intended) for me to wait on getting this lens. I find that my manual focus with the D100 isn't always what I want it to be, frankly. I've toyed with replacing the focusing screen in my body, but I haven't done this.

    I'm told it works a dream with the better viewfinder on the D2H.

    I'd recommend borrowing one and shooting with it to make your own determination.

    John P.
  4. dkapp


    Mar 18, 2005
    San Francisco
    I've always wanted to try this lens. From what I've seen it is very sharp & has great bokeh. The only thing stopping me is the price.

    Am I the only one, or is this a bit expensive for what it is?

  5. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The 45 P is an endearing lens with excellent image rendition. Also one of the few remaining Nikkors with a substantial build quality.

    The drawbacks with this lens are the far too shallow lens hood (needs to be extended with a K4 or K5 ring), and its small size making it easy to lose the lens in the field (no joke, I'm on my second sample by now).

    An inside tip for D2X owners is that you get an AIS 50/1.8 Nikkor instead of the 45 P. You get even better image quality for a fraction of the price, 1.3 stops faster speed, and a bigger lens which you won't lose that easily :) .
  6. I have one and...

    and there are several reaons why I really love it. It is so small and neat, you wont believe it. If you aren't careful you can loose it, it is so small. Mine is silver and feels like it was built to last forever, no plastic or rubber what so ever, Using it is a charm, it has a cpu chip in it, you just set the focus (works well on the D2H and X viewfinder) dial in your aperture on the camera Body dial and shoot away. It sort of brings you back to basic photography but you can still use the modern body.

    Here is a shot of it in my hand, looks almost rediculously small...
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    And did I mention that it takes superclear sharp pictures already at F2.8 (the 50 MM af 1.4 need to be stopped down to 2.8 IMHO to get sharp so why bother?) Here is one (although not at 2.8...)
    View attachment 6396

    Another one to try is the 50 mm MF 1.2, I bought mine for 16.32 USD on Ebay last week (!) Björn rates it highly...
  7. A lot has been said above about the optical quality of this lens, to which I fully agree.
    However, I would like to throw in a more practical aspect: any camera to which this little thingy is attached hardly gains volume, meaning that you may put it almost anywhere in your photobag.
    In former days I usually had the AFS 28-70 on my camera when it was in my Lowepro Phototrekker, forcing me to put it centrally. With the 45 it easily fits into one of the smaller side compartments.
    Needless to say, I love to shoot with this lens, at least as long as I can trust the focussing ability of my eyes.
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