Nikkor 50mm f1.2 - focussing options with F4 camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Thingy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    I have been tempted by various posts on this forum to buy a Nikkor 50mm AIs f1.2 lens. Posters have indicated that because of limitations in the design of Nikon focussing screens, the lens cannot be accurately focussed (except at infinity).

    I was wondering if it would be easier to focus below infinity were one to use the aperture stop down lever with the lens set at, say f4, or am clutching at proverbial straws?
     
  2. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Huh? Where did this idea originate?
     
  3. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    The idea that a particular lens can’t be focused on an SLR is illogical. The basic idea of an SLR is—what you see on the focusing screen is what you get on film.

    While the focusing screens of the F4 automatic focus camera is intended for the use of AF lenses, manual focusing is still possible.

    You can install the K screen for the same type of screen as used on the F3. This gives you both a central split-image with microprism ring as focusing aids. This makes focusing manual focus lenses on the F4 easier.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/f4.htm
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Your F4 may not have a "split screen" type of focusing screen, but that should only make it a bit difficult to manually focus quickly when you first start doing it. I have used my manual focus 50mm f/1.4 on my F4 with no problems, but I am used to not always having a split for focus. Your actual mileage may differ, but that is a really nice lens, and if I didn't have the f/1.4 already I would be all over it.
     
  5. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Thingy has been reading way tooooo much about autofocus only type viewfinders on d--- image recording devices.

    The worst problem with an f1.2 lens is it has effectively no depth of field when wide open. No, stopping down to f4 won't help, it will just look like it is in focus when it isn't.
     
  6. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Never heard about this before, but I have a handful of F4's, 2x50/1.4, 2x50/1.2, 1x50/1,8 and 1x55/3,5 and I have never noticed anything of the sorts.
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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  8. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    :redface::redface::redface::redface::redface:

    Looks like I'll be OK then.

    Many thanks for your posts.
     
  9. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    You will be OK - assuming you're not buying an old nail. I'm using an AIS f1.2 on my F5 and focussing is difficult only because of narrow DoF at f1.2. Get your focussing spot on and you won't be disappointed
     
  10. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Thingy;

    (Any relationship to James Arness?)

    One nice thing about an f/1.2 lens is that very narrow DoF (Depth of Field). When you get it reasonably close, you know that it will be fine when the lens aperture stops down for the photograph. Helps a lot with eyes that are developing an excessive accumulation of years.

    Like so many others, I also do not worry about any problems when focusing this kind of a lens with a "manually focusing camera."
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I'll bet the OP is referring to a type screen that cannot show actual DOF for an f/1.2 lens

    Some AF screens are not optimized for fast lenses below a certain aperture. (2.8? depending on screen)
     
  12. damonff

    damonff Member

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    I use the green dot rangefinder indicator for all of my manual focusing on the F4 and very rarely have an out of focus shot.
     
  13. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    50 1.2 focusing.

    I didn't read every reply but I have been down this road.

    F 1.2 lenses 50 or otherwise have no trouble being focused on an SLR that has its mirror in alignment/. Mirror alignment is most critical with any wide-aperture lens.

    That being said, I think I have had mirror alignment issues with ONE of the some 25 Nikon bodies I have used.

    The 50 f 1.2 is not very useful to my tastes used wide open. The 1.4 and 1.8 and early 2.0's are sharper wide open and don't suffer from coma and pincushion.

    I am a pro... I haven't owned a "wide" 50mm for my Nikon kit for some 10 years.
    The 55 micro AIS f.2.8 Nikor is the sharpest lens in my Nikon kit. I find it funny that I owned a 50 1.2 only to trade the heavy beast for a 50mm f1.4 Af... traded that because it just wasn't used much at all and now the 55 and 105.1.8 both AIS (NOT AF) are the most used lenses with my AF kit.

    Take this to the bank from a full time professional.... if you chose the 1.2 have fun.. it's not all bad... just not to my "Zeiss' tastes. It's pretty soft used wide open and so damn heavy.

    PS don't even think about using it without a hood... and please don't put a protective filter (skylight etc) over these highly corrected lenses...
     
  14. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    I have a 50mm f/1.2 and used to own an F4s, never had any focusing problem with the combo during the times I used them. Though beware, at f/1.2 the focus plane at 1.2 is very much near non-existant on any camera and I've used it on fm2n, f3,f4,f6 and even on d700 so it's not the camera here.

    Though on the F6 even though you opened it up all the way to f/1.2, the camera will only show it opened all the way to f/1.4 but rest assured the metering thinks otherwise and calculates in the exposure at f/1.2.
     
  15. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    Oooo Zeiss...... Must confess to being a Zeiss addict, though not for large format work where I'm a Schneider addict!
     
  16. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Me neither
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Isn't a 50mm on a 35mm camera very slightly telephoto, not wide or does wide in this context mean something else?

    What is the issue with a protective filter exactly and does this apply to other filters such as yellow etc?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  18. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    Just make sure you buy a 9 bladed version of the 1.2, the 7 blade versions don't produce nearly as pleasing results.
     
  19. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    I was speaking about the lens opening as in greater than f2