Are You missing a Trick?

paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
Nikon and other manufactures are always bringing new lenses out to satisfy the demand of todays photographers, the latest technology offers us reasons why we must have them, even though they cost thousands of £/$.
However Nikon have made some incredible lenses over the years, these lenses are often offered on Ebay at a fraction of the original cost and enable good photographers opportunities lenswise, which can match the results, new lenses can offer.
Downside is that a lot of finest lenses Nikon mades were manual focus AIS type lenses, which seems to be a problem for the modern generation of photographers.
I recently purchased a 30 year old Nikon 800mm Prime lens and found the pleasure and quality this lens can produce unbelievable. Ok it will be hard to capture fast moving objects, but not impossible. When I consider that the capital outlay was less than 7.5% of todays modern equivalent, I can live with that.

Maybe you could find yourself a Lens without breaking the bank and enjoy the pleasure these old lenses can give.
Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
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Comments

  • SamkoSamko Posts: 101Member
    edited April 2016
    I got myself a old Nikkor 135mm 2.8 Ais for 60$. I have no problems getting subjects in focus, its just amazing. The thing I like the most is when I try to focus and I can see the DOF move nice and slow. I have no problem getting BIF sharp on F:4 , 4-5 frames but its digital so it for free.

    I plan to get more MF lenses, the next lens is going to be a Nikkor 50mm 1.2.
    Post edited by Samko on
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    This was true a few years ago, but the modern super zooms like the 200-500 and the Sigma 150-600 have made the older lenses telephotos look very dated.

    And I have had a good number of Nikon Manual telephoto lenses, 400 F3.5, 400 f5.6, 500 f4P.

    The big problem of the older lenses is CA wide open, even in the center of the frame, stop them down to f8 and they perform very well indeed...but when you can get a modern handholdable Nikon with AF VR for just over 1000bucks with great optics wide open why bother ?

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,444Member
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    Optics is derived from physics, and it doesn't change much, last time I checked. :smiley:

    If you can deal with manual focus and no modern coatings, you can probably pick up some great glass.

    I personally never grew up with manual focus, so I can't deal with that.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @NSXTypeR Yes, the physics of optics are well understood, but breakthroughs in material science happen all the time. Fluorite lens elements are an example of this. The practical application of phase fresnel or diffractive optics took a breakthrough in optical physics to be able to harness this in a consumer lens. The older lens designs are subject to CA and other astigmatism which ultimately limit their resolution. The use of computers to calculate and model better lens design can not be underestimated, and is why modern designs are able to limit aberrations. Finally, the use of composite materials that have little to no thermal expansion coefficient enable these designs to deliver the best possible image across a range of physical conditions that was unthinkable with glass and metal designs.

    Welcome to the 21st century! That being said, I just picked up a 85mm f/1.8 Ai-S that I love :smile: This is added to my 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S, and a 50mm Nikon E series all from the 70's

    For the price, and for fun and enjoyment these can't be beat, but they won't perform as well optically as their modern counterparts.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,339Member
    I'm not against this in principle (could really be fun!), but if I buy another lens right now I think my head and my wallet will both explode. :'(
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    Honestly, if I had the disposable income, I'd pick up manual focus lenses too. Optical performance aside, they're so pretty and beautifully made, especially when they come with the metal hoods. The precise, smooth action of the manual focus ring is really nice too. Plus, I have my dad's FM2 to pair up with that glass, so there's actually a good reason to get some.

    My wallet wouldn't explode, but it'd be awfully empty.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    I bought a 200 f4 Ais in super beater condition on fleabay for around $5.00. It had about 10% of paint left but the optics were clear and not even a coating scratch. I've tested it against my older 70-200 f.2,8 vr 1 @200 and it preformed much better than the newer lens.

    I've also come to believe that a well used lens is a great lens.

    I also have and use:

    15mm f/3.5 Ais, this lens great, I don't care what KR said about it. Interior car and airplane photo are fabulous using this lens.

    16mm f/3.5 AI'd, this IMHO is the best FF fisheye and fun lens.

    28mm f/2.8 Ais full time in my case. My #1 pano lens.

    50mm f/1.4 Ais sits on shelve.

    105mm f/2.5 Ais sits on shelve. I just can't let myself to get rid of this lens. Under the right condition I might still use it or have it buried along with my F4 when I die.

    framer
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    One of my tenants died a month or so ago and there does not seem to be any relatives claiming his possessions. If nobody steps forward, it is mine. The loot includes a dozen Nikon Fs with various Ai, Ais and D lenses attached, some F3s with lenses attached, an 85 1.8G, a 400 2.8 Ais, an 800 8.0 Ais, two Gitzco tripods with RRS heads. The D800 manual does not have a camera and the 300 2.8 VR1 case has no lens, so I think he sold those to pay for his prescrptions. Also a couple of view cameras and Hasselblad film camera.

    There is some fun stuff in this collection.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    Maybe if there are stuff you dont want you can give it as a prize on the forum as a memorium for the poor guy. He was a Nikon user after all, I am sure if we knew him we probably would have got on well.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    I found a Nikon AFS Nikkor ED 500mm f/4D for $3000. The lens looks like it's in excellent condition. Very few marks and the glass is clean. Question, is this a deal or should I pass. Includes the HK-34 Carbon Fibre Hood and CT-502 Hard Case.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member

    Maybe if there are stuff you dont want you can give it as a prize on the forum as a memorium for the poor guy. He was a Nikon user after all, I am sure if we knew him we probably would have got on well.

    Actually, he has more Canon than Nikon.........that is going to a Canonista friend of mine.
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    autofocus said:

    I found a Nikon AFS Nikkor ED 500mm f/4D for $3000. The lens looks like it's in excellent condition. Very few marks and the glass is clean. Question, is this a deal or should I pass. Includes the HK-34 Carbon Fibre Hood and CT-502 Hard Case.

    I have the 600F4 AFS non VR - it is an *exceptional* lens. No CA wide open in the center so no blue/red edges on birds against bright skies, amazingly quick autofocus and tracking ( much faster than any of the modern zooms ) and possibly my sharpest lens, even on D7100 and D810 with very high pixel density.

    The later exotic primes :

    Are lighter
    A hair fraction faster to focus
    Have VR
    Focus closer.
    Slightly sharper at f4

    All of which are important features for pro wildlife users, however the older lens is perfectly capable of getting amazing shots and is still a better option than the 200-500 if you can handle the weight.

    Put it on a Carbon Gitzo 3 series tripod and give it a Carbon Nest NT530 Gimball
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    edited April 2016
    Here is a 100% crop of a Squirrel taken with a D7100 and 600f AFS

    DSC_5620_Crop
    Post edited by spraynpray on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    edited April 2016
    Yep. That's sharp! 1/400th too - nice.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Nikoniser What distance was the lens to subject please.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    7/8 Meters ? This is (nearly) the full shot https://flic.kr/p/EgqAqG
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited April 2016
    While I am not going to purchase any manual focus lenses soon, I have four from the 1960's....yes, 1960's, and they are tack sharp.

    NIKKOR-O Auto 1:2 f=35mm
    NIKKOR-N Auto 1:2.8 f=24mm
    NIKKOR-P Auto 1:4.5 f=300mm
    NIKKOR-H Auto 1:1.8 f=85mm

    Here is a large file of the 85mm
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8706075576/sizes/o/
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    Mine are only a couple of years old, currently in production and have been in production since the early 80s. They are the 20 2.8, 24 2.8, 28 2.8 and 50 1.2, all AIS. I also have a brand new 24 3.5 PC and 40 Voigtlander 2.0.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Yeah, how are you getting on with the 24 PC?
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    I have not had much of a chance to test it yet. Maybe if I had a baby building.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    I had the Nikon 24 PC, but found it unfriendly to use ,so sold it and got the Schneider 90 PC lens a lot easier to use, i know some people love the Nikon version , but sadly it did not work for me.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    I have tested it enough to see that it is unfriendly, but I anticipated that when I ordered it.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    Oh, it must be my poor poor uncle living on the West End that passed away. Such a Nikon fan & collector he was. I'd better come and collect whatever is left :)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    Give me the address and it is yours. But even if you have a list of all the addresses, you only have a one in nineteen hundred chance of getting the right one.
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