Nikon 50mm f/2 AI

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Tony-S, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I'm thinking about buying this lens for an old FM. I know very little about Nikon's systems from days past, so can anyone with experience with this lens comment about its performance? I am pretty sure it is fully compatible with the FM.
     
  2. jsouther

    jsouther Subscriber

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    I really like mine. It will work on your FM just fine. Sharp and has pleasing out of focus bokeh. Often overlooked I think its one of the best deals out there. Takes 52mm filters which are inexpensive and easy to carry. My advice is don't pay too much as they can be found at bargain prices... $30 or less would seem appropriate.
     
  3. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    It is a very fine lens and should work great on the FM. It is very sharp, but out of focus backgrounds are not its strong point. I believe the 50 1.4 is better in that regard.

    You can read about it here:
    http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_norm.html
    and
    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/nikkor/n02_e.htm
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Well, if you are not confused yet I would like try and confuse you by saying that the 50mm f/1.8 is also an excellent lens and can be had new for about $130 USD. The main advantage if this lens is that they are more readily available than either the f/2.0 or f/1.4 lenses. If you can pick up a f/2.0 for around $30 go for it, but if you buy the f/1.8 for around $130 new you are not going to feel like you paid too much for this fine lens, as an added bonus the new f/1.8 works great on any Nikon film body. All the advantages of the f/2.0 and a lower price than the f/1.4.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Assume you're describing the 50/1.8AFD lens since it's been long unavailable as a MF. The AFD is a sweet little AF lens but is disturbingly flimsy with truly awful focus "feel" relative to manual focus 50mm Nikkors. I got a nice one used for a bit south of $130 but hesitated to pay full price.

    The 50/2 is a gem--usually easy to find and very affordable. I've picked up near-mint examples for 40-50 bucks over the past 2 years. Another option is the series E 50/1.8--pin-sharp and nowhere near as plasticky as some describe it(and positively rock-solid compared to the 50/1.8 AFD).
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I anyone can find one for $30 it will be a steal. On eBay they are 3x (or 4x) that.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I believe (but don't rely on this without confirmation) the the 50mm f/2 predates the 50mm 1.8. It certainly was made in pre-AI configuration (I have one). Not sure if it was available in AI version or not. It's also possible that the one you're considered was AI'd after the fact; Nikon offered this service for a while after they came out with AI lenses. If it's AI, or been AI'd, it should work fine with the FM.
     
  8. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    According to the Nikon System Handbood by "Moose" Peterson, the 50mm f/2 was introduced in 1959 and was offered as a factory AI lens. The 50mm f/1.8 came out in 1979.
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    There's definitely a 50/2 Ai-- I have 2. All this can be cleared up with a visit to www.nikonlinks.com and Vink's sites listed under lenses.
     
  10. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    The 50mm f2 AI is a very good lens, read the Nikon Thousand and One Nights post about it for more detail on its 'interesting' imaging traits. I use the slightly older H.C. version and while I am pretty convinced that they are the same optical formula I just seem to like the H.C over the 2 other Ai and K series. The color rendition is something that is seldom mentioned, it has really fantastic color. While it is very good close up, quite sharp, it does have a bit more distortion so I am either careful about close in portraits or I use the obviously better 1.8 Ai longnose, which even as the Nikon designer says has much lower distortion. I've modified my 50mm H.C f2 to have 1/3 F-stops up to F4, some of those in between F-stops have some pretty compelling bokeh. Wide open has its challenges.
     
  11. jsouther

    jsouther Subscriber

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    Looks like you are right, I just looked and they are going there for between $50 to $70 or so dollars. Up to $100 in some cases. Yikes!

    I purchased mine at a camera store for $40 and its in great condition. That was about a little over a year ago. Around the same time on ebay, it seemed they were selling between $30 to $50. I wonder why the increase?

    Its a great lens though and a good value if the price is right.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Quite possibly the best Nikon 50, despite the slow aperture. I've owned two and they were both terrific. One was a Nikkor-H (1960s) and the other was an AI.
     
  13. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I have one 50/2 AI and many other 50/2s. My favorite of the 50/2s is the 'K' model. I prefer it and the AI to any of the later 50/1.8 manual focus lenses. The 50/2 AI is one of the few AI lenses to have six aperture blades yet it's out of focus rendition is not bad at all.
     
  14. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It's a decent lens. My version has had a loose element since the day that I bought it in 1979. I probably should have returned it, but I didn't notice it then -- being a novice.
     
  15. KrankyKraut

    KrankyKraut Member

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    The 50mm f/2 is the only manual Nikkor lens I kept. Mine was AI'd. There is something special about the way it draws. I see them in local camera stores for $50. An absolute bargain at that price (or at many times that, for that matter).