Nikon lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by unohuu, May 4, 2005.

  1. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    I am expanding my manual focus cameras to include a Nikon N2000. I thought this would be a good way to gradually decide if I want to convert from Minolta to Nikon. I am starting with a 50mm f/1.8 lens and want to use an 85 or 100mm lens for some portrait work. I am also hoping that I can use both AF and MF lenses as this is what I understood this particular camera is capable of. Given this, which lens would you recommend next for quick and light portrait work? I do not like or want zooms at this point and can't afford the AF-S lenses. TIA
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    My recommendation would be the 105mm f/2.5. It's a legendary lens. Search the web and you'll find lots of information on it. The AIS version spends significant amounts of time on my FE2. (The built in sliding lens hood on th AIS version is very nice. I don't know if the newer AF versions have one or not.)

    Since the lens has been made for so long, there are a ton of them available on the used market. Check KEH.com; they usually have a Bargain condition AIS for around $100-$110.
     
  3. Wayne R. Scott

    Wayne R. Scott Member

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    Nikon series E 100mm f2.8. Not Auto focus, but for portrait work who needs AF?

    Wayne
     
  4. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Thanks, Mongo and Wayne. The N2000 is not AF, but has an incorporated drive. This camera comes w/an AF lens though. I am not sure that I will be able to use E lenses as I am still learning about all the mounts variations for Nikon.
     
  5. Wayne R. Scott

    Wayne R. Scott Member

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    E series are simply AIS type "economy" lens.

    Wayne
     
  6. ThatOneguy

    ThatOneguy Member

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    On the N2000 you can use any AI or newer lens. This includes AF lenses, but of course they will be manual focus only.

    You could also consider the N2020 body. It's essentially identical to the N2000 except that it has autofocus. You can still use the manual focus lenses, but the AF lenses will work in both AF and MF modes.
     
  7. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    i am much more interested in gaining access to the Nikon legendary lens system than I am the Nikon light boxes (bodies). The glass is the draw. If I like the look and feel and bokeh and contrast, then I can look for a sturdier manual focus body. This combo was too inexpensive to pass up. Luke
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    If you decide to go with a longer lens and find that you like it (and either the 105mm f/2.5 or 100mm f/2.8 are good lenses to try), I'd suggest you look into a 28mm f/2.8 AIS lens next. It's the best (in my opinion) of the Nikkor wide angle lenses for minimized distortion and resistance to flare. My standard "kit" when I'm travelling light includes the 105mm f/2.5, the 28mm f/2.8 (AIS only...not the older AI), and the 50mm f/1.8. (I like the f/1.4, but don't do enough low light shooting to justify owning one myself.)

    There are a lot of great Nikkor lenses out there, and if you're happy with manual focus you can get staggeringly good glass for very little money. The pages on Nikkor lenses that start at http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/index.htm have more information than you'll ever need on just about every Nikkor lens ever made.
     
  9. dtomasula

    dtomasula Member

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    When I was doing photojournalism with my Nikon FE, I used the Series E 135mm 2.8 lens as my "normal" lens for about 15 years. I found it worked in nearly all situations (except for shots of large groups).

    I just sold the camera and my MF lenses a few months ago. They had seen much use over the past 20 years.
     
  10. Seele

    Seele Member

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    unohuu,

    I wonder why you did not just hire or borrow a Nikon kit just for a taste, and for making side-by-side comparisons with your established Minolta kit.

    Another issue worth comtemplating is your desire to go for Nikon for its reputation. Now, reputation is a funny thing that tends to go before the name, and of course it is based on other people's criteria on what makes something "good". For me, I do not like the Nikon lenses for the "look" of their images; having been brought up on Teutonic glassware notwithstanding, I do not feel the bokeh offered by Nikon to my taste at all, and actually prefer Minolta glass for its more pleasant look.

    But as usual, YMMV; pay your money and take your ride; good luck!
     
  11. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Seele, the camera and lens were signficantly less expensive than renting a Nikon for a week. I simply wanted to see for myself. I will be doing a 50mm comparison as I have both AF and MF Minolta lenses. I wanted to have access to lenses that I can't afford with a Minolta system. Can't rent Minolta G glass here in Minneapolis, but do have access to rentals from both Canon and Nikon. So if I have a body that I am familiar with, renting a lens will be only a minor expense. Ex. I am driving out to New Mexico this summer for a week. I thought it might be nice to have an ultra wide for scenics. The Minolta would cost me more than $600 but I could rent a Nikon for perhaps $75. Don't get me wrong, I love the Minolta glass I have but sometimes I can't get my job done with what I have to use.
     
  12. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    You can't go wrong with an 85mm f/1.8 or 105mm f/2.5 for portraits. I know you said you have no interest in zooms, but the 75-150 Series E is excellent as is the 50-135 AIS.
     
  13. Natron

    Natron Member

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    I can only go off of what I've owned or do own.

    I love my 24mm f/2.8 AIS and hear the 28mm f/2.8 AIS is even better. I cannot find fault with mine. For the ridiculously low price you'll pay, I don't see why one wouldn't get a 50mm f/1.8 whether it's the AI, AIS or E-series. I owned the 50mm f/1.4 AIS and sold it to keep my 50mm f/1.8 E-series. It seemed softer, was heavier, was larger and I didn't see a need for both.

    Now, onto my two favorites: The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 AIS and the 85mm f/1.4 AIS. The 55mm is razor RAZOR sharp and works as a 1:2 macro lens without an extender or 1:1 macro lens with the PK13 extension tube. It's really my first choice for an everyday lens with my FE2 (in fact, I have my FE2 and Micro-Nikkor with me at work today). The 85mm is awesome for portraits and low-light. I used that setup with NPH film in a dim room where everyone else was using flashes, last night. Regardless of how great the 85mm f/1.4's pictures are, I kind of wish I hadn't traded my 85mm f/2 AIS in for it. Not only is the f/2 half the price, it's 1/3 the size and 1/3 the weight. If you can stand using an f/2.8 lens, the Micro-Nikkor is amazing. If you can stand the size of the 85mm f/1.4 AIS, it's a beautiful lens as well. I could really use those two as my only lenses for most everything.
     
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  15. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    That website is a great and invaluable resource for Nikon manual focus cameras and lenses, by the way. I do most of my research at that website. It's designed by a guy in Malaysia, so his English takes some getting used to. The design of the site is a bit cumbersome and it takes a while to get used to navigation, but it is great nonetheless.

    I've got a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AIS, 105mm f2.5 AIS and a 55mm micro. They are all great lenses. You could buy any of these lenses in great condition for under $200 each. I personally like the bokeh of Nikkor lenses, but I can see why someone might not.
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I'd also suggest the 75-150. Cheap, around enought to find one, and very good. Sorry I sold mine. You can also get them chipped later if you want for metering in the newer cameras. I now shoot a AF 70-210 F4-5.6 that for the cheaper prices is pretty nice off the extremes. It usually has a decent write up in most compendium books. The older F4 is considered a better lens, but I believe it was manual focus only?
     
  17. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    Don't both with a 2020 body for AF - first generation AF had a lot of problems... If you like MF, you can build a nice set from more classic "metal" gear.
     
  18. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Anything from 85 to 100 mm will make a good portrait lens for 35mm format. Anything longer (135mm) will cause to much perspective flattening and not produce good portraits.
     
  19. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Hey Luke, made a similar move not too long ago. Simply because, in my estimation, both Pentax and Minolta had quit the game. Jumped to Nikon to avail myself of the luxury of being able to buy new manual focus prime lenses. Nikon appears to be "the last man standing" in that market. I've found nikon AIS lenses to be every bit as good as the favorites from Minolta and Pentax of old.

    I have to add my endorsement for the Nikkor 28mm, f/2.8 AIS and the 105mm, f/2.5 AIS. Both are very simply outstanding - particularily the 28/2.8...this lens is nothing short of amazing. You owe it to yourself to at least shoot a couple of rolls with one.
     
  20. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Try the Nikon 85mm f1.8. Very compact and gives great results. BLIGHTY
     
  21. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    I have the following and love it:

    --FM3A (new)
    --24 2.8 AIS (bought new for $280--can't beat that)
    --105 2.5 AIS (amazing lens)
    --80 2.0 AIS (just as nice)
    --135 2.0 (a bit heavy but makes for nice portraits from afar)
    --50 1.2 (bought new for $350)

    Love all of the above. 24 2.8 stays on the camera most of the time.
     
  22. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    My main 35mm system is Nikon, and I own a bunch of lenses. For portrait, I own a 85/1.8 AFD, a 105/2.5 and a 135/2.8. All are perfectly capable of exceptional results. Heck, even my 24-85 zoom does an okay portrait.

    Most of the portraits I do are available light candids, frequently indoors, so speed is very important to me; for that reason the 85 is probably my favorite of the three. My 135 doesn't get much use these days largely because of this issue. The 105/2.5 is the legend of the lot, and certainly I like it quite a bit, but the speed issue means I don't use it as much as I probably should.

    I will second the mention of the Series E 75-150, which is one of the other big reasons why my 135 mostly stays at home. I'm not a zoom guy, but that one is lightweight and sufficiently high quality that I frequently bring it with me. The 50-135, which I also own, is bigger and heavier and takes 62mm filters, and so doesn't fit in as well with a mostly-prime bag, since most of the primes I own take 52mms. The 85/1.8 also takes 62mm filters but I'm willing to put up with that for the speed.
     
  23. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I love my "first edition" 105 f/2.5 and my 24mm f/2 lenses. The E series 75-150, was made by Kiron, for Nikon, and as widely stated, is very good.

    Kiron Kid
     
  24. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    One other recommendation here, although it will seem a strange one. In addition to all of the primes I have for my Nikon, I also have one zoom and I'm extremely happy with it. It's the AF-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 lens.

    Although it's a seemingly cheap lens (or at least it was when it was still being made), it's been the best performing zoom lens I've ever had. The barrel distortion at the wide end is just slightly worse than the 28mm f/2.8, the lens is almost flare-free without a hood (only becoming a problem with a really bright light source in the image area), and it's got a macro setting at the 28mm end that can get you some very interesting pictures.

    It's sharp at all focal lengths when you stop it down one stop, and even wide open it's pretty darned good. Unfortunately my version is the original AF lens with the skinny plastic manual focus ring, but I got used to that and have enjoyed the lens immensely. It's not nearly as solid feeling as a good manual focus prime, but it gets the job done. It's a fun "walking around" lens if you're out on a bright day, and the 28mm macro is a blast to play with for images with a lot of background. The bokeh is very smooth, with a good transition from sharp to out-of-focus areas on the image.

    The downsides to me are the filter size (62mm...not something I normally carry), the skinny focus ring (which was apparently fixed on the AF-n version of the lens with a wide rubber focus ring), and the "loose" feeling that all AF Nikkors have in my hands. But given that, it's still a lens that I find a joy to use, and that I've taken some pretty amazing shots with. If you ever stumble across one in good condition at a reasonable price, I think it's worth it. A real sleeper in my book.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  25. onlineweddings

    onlineweddings Member

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    Nikon 70-200 VR not cheap but worth it's weight in gold!

    I purchased a Nikon 70-200 VR 2.8 lens the other day after smashing my last (don't ask how!) 80-200 and can't believe the quality of this new vibration reduction one!
    I really wish I'd have bought it a long time ago now as every picture I take with it just jumps out at you-pin sharp and the colour rendition somehow seems to be more saturated and crisp. The vibration reduction mode is excellent and if you put the active mode on (for moving subjects) it's just mind blowing. I didn't really think it'd make so much difference! I can now shoot at slow shutter speeds using the widest aperture ( great for wedding shoots) and relax knowing they're going to be pin sharp with no blur. Obviously if your subject is moving a lot you'll get some blur but with panning you can get really great shots.

    I've found this lens well worth it's weight in gold and worth the extra cost.
     
  26. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Thank you all, each and every one of you. The information you have provided to me is a great start. I think the 105mm will be my portrait choice as I like that length in Minolta as well. Good compromise between the 85 and the 135. I might try one of the two recommended zooms, as well. We will keep you posted.