Nikon FF for cheapskates

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  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,193Member
    CaMeRaQuEsT, I have a 20mm 2.8 Ais which I believe is the same optical formula as yours (I also have the 24, 28 and 50 1.2 which are part of my landscape set).

    Assuming that I am correct about the optical formula, it is an excellent lens. However, it has a distortion that is near impossible to correct in post. You will want to be mindful of that when you shoot horizons.

    Not sure what you shoot, but if you shoot landscapes, the 28 2.8 Ais would be an excellent addition to your 20.
  • SamkoSamko Posts: 101Member
    “A good example: the 35mm 1.8G DX usually sells for the same price as the FX equivalent 50mm 1.8G, but used at the same apertures the 35 is passing only half as many photons.”

    I think ur wrong.
    The size og the sensor dont have anything to do with how much light it takes in.

    Old MF lenses i like right now on d7100:

    50mm f1.8 E
    50mm f2
    100mm 2.8 E
    135mm 2.8

    The 50 f2 is a nice lens, sometimes i say wow when i open the photo.

    And the 135 2.8 is nice when you hit it on 2.8. Stop it down and it gets very sharp.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    Not going to lie - mold fungus issues creep me out a little. But it sounds very hard to avoid if you are in a more humid area. I'm hoping I don't have to worry about it here in NC.

    I live in a tropical country. I grew tired of paying for someone to clean my lenses, so I googled how to DIY and bought some cheap tools on ebay for that. All the Nikkor primes I own are pretty straight forward to take down and most of them have youtube videos about how to. Zooms are exponentially harder, and Tamron designs (including the Nikkor 10-24 and 70-300 Vr) are very hard to re-align if you disassemble their rearmost group.

    But it's best to prevent, so I bought a cheap, micro dehumidifier from ebay and have it running 24/7 inside the showcase were I keep my cameras and optics. Here is the cheapest one I found today:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/VAVA-Small-USB-Dehumidifier-Compact-Moisture-Absorber-for-Bathroom-Closet-Easy/222873873931

    And here is the one I actually own:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Quiet-Electric-Home-Drying-Moisture-Absorber-Air-Room-Dehumidifier-New-C2J5/323023212994

    The cheaper one might be a better choice, as its top, where the air outlet is, is flat, and you can leave an infected lens or camera over it so that it gets continually blown by dryer than ambient air. They are very simple devices using a Peltier heat pump and a small CPU fan, use very little power (runs off mains through a tiny power supply), are very quiet and their functioning generates just enough heat to keep my showcase at a nice temperature. Mine's been running nonstop for more than a year now, so should be long lasting. They are advertised as able to tackle a small room, for example a bathroom, but I really doubt they are powerful enough for that. Mine does fill up its 2 pint container in 3 to 7 days, depending on the ambient humidity. It automatically stops when full, so it won't spill. Ruggard sells some showcases (as shown by Peter) that have similar components built-in, charging a couple grands for that.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member

    CaMeRaQuEsT, I have a 20mm 2.8 Ais which I believe is the same optical formula as yours (I also have the 24, 28 and 50 1.2 which are part of my landscape set).



    Assuming that I am correct about the optical formula, it is an excellent lens. However, it has a distortion that is near impossible to correct in post. You will want to be mindful of that when you shoot horizons.



    Not sure what you shoot, but if you shoot landscapes, the 28 2.8 Ais would be an excellent addition to your 20.

    Yes, all 20 2.8 have the same formula since it first came to market as an Ai-S. The current 24 2.8D goes back even further, unchanged (except for coatings) from the original Ai version, of which I own one and of which I was very happy to own, until today! I also have a 28 2.8 Ai-S, bought because a certain Ken in his website wrote that it was Nikon's sharpest manual focus wide angle lens. I couldn't know as it had terrible sides and corners in DX and its aperture blades got oily when I had the A7. Maybe I'll give it some excising now to see how it works.

    LR is doing a very nice job of taming that distortion (the before and after look significantly different), it even keystones and levels automatically better than I can do (but my lower right corner placed, perfectly round sun becomes eye-shaped after that), same with the 24, which is optically better compensated. Unfortunately LR doesn't have a profile for the 28 2.8 Ai-S, only for the D which, along with the earlier AF version, are a completely different (and worse) optical formula.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    Samko said:

    “A good example: the 35mm 1.8G DX usually sells for the same price as the FX equivalent 50mm 1.8G, but used at the same apertures the 35 is passing only half as many photons.”



    I think ur wrong.

    The size og the sensor dont have anything to do with how much light it takes in.



    Old MF lenses i like right now on d7100:



    50mm f1.8 E

    50mm f2

    100mm 2.8 E

    135mm 2.8



    The 50 f2 is a nice lens, sometimes i say wow when i open the photo.



    And the 135 2.8 is nice when you hit it on 2.8. Stop it down and it gets very sharp.

    "The f-number of an optical system such as a camera lens is the ratio of the system's focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil". So 50mm/1.8=27.78mm of diameter, or a front lens area of 43.63mm2 (area=radius x pi); and 35mm/1.8=19.44mm of diameter, or a front lens area of 30.53mm2. So the DX lens can physically only pass 2/3 as many photons as the FX equivalent FOV. Assuming that both lenses are able to concentrate all the photons that pass through them into their sensor, and given that both the D600 and the D5500 sensors have the same quantum efficiency, or about 50%, the FX sensor is transforming half of that full 1EV that is passing through its lens into electrons, or 1/2 an EV total; meanwhile the DX sensor is transforming half of the 2/3 of an EV that is passing through its lens into electrons, or 1/3 of an EV total. But since the FX sensor is a bit more than twice as large as the DX sensor, it is able to collect more than twice as many photons before it saturates, that's why it can provide a full EV more of DR and half the total noise. And, again, the 35mm 1.8G's depth of field at f1.8 is the same as the 50mm 1.8G stopped down to f2.5.

    I have a 35mm 2.5E that I used all through my film years. It was perfect with the ISO 200-400 negatives I always used, looks Ok in DX, but is absolutely garbage on a 24Mp FX sensor. But that's Ok as it more than payed its $50 dues with all the hundred of rolls of films it has exposed. It now sits pretty in my showcase coupled to its companion for the last 25 years, my F3.

    I'm still not very sold on the idea of using anything tighter than 85mm in FX for portraits. I had an 85mm 1.8G for my DX cameras (equivalent to a 128mm in FX) that I basically only used the first couple of days after I bought it. I was standing too far away from my main subjects, my kids and my wife, thus they lost patience with me fast, also I had to use speeds of 1/250 or above to keep thinks tack sharp, so it was essential to shoot with very good light, as the lens was best when shot at f2.5. I don't know, maybe the 50 1.4 will be good enough for me, I'll give the FOV a chance to redeem itself this time, as I absolutely hated to shoot with the 50mm lenses that my dad's and my gramp's cameras had, before I fell in love with my F3/35mm 2.5E combo.

    Lastly, it's no more MF lenses on the D600 for me, it takes too long to acquire focus, even with the electronic rangefinder and the really nice view out of the OVF. With 24Mp, focus is absolutely crucial, and with my main subjects, timing is more so. I tried my 85mm 1.8 Ai-S today with them and almost all shots came out of focus.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    As far as the aperture stuff - I believe that's how it's always been with Nikon. Pretty sure my old film camera was like that.

    I figured out what was going on: customs settings f5 "Customize command dials"/"Aperture setting": I had it set at "Sub-command dial". Setting it at "Aperture ring" restores the functionality.

  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    More impressions: the D600 is able to AF the D5500's AF-P kit lens after updating it with the latest FW, but there is still no menu item for disengaging VR. There is no Auto ISO when shooting movies in M, the mic pre-amp seems to be very noisy, and there is absolutely no way of making the Ok button zoom in to 100% in either shooting or playback mode, or to limit punching + to 100%, I always have to punch - twice to get back to 100%. It absolutely tires my hand if I keep grabbing it while idle, but then I'm spoiled by both the D5500's lightness and grip design in this regard (Nikon, please forget about FF mirrorless, just make a D5500 sized FF, but with a proper pentaprism, that should be very easy to do, right?). A certain Ken was right: the AF version of the 20mm is not precise: the whole optics barrel wobbles with the AF motor's movements, changing composition (and perhaps alignment, too) ever so slightly, for example, if you use continuos AF. Ai-S and older, and current AF-S and AF-P lenses are tight in this regard.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    Just received my "ugly" Tamron 28-75 from KEH. Not really ugly, just filthy, as if it was forgotten in a dusty warehouse for a long while; had to scrub its outer barrels with an old toothbrush. Coatings seem fine, with just some tiny pitting on the front element It AFs and stops down correctly, its gearbox actually sounds nicer in action than the 20mm's. Looks barely used, no scratches, no signs of mounting. Only real flaw is some haze on the inside surface of one of the rear elements which does affect the image, and this being a Tamron with their usual 3 screw element groups mounting, I'm gonna leave it to a pro to CLA. Did not come with caps or hood, but it shares those with my 17-50. Not the best purchase, as I missed a used one sold by an individual that was in great shape and for about the same price I, but it was an AF-S G type, with built-in AF motor and no aperture ring. It should still be a bargain, just not the best bargain.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    After some test, I found the Tamron 28-75 2.8 not as sharp on FX as its little brother the 17-50 2.8 is on DX, not even stopped down. Coupled with the D600, it makes for a bulky and heavy combo. So now I'm looking at a 28 2.8D or a 35 2D to bridge the gap between my 20 2.8 pre-D and my yet to arrive 50 1.4D. "Scientific" reviews online are not very kind to either of those lenses, while user reviews are much more forgiving, but nobody regards them as highly as the 20 2.8 or the 50 1.4D, On ebay the 28 2.8D goes for around $100, while the 35 2D at around $200 is actually more expensive than the 50 1.4D, which can be bought for $150 every day. Anybody with experience with these 2 lenses?

    On another note, I can add my D600 to my "bad luck with Mulit-CAM 4800 sensor equipped bodies" pantheon. As with my previous and current D5*00 bodies, I'm not getting sharp AF with all AF points. Both the 20 2.8 and the 28-75 2.8 need a fine tune of -20 to get tack sharp focus with the center point, but the upper rightmost point is front focusing 100% of the times, even though the other 3 corners are tack sharp almost 100% of the times. Even weirder: LV AF is actually softer than OVF AF! What gives? This gives me more reasons to upgrade to a D750: it's got the Multi-CAM 3500 that has never failed me with my previous D7*00 bodies, and I guess LV AF is more precise thanks to faster refresh rates. Unfortunately, there are no D750s going for less than $1,100 on ebay. I know that they've been selling brand new right at the $1K mark in Japan during the end of year sales for 2 years going, maybe I'll use a Japan buying service to get me one this holiday season, when it might sell for even less, thanks to the A7III and whatever CaNikon bring to Photokina, but, gosh, that's 8 months away from now...
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,428Member
    @CaMeRaQuEsT interesting that you say that about that AF module. My D5500 seems to be perfect with all the Nikon DX lenses I’ve tried, but I thought it was off when I borrowed my friends old non-vr 24-70 2.8.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    @CaMeRaQuEsT interesting that you say that about that AF module. My D5500 seems to be perfect with all the Nikon DX lenses I’ve tried, but I thought it was off when I borrowed my friends old non-vr 24-70 2.8.

    My D5*00s work Ok with the slow kit lenses, 18-55, 55-200, 70-300, it's when I use fast lenses like the 50 1.8G, the 85 1.8G or any of the 17-50 2.8 third party lenses that the problems rear themselves. With my current D5500, I had to get down and dirty with it, as I explained in-depth on dpreview:

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60098046

    But even after that surgical procedure, I couldn't get all points to acquire tack sharp focus. At first I thought that my AF module was bad, but seeing that my D600's behaves exactly like my D5500's, I'm starting to believe that this behavior is in fact a design flaw. After all, Multi-CAM 4800 is the only AF sensor module never used on any of the single digit D* professional bodies, so maybe it's made with less stringent mfg parameters. I might eventually open the D600's bottom to mechanically adjust the AF module's position, as I'm already using extreme AF fine tune values (-20) and non-CPU lenses can't be fine tuned.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,428Member

    mhedges said:

    @CaMeRaQuEsT interesting that you say that about that AF module. My D5500 seems to be perfect with all the Nikon DX lenses I’ve tried, but I thought it was off when I borrowed my friends old non-vr 24-70 2.8.

    My D5*00s work Ok with the slow kit lenses, 18-55, 55-200, 70-300, it's when I use fast lenses like the 50 1.8G, the 85 1.8G or any of the 17-50 2.8 third party lenses that the problems rear themselves. With my current D5500, I had to get down and dirty with it, as I explained in-depth on dpreview:

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60098046

    But even after that surgical procedure, I couldn't get all points to acquire tack sharp focus. At first I thought that my AF module was bad, but seeing that my D600's behaves exactly like my D5500's, I'm starting to believe that this behavior is in fact a design flaw. After all, Multi-CAM 4800 is the only AF sensor module never used on any of the single digit D* professional bodies, so maybe it's made with less stringent mfg parameters. I might eventually open the D600's bottom to mechanically adjust the AF module's position, as I'm already using extreme AF fine tune values (-20) and non-CPU lenses can't be fine tuned.
    I have the 35 1.8 and the 16-80 and haven’t had trouble with them. Maybe there is some kind of firmware that has offsets built in, but doesn’t include some lenses, and of course not any third party.

    But I can’t say that I’ve tried every focus point either.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,123Member

    More impressions: the D600 is able to AF the D5500's AF-P kit lens after updating it with the latest FW, but there is still no menu item for disengaging VR. There is no Auto ISO when shooting movies in M, the mic pre-amp seems to be very noisy, and there is absolutely no way of making the Ok button zoom in to 100% in either shooting or playback mode, or to limit punching + to 100%, I always have to punch - twice to get back to 100%. It absolutely tires my hand if I keep grabbing it while idle, but then I'm spoiled by both the D5500's lightness and grip design in this regard (Nikon, please forget about FF mirrorless, just make a D5500 sized FF, but with a proper pentaprism, that should be very easy to do, right?). A certain Ken was right: the AF version of the 20mm is not precise: the whole optics barrel wobbles with the AF motor's movements, changing composition (and perhaps alignment, too) ever so slightly, for example, if you use continuos AF. Ai-S and older, and current AF-S and AF-P lenses are tight in this regard.

    It's the same problem with the D7000 I have, Nikon isn't playing well with backwards compatibility at all, even if they were amazing with the F-mount. The D600 came out around the D7000. I'm a little annoyed I need to buy a new camera, but such is life.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,428Member
    Supposedly the FX AF-P lens works with the D7000. But it costs so much more you’d probably be better off putting that money into a new body that could use the DX AF-P’s.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 524Member
    I can't bring myself to get caught up in the lens compatibility race. What I hope to do is fill out my lens stable and the get off the merry go round.

    Do the newish bodies play nice with the AFS catalog?
    .
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,428Member
    Yes I believe they work with all the AF-S lenses.

    As far as the AF-P it’s really got two advantages- an affordable ultra wide zoom and a tele zoom that focuses as fast or faster as any of the professional AF-S lenses. If you don’t need either then you aren’t really missing anything without it.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    Yes I believe they work with all the AF-S lenses.

    As far as the AF-P it’s really got two advantages- an affordable ultra wide zoom and a tele zoom that focuses as fast or faster as any of the professional AF-S lenses. If you don’t need either then you aren’t really missing anything without it.

    Actually, AF-P's got one "hidden" advantage that Nikon hasn't advertised anywhere to date that I know of: virtual parfocal-ability: the focusing group actively moves so that the initial focused distance set in AF-S stays in focus even while you zoom in or out. It's not perfectly implemented, though: if you zoom in our out fast enough the focusing group won't be able to keep up and will end up out of focus, but it works like a charm when slowly zooming in or out as you normally would when taking videos. I guess that Nikon hasn't shouted about this because it's still a work in progress, but it's definitively something that they would "beta" out in the wild with the current AF-P lenses so that they can get it perfectly right for their upcoming mirrorless platform.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,428Member



    Actually, AF-P's got one "hidden" advantage that Nikon hasn't advertised anywhere to date that I know of: virtual parfocal-ability: the focusing group actively moves so that the initial focused distance set in AF-S stays in focus even while you zoom in or out. It's not perfectly implemented, though: if you zoom in our out fast enough the focusing group won't be able to keep up and will end up out of focus, but it works like a charm when slowly zooming in or out as you normally would when taking videos. I guess that Nikon hasn't shouted about this because it's still a work in progress, but it's definitively something that they would "beta" out in the wild with the current AF-P lenses so that they can get it perfectly right for their upcoming mirrorless platform.

    Interesting. I remember some of my old film zooms were parfocal - it was handy when manual focusing. Seems like very few current production lenses are.

    So now that you have had the D600 for a while how do you think image quality compares with the D5500 and D7200? Anything in particular it does better or worse?
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    So now that you have had the D600 for a while how do you think image quality compares with the D5500 and D7200? Anything in particular it does better or worse?

    The D600's stills IQ is definitively an improvement upon the D5500's and the D7200's, mainly because I can use primes for the focal lengths I usually shoot with (20-85mm): I can now choose between better bokeh or better acuity throughout the frame compared to what I could get in DX with the available zooms and primes within those equivalent focal lenghts. In LR, at ISO 100, compared to the D5500, the D600 files are noticeably cleaner in the risen shadow areas, and color transitions are smoother, more nuanced. The D7200's ISO 100 files straddle the difference between the D600's and the D5500's. Where the D600 files really stand out is when shooting in low light situations, thanks to the combination of brighter prime lenses to curb the need to use higher ISO settings and cleaner high ISO files from the bigger sensor. A side note: compared to my Sony A7 files, the D600's are cleaner throughout the ISO range, with similar color transition characteristics, except for when Sony's cooked RAW artifacts rear their ugly heads. A7 files also have colors that are very off when viewed on LR, and since I'm not very good at setting LR presets, I can't force them to look like Nikon colors, so for me they are a PITA to work with.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    Got my $135 50mm 1.4D yesterday. It's of the newer, made in china type. Clean glass, perfect mechanicals and electronics, with just one cosmetic detail: the minimum aperture lock is a little mauled. AFs quietly and smoothly with very little play between barrels, unlike my 20mm 2.8 which AFs with some rough noises and a lot of play between barrels (maybe the gears and helicoids need to be greased?). Needs some AF fine tune, but I have to sit down and take my time to calibrate it. Optically it's not much different from my early 70s single coated Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4: soft wide open, sharpening up nicely stopped down, with lots of "open wing bird" shaped coma on the sides of the frame. It's too wide for face shots and too tight for indoor group shots. I'll have to walk around with it to see what it is good for, as it's been almost 30 years since I last used one, but I did buy it knowing that it might see limited use. So I'm still needing a 28 or 35 and an 85 or 105; 28 2.8Ds and 85 1.8 non Ds go for about $100, while 35 2Ds and 105 2.8 non Ds are about $200, so I guess it's gonna be a 28 and an 85, unless a cheaper 35 or 105 comes out.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    Don't waste your money on the AF 28mm F2.8, all three variants original (narrow focus ring), n (revised with current style focus ring) and D are soft as butter, even stopped down to F8. It was terrible even on my D80 (10MP) years ago, I woudn't want to know what it's like on a modern 16-24+MP camera.

    I have the AF 24mm F2.8n and AF 35mm F2D, nice lenses for under $250. None of them will blow your socks off, but good bang for the buck and great for traveling light.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    PB_PM said:

    Don't waste your money on the AF 28mm F2.8, all three variants original (narrow focus ring), n (revised with current style focus ring) and D are soft as butter, even stopped down to F8. It was terrible even on my D80 (10MP) years ago, I woudn't want to know what it's like on a modern 16-24+MP camera.

    I have the AF 24mm F2.8n and AF 35mm F2D, nice lenses for under $250. None of them will blow your socks off, but good bang for the buck and great for traveling light.

    I have the same experience with my 28mm 2.8 Ai-S: it is terribly soft at the sides on my DX bodies, but oddly enough it is tack sharp from corner to corner on the A7 and now on my D600. Can't quite make out what's going on here, and this only happens with this particular lens and, to a lesser extent, with my the E series 35mm 2.5. Neither my 24mm 2.4 Ai nor my 35mm 2 Ai-S behave like that with the DX bodies. Total mystery to me. So I wonder if the same phenomena occurs with the 28mm 2.8D. Do you have experience with it coupled to an FX body?

    The 24mm 2.8 versions Ai to D optical formula is indeed a very good lens, but I am not considering an AF version of it because it's not too different from the 20mm 2.8 AF I already own. I just found out that the 35mm 2D is actually more expensive brand new that the 50mm 1.4D, which doesn't make much sense as there is much more glass in the 50mm. 35mm would be my first choice on top of 28mm, especially since the 35 2D is one full stop faster than the 28 2.8D.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    edited April 2018
    The AF 28mm F2.8 does not have the same optics as the AI-S, be warned. I got rid of it before I moved to FX back in 2011, so I don't have any experience with it on modern cameras. When I say it wasn't sharp, I mean even dead center at F8-10. I've never seen, even with my older lenses, a lens that improved moving from DX to FX. I did test it on my film FE a few times, and wasn't blown away, but it was better on film than digital.

    There is a reason that the AF 28mm F2.8 is cheaper than all but the 50mm F1.8D on most places you look, it really is that bad. It's in the same league as the original AF-S 24-120mm F3.5-5.6G VR.

    As for the 35mm F2D, wider lenses are typically considered harder to make than normal lenses, thus a higher price. I got it used for $250 USD, great deal.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    Well, I guess I should stay away from the 28mm 2.8D, 35mm 2D is gonna be then, let's see how low I can get one for on ebay...
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