Nikkor Non-AI 50/2 H vs. Non-AI 50/1.4 S

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by FilmOnly, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I currently have the Nikkor non-AI 50/2 H, but I have not gotten back any results from it yet. How does its faster cousin, the 50/1.4 S, compare? I do not need the extra speed, and so my question is in regard to image quality (resolution, sharpness, bokeh, etc.). Also, I gather the 50/1.4 S is not a radioactive lens (i.e. no thorium, etc.), but please correct me if I am wrong about this.
     
  2. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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  3. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    50/2 Non-AI vs. 50/1.4 Non-AI

    I have a 50/1.4 pointy prong Nikkor-S, a 50/1.4 round prong Nikkor-S, a 50/1.4 SC, a 50/1.4 'K' and a 50/1.4 2nd version K. Of the slower lenses I have two 50/2 H, two 50/2 HC, and three 50/2 'K' lenses. If you need more speed then get the f/1.4 lens. If you don't need the speed a 50/2 is fine. Any of these lenses from the HC/SC on have excellent coating. I also have a 50/2 AI, a 50/1.4 AI and a 50/1.4 AIS. I would say that the 50/1.4 Nikkors up to and including the first 'K' model are somewhat sharper closed down while the ones from the second 'K' model on are somewhat sharper at or near wide open. The 50/2 lenses from the H model on are all very good wide open or closed down. The 50/1.4 Nikkor I have used the most is a pointy prong S.
     
  4. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I appreciate the detailed information, dynachrome.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I've owned an -H /2 and an -S 1.4 and I found the /2 to be as good or better than the 1.4 (except at f/2.8 or wider, roughly).

    The good news is that these lenses are dirt cheap so owning both is not crazy.
     
  6. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Dynachrome, I have nearly the same lineup, but a few more SC and S 1.4 as well as a few 1.8 thrown in the mix, and my results mirror yours, especially the wide open sharpness of the early vs later K. Nikon Ai'd late K is my favorite for wide open style shooting.
     
  7. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    The 50f2-H has better bokeh than the 50f1.4. In my experience, though, the harsh out-of-focus highlights haven't been too bad with all the 50f1.4's I've owned. I have discovered, however, that the SC version of the 50f1.4 is less contrasty than the S version and later 50f1.4's with the NIC coatings. My current normal lens is a 50f1.4 Nikkor-S NPK version with the pointy prong and the factory AI conversion ring (yes, I don't have the AI prong on there - just doesn't look right on formerly non-AI lenses). Got it with a broken filter for $51.00 off eBait. Another $8.00, and filter was removed by Doug @ Camera Clinic.

    I do eventually plan to get another 50f2 Nikkor-H with AI ring, but, probably not for a while, now that I have added both a 20f3.5 Nikkor-UD and a 28f3.5 Nikkor-H (a lens that I need to find an AI ring for - the 20 already has one on it).

    -J
     
  8. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I will probably add a NPK 50/1.4 S. Is this lens radioactive (i.e. thoriated)? I do not think it is, but I just thought I would ask. It is a bit hard to tell (in photos) if the glass has the yellowish cast or not.
     
  9. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Nah, it isn't. Single coated glass. It does have a brownish tint to it. If you can swing it, get one that has the AI ring on it. Then it will mount on just about any Nikon F mount body.

    [​IMG]

    Hard to tell, but you can see a little brown in the glass on the lens. BTW: that's the Nikon F that I got for $50 with working FTn finder. Only issue it has, is that the frame counter is off by one frame.

    -J
     
  10. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    John,

    What a beautiful camera. I thank you for the image and the information. I usually buy my lenses from KEH. Is there any way I could identify the one with the AI ring in their descrptions?
     
  11. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I have owned both of these lenses, but I only have the 50/2 Nikkor-H left which is my one and only lens for my Nikon F2. Wonderful lens and as said in earlier replies very cheap, especially in the orignal non-AI form. The only thing I don't like about it is that the near limit of the focus is only 0,6 meter. I almost always want to get a little bit closer... :smile: A couple of hours to spare and a pocket full of film (HP5+ in my case), that's bliss...
     
  12. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    KEH usually calls the lenses "AI" lenses. They aren't AI, of course, but AI'd lenses. But, KEH calls them AI lenses. So, be forewarned when buying lenses from KEH. If it's advertised as AI, it may not be an AI lens, but one with the factory AI ring installed.

    BTW: thanks. Glad I could help.

    -J
     
  13. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    50/2 H vs 50/1.4 S

    To round things out I have three more non-macro standard focal length Nikkors. They are a 45/2.8 GN C, a late model 50/1.8 AIS which comes with no prong and an early 50/1.8 AI. Both 50s are good but the build quality and cosmetics of the early 50/1.8 are much nicer. I haven't used the GN feature on the 45 GN. I would like to find a pre-C GN with 9 aperture blades. Most of the 50/2 HC lenses I have seen seem to have dried out lubricant in the focusing mount. I don't know whether Nikon used a different lubricant between the H and the K' models. Some time around 1976 Modern Photography tested various macro lenses as well as a 50/2 Nikkor. The 50/2 Nikkor was used with the old single element Nikon close-up lenses (0,1,2) and was sharper than some of the macro lenses. My votes for the prettiest f/2 anf f/1.4 Nikkors go to the 50/2 'K' and the 50/1.4 'K' - first version.
     
  14. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I appreciate the additional comments. Where did you find these K versions? I checked both KEH and eBay and could not find a single K version.
     
  15. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    50/2 H vs. 50/1.4 S

    The 'K' models were the last ones before the AI lenses. They had rubber covered focusing rings and coating at least as good as that on the C lenses. In some cases there was more than one version. The 50/1.4 'K' (1st version) seems to be the same, optically, as the 50/1.4 SC but has the rubber covered focusing ring and different cosmetics. The second version of the 50/1.4 'K' looks very much like the 50/1.4 AI but also has the pre-AI prong without the holes in it. If I can remember all of my 'K' Nikkors they are: 28/3.5, 35/2.8, 50/2 (3), 50/1.4 (1 of each version), 55/3.5 (2 or 3), 135/2.8. I think there were two 'K' versions of the 135/2.8. The first one, which I have, is as large as the 135/2.8 QC and the second one look like the smaller 135/2.8 AI. Sometimes you see a 'K' lens which has a factory AI conversion ring, making it look like an AI lens. You can check the serial numbers and other info at the nikonlinks.com website if you are not sure. The 'K' name is one used by collectors. None of these lenses is actually marked 'K'. There are also some exceptions. The 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor P has what is referred to as the RIFR (rubber inset focusing ring) but is earlier than the 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor PC or later 'K' lens.