Lenses for my Nikon

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BimmerJake, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    I've recently rejoined the back to analog revolution. i picked up a nikon fm10 pretty cheap so that i could start shooting film again. i'm looking for good prime lenses that aren't too expensive. although i'd prefer to stay with nikon lenses my limited budget suggests that i might look for some hidden inexpensive gems. any suggestions? or am i dreaming :tongue:
     
  2. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Check out Ken Rockwell's site. He has a lot of reviews of nikon lenses and there are a couple of other Nikon review sites out there. Google is your friend. I have a 20 f2.8, 28 f?, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 85mm F2 and a 135 mm f2.8. Frankly, they're all pretty good. In general the slightly slower lenses are much cheaper than the large aperture ones, and they also tend to be slightly sharper.
     
  3. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson Member

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    If you stumble upon a 180mm f 2.8, grab it!
     
  4. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    i'm looking at a 200mm f4 as we speak. Peter, on your recommendation i checked out ken rockwell's review, and he had many nice things to say about it. what would be a fair price? any ideas?

    thanks for the help so far
     
  5. GJA

    GJA Member

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    I disagree with Peter in many regards.
    First, skip KR. Check out Bjorn's site at http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/63808-lenses-my-nikon.html it offers much more to someone with your camera, considering Ken doesn't really shoot much film. He also states that
    Bjorn is a pro and has a much better lens testing method. He also has review of older lenses.

    Secondly, faster lenses are not always that much more expensive, and in general are probably as good, if not better than their slower counterparts in terms of IQ. If I were you I would buy a 50 1.4, a 24 2.8 an 85 1.8 1.4 if you can afford and a 135 2.8.

    But really this is all up to you. When shooting with the 50, do you always want to crop or take steps back?
     
  6. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    i'm not sure about the 50 yet, i'm just getting my feet wet. i just shot my first film, in over ten years, this week. my general thought so far is that i don't really need the larger apertures. i'm only shooting outside in daylight at the moment, and as far as i can tell the faster lenses are quite a bit more expensive, unless you have a secret source. my local shop had a used 135mm f3.5 for $80 and and 135mm f/2.8 for $150, unless that's a fluke.
     
  7. GJA

    GJA Member

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    I like fast lenses not because i shoot them wide open, but because most lenses perform best when stopped down, in theory. So a 2.8 performs better than a 3.5 at f4. They stop can be handy at times too. Those prices seem reasonable. In this case, and judging by Bjorn's review, the 3.5 might be a good deal compared to the 2.8
     
  8. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    FYI, I have some older Nikon prime lenses that have been AI converted (28mm, 135mm, and 200mm) and will work just fine on your FM10, that I would sell for FAR lower prices than those store prices you are seeing - like around 1/2 those prices. Check your PM.
     
  9. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    The Tamron SP adaptall line has some nice glass that with patience can be found for a decent price. The 90mm f2.5 (there are two, I happen to have and like the one with the 49mm filter size). Their 18mm f3.5 also offers nice results. The 180mm f2.5 is a gem and so on. I have a few more however you might try one of these if you can find it a the "right" price. Bill Barber
     
  10. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    BTW, I wouldn't worry about getting an alternative to the 50mm f2 - even though it's a cheapie, it's one of the very finest lenses Nikon ever made.

    And it is true, the faster lenses are quite a bit more expensive. If I were you, I'd get a couple of inexpensive ones, say a telephoto and a wide angle, and see how you enjoy using the different perspectives. Given where you are right now in the hobby, I would certainly NOT spend $500+ on fast lenses before you have a much better understanding of what you like to shoot, and what tools you need to do it well. You could easily get a used moderate speed wide angle (24 or 28mm) and a telephoto (like a 105mm or 135mm) for around $100 combined and this will be all you need to determine where, if anywhere, you would wish to invest some REAL money in the future, on really top end high speed lenses.

    And if you buy used lenses wisely, and you decide that you prefer something different, you can end up selling what you bought for nearly as much as you paid for them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2009
  11. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    105mm f2.5!
     
  12. mudman

    mudman Member

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    I own a good chunk of nikkor glass now - The lenses that I like in AI or AIS the best are the 35mm f2, the 50mm f2 and the 105 f2.5. Great set. If you need a wide range with a wide aperture, I also have a tokina 35-70 f2.8 SP that is a wonderful performer as well. I've found the 50mm f1.8 e series to have more distortion and to be less sharp than the 50mm f2. I also have an 85mm f2, but find the extra reach of the 105 and the bokeh of that lens to be slightly better. In that same range I also use a Tamron 90mm f2.5 (49mm ring) and think its sharper then either, but I leave it set up for my pentax. I've lucked into most of these lenses - I haven't paid more then $30 or $40 for any of them.
     
  13. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I'd check the prices at KEH.com . They are very reputable. Their "bargain" lenses are often in equivalent shape to other seller's "excellent" lenses. Never pay an individual, whether on Ebay or wherever, close to what you can buy at KEH, or from another reputable dealer, since the dealers will stand behind their sale. For example, if you get a lens with a sticky aperture, it might cost $75 to $100 to get it fixed. I've also bought "excellent" lenses on Ebay that had fungus.

    Regarding Ken Rockwell, he shoots a lot of film. He calls it "RealRaw". While you should never take anyone's word as gospel, I've found Ken's opinions on equipment to be pretty good. Great fast lenses are harder to make than slightly less fast ones, and "slower" lenses are definitely lighter, cheaper and more compact. If you need the super wide aperture, then you have no choice. For example, I use a 50mm f1.8. It's a great lens. (I have a article on the lens at: http://peterdesmidt.com/blog/?p=4) For me, it's not worth it to get an F1.4 lens. But that's me.

    You might get a 35mm F2 and an 85mm F2 (or 105 F2.5) lenses to go with your 50mm. Use them a bit, and see if you need something wider or longer.

    Whatever you do, have fun!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
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  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Since the OP already has a 50mm, I would suggest something longer than 85mm, and wider than 35mm as being more useful. For me, when using primes, I tend to go for doubling of steps: i.e. 24 or 28mm, then 50 or 55mm, then 105mm, then 200mm.

    If I'm traveling light, I use just a 28mm and a 90mm Macro. I would also add that if you are buying privately from an individual, be it here or ebay or wherever - make sure that they will offer you the right to return for a refund if you're not happy with the condition compared to how it was described. Shops like KEH will do that, but so will the more reputable private sellers as well.
     
  16. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    Where to begin? There's countless fine old Nikkor lenses that, even at the higher current prices, are still great deals. If budget is a foremost concern, pay careful attention to the Series E lenses. They were Nikon's budget line and for the time, committed the sin of having plastic barrels, but their optics were still top notch and by modern standards, Series E plastic is quite stout.

    I have an 100mm f2.8 E and 135mm f2.8 E. Both very nice lenses.
     
  17. lns

    lns Member

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    First, even though you are shooting outside only at the moment, experience tells me that this moment won't last forever. :smile: Eventually you will find yourself using your camera in situations where a faster lens is necessary. For example, indoors. Or winter. Or when you need a faster shutter speed. Not to mention that very slow lenses are harder to focus on an SLR. It seems penny wise and pound foolish to limit yourself to only slow lenses.

    Second, I also recommend Bjorn's site for specific lens advice. Ken Rockwell, not so much.

    Third, I think as nice as a 135mm lens would be, and no matter how reasonable the price, that focal length isn't great for your first or only lens. Better to look for a 50mm or 35mm with an aperture of f2 or so -- both of which are readily available and also quite reasonable. The 50mm f1.8 ais is less than $100, for example.

    Enjoy!

    -Laura
     
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    He already has the 50mm f2.
     
  19. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Make sure it's an AI/AIS model. The pre-AI one, while still quite decent, wasn't as good.

    They tend to be quite cheap now (vastly underrated lens).
    A slight negative: The effective aperture is closer to f/4.5 than f/4.0.
     
  20. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    The other side of the coin is that faster lenses are also bigger and heavier, as well as being more expensive.

    It isn't very helpful to have a wonderful fast lens, but always leave it at home because you don't feel like carrying it.

    Of the lenses I use most, I have both the faster and the slower models, with the slower ones being used over 90% of the time.
     
  21. HarryW

    HarryW Member

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    Hi,
    Bjorn's site will give you excellent advice on the performance of most of the lenses that you are considering and you should also look at this site http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html
    I don't know if the F10 can utilise the features of an AIs lens, if it can't you will find that the AI version will be less expensive. In many instances there is no difference optically between an AI and an AIS with only the focus throw being smaller and more convenient on the AIS
    I have had the 50mm f2.0 AI since 1979 and it is an outstanding lens and if it's in good condition would recommend that you keep it.
    Given that I was starting from your present position I would buy two further lenses - 105 f2.5 and a 28 f2.8 or f2.0 if your budget runs to that.
    This three lens set up will cover 85% of all of your requirements and you can then add to them as needed.
    Regards

    Harry
     
  22. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8 and 180mm 2.8, there you go, a complete kit, you don't need nothing else.



    Cheers



    André
     
  23. elekm

    elekm Member

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    In general, if you avoid the high-speed lenses, you'll get better deals. What I mean, is opting for the f/1.8 or f/2.0 50mm Nikkor rather than the f/1.2 or f/1.4 version. Same goes for other focal lengths.

    25mm and 35mm are very common lengths, so you should be able to get good deals.

    I think you should be able to find a nice f/2.5 105mm Nikkor -- a very sharp medium telephoto lens -- at a decent price, as it's commonly available.
     
  24. mhanc

    mhanc Member

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    Hi -

    1. I've had nothing but great experience at KEH and can recommend then highly. As noted, they grade conservatively, have a no questions asked return policy and short warranty. Also I have never bought from camerarepair.com but it seems like a good place - maybe others here have had some experience with them.

    2. I have a 50/1.8 AI and a 28/2.8 AI and really like using and the results from both - sharp but not biting especially with the 28mm. The 28mm is a bit more useful than a 35mm if one already has a 50mm. It is also less expensive than a 24mm and has almost the same angle of view.

    3. There is also the option of just having a 50mm. That's all I had for ~30 years and was perfectly happy. I recently started shooting in NYC and found I wanted a wide angel for the "urban landscapes". I still prefer images from the 50mm in terms of perspective, but that's just me. So one should just evaluate their needs and preferences.
     
  25. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Yes, that's what I meant as well. I'm not advocating getting lenses with a maximum aperture of f5.6 or anything. F1.8 or f2, or perhaps f2.8 are still pretty fast.
     
  26. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    thanks for all your input. what is a ai converted lens? is this worth wile or something i should avoid?

    i think my 50mm is an Ai, how can i tell definitively? also, i don't think my fm10 used the Ai-s functions, so the extra money isn't worth it in my case. unless someone can tell me otherwise.

    again, thanks for all the advice, it gives me much to think about and decide on.