24mm f2.8 AI-s, how bad is it rlly?

GabGab Posts: 63Member
edited March 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I'm looking for a small/cheap 35mm equivalent walk-around lens for my d7k. A year ago or so I had the unluck to test the 2.8d version and my copy had massive problems with build quality, sharpness and focusing. I'm thinking that it was a dud, because the performance was a million times worse than how it looks on photozone and lenstip. I don't want a lens that's perfect when pixel peeping. I don't mind much if the CA is a bit stronger than average. I just want good performance when stopped down to f4-8. (good performance = it can be shown off on a fullHD TV screen) Focusing is not a problem, I have a k3 focusing screen.. :-)

Probably I can get one with minor front element scraches for about 150-200$ on ebay.
Post edited by Gab on

Comments

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I had a good 24mm AFD 2.8 and liked it a lot. Sharp enough. You can't put it next to a 14-24, 24mm 1.4, and the 24-70 is probably sharper. I would try another one rather than go for a MF one especially at that price. I would keep an eye to it's age, and use though. One thing I did notice was you had to put a good filter on it. Cheap filters just made the photos really soft due to the reflections bouncing around in the glass.

    I never heard the anything bad about the 24mm f2.8 AI-s version but there probably was 4-5 versions of the lens.

    Whichever way you go, just know the 2.8 zooms are better than it. If you are fine with that expectation, you can't really go wrong.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • GabGab Posts: 63Member
    I enjoy focusing manually and the AI version suppose to have much better build quality, my copy had very loud clunking when shaken and the whole thing just didn't feel solid. Also it had a major focus shift problem (could be because I had a bad copy), I had to change AF fine tune each time I selected a different f-stop,+10 to - 20, or the other way around. If I'm focusing with the screen focus shift wouldn't be a big problem, because I could just use the DOF preview when needed.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    That sounds like it had the same issue mine had when it died - focusing helicoid (sp?) went out on it. It was an old lens and used a lot and I know I was at least the 4th owner of it. It had nothing to do with build quality why it went out, it just wore out. It was built in the late 80's so it was over 25yrs old. Yours sounds like it was broke for sure. I did not experience anything close to what you did.

    I find people inaccurately assume anything that has plastic is bad quality and anything made with metal is always better. Although I like older lenses, they are not sealed at all and the focusing internals get gummed up much more than the "newer" models. I have spent more $$ getting my old MF lenses CLA'd than anything made in the last 20 years. Generally speaking the newer lenses are always much better overall image quality than the "older better build quality" ones.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I have to jump in here... I have the 45th 24mm f/2.8 lens made back in 1967...and, it grinds like it has no grease at all in it now... But, it was well used. And if it had been converted to the newer mount (grinding off some of the flanges) I would stick it on my newer body.

    Maybe I will have the guy in Michigan who converts these for about $35 each do this. It would be interesting to see how it performs in comparison to new glass.
    Msmoto, mod
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    edited March 2013
    I've bought a bunch of lenses on eBay over the last 10 or 15 years, usually with pretty good luck; the one exception.......about 12 years ago, I had bough an F-5 body, and shortly after, I bought this old 105 mm/ f4 Micro Nikkor MF (which I assume is an AI lens ?) Anyway, the seller listed the thing as "like new"; when it arrived......the front end of it looked like someone had been using it for a tack hammer, and it even has a small chip near the edge of the front element; after contacting the seller. (who still says it's "like new"), I got so hot I contacted eBay; eBay must have really jacked this guy up! Now he wants me to send it back, THEN he'll return my money ! I told eBay, "yeah, then it's his word against mine; right now, I have the "proof" in my hand! So I refused to send it back, finally told the guy to drop dead, or some such; ( I only paid like $100 or so for the stupid thing), so I just threw it in a junk drawer and forgot about it; never even wasted any fuji velvia trying it out; ten years go by, I finally got around to buying my D 300s (new); one day, I was reading something about a "micro nikkor" in a magazine, and I think about this "clunker" in the drawer; got it out, stuck it on the 300, took a few close-ups, ......the thing actually works! The images were just something laying around, but they looked sharp enough. I may remove the little gadget on the aperture ring (if I ever find a small enough phillips SD), and one of these day I may even try to take some pictures with the thing, who knows. Actually, the part that has the dents is the end of a slide-out hood; maybe I'll just smooth it up a bit, and spray some black paint on it;

    Tommie.....before I forget....did you say your TC is a "2Elll" ? I need to get one to use with my 80-200/2.8; The 2X TC I have is MF, (which is OK for using on my 300mm f4 MF; I was gonna email Nikon tech support the other day, but I couldn't get through all their "create account"BS......
    Post edited by Gitzo on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ Gitzo

    I have the TC-14EII and the TC-20EIII. I think the "III" is better than the "II" as it relates to the 2X extender. IMO the combination works well with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII and with the 400mm f/2.8 VRII. The 1.4X "III" version is not out yet as far as I know.
    Msmoto, mod
  • GabGab Posts: 63Member
    I find people inaccurately assume anything that has plastic is bad quality and anything made with metal is always better. Although I like older lenses, they are not sealed at all and the focusing internals get gummed up much more than the "newer" models. I have spent more $$ getting my old MF lenses CLA'd than anything made in the last 20 years. Generally speaking the newer lenses are always much better overall image quality than the "older better build quality" ones.
    It felt anything, but solid. I'm not saying that because its plastic. I have plenty of plastic lenses & they are all fine.

    I guess my 2nd option would be getting a 18-70. It's just the samples on the web are very contradictory about the optical quality. (or sell all that's nikon & go for a m4/3 with a pancake prime set)
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Like I said above, I think your 24mm was very broken.

    Another option you may want to look into is a Sigma 24mm f1.8. Decently reviewed and was the better of the 3 (20,24,28) that was released. I was always tempted to get one but then the X100 came out and that fulfilled my 35mm equiv need. Generally you can pick up a used one for under $400 - sometimes as low as $225 if you are patient.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • tmantman Posts: 27Member
    I think the 24 is a reasonably sharp lens and the 35mm equivalent is a very good choice for a single lens. If you don't need the utility of a zoom and like manual focus, it's a practical choice. I don't know about build quality. While I do like Nikon AI-S's build quality the 24/2.8 I bought from Adorama seems not as solid as my 55 Macro or 105/2.5. May just be my copy, though. I'm all primes so I carry it always (either alone or with other lenses). From lens quality, I would say it's a pretty decent lens. Sharpness I haven't noticed anything that gives me pause for use. It's what you expect from a classic Nikon lens. Not something amazing on sharpness but not at all soft that I've noticed. I got mine for about $150 and it was not a tremendous amount extra (maybe $100) to get the AF version (which is supposedly optically same). I have had to recompose shots when the sun is in or near the frame to avoid some issues, but was not terribly surprised to see it. I think there is some CA, but I didn't think it was the worst lens for CA I've used. .If I had to do it again I probably would have got the AF-version, partially because I was let down on the build quality for this AI-S copy and partially because it's a very useful focal length and if I ever go to full frame it will still see some good use.
Sign In or Register to comment.