Nikon Manual Focus Lens Question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, May 24, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Hello,

    I am interesting in buying some Nikon manual focus lenses, focal lengths of 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, and perhaps 35mm. I haven't decided which versions to get (f/2 or f/2.8 where applicable) but I want ones that come with the close focusing system (CRC?) if they were made with that.

    Problem is, I dont know how to identify which lens should have this. I am in Shanghai China, and buying at 2nd hand stores where there is virtually no English. Can anyone give me pointers as to how I might identify which version of these lenses that I might come across?

    Also, can I assume that if they have the rabbit ears clip on them, that they are AIS lenses?

    Thank you for any tips.
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    When looking for Nikon info, the Mir site is probably the best hands down. It has a ton of information along with clear images that covers pretty much everything.

    I have the 24mm and 28mm f2 ais lenses and both have the crc which focuses down to 1 ft. I think the easiest way is to look at the lens barrel and if you see the marking for 1ft then it is most likely crc. I have never shot with the 20mm, it is pricey and I think it doesnt pop up as much (the mf version, there are lots of the plastic af version). I had the 35mm 1.4 ais and it also had the crc.

    here is a link to the site to get you started:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/ultrawides/20mm.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2013
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    The 20mm/F2.8 also has the compensation with moving elements and it is a cracker. As the other poster said it is pricy though.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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  6. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    All the 24mm, the 28mm f/2.8 Ais, the 20mm 2.8 all versions, all the 28mm f/2's, and only the 35mm f/1.4. Only the 28's have front CRC.
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    no, you can NOT assume that if they have the rabbit ears that they are AIS or even AI, Quite the opposite. All early non-AI lenses have them, some later AIS lenses do not.

    An AI lens has the lens openings -- 2 2.8 4 5.6 etc) written in very tiny letters along the back edge of the lens mount so they show through a little window in the viewfinder. AIS has them as well.
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    There's also a step cut in the rear of the aperture ring on AI/AIS (also earlier lenses which have been adapted or converted) lenses.
     
  9. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Subscriber

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    I was just trying to figure this one out last night... Although there is no clear cut way to find out... the easiest way is

    for 28mm

    1)... if it has 2 two sets of aperture numbers one small one big.. then it either it is AI or was a non-AI and has been factory AI-d (automatic indexing).
    2) not all 28mm have CRC... my lens is an AI and is does not have CRC... it does focus to 1ft.. according to MIR it does NOT have CRC, but it is pretty sharp (i'm using it on digital though, dx and haven't seen corners on film)
    3) from what i found the AI-s (or AI-S) version does have CRC...
    4) The way you can tell it is AI-S, is it has a half-round cut on the bayonet mount... < MOST LIKELY TO HELP YOU FIGURE THIS ONE OUT, after this is autofocus.

    stay away form series e... maybe my copy, but the 28mm really sucks (plain and simple), and does not have crc.


    kenny seems to have the best info on this or at least the most outright

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikortek.htm#ais

    according to mir... AI, no where on the page for 28mm does it mention CRC, then came series e, then AI-s with first introduction of CRC
     
  10. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I know we're talking wides here, but... the 100mm 2.8 Series E is pretty glorious. I've heard some dislike it so some examples may have aged less well. But it's an amazing lens for people (and is just gorgeous using DSLR cameras for video - magical in that regard). They used to be crazy cheap, but filmmakers are getting wise to 'em. (You'd be surprised how many TV spots, etc. are shot with older Nikon primes using lens adapters).

    I have the 28mm E as well - it tested better than aftermarkets in that range, but I only use it for video gigs - it is my primary prime for DSLR video though, and in that application it's a very nice looking image, usually shooting from 2.8 to F4.
     
  11. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    28/2.8 AIS focuses down to .8 meters, IIRC.

    Re: the Series E lenses, some were duds for still photography, some were great. 75-150, the aforementioned 100, etc...

    Differences between pre-AI, AI'd, AI, and AIS:

    Pre-AI: Aperture ring extends down over the lens mount all the way around and will usually interfere with the AI coupling tab on those cameras that do not have a flip-up tab. Sometimes you might get lucky, but not worth it. Certain pre-AI lenses will also damage an F4, FG, or FA if mounted, even after AI conversion. Rear element baffle comes in contact with the lens speed sensing cam inside the mirror box and can break it off. Notably all pre-AI 28/3.5's, all 55/1.2's that have a serial below 400001, and late pre-AI 35/1.4's. Prongs are solid and are either triangular or rounded.

    AI'd: A pre-AI lens that has been converted, either by using the factory AI kit or by milling the aperture ring. Frequently, eBay sellers, KEH, and other camera shops will mistake a factory AI'd lens for an AI lens. Said lenses do not have the lens speed sensing tab that the factory AI lenses have, and, if they're the lenses mentioned above, will still damage the F4, FG, and FA bodies. Not sure about the N2000 or N2020, but I suspect they also would have an issue with it, since they are essentially motor driven FG's. Best to buy an actual AI lens, if you're going to be using one of those lenses on an F4 or other similarly equipped camera. Factory AI'd lenses frequently have an AI style prong, unless I get my hands on them. At that point, they typically get reverted to the stock pre-AI prong.

    AI: Lenses typically look identical to the K-version pre-AI lenses, except for the AI aperture ring, the addition of the lens speed sensing tab on the rear element baffle, and, a lighter gray rubber focusing ring grip. Both the 35/1.4 and 105/2.5 have a more limited aperture range than the pre-AI versions. Prong now has two semicircular holes and the center notch is cut all the way down to the mounting plate. Prong became thinner later in production. Most AI lenses had 5 screws on the mount until about 1978-79, when a lot of the lenses went to a 3 screw mount.

    AIS: Shorter focusing throw, addition of the lens mount scoop used for the FG and FA bodies to tell them to prefer wider apertures and faster shutter speeds in Program modes with 135mm or longer lenses, minimum aperture is now orange. Lenses are typically smaller and lighter than the AI counterparts. All Series E lenses are AIS, as are AF and AF-D Nikkors, as well as AF-I and AF-S Nikkors with aperture rings. Some AIS lenses didn't have prongs (50/1.8 AIS pancake, 35-70/3.5-4.8, all Series E). Most lens formulations remained the same. The 28/2.8 being an exception, of course. 300/4.5 AIS lenses have f/32, instead of f/22 as minimum aperture on both non-ED and EDIF versions. Tripod mounts were also redesigned.

    AI-P: AIS lens with a CPU chip. 45/2.8, 500/4, and 1200-1700 zoom are the only ones I'm aware of. None have prongs on them.

    -J