Nikkor 45mm f2.8 P Pancake lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just picked up a Nikkor 45mm f2.8 P Pancake at a local shop.
    I have never heard of it before so I did a quick web search.

    The top result was a review by Ken Rockwell that pretty much trashed it.
    However, from reading into what he was saying, I was pretty exited about it.
    He said that it had some light falloff and was soft in the corners. but I read that as having 'character' that could be put to good use.

    Unfortunately, I was dissapointed with the examples on flikr and pbase, they did not seem to take advantage of the lens. Either that, or the lenses character is too subtle to really notice.

    Does anyone have any pics from the lens they could share?
    What do you APUG'ers think about it?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2009
  2. lns

    lns Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have no pictures online, but I've used it and love it. Very small, sharp enough for me and with a nice out-of-focus character. As for light falloff and soft corners, well, maybe, but I can't say I've noticed personally. I'm just not a pixel peeper. Also, I think that guy Ken Rockwell is kind of a goof, on purpose, and I expect that he's meant to be taken with a grain of salt.

    What does Bjorn think of the lens?

    -Laura
     
  3. Donima

    Donima Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    california
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well if its the chrome one keh is selling one in ex cond for a little over $400.00 dollars ! The lens was reviewed in pop photo mag some years ago along with ( i believe ) a nikon body and received one of there highest ratings! It is supposed to be an excellent lens.Don
     
  4. alkos

    alkos Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here's one. I've shot the last roll with this awkward little thing ;-) Microcontrast / apparent sharpness seems to be definitely on a high side. No flare at all. If it only was faster... and bit easier to focus with - that midget ring just hurts me fingers...

    EDIT - ooops... APUG seems to chew the images to some kinda pulp... this: http://alkos.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/970_03.jpg should be better.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One thing's for sure, I wouldn't base my decision on anything I've seen on Flickr. It's just a bunch of people posting pictures. Some are gifted, some not; and we all know that in clumsy hands, even the best equipment can produce inferior results. Conversely, crappy gear can produce outstanding results in gifted hands.
     
  6. alkos

    alkos Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    "Unfortunately, I was dissapointed with the examples on flikr and pbase"

    Hmm, missed this one before. My question is: what did you expect, i.e. in relation to 50/1.8 lens?
     
  7. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Essentially a Tessar design, with the advantages and disadvantages that involves....

    Basically, it seems overpriced for what it delivers and ergonomics seem a bit akward. But if size/weight is a primary concern, then it could shine. In any case, enjoy it!
    (But then that goes for any decent/good lens)
     
  8. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,157
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Funny you should ask...

    On my coffee table at home is a Popular Photography issue from 2003 or 2004 IIRC which has that lens on the new Nikon FM3A on the cover. They rave about the lens. I have Pentax's 40mm DA pancake lens and it's one of my all-time favorite lenses, and I believe all pancake lenses use a similar base design. They are known for outstanding sharpness.
     
  9. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just the other day got a 45mm f/2 MD Rokkor that I can use with my Nikons with an adaptor. It's oustanding!
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I had this lens, bought it new in around 2006 and it quickly became my main lens. Really small - maybe too small if you have large hands or fat fingers. I would sometimes miss the focus barrel and turn the aperture dial when my eye was to the viewfinder. For me the benefit of the lens was its size, it really is small and also light, no problem carrying an FM2 and that lens all day. I can't comment on 'quality' of the images more than to say my prints looked just as nice as the ones from other lenses.

    It appears to have 'cult' status as I was able to sell my one on ebay at the start of this year for only a little less than I bought it for. I then got a 35/1.4 Nikkor, huge in comparison - that lens didn't stay with me for long and was traded for a Leica M4-P.
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was hoping to see that the lens offered a different character than a regular 50mm. Unfortunately I really couldn't tell it apart from others based on the images it produced. Ken Rockwell had stated that it had viginetting and was soft in the corners, but the example images I looked at were perfectly fine.

    I did find some good examples on pbase:

    http://www.pbase.com/image/43840770
    http://www.pbase.com/image/75747398
    http://www.pbase.com/image/60587469
    http://www.pbase.com/image/75747402
    http://www.pbase.com/image/86785280
     
  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thats exactly why I like looking at photo sharing sites.

    1. They are less likely to be heavily post-processed.

    2. Real-world examples. No pics of gray walls.

    3. I have clumsy hands, so i like to see 'average' examples instead of studio-controlled perfection.
     
  13. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I never got vignetting with the lens. Even when I tried I couldn't.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you use the cone-shaped lens hood? I wonder if that can cause some viginetting?
     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    1. How would you know? You are assuming that the images are less likely to be post processed, but assumptions can be wrong without any verifiable figures to back up the assumption.

    2. Real world examples are good, arguably a better means of determining the suitability of a lens for a particular application than pictures of test patterns or brick walls. But pictures of test patterns, gray cards, and brick walls have their place too. An evenly lit gray card will most assuredly show if any vignetting is present, even if the impact of that vignetting is not obvious in a "real world" example. Similarly, a resolution chart will clearly show the limits of a given lens/sensor/software or lens/film combination. A brick wall photographed dead on level can clearly point out any barrel or pincushion distortion.

    3. Studio controlled perfection? You can do things with light in a studio that you can't do outside of one. Imaging characteristics like barrel or pincushion distortion can be corrected in post quite easily. Judicious use of contrast control and sharpening tools are also quite easy to accomplish and can mask a lens' inherent softness a bit.
     
  17. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    1. Many images on sharing sites are 'snapshots' of family, places and such. I would not expect someone to put much effort into post-processing. Digital cameras and scanners do a certain amount of post-processing, of course. But if someone were to say.. "Joe SuperPro uses only Supertar lenses because they are so good, just look at his cover in TeenTalk mag and see how big her head is." Well I would assume that most pros do post-processing.

    2. Yes, the controlled test data is useful, but its only half the story. How the final print looks can be totally subjective.
     
  18. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But I never managed to get vignetting. I think Ken Rockwell shows some grey images showing the extent and it's quite pronounced at f2.8 I wanted to achieve that - a sort of nice technique when the scene called for it - but I could never do it.
     
  19. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I had wondered about this lens. It's one of those that I had thought about getting, but never got around to it.
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,463
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is this thing close to the older 45/2.8 GN Nikkor? Just curious 'cuz I've seen the them for less than $200.
     
  21. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
  22. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    ABQ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I had two samples of this lens, black and silver. I sold both of them. While the lens is small, light and cute, optically it is not better (probably worse) that than $110 Nikon 50/1.8D. Subjectively, my sample of 50/1.8 is as sharp as Contax N planar 50/1.4.

    I think KR was correct regarding this lens.
     
  23. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It was not designed to be sharper than their other lenses. Not everything is about sharpness.
     
  24. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    ABQ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't see any other advantages of 45/2.8 except for the size and look of this lens.
    Bokeh of 50/1.8 and 45/2.8 is similar.
     
  25. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    To me size and weight were the advantages. The disadvantage was the slower max aperture compared to the 50mm lenses. Prints from the 45/2.8 and my 50/1.4 look no different to my eye.
     
  26. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My 45/2.8 is an older GN Nikkor with the C marking. It has seven blades rather than the nine blades of the earlier pre-C lens. In most cases I think the better coating is more useful than the extra blades. I don't use the GN feature so the novelty factor for me is the size and shape. The performance of the lens is good. If I used a 50/2 AI Nikkor instead I think my results would be at least as good. What about the newer P lens? It looks very cheaply made compared to the older GN models. Someone mentioned an adapter for using a 45/2 Rokkor lens on a Nikon camera. Does the adapter allow correct infinity focus? Apart from its slightly smaller size, what is the advantage of using the 45/2 Rokkor on a Nikon camera? A 50/2 'K' or AI or a 50/1.8 AI or AIS would be at least as good. I have a 45/2 Rokkor which I use sometimes. I do not consider it as good as the 50/1.7 MD.